Pensions and retirement savings used to be a relatively straightforward area for HR professionals.
While still a very important element of employee compensation, the landscape of pension and retirement savings has become much more complex.
Longer life expectancies and workplace demographics that often skew toward the more mature end of the spectrum are also complicating factors. And as pension law and regulation continue to evolve, a good understanding of the legal framework, best practices and risk management is critical to successful plan administration.
In this certificate course, master one of the most important elements of employee compensation, and learn how to make your firm's programs as efficient as possible. This is an invaluable opportunity to further your career and enhance your company's effectiveness by becoming an expert in the area of pension and retirement savings.
Develop your understanding of the basics of plan administration and governance, including:
- Learn about the key elements of plan administration, including the key legal obligations.
- Gain a valuable, practical understanding of retirement savings plans and plan governance.
- Understand best practices in risk management, particularly for day-to-day plan administration.
Complete all three levels and receive your Pensions Program Certificate.
Each day builds on the knowledge and skills of the previous level. Successful graduates will have completed all three levels.
Level 1: Introduction to the key elements of retirement savings plans and plan governance
- The three pillars of retirement savings
- An overview of government administered pension programs
- Types of employer sponsored retirement plans
- Basic principles of plan governance
- Risk management and best practices in plan governance
On Day 1, lawyers who specialize in pension and other retirement savings vehicles will lead the discussion on Canada's retirement system. The morning session will provide an introduction to Canada's three pillars of retirement savings: the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and employment and personal retirement savings vehicles. The discussion will include some of the trends affecting each of the three pillars of the retirement system. We will then provide an overview of defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans sponsored by public sector and private sector employers, including a description of the key players involved in establishing, maintaining and administering a pension plan. The afternoon session will focus on expanding the discussion regarding these players and the sources of the fiduciary obligations associated with administering a pension plan pursuant to court cases, legislation, and regulatory guidelines. We will also provide details regarding the prevailing best practices in the pension industry related to the governance of pension plans and the regulatory guidelines that are aimed at assisting plan sponsors and administrators in ensuring that a pension plan is operating in the appropriate governance framework. Both sessions are interactive and will include examples of scenarios human resources professionals are likely to encounter in the administration of a retirement savings plan.
Level 2: Key principles of plan funding and investments
- An overview of the tax rules
- Actuarial funding and valuations
- Funding arrangement options
- Investment rules and regulations
- De-risking options and trends
On Day 2, actuaries will lead the discussion on defined benefit retirement plans from various perspectives, including numerous real-life stories based on actual client situations. We open with a brief overview of the Canadian taxation and legislative framework and how they apply to both public and private sponsored pension plans. We then explain various funding valuation types using an actuarial report followed by recent changes to Ontario funding reform. In the afternoon, we continue with accounting valuations for financial statement reporting, followed by investment rules and regulations. The final portion dives into available de-risking trends in the marketplace and we finish the day with best practices in administering pension plans.