FSRA Stakeholder Advisory Committee – Pensions

1. Introduction

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is committed to an open, transparent and collaborative approach that involves stakeholders and ensures broad input and perspectives to inform its direction.

Stakeholder Advisory Committees (SACs) will serve as consultative bodies to the FSRA Board as well as management. They are an important part of FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process as it relates to FSRA’s priorities, budget, principles-based regulation and other matters as the Board or management deems appropriate.

FSRA’s role in the pensions sector includes:

  • administering and enforcing the Pension Benefits Act
  • promoting good administration of pension plans
  • protecting and safeguarding the pension benefits and rights of pension plan beneficiaries
  • responding to inquiries and complaints from pension plan members
  • processing required filings and applications
  • administering the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund

These Terms of Reference inform the creation of the Pensions Sector SAC.

2. Mandate of the Stakeholders Advisory Committee for Pensions

The Pensions SAC will:

  • meet with FSRA management to provide input into the annual business planning cycle (priorities and budget); provide feedback on the progress made by FSRA on its Pension priorities from the previous annual business plan
  • have an annual meeting with the Board of directors to discuss insights and trends
  • have an opportunity to participate in an in-camera session with the Board, to raise issues about FSRA or the pensions sector

The Board or FSRA management may decide to convene a SAC meeting to discuss any other issue related to the regulation of the pensions sector and may decide to combine SACs from different sectors for such a meeting.

3. Committee membership, terms & chair

Appointments to the Pensions SAC will be made through an open nomination process posted online. Selections will be made by FSRA, based in part upon the experience of the individuals who are put forward, their role in the sector they represent and other factors that FSRA may determine are relevant. Successful nominees will be expected to place the public interest ahead of personal and professional interests in the discharge of their committee responsibilities. See Appendix 1 for specific experience FSRA is seeking to have represented through the stakeholder members of the Pensions SAC.

The Pensions SAC will have a target membership of fourteen stakeholder members of which up to two are intended to be pension plan members, former members or retired members, and the remainder are intended to be from regulated entities, associations of regulated entities, or professionals working in regulated entities (based on qualifications set out in Appendix 1). FSRA can choose to add or remove any member of the SAC at any time, and a SAC member may resign by giving written notice.

FSRA is looking for members for a two-to-three-year term commencing in Winter 2025 and this term may be renewed by FSRA for one additional year to allow for membership to be staggered so to provide continuity to the Committee.

FSRA will publish the names of the members of the Pensions SAC on its website.

4. Public process, input from others and disclosure

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.F.31, as amended, will generally apply to information and material provided to and prepared by or for the Pensions SAC.

Members of the Pensions SAC are permitted to obtain assistance from co-workers or industry collaborators. However, until the committee’s annual mandate is complete, committee members and those that assist them are requested to maintain confidentiality (with the exception of information made public by FSRA). Once FSRA indicates that the matter has been completed, a committee member may communicate his or her views concerning an issue/matter being considered by the committee.

5. Meetings, agendas and deliverables

We expect that the Pensions SAC will participate in the following two-hour meetings:

  • with the Board of Directors on forward looking matters in May
  • with Management - on FSRA’s priorities (a progress meeting in the spring and then consultation on the draft priorities and budget in September/ October)
  • there may be additional meetings as per the terms of reference

For those selected to participate on the SACs, FSRA will not be providing any remuneration. However, consumers residing outside of the Greater Toronto Area are entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses they may incur in attending meetings in accordance with FSRA approved Travel, Meal and Hospitality Directive.

Responsibilities of members of the Stakeholders Advisory Committee for Pensions include:

  • reviewing background material in preparation for meetings and attending meetings
  • providing advice, proposals and feedback to FSRA
  • using best efforts to, where possible, develop consensus
  • providing feedback to FSRA on the functioning of the committee

FSRA management will work with the Pensions SAC to prepare for meetings with the Board. Members of the Pensions SAC may be asked to prepare material for consideration by the Board.

FSRA shall endeavour to provide meeting agendas and related materials at least one week in advance of each meeting. FSRA shall prepare a summary of each meeting and distribute it, including any accompanying written submissions, to committee members, typically within three weeks following a meeting. As part of these meetings FSRA will communicate what recommendations or feedback has been adopted and what has been considered but not adopted. FSRA also intends to publish a high-level summary of the committee’s work on FSRA’s website within approximately three weeks of each meeting with the Board and management.

Appendix 1: Industry member qualifications

FSRA is seeking candidates with significant experience in the pensions sector who are senior members of their respective organizations or professions. The Board will aim for a committee with diversified perspectives, based on experience, professional background and type of plan they represent as well as reflecting a mix of members, former members, retirees and unions or representatives of these.

Candidates may include:

  • union representatives with broad pensions knowledge and experience
  • individuals or associations who represent plan members, former members and retired members
  • executives of employer entities that sponsor pension plans (defined benefit and defined contribution)
  • representatives of JSPP administrators and/or sponsors
  • representatives of MEPP administrators and/or sponsors
  • pension actuaries
  • pension lawyers
  • pension investment or accounting professionals

In addition to direct sector representation, FSRA will also be seeking representatives from associations active in the pensions sector such as:

  • Multi-employer Benefit Plan Council of Canada
  • Association of Canadian Pension Management
  • Pension Investment Association of Canada
  • Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute
  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association