Canadian Pensions Certificate Program

Date and Time

Starts:10/19/2021 10:00 AM

Ends:10/27/2021 4:00 PM

Registration Closes:10/28/2022 8:00 AM

Event Type: Certificate Program

21 Hour(s)

Partner's Virtual Platform


HRPA Members:
$1650 + Taxes
$2060 + Taxes
Join HRPA Now


Additional Information

Event Sponsor

Pensions and retirement savings used to be a relatively straightforward area for HR professionals.

Not anymore.

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.

What will I learn?

After completing the certificate program, participants will have the skills and information required to:

  • Gain an understanding of the legal and regulatory framework that applies to pension and other retirement savings plans.
  • Learn tips on best practices in plan administration and governance.
  • Get strategies to reduce risk and liability in plan administration.
  • Develop an understanding of investment and plan structure principles across different plan types

This program will not be recorded.  This is an intact program in which attendees must attend all of the sessions in order to qualify for the certificate.

What is covered?

During this four-day, eight-module virtual experience designed for HR practitioners, participants will collaborate with peers through instruction, case studies, scenarios and simulations that include:

Module 1 – Key Concepts – DC Plans, DB Terminology, Plan Funding, De-Risking, Actuarial Assumptions

- An overview of the terminology and tax rules
- Actuarial funding and valuations
- Investment rules and regulations
- De-risking options and trends

Module 2 – Key Concepts - Defined Contributions & Retirement Savings Plans

- Overview of plan types and considerations for each
- Defined Contribution plan sponsor best practices
- Global & Canada DC Industry Trends
- Improving Member outcomes

Module 3 – Investment Concepts Explained - for DB & DC Plans

- Investment asset classes & strategies explained
- DB vs. DC plans, from an investment perspective
- Investment fund/manager selection for DB plans
- Investment fund/manager selection for DC plans
- Investment trends and insights

Module 4 – Best Practices in Plan Administration & Communications

- Administration & communications overview
- Best practices for all organization types & size
- Identify common administration pitfalls
- The importance of getting clear and accurate communications
- Communications in a post-COVID world

Module 5 – Plan member’s transition to retirement

- The state of the plan member today
- Helping your members address the retirement gap
- Decumulation product trends and insights
- Improving Member outcomes
- Communications policies and best practices for retiring employees

Module 6 – Technology & Innovation

- Technology's place from a plan sponsor's perspective
- Trends and insights
- Technology practices to enable the modern organizations
- Cyber Security Update & best practices

Module 7 – Governance & Risk Management 

- Types of employer sponsored retirement plans
- Basic principles of plan governance
- Risk management and best practices in plan governance

Module 8 – Regulatory Compliance for Plan Sponsors & Administrators

- An overview of the complex web of legislation applicable to pension plans
- Minimum standards governing member entitlements and compliance
- Common plan administration issues
- The importance of member communications 

Who should attend?

HR professionals/Executives, VPs/Directors/Managers of Human Resources, HR generalists, Pension Committee Members, Boards of Trustees, C-suite Executives. Head of Finance, Finance Managers, Analysts, Pension Specialists, HR Consultants, Business Owners.

What is the course format?

This certificate program combines live virtual instruction with hands-on experiential learning through case studies, scenarios, group work/break out discussions and simulations.

Live Virtual Sessions:

There will be online instructor-led modules, during which practical examples and experiences will be shared.


Participants will be provided with session workbooks to follow along with the content covered in each module and to take notes, as well as additional pre-session and post-session assignments to prepare for the simulations.

Peer Learning and Group Work:

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from each other while answering questions and sharing experiences and observations during the modules, as well as through practical, hands-on exercises and simulations based on real-world labour relations events and processes.

Time Commitment:

This four-day certificate program will be delivered in eight modules. Participants will spend four (4.5) hours each day participating in the virtual sessions and accompanying exercises and simulation activities. Over the duration of the course, participants can expect to spend an additional five (5) hours completing work outside of the daily sessions, either in break out groups with peers or individually preparing for case study debriefs or simulation participation. The in-class virtual modules will be held as follows:

Module 1 – Tuesday October 19, 2021 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

Module 2 – Tuesday October 19, 2021 (2:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST)

Module 3 – Thursday October 21, 2021 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

Module 4 – Thursday October 21, 2021 (2:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST)

Module 5 – Tuesday October 26, 2021 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

Module 6 -  Tuesday October 26, 2021 (2:00 pm – 4:30 pm EST)

Module 7 – Wednesday October 27, 2021 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST)

Module 8 - Wednesday October 27, 2021 (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST)


HRPA and/or CPBI Members: $1650 + Taxes
Non-Members: $2060 + Taxes

*** CPBI Members can contact CPBI Ontario at to receive the coupon code.

The promo code entitles you to the HRPA Member rate. If you are an HRPA member, you will automatically receive the HRPA Member rate without having to apply the promo code. Registrants are allowed only one discount per registration, equivalent to the HRPA Member rate.


For more information or registration please call: 877 599 1414 or email 

Cancellation Policy 

Speaker bio(s)
Joseph De Dominicis, Senior Vice President

Joseph leads the retirement solutions business. In addition to his leadership responsibilities, he is focused on providing strategic advice to medium and large organizations on their workforce strategy and HR programs.

Joe has 20 years of experience as a strategic HR consultant with large multinational HR consulting firms in various geographies across Canada, US, South America, and UK across a variety of industries. He has specialized expertise in retirement and savings arrangements including benefit design, governance, risk management, funding, and accounting.

Joe is also actively involved in the industry, having served on the regional and national council of the ACPM. He also worked with the Society of Actuaries building their Canadian office and elevating their brand within Canada.

Joe holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Actuarial Science from the University of Toronto, where he graduated on the Dean’s List. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Jeremy Evanson, VP, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Retirement Solutions

Financial wellbeing strategy. Driving solutions for employers and their people for over 20 years. Responsible for product leadership, innovation, solutions architecture, development and delivery for Retirement Solutions in Canada.

Responsible for key Canadian and US client relationships including capital accumulation plans, health & welfare, wellness, defined benefit, total rewards and various consulting mandates. Recognized for helping large and complex organizations achieve optimal, cost effective delivery of their programs.

Allyson Marta, Associate

Allyson Marta practises exclusively in the area of Pensions and Benefits law. Her practice focuses on pensions and benefits in corporate transactions, creditor/debtor agreements, and restructurings and insolvencies. She advises clients in both the public and private sectors with respect to pension plan compliance, governance, investments, and administration. Allyson also assists clients with navigating legal and regulatory matters related to retirement and benefit plans more broadly.

Allyson is active in pensions and benefits industry groups, including as a member of the Association of Canadian Pension Management – Ontario Regional Council and as an executive with the Ontario Bar Association – Pensions and Benefits Law Section.

Prior to joining Fasken, Allyson practiced law with a full-service national firm and was a legal consultant at the Toronto office of one of the leading global human capital and management consulting firms. In those roles, she advised on pension and benefits matters in a broad range of corporate transactions, as wells as administrative, compliance and strategic matters related to pension plans.

Natasha Monkman, Partner

Natasha Monkman is a partner in Hicks Morley’s Pension Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group. She regularly advises private and public sector employers on a variety of plan administration, compliance and governance matters relating to their employee benefit plans and pension plans, including with respect to the administration of marriage breakdown and death benefit entitlements. She also regularly advises employers under going significant transactions and with respect to pension plan funding issues.

Paul Rossi, Investment Consultant

Paul joined Eckler’s Investment Consulting practice in 2004, starting out as an investment analyst. Today, he serves as lead and co-lead consultant to clients of all sizes with defined contribution (DC) or defined benefit (DB) plans, working with clients in a variety of areas, ranging from governance, to investments, to record keeper selection and plan design.

Paul has been primarily focused on DC over his entire career and has extensive knowledge of investment managers and record keepers, leading various research efforts on both fronts over his tenure at Eckler. He brings a detailed approach to all his clients and specializes in helping manage their DC plans effectively.

Paul graduated from Ryerson University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree and has completed level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Salina Shariff, Financial Wellness Leader

Salina leads the financial wellness initiative through consulting, creating, managing, and delivering member communication for clients. She has also championed the launch of a digital financial wellness platform designed to provide a holistic financial well-being strategy to assist individuals towards better financial outcomes.

Salina’s career spans over 30 years within retirement solutions, including 15 years in leadership roles. Her experience in the retirement and savings industry is founded in several of Canada’s largest insurance companies. Salina’s background in retirement administration, client relationship management and financial education makes her a subject matter expert for colleagues and clients. The last decade of Salina’s career has focused on various components of retirement solutions to assist plan sponsors and members in achieving their retirement goals. Salina now leverages her experience in the field to build and offer financial wellness consulting solutions to clients at People Corporation.

Salina holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Retirement Plan Associate (RPA) designation, is Life Licensed (LLQP) and has passed exams for the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) and Canadian Securities Course (CSC).

Anastasia Soldatos, Principal

Anastasia Soldatos is a pension and benefits lawyer and a Principal at Mercer (Canada) Limited in the Toronto office. Anastasia consults on all aspects of pension plan matters (DB and DC pension plans), including governance, pension plan mergers, pension plan design, ongoing pension plan administration, compliance issues and cross-Canada employee privacy issues. She is in fluent in French and has experience with Quebec pension plan matters. She also consults on capital accumulation plans. Anastasia is an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association, Pension and Benefits Law Section. She holds a Bachelor of Common Law and a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Guelph. Anastasia is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association.

Matthew Streeter, Vice President, Defined Contribution & Retirement

Matthew is part of the actuarial and investment consulting division of People Corporation, where he collaborates with pension plan sponsors, investment management teams and internal colleagues in all matters of pension investment solutions for Defined benefit and defined contribution clients. In this role he consultants with a variety of clients in optimizing their pension & retirement investment strategy. Before joining People Corporation Matthew was the Vice President of Defined Contribution & Retirement at Franklin Templeton.

He is a CFA charter-holder and brings with him twenty years of institutional investment management and banking experience and has held senior positions at global banks, asset managers and financial technology companies and brings his deep expertise in quantitative product development, investment analysis and pension consulting.

Mr. Streeter is an active volunteer in the pension and benefits industry and currently serves as a council member and treasurer for the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI) of Ontario and has received his bachelor of science in finance and economics from the University of Vermont.

Steve Tarling, Consultant Group Retirement Solutions

Steve manages all aspects of our relationships with clients, assisting in plan implementation and design, to responding to the ongoing needs of plan sponsors throughout the partnership.

Steve has over 20 years of experience in the group retirement savings industry. He began his career in human resources and has worked in operations, sales, education and relationship management with two Insurance companies over his career.

Steve’s well-rounded back-ground provides him with a unique perspective to provide guidance and expertise for our clients’ retirement and savings plans.

Steve has successfully completed the Canadian Securities Course (CSC), as well as the Code of Ethics Exam (CPH), Canadian Financial Planning (level I and II), Branch Managers Exam, Pension Plan Administration Course PPAC (level 1 & 2), and the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) Course. He holds his Certificate in Human Resources Management from Seneca College and his B.A. from Carleton University.

Jason Vary, President

Jason Vary, President of Actuarial Solutions Inc., has practiced in defined benefit pension and retiree health plans for over twenty years. He has experience with many plan designs including single-employer, multi-employer, jointly-sponsored, private sector, government, unionized, non-unionized, as well as registered and non-registered executive plans. He also provides clients with independent due diligence services with respect to mergers and acquisitions, and expert independent advice on matters before arbitrators and the courts. Jason is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries and is also an active volunteer with in the actuarial profession, currently serving on the Board of Directors for Canadian Institute of Actuaries.