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Backgrounder: Advisory Council on Pensions and Retirement Income Established

Archived Backgrounder

Backgrounder: Advisory Council on Pensions and Retirement Income Established

Ministry of Finance

Today, the Minister of Finance announced the 13 members of the new Advisory Council On Pensions And Retirement Income. With the number of seniors projected to more than double in Canada over the next 30 years, the government is moving ahead with long-term reforms to strengthen the pension system for Ontarians and increase Ontario's competitiveness.

The members, who all have significant knowledge of pension issues, reflect a range of stakeholder perspectives. Together, they will provide ongoing advice to the minister on pension reform proposals and help keep the government informed on stakeholder viewpoints.

The Council members are Jennifer Brown, Dona Campbell, Patrick F. Flanagan, Jeffrey S. Graham, William E. Kyle, Dick McIntosh, Jim Murray, Mary Picard, Allan Shapira, Byron Spencer, Monica Townson, David Vincent and Mark Zigler.

The Council has a mandate until March 31, 2011.

Member biographies:

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown joined the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System in 2001. Ms. Brown was appointed Senior Vice President, Pensions in 2005, and Chief Pension Officer in 2008. She has 20 years of pension administration and policy experience in the public, private and broader public sectors. Ms. Brown held management positions with the Ontario government where she was responsible for strategic policy direction relating to pensions and benefits for public sector employees. She also served as Chair at OPSEU Pension Trust. Her background also includes experience in pensions and employee benefits with Unisys Canada Inc. and Abitibi Consolidated Inc. Ms. Brown has a BA, Administrative Studies, from York University.

Dona Campbell

Dona Campbell is a partner in the law office of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell in Toronto. Ms. Campbell practices exclusively in the pension law area. She has acted as counsel to various employee groups before both the Financial Services Tribunal and its predecessor, the Pension Commission of Ontario. Ms. Campbell is a past chair of the Legal Advisory Committee to the Financial Services Tribunal and of the Legal Advisory Committee to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. She has written extensively on a variety of pension issues and is a past editor of the Estates, Trusts and Pension Journal and is on the editorial board of the Pension Planning Journal.


Patrick F. Flanagan

Patrick F. Flanagan is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Mr. Flanagan was employed for over 36 years as a consulting actuary with Eckler Ltd., specializing in the design, administration and valuation of defined-benefit pension plans sponsored by major public Canadian corporations and universities. After retiring from full-time employment in 2006, he has undertaken several projects in the pension area. Mr. Flanagan has been an active volunteer for the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, having served on several committees and councils, including three terms as an elected member of the Institute's governing body.

Jeffrey S. Graham

Jeffrey S. Graham is a partner practicing in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, where he provides regulatory, governance and transactional advice to a number of Canadian and international financial services entities. Previously, he served as Director of Legal Services for the Ministry of Financial Institutions (Ontario) and headed the financial services practice of an international public policy consulting firm based in Ottawa, where he advised various pension and financial services entities. Mr. Graham is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. He received B.Comm. and B.L.C./L.L.B. degrees from McGill University and graduate degrees in international law from Cambridge University and Columbia University.

William E. Kyle

William E. Kyle was appointed Senior Vice-President at Great-West Life Group Retirement Services in 2003. Mr. Kyle has been the senior leader of the company's group retirement business since 1996 and has been responsible for the Prudential of America, Great West Life and Canada Life group retirement integrations. He joined London Life's Employee Benefits Sales organization as a group insurance and pension representative in Kitchener, holding progressively more responsible roles. Mr. Kyle is active in the industry and is a frequent speaker on pension and retirement matters. He received an H.B.Sc. (co-op) from the University of Waterloo.

Dick McIntosh

Dick McIntosh served from 1999 to 2005 as a Director of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, representing retirees. Mr. McIntosh served as Chair of the pension committee and Vice Chair of the investment committee. He was senior business administrator for the East York Board of Education for 34 years. Mr. McIntosh holds degrees from McMaster University (B.A., Hon and C. Dir. Designation), and University of Toronto (M.Comm. in Business Administration). He also served as Executive Director of the Ontario Association of School Business Officials for five years.

Jim Murray

Jim Murray worked in Great Britain as Director of Administration and Finance for a Canadian owned holding company, following retirement from Bell in 1997. Mr. Murray is in a second three-year term as the elected representative for approximately 18,000 pensioners on a corporate pension information committee. In 2005, he joined with representatives from other retiree groups to start the Canadian Federation of Pensioners and is acting president.


Mary Picard

Mary Picard practices pension law in the Toronto office of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Ms. Picard has more than twenty years of experience with pension administration compliance issues, plan wind-ups, surplus distributions, and legal issues unique to multi-employer pension plans. She has advised extensively on the pension implications of sales of businesses, corporate restructurings and insolvencies. Ms. Picard is a frequent speaker at pension conferences, and a member of the Ontario Financial Services Tribunal Legal Advisory Committee.

Allan Shapira

Allan Shapira is a Principal at Hewitt Associates and the senior consulting actuary in its Retirement and Financial Management practice in Toronto. Over his 32-year career with Hewitt, Mr. Shapira has worked with a broad range of organizations in the private and public sectors on the design, financing, administration and communication of their retirement programs. He has served on the Actuarial Advisory Committee to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, including a term as Chair, and has been a member of the national executive committee of the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute as well as other professional committees. A frequent speaker on pension topics, Mr. Shapira is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. (Hons) in actuarial mathematics.

Byron Spencer

Dr. Byron Spencer is Professor of Economics, McMaster University, Director of Research Institute for Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population, and Academic Director of the Statistics Canada Research Data Centre at McMaster University. Dr. Spencer's current research centres on the Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Program. He has published extensively on the impact of population change on the economy. Dr. Spencer recently co-edited an issue of Canadian Public Policy on the theme Private Pensions and Income Security in Old Age: An Uncertain Future.

Monica Townson

Monica Townson is an independent consultant working in the field of social policy. Ms. Townson has written six books and many reports and studies on pensions and retirement, income security programs and the economic situation of women. Her latest book, Growing Older, Working Longer: The New Face of Retirement was published in the fall of 2006 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Ms. Townson served on the Pension Commission of Ontario for eleven years and was a member of the Canada Pension Plan Advisory Board. She also chaired the Ontario Fair Tax Commission, which was appointed to conduct a three-year study of tax reform in the province.

David Vincent

David Vincent is a Senior Partner at Ogilvy Renault in Toronto. Mr. Vincent's corporate and commercial practice emphasizes all aspects of pension and benefits matters, including pension and benefits in merger and acquisition transactions, ongoing pension plan administration, compliance and investment issues, pension plan wind-up, partial wind-up, surplus withdrawal and insolvency issues, matters relating to the Ontario Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, contribution holidays and pension plan conversions, as well as supplementary pension arrangements, non-pension and post-retirement benefit issues. He has served on the Financial Services Tribunal of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and is a past chair of the Legal Advisory Committee of the Pension Commission of Ontario.

Mark Zigler

Mark Zigler is the managing partner of Koskie Minsky and a senior partner in the Pensions and Benefits Group. Mr. Zigler also chairs the firm's class action committee. He advises trustees of pension and benefit trust funds and has acted as counsel in many high profile cases across Canada involving pension plans and benefits. Mr. Zigler is the co-editor and author of Employee Benefits in Canada, now in its 3rd edition, and senior editor of the IFEBP Canadian Legal & Legislative Reporter. He has consistently been recognized as a leading practitioner in the field by both the Lexpert organization and Best Lawyers in Canada. In 2008 and 2009 he has been selected to the Lexpert/The American Lawyer Guide to The Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.

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