There are unique challenges when it comes to pension plans in Canada and plan sponsors will face many more in the future, said participants at the sixth annual Canada Cup of Investment Management in Toronto earlier today.

John Poos, Nortel Networks’ director of global pensions said the recent proposed changes in Canadian accounting rules—where pension plan liabilities will show up on the balance sheet—will be a factor in deciding what companies do with their pensions.

He also said the future of the pension industry could be decided by the solvency of plan sponsors and that there may be a time when companies give employees cash in lieu of contributions to a defined benefit(DB)or defined contribution(DC)plan.

Emilian Groch, CEO of the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board said if we think eliminating pension plans and having people rely on the Canada Pension Plan(CPP)or Old Age Security, then we are sadly mistaken.

Regulation was also an issue that was brought up by the participants.

Poos said that regulators haven’t been acting soon enough to changes in the industry and that the courts have really been doing the regulating through its decisions.

Gretchen Van Riesen, vice-president global pensions and benefits at CIBC, said there should be a single regulator because “there’s a huge burden for national employers.”

To comment on this story email

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Join us on Twitter