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: Glen Anderson (Staff Officer Benefits, Manitoba Teachers’ Society) / Blair Richards (CEO, Halifax Port), Kim Siddall (Associate VP, Aon Hewitt), Tyler Smith (Senior Consultant, Coughlin & Associates) / Moderator: Glenn Kauth (Editor, Benefits Canada)

Key Points

DC plans are not meeting the needs of people. DB is the only way to go. Members are simply not qualified to make investment decisions, and the result is that taxpayers will pick up the tab when DC retirees run out of money and end up on social assistance.

DB plans preserve the accrued value. Solvency ratios are generally healthy these days. Target benefit plans are very ad hoc in comparison and will quite possibly not meet the retirement goals of their members.

From a survey of the expectations of C-Suite executives: “Government will take over the job of retirement savings and eventually create a national drug plan.”

Regarding group benefits, it is essential to give employees more say in how to use their benefit accounts. A worker without children should, for example, have the option to spend benefits on elder care. Technology can make this possible.