FSRA Pensions Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting with the Board of Directors

Summary of the Meeting of May 4, 2023
25 Sheppard Avenue West and virtually via Teams

Stakeholder Advisory Committee members present:

Al Kiel – TELUS Health
Alex McKinnon – United Steel Worker / Multi-Employer Benefit Plan Council of Canada (MEBCO)
Anna Zalewski – Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan (OTPP)
Cameron Hunter – Eckler Ltd.
Celine Chiovitti – Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)
David Gordon - Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Plan / Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC)
James Pierlot – Blue Pier
Jean-Michel Lavoie – Sun Life
Johanna Lohrenz – University Pension Plan (UPP)
Julie Belair – OPSEU Pension Plan (OPTrust)
Kathryn Bush – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Ken Eady – Retiree
Rachel Arbour – Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)
Simon Archer – Goldblatt Partners LLP
Stephanie Kalinowski – Hicks Morley / Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM)

Board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Kathryn Bouey – Director
Brent Zorgdrager – Director
Dexter John – Director
Joseph Iannicelli – Director
Larry Ritchie – Director

Management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Caroline Blouin – Executive Vice President, Pensions
Jordan Solway – Executive Vice President, Legal and Enforcement
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy
Judy Pfeifer – Chief Public Affairs Officer
Paul Reid – Chief Financial Officer
David Bartucci – Head, Pension Plan Operations and Regulatory Effectiveness
James Hoffner – Director, Pension Investment Risk
Chris Zolis – Head, Forensic Analysis and Investigations
Jason Harris – Director, Legal for Policy and Rule-Making & Deputy General Counsel
Reesha Hosein – Director Legal Services & Deputy General Counsel
Heather Greenberg – Corporate Secretary & Deputy General Counsel
Daniel Padro – Director, Credit Union, Insurance Prudential, and Pensions Policy
Jesse Heath-Rawlings – Senior Manager, Pensions Policy

General comments:

The Chair of the Board called the meeting to order and provided introductory remarks about the importance of stakeholder feedback to ensuring FSRA continues to improve and contribute to better public policy. She noted that as part of its governance role, the Board would like to better understand the Committee’s environment, needs, and interests with a focus on forward looking activities. The Committee was asked to comment on the factors or changes in their sector that they are actively monitoring, top sector risks and critical success factors for the sector.

The Committee discussed general trends and associated risks across all plan types, including but not limited to, inflation impacts on unindexed pensions and member buying/savings power, impact of rising interest rates on investment valuations and bond returns, impacts of remote work/gig economy on real estate assets and pension coverage, impacts of ESG on plan investments and assets, and overall pension coverage decline on retirement income adequacy. The Committee noted the pace at which FSRA has developed transformative regulatory/supervisory initiatives and implications on sector resources, as well as the role FSRA could play in providing support, as required, to the government as it considers legislative reforms/modernization.

The Committee highlighted key issues of focus for different types of plans (e.g., defined contribution plans, large public sector plans, multi-employer pension plans , and defined benefit single-employer pension plans) including consolidation of assets, effective decumulation strategies to promote retirement income adequacy the government’s proposed target benefit (TB) framework, member protection, and recent changes to federal bankruptcy and insolvency legislation which may impact the Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund (PBGF).

The Committee also expressed a preference for sector-specific guidance and harmonization across jurisdictions.

The Committee commended FSRA for its expertise, accessibility, and approach to collaboration and specifically noted FSRA’s Pension Awareness Day as a key success.

The Chair provided concluding remarks about the impacts of FSRA’s actions and the importance of continual engagement between the regulator and the sector and encouraged the Committee to continue to provide feedback to FSRA on considerations for new regulatory initiatives.