SC Board Meeting Summaries

To stay transparent and maintain consistent communications with you, our stakeholders, we have posted all significant activities and decisions made at each SC meeting below. Additional information can be found in News & Activities.

Stakeholder comments and suggestions are always welcome and will be included in Board Meeting information packages.  Emails and letters received less than 36-hours before a scheduled meeting will be included with the subsequent information package. 


2018 SC Board meetings

The Comprehensive Plan Review (CPR) is the primary focus of the SC Board for 2018. Plan Design and related matters are contemplated at meetings of the Plan Design Committee (PDC) – a committee-of-the-whole. The PDC looks at options and brings recommendations to the Board. Therefore, in light of the CPR, Board meetings during 2018 deal with the essential administrative and governance issues, allowing time for full discussion and deliberation of the CPR.


2017 SC Board meetings

Plan Changes

Under its mandate, the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) has responsibility for benefit plan design. At its June 21st meeting, the SC approved the following proposed changes:

  • introduce certain time restrictions related to the payment of commuted values and buy-backs,

  • restrict access to pensions for certain dual members, and

  • permit employers with members working in foreign countries to suspend participation in OMERS.

Plan Changes

The OMERS Sponsor Corporation (SC) agreed that it would consider the following four plan changes for the coming year:

  • Commuted values and buy backs: Introduce certain time restrictions related to the payment of commuted values and buy-backs

  • Dual membership: Restrict access to pensions for certain dual members

  • Foreign Service membership: Permit members working in foreign countries to suspend participation in OMERS

The plan changes noted above will be decided by the SC at its June meeting.  More information is available in the “Understanding Plan Changes” section of the website.

  • NRA 60 Paramedics:  Allow employers to provide NRA 60 benefits to paramedics.

The SC was not prepared to decide this potential change at its June meeting and waived the timelines for this particular decision.  The SC will make a decision by the end of 2017.


Other Plan Changes
The SC continues consultations related to modifying the indexing provisions of the Plan to enable greater risk sharing and enhanced intergenerational equity in the future. In addition, OMERS will be undertaking a research project to inform the SC’s review of eligibility requirements for non-full-time employees.

The SC decided that neither of these issues will reach decision-making in 2017, but they are expected to be decided in 2018.  

OAC Board Appointments

One of the most important responsibilities of the SC is the appointment of directors to the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Board.

In May of this year, the Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) conducted interviews with two incumbent nominees with the participation of the OAC Board Chair, George Cooke.

The SC reappointed Monty Baker and Cliff Inskip to the OAC Board effective January 1, 2018, for three-year terms. 

Governance

The OMERS Sponsor Corporation (SC) received updates on various matters.  The SC also considered several potential plan changes and the extent to which there was merit to moving them forward for broader discussion and decision in June.

The next step in the plan change decision-making process would be a decision in May to broadly communicate those potential plan changes which have merit.

Valuation Projections

The Board received further technical information related to the annual actuarial valuation for the Primary Plan. Various scenarios and analyses were discussed as they relate to the projected funded status of the OMERS Pension Plans.  This information helps the SC manage the long-term health and sustainability of the Plan.
 

Plan Change Decisions

Under its decision-making process, the SC considers whether there is a need for benefit or contribution rate changes based on the Funding Management Strategy (FMS) it adopted in 2014.  The FMS outlines how benefits and contributions will be modified in response to the financial health of the OMERS Primary Plan (the Plan) as the Plan cycles through periods of deficit and surplus.

The FMS did not call for any changes in 2017 as the measures introduced in 2010 remain sufficient to manage the financial health of the Plan and the related decision-making process was not automatically invoked.  Likewise, the SC did not choose to voluntarily invoke the FMS decision-making process in 2017.

Valuation Filing

The valuation report of the OMERS Primary Pension Plan must be filed with the regulators every three years, and may be filed more frequently. Given the improved funded position, the SC decided to file the December 31, 2016 valuation reports in respect of both the Primary and Supplemental Plans. The next required valuation reports will be the December 31, 2019 valuation reports for filing in 2020.

Financial Results

As part of an annual process, the preliminary results of the December 31, 2016 actuarial valuations of the Primary Plan and the RCA were provided to the SC and OAC Boards on February 15.  The funded status of the OMERS Pension Plans at December 31, 2016 was reviewed in preparation for the Funding Management Strategy (FMS) decisions which will be decided at the March 21 Board meeting.

The (FMS) was adopted by the SC to guide decisions regarding the health of the pension plan, including related changes to contribution rates and benefits.  The FMS includes deficit, reserve and surplus management zones based on the funded ratio of the plan.  Each zone includes specific actions meant to address the health of the Plan.

Annually the SC financials are reviewed by an external auditor in conjunction with the Audit Committee, which in turn submits the findings to the Board for approval.  The SC 2016 Financial Statements were approved at this meeting.

Governance

The Board discussed the SC Business Plan and approved the committee slates for 2017.

The Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Sponsors Corporation and the Administration Corporation. The MOU replaces the previous Framework Agreement and is designed to help ensure a strong collaboration between the SC and OAC.

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2016 SC Board meetings

Governance

The appointment of the Independent Board Chair (IBC) of the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) is the joint responsibility of the OMERS Sponsor Corporation and OAC.  The SC approved a joint succession protocol for the IBC, which was jointly developed by the SC and OAC.  The joint succession protocol acts as a guideline for the SC and OAC in situations where a successor to the IBC is required on a temporary or interim basis.

Governance

The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) adopted the amended and restated By-Law No. 6 effective January 1, 2017.  By-Law No. 6 outlines remuneration for Directors of the SC and OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Boards.

The SC Co-Chairs are appointed annually by the SC Board.  The SC re-appointed Mr. Frank Ramagnano and Ms. Marianne Love to serve as Co-Chairs for the duration of 2017. 

Actuarial Assumptions

The SC and OAC Boards met to jointly discuss the preliminary actuarial assumptions for the December 31, 2016 valuation.

OAC Board Appointments 

The SC appointed Laurie Hutchinson as a Director of the OAC Board for a three-year term, beginning January 1, 2017.

September 20, 2016

Strategic Planning

The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) and the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Boards participated in their fifth annual joint strategic planning session.  The Boards reviewed the progress made with the OMERS 2020 Strategy and discussed the groundwork for a longer-term strategy designed to protect the sustainability of the Plan.
 

September 21, 2016

Governance 

The SC formally appointed Paul Harrietha as the CEO of the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) effective January 1, 2017.  Mr. Harrietha is responsible for organizational leadership and direction as well as assisting the Board in achieving its mission and delivering on its key responsibilities.

The SC is responsible for the remuneration of Directors of both the SC and OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Boards. Remuneration levels are reviewed every three years.  The SC approved compensation increases for Directors of both Boards effective January 1, 2017.

The SC held a Strategic Planning session on August 30 to address a number of plan sustainability questions.  An SC Board meeting was convened on August 31 to conduct regular Board business and to confirm decisions coming out of the Strategic Planning session.

Plan Amendements

The SC Board passed motions to adopt By-Laws No. 34 and No. 35, as well as to adopt the amended AVC design policy. 

Valuation Filing 

The SC agreed to file the December 31st, 2015 valuation of the Supplemental Plan.
 

OAC Board Appointments

The SC appointed Mr. Paul Elliott for a three-year term ending December 31, 2019 and Mrs. Darcie Beggs for a two-year term ending December 31, 2018.

Plan Changes

The OMERS Sponsor Corporation (SC) agreed that it would consider a change to the Primary Plan to change the Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) program to allow members to retain their non-locked-in AVC funds in the Primary Plan past the age of 71. 

Note that in March the SC agreed to consider changing the contribution rates of the Supplemental Plan effective January 1, 2017.  Although there are currently no members in the Supplemental Plan, it is necessary to ensure the contribution rates reflect our current expectations about the future.
 

OAC Board Appointments 

One of the most important responsibilities of the SC is the appointment of directors to the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Board.

In May of this year, the Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) conducted interviews with several incumbent nominees with the participation of the OAC Board Chair, George Cooke.

The SC reappointed three individuals to the OAC Board effective January 1, 2017, for three year terms:  Bill Butt, Penny Somerville and Jim Phillips.

By-Laws No. 4 & 13 

The SC is responsible for the composition of the Boards which govern the OMERS Pension Plans.

As part of good governance, the SC committed to regularly reviewing by-laws.  For that purpose, in 2015 the SC reached out to stakeholder organizations seeking input for its consideration.  Having heard from stakeholders, and after careful consideration, the SC has decided to maintain the current structure of the OMERS Boards, with the following changes:

  • Imposing term limits of six years for the SC Co-Chair positions.  While this limit has retroactive application, as a transition measure one of the incumbent Co-Chairs is eligible to serve for another three years in the position.

  • Adopting a more formalized and rigorous approach to engage members who are not affiliated with sponsor organizations.

More information about the decision is available below, on OMERS Board Composition By-law Review.

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Governance

One of the most important responsibilities of the OMERS Sponsor Corporation (SC) is the appointment of Directors to the OAC Board, including the Independent Board Chair. 

The OAC Board has 7 seats with terms expiring at December 31, 2016, as well as the Independent Board Chair.  The SC has received nominations for three of these seats with more expected shortly.  To help ensure continuity, certainty and assist with planning, the SC Board:

  • approved George Cooke’s reappointment as the Independent Board Chair of the OAC for a 3-year term effective January 1, 2017; and

  • amended By-Law No. 13 to allow acceleration of the appointment process.

In addition, as part of good governance practice, the SC approved a further amendment to the by-law to require background checks for nominees (whether new or incumbent).

The SC CEO announced her retirement earlier in the year and the SC approved a process for identifying a replacement, including an external advisor to assist in the process.

Governance

One of the most important responsibilities of the SC is the appointment of directors to the OAC Board.  The departure of Darcie Beggs as an OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Director resulted in a vacancy on the OAC Board effective March 31, 2016.

Having received a nomination from the affected sponsor organization, the Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) conducted an interview with the nominee, with the participation of the OAC Board Chair, George Cooke.  The SC received a recommendation from the CGC to appoint the nominee and the SC approved the recommendation.

Charlene Mueller joined the OAC Board effective April 1, 2016.  When a vacant term is filled the appointee sits for the remainder of the affected term, in this case until December 31, 2017. 


Valuation Projections 

The Board received further technical information related to the annual actuarial valuation for the Primary Plan and RCA. Various scenarios and analyses were discussed as they relate to the projected funded status of the OMERS Pension Plans.  This information assists the SC in managing the long-term health and sustainability of the Plan.

For the RCA, the annual update of the allocation threshold was presented and discussed.

(The RCA pays benefits over and above the maximum pension payable under the Primary Plan and it is currently funded on a modified pay-as-you-go basis to minimize the tax inefficiencies of such plans. The earnings level at which contributions are made to either the Primary Plan or the RCA [the ‘allocation threshold’] will vary each year based on the actuary’s projections, within a certain corridor, to ensure that the RCA maintains a fund of sufficient size that it would not be expected to be fully depleted for at least 20 years.)


Plan Change Decisions 

Under its decision-making process the SC considers whether there is a need for benefit or contribution rate changes based on the Funding Management Strategy it adopted in 2014.  The Funding Management Strategy outlines how benefits and contributions will be modified as the OMERS Primary Plan (the Plan) cycles through periods of deficit and surplus.

The SC has decided not to invoke the FMS decision-making process in respect of the Primary Plan in 2016 as the measures introduced in 2010 remain sufficient to manage the financial health of the Plan.

However, the SC has decided that it will consider changing the contribution rates of the Supplemental Plan.  Although there continues to be no members in the Supplemental Plan, it is necessary to ensure the contribution rates reflect current expectations about the future. The SC will vote on the changes at its June 21, 2016 Board meeting.


Valuation FIling 

The annual valuation of the OMERS Primary Pension Plan must be filed with the regulators every three years, and may be filed more frequently.  The SC decided to file the December 31, 2015 actuarial valuations with the regulators in respect of the Primary and Supplemental Plans.  

OMERS 2020 Strategy

The OMERS 2020 Strategy is moving forward and progress is being tracked. The SC approved the first component of the Communications and Engagement Plan, which falls under the overarching 2020 Strategy.  In addition, the Board received a report on the progress made to date on the key elements and objectives of the strategy. 
 

Financial Results 

As part of an annual process, the preliminary results of the December 31, 2015 actuarial valuations of the Primary Plan and the RCA were provided to the SC and OAC Boards on February 17.  The funded status of the OMERS Pension Plans at December 31, 2015 was reviewed in preparation for the Funding Management Strategy decisions which will be decided at the March 22 Board meeting.

The SC CEO was authorized to receive final 2015 Actuarial Valuations following approval by the OAC Board, which was expected in the days following the meeting.

Annually the SC financials are reviewed by an external auditor in conjunction with the Audit Committee, which in turn submits the findings to the Board for approval.  The SC approved the 2015 Financial Statements at its February 18, 2016 meeting.

Governance 

The Board received an update on a D & O Insurance review conducted by an independent firm.

The Board received an update from the HRCC Chair regarding the review of HR policies, which is conducted every three years.  The updated HR policies were approved. 

2015 SC Board meetings

Governance 

As part of its mandate, the Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) regularly reviews governance processes.

The SC approved CGC recommendations relating to SC By-Law No. 9 to reflect changes in committee size.  With the exception of the Plan Design Committee (PDC), committee size will range from 6-8 members at the discretion of the Co-Chairs; thus allowing flexibility to meet changing requirements.  The SC also approved making the PDC a Committee of the Whole, reflecting the importance of the work done by the PDC.

The SC also approved the 2016 Budget and Business Plan.

The SC thanked Brian O’Keefe for his leadership as the Employee Member Co-Chair since the inception of the OMERS Sponsors Corporation and welcomed Frank Ramagnano to that role effective January 1,  2016.

Actuarial Assumptions 

The SC met to discuss a report received from OAC Management on the preliminary actuarial assumptions for the December 31, 2015 valuation, including the discount rate. (Subsequently, on December 9th the SC and OAC Boards met to jointly discuss the preliminary actuarial assumptions). 


Pension Reform

The newly elected federal government indicated an interest in expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The SC met jointly with the OAC Board for an education session related to the CPP and the potential impacts that CPP reform may have on OMERS and its various constituents. 


SC Appointments

The SC received the last of the SC Board Appointments effective January 1, 2016.

Reappointed for three-year terms effective January 1, 2016 are; Barry Brown, Brian O'Keefe, Charlie Macaluso, Diana Clarke and Sandra Sahli.  The City of Toronto appointed Joe Pennachetti to replace John Fleming, who had served since July 1, 2007.  Mr. Pennachetti will serve the remainder of the current term which expires December 31, 2017; he will be eligible for reappointment thereafter.

For completeness, Dan Axford was appointed by the Police Association of Ontario effective October 1, 2015 to replace Bruce Miller, who had served since June 30, 2006.

Strategic Planning

Having met jointly with the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Board to discuss the joint strategic plan in September, the SC Board received the final report on the OMERS 2020 Strategy in October 2015.  The SC Board approved the OMERS 2020 Strategy subject to its approval by the OAC Board at its October 23rd meeting.

The OMERS 2020 Strategy is the first joint strategic plan for OMERS.  The external roll-out of the new strategy will launch in early 2016.

September 21, 2015

OAC Board Appointments

One of the most important responsibilities of the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) is the appointment of directors to the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Board.  In 2013 a new nomination and appointment process and philosophy were adopted, designed to create a higher capacity OAC Board with a range of important skill sets and competencies. 

The nomination process began in February of this year for two sponsor organizations which have term expirations on December 31.  In late August of this year, the Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) conducted interviews with two individuals that were nominated by sponsor organizations, with the participation of the OAC Board Chair, George Cooke.  Following the interviews, the CGC continued its assessment of current and complementary competencies of the entire OAC Board before providing its recommendations to the SC for approval.

Two current OAC directors were reappointed:  David Beatty (nominated by the City of Toronto) and Michael Fenn (nominated by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario). Both terms are effective January 1, 2016 for a period of three years.
 

September 22, 2015

Strategic Planning

The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) and the OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Boards participated in the fourth annual joint strategic planning session to discuss the final details of a joint strategic plan developed and refined over the previous months.  The final approval of the plan will be discussed at the October 2015 SC Board and OAC Board meetings.

Strategic Planning

The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) received further reports on several issues and ideas contemplated under the 2015 strategic planning exercise. Additional direction was provided to management in preparation for the joint strategic planning session in September.

Governance

Budget & Expense Management

The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) concluded that it will not be necessary to implement a levy in the foreseeable future.  In addition, the SC will no longer fund the costs of SC Members who incur expenses related to the supplemental decision-making mechanism provided for by the OMERS Act.  This change provides a further incentive to avoid supplemental decision-making.

With this change and related measures developed in collaboration with the OMERS Administration Corporation, the SC has concluded that it is not necessary to levy plan members and employers at this time. Please see February 19, 2015.

Should the circumstance arise that a levy must be implemented at some time in the future the SC will provide as much advance notice as possible.

Strategic Planning

The SC received further reports on several issues and ideas contemplated under the 2015 strategic planning exercise.  Direction was provided to management but the SC was not asked to make decisions at this early stage.

Governance

Budget & Expense Management

The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) continued to explore practical alternatives for establishing permanent funding arrangements given that that unused grant funds were returned in March. See February 19, 2015.

Strategic Planning

The SC received an initial report on several issues and ideas contemplated under the 2015 strategic planning exercise.  Direction was provided to management but the SC was not asked to make decisions at this early stage.

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)

The SC received additional reporting related to the ORPP. The focus of the reporting was the potential implications for OMERS if the ORPP was applied ‘universally’ without the exemption for comparable plans as had previously been communicated.

Confidential

The April 13 meeting was called to deal with a single confidential matter.

Projection Valuations

The Board received further technical information related to the annual actuarial valuation for the Primary Plan and RCA. Various scenarios and analyses were discussed as they relate to the projected funded status of the OMERS Pension Plans.  This information assists the SC in managing the long-term health and sustainability of the Plan.

For the RCA, the annual update of the allocation threshold was presented and discussed.

(The RCA pays benefits over and above the maximum pension payable under the Primary Plan and it is currently funded on a modified pay-as-you-go basis to minimize the tax inefficiencies of such plans. The earnings level at which contributions are made to either the Primary Plan or the RCA [the ‘allocation threshold’] will vary each year based on the actuary’s projections, within a certain corridor, to ensure that the RCA maintains a fund of sufficient size that it would not be expected to be fully depleted for at least 20 years.)


Plan Change Decisions

Under its new decision-making process the SC considers whether there is a need for benefit or contribution rate changes based on the Funding Management Strategy it adopted in 2014.  The Funding Management Strategy outlines how benefits and contributions will be modified as the OMERS Primary Plan (the Plan) cycles through periods of deficit and surplus.

Although actuarial valuation shows that the Primary Plan is currently in the Deficit Management zone of the Funding Management Strategy, there is no requirement to make changes to the Plan.  The SC has decided not to consider changes this year.  The measures introduced in 2010 remain sufficient to manage the financial health of the Plan.

Beyond managing the financial health of the Plan, there are other reasons to change and evolve benefits, such as pension legislation developments or minor administrative matters.  In 2014, the SC received related input from stakeholders and received a report from the PDC on those plan change requests.  The SC decided to defer its decisions on these plan changes until 2016.  In the meantime, the SC directed PDC to continue to review the various related considerations.

 
Valuation Filing

The annual valuation of the OMERS Primary Pension Plan must be filed with the regulators every three years, and may be filed more frequently.  The SC decided to file the December 31, 2014 actuarial valuations with the regulators in respect of the Primary and Supplemental Plans.

 
Governance

Budget & Expense Management

The SC continued to explore practical alternatives for establishing permanent funding arrangements given that any unused grant funds would be returned shortly. Please see February 19, 2015.

Financial Results

As part of an annual process, the preliminary results of the December 31, 2014 actuarial valuations of the Primary Plan and the RCA were provided to the SC and OAC Boards on February 18.  The funded status of the OMERS Pension Plans at December 31, 2014 was reviewed in preparation for the Funding Management Strategy decisions which would be decided at the March 31 Board meeting.

The SC CEO was authorized to receive final 2014 Actuarial Valuations following approval by the OAC Board, which was expected in the days following the meeting.

The 2014 SC audited financial statements recommended by the Audit Committee were approved for inclusion in the 2014 Annual Report.
 

Governance

Budget & Expense Management

The SC continued to explore practical alternatives for establishing permanent funding arrangements given that any unused grant funds would be returned shortly.

Governance

One of the most important responsibilities of the SC is the appointment of directors to the OAC Board.  An OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC) Director, Lloyd Komori, resigned his seat effective December 31, 2014 creating a vacancy on the OAC Board.

Having received a nomination from the affected sponsor organization, the Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) conducted an interview with the nominee, with the participation of the OAC Board Chair, George Cooke.  The SC received a recommendation from the CGC to appoint the nominee and the SC approved the recommendation.

Penny Somerville will join the OAC effective immediately. When a vacant term is filled the appointee sits for the remainder of the affected term, in this case until December 31, 2016.

Governance

Grant Funds Status

In accordance with legislation, virtually all SC expenses are reimbursed from the Plan.  When it was created, the SC received grant funds from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) to pay for items not payable by the Plan, including start-up costs.
 
The agreement with MMAH indicated that unused grant funds would need to be returned.  The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing directed the SC to return $1,000,000 before the end of April 2014, with the balance to be returned in early 2015.
 
The SC reviewed and approved the final agreement in preparation for returning the balance of the grant funds by the end of March 2015.