The following notes were taken at Forum 2017, the annual convention of CPBI (Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute) held June 5-7 at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg with the theme: “Thriving In a Climate of Change”.

Panel: Paul Owens (Deputy Superintendent of Pensions, Alberta) / Lester Wong (Deputy Superintendent of Pensions, Ontario) / Jennifer Sutherland Green (Superintendent of Pensions, New Brunswick) / Moderator: Tyler Smith (Senior Consultant, Coughlin & Associates)

Key Points

In Ontario,

  • All new plans in past few years are DC.
  • Currently, plans are split 50/50 DB/DC.
  • 85-percent of members are covered by DB.
  • 95-percent of money is in DB.

As a result, regulators are paying attention to make sure DC is better managed so that members are better served and employers have a better handle on liability and risk. Sometimes people have too much choice and not enough direction.

In Alberta,

  • There are 750 pension plans, of which 500 are DC.
  • 95-percent of money is in DB plans.
  • DB plans are popular with Alberta workers. Half the DB plans are still fully open and a few brand-new DB plans have been launched in the past few years.

The regulators are concerned that average plan members do not have the tools or knowledge or experience to make good investment choices.