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 Board on FSRA’s priorities, budget and other matters as the Board deems appropriate. They are an important part of FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process.

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; and
  • 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:

  • provide feedback to the Board on FSRA’s draft statement of priorities and budget, before they are published and delivered to the Minister of Finance; 
  • provide feedback on progress made by FSRA on the previous annual business plan; 
  • have an opportunity to participate in an in camera session with the Board, to raise issues about FSRA or the pensions sector; and
  • provide input on proposed rules, where the Board believes that the complexity and importance of the rule will benefit from the committee’s direct engagement.

The Board 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. 

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 an initial one-year term commencing in November 2019 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.  

FSRA will support the Stakeholders Advisory Committee for Pensions through its Executive Vice President (“EVP”), Pensions or her delegate and by other identified FSRA staff members. The EVP will select the Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee. The EVP will work with the Chair on setting meeting agendas.

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 at least one half-day meeting on FSRA’s priorities, tentatively scheduled for the week beginning November 25, 2019 and another priorities meeting in fall 2020. 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; and
  • 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. 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.

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; and
  • 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; and
  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Application process

If you would like to apply to become a member of a SAC, please:

  • Review the Terms of Reference
  • Complete this application form
  • In your submission, please indicate the area within your sector that you represent (association, registrant, consumer, other)
  • You may also submit a resume and cover letter along with your application by clicking Attach a File on the application form.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, October 25, 2019.