Speaking engagements, submissions and publications

Retirement income adequacy is critically important for members, employers and the government. We must do our part to inform the public debate about the growing need for effective and efficient retirement savings and the strengths and advantages of the Defined Benefit pension model in Canada.


The CAAT Pension Plan is a jointly sponsored, multi-employer pension plan that demonstrates good governance and pension management expertise. The fully funded plan shares risks and responsibilities equally among members and employers.

Well governed and well managed DB pension plans like ours are an extremely efficient way to provide predictable and adequate income in retirement.


CAAT Plan representatives, (see bios), actively advocate on behalf of Defined Benefit pension plans, and promote pension coverage across the country.

Speaking engagements

Beyond the DB-DC Dichotomy Part 2: Lessons From the ROM Merger

Companies looking to exit the pension management business by converting the workplace pension to a DC arrangement have a better option. Derek Dobson explains how joining an existing, multi-employer DB pension plan, like the CAAT Plan, is a  more efficient, lower-risk alternative to a D.C. arrangement.

Canadian Public Sector Pensions and Benefits Conference
May 16, 2017

Alternative Assets at the CAAT Pension Plan At the Canadian Alternative Investments in Pension (CAIP) forum, Julie Cays discussed why private equity and real assets are important asset classes for pension plans and how the CAAT Plan uses Asset Liability Modeling to stress-test various scenarios and refine the asset mix to align with the Plan’s strategic goals.

CAIP Forum
April 28, 2017

Overseeing investments – Case study in trustee oversight

Derek Dobson examined the tools, information and training pension plan trustees need to provide efficient oversight and ensure alignment and accountability of management processes.

BC Public Sector Pension Conference
Victoria, B.C.
April 26, 2017

A strong pension plan you can be proud of

Derek Dobson spoke to members of one of the Plan’s sponsoring bodies, and provided an overview of the health of the Plan, the value it provides to members and employers, and the status of the Plan’s growth strategy.

CEC Board Meeting (Teleconference)
April 18, 2017
CPPLC Forum: A National Discussion on Public Policy Issues

The Canadian Public Pension Leadership Council (CPPLC) is a non-partisan group of public sector pension plan senior administrators from across Canada who are working together to help inform the debate about retirement income security using evidence-based research. In August 2016, the CPPLC commissioned a survey of over 1,000 Canadians to understand their values and attitudes toward retirement.


On April 13, 2017, the results of the survey were presented at the CPPLC Forum. At this event, CAAT Plan CEO & Plan Manager Derek W. Dobson also presented his analysis of the data. He highlighted key findings that support the CAAT Plan’s commitment to spread the word about Modern DB Plans, which are good for members, good for employers, and good for Canada.  

CPPLC Forum, Toronto
Designing retirement schemes Canadians want: observations from a Modern DB Pension Plan
April 13, 2017
Getting the best of Both Worlds – How to enjoy the advantages of a DB pension at the cost and risk level of a DC plan

In this session, Derek Dobson reviewed the opportunities jointly sponsored pension plans provide to employers that want to offer their employees a highly desired DB pension, with the simplicity of running a DC plan.

Benefits and Pension Summit (DC stream), Toronto
April 12, 2017

Challenges and opportunities in a changing pension environment


Derek Dobson participated in a panel discussion examining current and emerging trends and challenges facing occupational and sector-based pension funds.

BC Pension Forum,
Vancouver, BC
February 24, 2017

Changes in Pension Plan Types and Structures

Evan Howard discussed the evolution of pension plan designs that exist in Ontario, and how a merger with the CAAT Pension Plan offered the ROM an efficient, low-risk option to providing a viable DB pension.

The Evolving Nature of Pensions and Benefits Law
Ontario Bar Association’ Institute, Toronto
February 7, 2017

Embrace Change

Derek Dobson participated in a panel of financial and pension experts addressing a range of issues confronting Canadian pension plans and their beneficiaries, including changes to pension regulations, plan funding concerns and the strategies that can be used to address them.

AIMSE 24th Annual Canadian Conference: Embrace Change, Toronto
January 19, 2017

Conversations with CEOs and CIOs Derek Dobson was a panel member in a moderated discussion covering investment sector issues and forecasts.


Public Funds Summit
Scottsdale, AZ

January 9 to 11, 2017

Adding Value Beyond Investments:

Derek Dobson participated in a panel discussion on building a sustainable, Modern DB plan, which includes stakeholder engagement, strong joint governance and a solid funding policy.

Benefits Canada

DB Investment Forum, Toronto

December 13, 2016


Previous speaking engagements

Pension Plan Update

Derek Dobson and Kevin Rorwick presented the members of the Ontario College Retirees Association (OCRA) with an update on the performance of the Plan, including notable investments, the highlights of the annual retired member opinion survey and a status report on the recent merger with the ROM pension plan. Throughout the presentation, members were encouraged to be champions of the Plan.

OCRA Annual General Meeting, Oshawa
October 26, 2016

Pension risks: action needed

Derek Dobson explained how plan maturity is the key risk facing pension plans and that pension envy accelerates the risk. He also talked about how plans need to advocate with government and taxpayers to help inform the public debate on pensions. Derek also encouraged trustees and sponsors to combat member apathy by fighting misinformation and half-truths and educating members about the value of DB pensions.

OPSEU Trustees and Sponsors, Toronto
October 4, 2016

Stakeholder engagement in an evolving environment Derek Dobson spoke about the importance of engaging members, and their understanding of the value of pensions. Informed stakeholders are champions of the Plan. Public Pension Plans
Banff, AB
August 16, 2016
Communicating to Plan members Evan Howard reviewed the change to the part-time member eligibility requirements and the supporting communication Plan. Public Pension Plans
Banff, AB
August 16, 2016
Update from the Board of Trustees Derek Dobson presented a pension plan update, including the Plan's strategic focus and highlights of the year, with an emphasis on pension reform and the merger with the ROM Pension Plan. OCASA Conference,
King City
June 26, 2016
The Global Pursuit of Retirement Adequacy through Investing As a panel member, Derek Dobson reviewed studies that show that plan maturity is the biggest risk to pensions. He discussed the need for adequate, efficient, and mandatory pensions, and touched on the latest findings on international DB and DC successes and challenges in measuring and meeting retirement adequacy. Global Forum on Retirement, Washington, DC
June 13, 2016
If you love your children, save for retirement In his keynote address, Derek Dobson spoke about the need for adequate and efficient pension savings and the risks to future generations if we don’t save adequately for retirement.

Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI) Forum, Ottawa
May 16, 2016

Presentation to Iceland pension fund Members of Plan staff hosted a discussion which touched on pension plan design, challenges, risks and communications. Frjalsi Pension Fund meeting, CAAT Pension Plan office
May 3, 2016
Who loves pensions? Derek Dobson presented the Plan’s strategic focus and highlights of the year.

College Employer Council benefits conference, Mississauga
May 3, 2016

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Workplace pensions: risks and opportunities in a world of increasing longevity Derek Dobson spoke about a national strategy on aging that considers healthcare costs and demographics; retirement income and expenses; pension coverage and adequacy; and tax policy and deferred tax base Conference Board of Canada Pension Summit 2016, Toronto
April 13, 2016
Pension Reform and Jointly Sponsored Pension Plans and Broader Public Sector Plans Evan Howard presented the unique structure of JSPPs and how they provide a stable and sustainable pension platform to close to half the total pension plan participants in Ontario. Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development – Pension Law Certificate, Toronto
March 9, 2016
Education session for incoming members of the College Board of Governors Derek Dobson led an education session on the CAAT Plan's joint governance structure and pension management expertise, and how the Plan provides excellent value to members and colleges. College Employer Council Governance webinar
February 2, 2016
Panel discussion - Trends in Pensions & Benefits and their impact on union-management relationships Evan Howard explained how joint governance in the DB plan model promotes shared risk and responsibility; transparency and trust; and cooperation in decisions that ensure long-term sustainability. Canadian Institute of Union-management relationships, Toronto
January 27, 2016
Welcoming address - DB Plan sustainability

Derek Dobson presented the recipe for Plan sustainability, which includes: Investment in quality communications to stakeholders, transparency; Effectively communicate the value proposition to members; Joint advocacy with other like-minded pension plans; Long-term thinking; invest with purpose, liability driven investing; Shared governance between members and employers

Public Funds Summit, Scottsdale, AZ
January 13, 2016


Modern DB Plans offer the best of DB and DC pensions

Derek Dobson compares the pros and cons of Defined Contribution (DC) and Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans. Modern DB Plans, like the CAAT Plan, provides the best of both worlds. Modern DB is a sustainable option for employers wishing to attract and retain talent by providing adequate retirement income to their employees. 

Benefits Canada Magazine
(Sounding Board)
May 24, 2017
CAAT opens the door to more mergers, from private or public sector

Derek Dobson discusses the success of the merger with the ROM pension plan, and the CAAT Plan’s invitation to any qualified private or public sector employer to join – regardless of whether they have a DB, DC, or no pension plan. Derek is interviewed by blogger John Devine

ARIA (Alliance for Retirement Income Adequacy) blog
May 18, 2017
Addressing potential risks is a big part of keeping the CAAT Plan strong and independent In this newsletter article, Derek Dobson reports that monitoring and assessing risks is a key part of keeping the Plan strong. Derek encourages on all members to continue to be vocal champions of the Plan. OCRA Newsletter
January 2017
DB Plans key to stability, economic activity

Derek Dobson reports that most DB Plans are fully funded, well-governed and superbly efficient at securing adequate retirement income in this sounding board article.

Benefits Canada Magazine
June 20, 2016


Previous articles

Are pension plans destined for extinction? In this OCASA magazine article, Derek Dobson writes about the sustainability of DB Plans, the CAAT Plan’s fully funded status and the merger with the ROM.

College Administrator, OCASA magazine (page 18)
Spring 2016

CAAT reports 8.1% return in 2015

Benefits Canada magazine reports on the Plan's assets, investment returns and funded status.

Benefits Canada Magazine
April 25, 2016
ROM, CAAT pension merger lowers costs and risks

In this Benefits Canada Sounding Board article, Derek Dobson demonstrates how the ROM merger is a proof of concept that can be applied successfully in other situations.

Benefits Canada
March 2, 2016


The ROM plan chose us for good reason!

Presents the strong support from ROM plan members for joining the CAAT Plan. It builds the credibility and reputation of the CAAT Plan for its expertise and leverages the notoriety of the ROM to boost pride in belonging to the CAAT Plan.

OCRA Newsletter
February 1, 2016

ROM pension members join CAAT Pension Plan Benefits Canada magazine announces the successful merger of the ROM with the CAAT Pension Plan.

Benefits Canada Magazine
January 11, 2016


Government submissions

Ontario solvency funding review gets Plan’s attention

The Ontario government released its consultation paper, Review of Ontario’s Solvency Funding Framework for Defined Benefit Pension Plans, in July 2016. It is aimed at reviewing the solvency funding requirements for private-sector, single-employer pension plans.

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There is potential that the outcome of the review could extend beyond single employer pension plans (SEPPs) to include JSPPs, such as the CAAT Plan.

Any changes that add to the current going-concern funding requirements for JSPPs would only serve to increase member and employer costs with no corresponding increase in sustainability and would fail to respect the joint governance structure of JSPPs.

The CAAT Plan is working independently and with the other jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs) and industry groups to advocate against making the current JSPP funding requirements more severe. The current JSPP funding system reflects the joint governance and risk sharing characteristics and should not be made more onerous.

The CAAT Plan is secure and fully funded, but if treated as a SEPP in respect of any proposals that flow from this review, the CAAT Plan would face detrimental impacts beyond contribution increases. Potential changes could result in the loss of governance tools that currently allow for appropriate risk sharing and tailoring the Plan to the needs of employers and members and in increased volatility. Given the serious and potentially damaging impact on the Plan, we are treating this risk as a primary concern.

October 2016


Previous government submissions

Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives

The CAAT Plan submission to the Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives is in response to the committee’s preliminary policy recommendations.

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The submission and Derek W. Dobson’s presentation before the committee, supports the policy recommendation to apply a statutory best-interest duty to those who provide financial product sales, advice or financial planning in Ontario. Such a policy would help to protect terminating members who have the option to commute the value of their lifetime defined benefit pension. If financial advisors are encouraging clients to commute the value of their lifetime pensions, they ought to have a duty to act in the best interest of clients and to disclose any conflict of interest, including direct and indirect compensation they will receive. The Plan favours the mandatory disclosure of investment fees and commissions and a clear explanation of the investment and other risks being borne by the client.

Comments on the Expert Committee's Preliminary Policy Recommendations (PDF) June 2016


Comments on the FSCO Mandate Review

Following its mandate review of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and other Ministry of Finance agencies, the Expert Panel appointed by the Government of Ontario published its Preliminary Position Paper in November. The Plan took the opportunity to provide its feedback on the Panel's initial findings.

Comments on the Expert Advisory Panel's Preliminary Position Paper (PDF)
December 2015


Consultations on a Voluntary Supplement to the Canada Pension Plan

The federal government, through the Hon. Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, has invited stakeholders to share their views on its proposal for a voluntary supplement to the Canada Pension Plan. As a pension administrator of a well-governed, jointly sponsored and fully-funded pension plan, the CAAT Pension Plan provided comments on the government’s proposal. 

Consultation on a Voluntary Supplement to the Canada Pension Plan (PDF)
September 2015
FSCO Mandate review

The Government of Ontario has undertaken a review of the mandates of the agencies under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Minister of Finance, including the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), which enforces the Pension Benefits Act and regulates pension plans in Ontario. The CAAT Pension Plan provided comments to the Government in June, 2015.

Review of the Mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Financial Services Tribunal and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (PDF) June 2015


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