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DB SEPP Advisory Committee
These Terms of Reference inform FSRA’s pension sector technical advisory committee known as the DB SEPP Advisory Committee. Technical advisory committees are an important part of FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process, assisting FSRA in developing better processes, guidance and approaches to its regulation of the pension sector.
FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process enables two-way dialogue and understanding. We want our stakeholders to be informed of FSRA activities and to provide timely advice and feedback. We may also seek to identify and discuss emerging issues and external developments in the marketplace. The committee shall provide advice to FSRA in respect of FSRA’s responsibilities under Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act and Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act.
2. Mandate of the DB SEPP Advisory Committee
FSRA’s DB SEPP Advisory Committee (the Advisory Committee) is a standing committee of FSRA. The Advisory Committee reviews issues related to the administration and regulation of defined benefit, single-employer pension plans (DB SEPPs). The Advisory Committee also responds to FSRA requests to:
- provide advice on technical issues
- participate in the development of FSRA guidance and communication initiatives
- provide advice on proposed legislation and regulations
- review current regulatory processes, with a view to reducing complexity and regulatory burden while improving regulatory effectiveness and ensuring members’ rights are protected
- look at ways to improve outcomes for plan beneficiaries and enhance their opportunity to make well-informed decisions
- identify possible changes to the PBA or regulations to support the efficient regulation of DB SEPPs
Equally important, the Advisory Committee brings issues to the attention of FSRA that should, in the opinion of committee members, be addressed by FSRA or of which FSRA should be aware, or which should be brought to the attention of the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
3. Nomination and appointment of Advisory Committee members
Appointments 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 apply, the component of the pension industry that they represent and other factors that FSRA may determine are relevant. This Advisory Committee will have a target membership of 8 - 12 members, not including FSRA and MOF participants. FSRA will determine the precise size of the Advisory Committee and may add or remove any member of the Advisory Committee at any time.
Terms for members of the Advisory Committee shall be between two and four years, at the discretion of FSRA. To balance continuity and turnover, the length of the terms of appointment may be staggered. FSRA may extend the appointment of a member beyond four years where a member has been named as the Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee or where FSRA otherwise determines that it is appropriate to do so. No member can serve for more than two consecutive terms.
5. Qualifications of members of the Advisory Committee
Nominees to the Advisory Committee should be able to represent their organization’s position on relevant issues. Organizations cannot have more than one representative as a member of any one Advisory Committee.
Candidates to participate on this Advisory Committee must have significant experience dealing with the administration of DB SEPPs and/or providing advice to DB SEPPs. Plan member / retiree and/or union representation is also desired. Candidates for this Advisory Committee should be representative of one or more of the following pension sector categories:
- union representatives
- representatives of plan members, former members and/or retired members
- representatives of DB SEPP administrators and/or sponsors
- accountants with pension experience
- individuals with pension investment and/or asset/liability modelling expertise
- pension actuaries
- pension lawyers
- representatives from life insurance companies
FSRA will be represented on the Advisory Committee by its Executive Vice President, Pensions or their delegate and by other identified FSRA staff members. The Executive Vice President, Pensions or their delegate will appoint a Co-Chair from committee members and will be the other Co-Chair. The industry Co-Chair is responsible for canvassing members for agenda items; serving as the liaison between committee members and FSRA staff; working with FSRA staff to arrange meetings; reviewing draft minutes; chairing committee meetings; and representing the committee at annual FSRA Advisory Committee meetings.
6. Public process and disclosure issues
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.F.31, as amended, will generally apply to information provided to the Advisory Committee and to material prepared by or for the Advisory Committee.
Advisory Committee members may obtain assistance from co-workers or industry collaborators. However, Advisory Committee members and those who assist them are requested to maintain confidentiality (with the exception of information made public by FSRA). Following publication by FSRA (or MOF) on a particular issue/matter (or if FSRA otherwise indicates its acceptance of such communication), an Advisory Committee member may communicate their views concerning the work related to that issue/matter. Advisory Committee members will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
7. Meetings, agendas and deliverables
The Advisory Committee is generally expected to participate in regularly scheduled meetings three times a year, in spring, summer and fall. FSRA may also hold an annual meeting encompassing all standing technical committees in the Pension sector. The FSRA Co-Chair or a FSRA representative may call additional meetings as required. Members will be notified if it is determined that a meeting is not required or must be re-scheduled.
FSRA shall endeavour to provide meeting agendas and related materials at least one week in advance of each regular meeting. FSRA will publish a high-level summary of the Advisory Committee’s work on FSRA’s website.
Advisory Committee members are expected to:
- review background material in preparation for meetings, and attend meetings
- identify issues, provide advice, proposals and feedback to FSRA and freely express points of views
- use best efforts to, where possible, develop consensus
- provide feedback to FSRA on the functioning of the committee
From time-to-time Advisory Committee members, or a subset of them, may be asked to:
- prepare analyses or material for consideration by the committee
- provide data, if possible and appropriate, to either FSRA or the Advisory Committee
- meet with other industry participants and/or provide input relevant to their area of expertise (e.g., lawyer, actuary, investment advisor, etc.)
One or more representatives of MOF may attend Advisory Committee meetings.
8. For more information contact:
Head, Stakeholder Relations and Special Projects, Pensions