FSRA Stakeholder Advisory Committee for Pensions

Summary of the Meeting of November 25, 2021
Via Zoom

Stakeholder Advisory Committee members present:

Julie Belair – OPTrust
Kathryn Bush – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Gareth Gibbins – OMERS
Evan Howard – CAAT Pension Plan
Cameron Hunter – Eckler Ltd.
Stephanie Kalinowski – Hicks Morley
Mariana MacIntosh – Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Kate Nazar – Sun Life Financial
Scott Perkin – Ontario Teachers' Federation
JP Provost – Fidelity Investments
Peter Shena – Ontario Pension Board

Board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Barbara Bellissimo – Director
Kathryn Bouey – Director
Blair Cowper-Smith – Director
Joseph Iannicelli – Director
Lawrence Ritchie – Director
Brent Zorgdrager – Director

Management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Caroline Blouin – Executive Vice President, Pensions
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy & Chief Consumer Officer
Stephen Power – Executive Vice President, Corporate Services
Randy Nanek – Chief Financial Officer
David Bartucci – Director, Pensions Policy and Consumer Office
Heather Kay – Senior Manager, Policy

Corporate secretary’s office:

Demola Oloyede – Board Administrator
Clint Savary – Contingent Worker

General comments

The Chair of the Board called the meeting to order and provided introductory remarks.

The Committee provided generally positive feedback on FSRA and the processes in place and acknowledged that they look forward to continuing working with FSRA in a collaborative manner.

The Committee discussed the peculiarities of the Pension sector and how it is different from other sectors that FSRA regulates specifically with respect to the application of a consumer-focused lens to the pension sector. In this context, the committee discussed the standard of care under the Pension Benefits Act.  

The Committee encouraged FRSA to adopt a balanced approach in delivering on its mandate to protect pension plan members. More specifically, the Committee is encouraging FSRA to consider that pension plans have an obligation to consider the interests of all beneficiaries in the context of their fiduciary duties. They expressed concern that applying a narrow consumer lens for one particular plan member may result in undesirable outcomes for the sector and may create additional burden for plan administrators.  

The Committee discussed regulatory/legislative modifications that would enhance the vibrancy of the sector. For example, lifetime benefits, splitting pensions and target benefits.  

The Committee was, generally, seeking a balanced approach to pensions and feels their continued positive relationship with FSRA is key to that success. The Committee also felt FSRA was on-track with delivering on an outcomes-focused and principles-based approach to supervision.

Feedback on Draft F2022–2023 Priorities and Business Plan

The Committee provided feedback on the Draft F2022-2023 Priorities and Business Plan and confirmed its support. The Committee noted that implementation of the funding framework for target benefit plans is a priority for the sector, and it encouraged FSRA to advocate for further engagement with the government on this topic.

The Committee reflected that the technical advisory committees provide an opportunity for FSRA to demonstrate thought leadership.

The Committee inquired about the frequency of claims paid out under the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (“PBGF”) and asked about a report on this topic. As part of its F2022-2023 priorities, FSRA is developing a standard report on the PBGF that will be produced on an annual basis going forward. The report will be shared with the technical advisory committees.