New University Pension Plan selects inaugural chair of board

The University Pension Plan is appointing Gale Rubenstein as the inaugural chair of its board of trustees.

The UPP will be the province’s first jointly sponsored defined benefit plan for Ontario’s university sector on its official registration date of Jan. 1, 2020. The plan will involve sponsorship from the University of Toronto, University of Guelph and Queen’s University, along with the relevant local chapters of the United Steelworkers and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, as well as faculty associations.

“I am delighted to take on this role with the UPP,” said Rubenstein, a partner at Goodmans LLP, in a press release. “I look forward to building relationships of trust with all stakeholders. Working together, we will create a sustainable defined benefit pension plan that will be there for generations of university sector employees to come.”

Read: Employee groups from Ontario universities vote to form new joint pension

Once the plan is up and running, which is anticipated to be around July 1, 2021, the UPP’s asset base will be more than $10 billion. The pension will also be open for other Ontario universities to join.

During 30 years at Goodmans, Rubenstein has worked extensively in corporate restructuring, pensions and regulatory matters, including negotiations with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan and the OPSEU Pension Trust, among others.

“She understands how to execute organizational change with a respectful, consensus-building approach that encourages diverse stakeholders to work together effectively,” said Angela Hildyard, special advisor to the president and the provost at the University of Toronto.

The board of trustees, which will eventually consist of 14 members including the chair, will be responsible for administrating the plan and overseeing investments. The selection of further trustees is currently underway.

Read: Why the jointly sponsored UPP is the right pension for the university sector