DC Plan Summit

February 06-08, 2019
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta

Benefits Canada is pleased to present the 20th Annual Defined Contribution Plan Summit. The DC Plan Summit is the premier annual conference in Canada for DC leaders and influencers. The Summit’s highly interactive format focuses on sharing best practices and fostering knowledge transfer through leading-edge content and audience engagement. Interactive sessions are designed to encourage delegate participation and facilitate discussion about critical DC issues. The conference will also feature domestic and international plan sponsor case studies.

The theme of the 2019 conference is:


With increasing challenges around legislative changes, retirement readiness, evolving pension plan design and plan member’s financial knowledge, defined contribution plan sponsors are looking for solutions and insights to embrace change and improve their outcomes. The 2019 DC Plan Summit will feature case studies from plan sponsors that are already leading the way and presentations by industry experts and thought leaders on key trends, helping employers truly embrace this change and prepare for the future. Focusing on sharing best practices, fostering knowledge and industry networking, the Summit will also examine how the industry can embrace the opportunities introduced by the digital realm and behavioural science.


2019 Conference Agenda Highlights:

  • Engaging keynote and academic speakers
  • Canadian, American and international case studies
  • DC investment spotlight presentations
  • Record keeper spotlight presentations
  • Networking opportunities with senior DC decision-makers and industry leaders


Join the conversation: Tweet @BenCanMag #DCPlan19

Alison Webb
Lauren Harris
Joanne Merrick

DC Plan Summit

February 6-8, 2019
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta

**More information to be announced shortly.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

5:00-6:00 p.m.
Speaker rehearsal

Welcome from Benefits Canada and Cocktails

7:00-9:30 p.m.

, February 7, 2019

Keynote Session:

The Integrity Conundrum
What do we know about why people give in to conflicts of interest and cheat for their own benefits? How can we use behavioural insights to reduce these tendencies and how can these insights inform the code of professional responsibility among investment and wealth professionals? Find out the answers in this session.  

Nina Mazar, behavioural economist and co-founder, BEworks

Canadian Case Study:

Why sustainability doesn’t always equal adequacy in DC plan design
Changes in pension plan design in recent decades have largely been driven by issues around sustainability, with a focus on affordability, volatility, liability reduction and options around pension payouts. This session will examine the missing link between contribution levels and the benefits those contributions are expected to provide — an element that isn’t often measured in terms of the adequacy of retirement income, particularly within defined contribution plan models. 

Blair Richards, chief executive officer, Halifax Port ILA/HEA

More information to be announced shortly.

, February 8, 2019

Keynote Session:

Analog Revenge: How Analog Products, Experiences and Processes are Making a Comeback
It’s now a cliché to announce that business and culture have moved to the digital realm. But while times have changed, the value of analog goods, ideas, and experiences has actually increased. With journalist David Sax, author of the critically acclaimed book The Revenge of Analog, you’ll discover why a return to analog might be a welcome shift—and best for business.

David Sax,
journalist and author, The Revenge of Analog

International Panel:

Across the pond: Comparing the pension systems of Canada, Denmark and Sweden
This panel discussion will compare the multi-pillar pension systems of Canada, Denmark and Sweden. Based on research published in the International Social Security Review,* this session will examine how the pillars interact in these countries, the relative importance of each pillar, as well as the respective differences from country to country. While all pillars will be discussed, emphasis will be placed on how public plans and employer plans are entwined in each country.  

Assia Billig, senior actuary, Canada’s Office of the Chief Actuary
Ole Beier Sørensen,
independent consultant, Beier Research, former chief pension researcher, ATP

More information to be announced shortly.

The interaction of pillars in multi-pillar pension systems: A comparison of Canada, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden, International Social Security Review, Vol. 69, 2/2016

DC Plan Summit Speakers

February 6-8, 2019
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta




Day One Keynote:
Nina Mazar

Nina Mazar

Nina Mazar is the co-founder of BEworks, co-originator of University of Toronto’s BEAR center (Behavioral Economics in Action at Rotman), former senior behavioural scientist of the World Bank’s behavioral insights team eMBeD in Washington, DC, as well as professor of marketing and co-director of the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy at Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Mazar, who is currently the president elect of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making — the premier academic society for behavioral sciences, was named one of "The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World”. Mazar's focus on behavioural economics includes the investigation of how expectations, emotions, peers and random cues in the environment affect how we think about products, money, investments, and morality, and their implications for welfare, development, and policy. Mazar has published her research in leading academic journals like PNAS, the Journal of Marketing Research, and Psychological Sciences, and popular accounts of her work have appeared among others on NPR, BBC, in the New York Times, Financial Times, Wired, Harvard Business Review, and various NY Times bestsellers as well as in the recent documentary movie “The Honest Truth about Dishonest.” Mazar serves as behavioral economics advisor on boards of various government (e.g., of the Privy Council Office Innovation Hub for Behavioral Economics in Canada) and non-for-profit organizations (e.g., Irrational Labs in San Francisco, CA). She was previously a post-doctoral associate and lecturer in marketing at MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab (Dan Ariely's eRationality Group).


Day Two Keynote:
David Sax

David Sax

David Sax is a journalist and analyst of major trends for consumers and wider culture. He is the author of three books, including The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter – named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times’ Chief Book Critic, Michiko Kakutani; The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes But Fed Up with Fondue; and Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen – which won the James Beard Award for Writing and Literature. His other writing appears regularly in The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New Yorker’s business blog, and LA Times, and he is a regular feature on CBC Radio and NPR.





Assia Billig

Assia Billig

Assia Billig is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. She completed her undergraduate studies at Moscow State University and has a doctorate in mathematics from University of Alberta. Billig is a senior actuary and director at the Office of the Chief Actuary, Canada. She is a vice-chair of the Technical Commission on Statistical, Actuarial and Financial Studies of the International Social Security Association. Billig is also the vice-chair of the Social Security Committee of the International Actuarial Association (IAA), the chair of the IAA Population Issues Working Group and a member of IAA Mortality Working Group. Billig published several papers on social security issues and speaks frequently at national/international events on topics related to retirement income systems.

Blair Richards

Blair Richards

Blair Richards is the chief executive officer of the Halifax Port ILA/HEA. He is a previous chairman of the board of trustees for the port’s pension, health and wellness plans where his duties also involved chairing the board’s numerous subcommittees. Specializing in industrial relations, Richards holds several human resource certifications, including membership in the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (CEBS). He earned a bachelor of arts from Dalhousie University and a master of business administration from Saint Mary’s University. He is also involved in various industry associations and has served on a number of boards, councils and committees.


Ole Beier Sørensen

David Sax

Ole Beier Sørensen is a senior social security expert based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before forming his own independent research and consultancy company Beier Research in 2017, he served as private pensions expert with the OECD and he worked for many years, among other positions, as chief of research and strategy with the Danish pension fund ATP. Beier’s analytical expertise spans social security, pension policy, private pensions and insurance, the interaction and alignment of public and private pensions, pension management, welfare and labour economics. Also, he has substantial experience in reform strategy, policy communication and policy implementation. Beier has been closely involved in numerous reform efforts and he is an acknowledged contributor to the pension debate in his own country. He has substantial international insight and experience and he has contributed to reform efforts in among other Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia and South Africa.




More information to be announced shortly.

Event Location


The 2019 DC Plan Summit will take place at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta.

Visit the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel website for more information


405 Spray Ave
Banff, AB, T1L 1J4

Banff Springs Hotel


With further inquiries about event logistics, please contact Joanne Merrick, event manager.


Transportation Options


Please see below a list of transportation options available in Banff to assist with all your airport transfer and shuttling needs:

Brewster Transportation
(403) 762-6700

For pick up at the Calgary International Airport, please report to either of our desks on the Arrivals level. Please follow the Ground Transportation signs. For International arrivals, we are across the from Door #12. For Domestic arrivals, we are beside Door #5. Please be ready 10 minutes prior to pick up time.

Banff Transportation
(403) 762-0000

We offer transportation service from Calgary International YYC directly to your destination. We can accommodate your transportation needs whether you are traveling in a group or as an individual. Fleet options for transportation to your destination in the Canadian Rockies include our taxis, minivans, full size vans and shuttles. Our professional and knowledgeable drivers will meet you at your arrival gate, assist you to and from the vehicle and ensure you are comfortable throughout your journey to your destination in the Canadian Rockies.

Banff Airporter
(888) 449-2901

We offer the most extensive schedule between Calgary International Airport and Banff, starting as early as 5am from Banff and departing as late as 22:30 from Calgary International Airport.

Highland Executive Chaffeur
(800) 991-6571

Alpine Limousine and Tours
(403) 762-5558

(403) 837-2796
Greg Penner

Pacific Western
(780) 940-1901/ (403)681-9325
John Stepovy/Dan Finley

National Motorcoach Systems Ltd.
(403) 240-1992

Ambassador Limousine Service
(403) 299-4910

Rental Cars

Hertz (at Fairmont Banff Springs)
(403) 762-2027

Avis Rent-A-Car
(403) 762-3222

(403) 762-2688

Budget Car & Truck Rental
(403) 226-1550


Banff Transportation Group
(403) 762-0000