Through their representatives on the Plan’s governing bodies – the Sponsors’ Committee and the Board of Trustees – members and employers have an equal say in and share the risks of Plan decisions. This joint governance structure is recognized as a model for success in keeping defined benefit pension plans sustainable.
The governors are appointed by the Plan sponsors: the College Employer Council on behalf of the college boards of governors, the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA), and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
Joint governance adds value
As a member of the Plan, you can be certain that your interests are well-represented, because both members and employers share equally in making the decisions that affect your benefit security. Read why joint governance is an important feature of the CAAT Pension Plan.
Video: An introduction to joint governance
The Sponsors’ Committee is an 8-member group, which approves Plan amendments and files actuarial valuations. Sponsors’ Committee members primarily represent the interests of the groups that appoint them. The Committee’s focus is determining how to best balance contribution rates and benefit design.
Kim Macpherson (Co-Chair of the Sponsors' Committee) was appointed as an Employee representative in 2012. Ms. Macpherson has 19 years of experience in the pension and benefits field. She is a Benefits Counsellor in the Pensions and Benefits Unit at OPSEU and a governor of two other jointly sponsored pension plans.
Brian Tamblyn (Co-Chair of the Sponsors' Committee) was appointed as an Employer representative in 2013. He is a private practice management consultant and an associate with Janet Wright & Associates Inc. Mr. Tamblyn retired from a 30-year career with Georgian College in 2012, where he was President and CEO for 13 years. Mr. Tamblyn has a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto and is a Certified Human Resources Professional. He was Vice Chair of the Governing Council of the College Employer Council from 2010 to 2012, and has served on the boards of the Royal Victoria Hospital and Gilda’s Club, both of Barrie.
Riley Burton was appointed to the Sponsors’ Committee as an Employee representative in 2017. He is Director, Teaching & Learning Centre at Confederation College. Mr. Burton was a member of the OCASA Board of Directors and sits on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He has a Masters degree from Royal Roads University and a Project Management Professional certification.
Ross Gascho was appointed to the Sponsors’ Committee as an employer representative, effective January 1, 2017. He is a Partner at Fasken Martineau, practicing in pensions and employee benefits. Mr. Gascho is a member of numerous committees and associations, including: the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association Pension & Benefits Section, and he has previously served on the Canada Revenue Agency Pension Advisory Committee, and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Legal Advisory Committee. He holds a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an LL.B and an MBA from the University of Toronto.
Steve Hudson was appointed to the Sponsors’ Committee as an Employer Representative effective January 1, 2014. Dr. Hudson is Vice-President, Academic at Niagara College.
Pat (Patrick) Kennedy was appointed to the Sponsors’ Committee, as an Employee representative effective July 1, 2013. He is the president of OPSEU Local 415, which represents faculty at Algonquin College. He is a professor in the Career and Academic Access Centre.
Anne Sado was appointed to the Sponsors’ Committee as an employer representative, effective January 1, 2017. She has been President of George Brown College since 2004. Ms. Sado is also Chair of the Board of ORION and the Toronto Region Board of Trade. She also serves on the boards of Legacy Private Trust and Mount Pleasant Cemetery Group. Ms. Sado was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in June 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering as well as an MBA from the University of Toronto. She has also been awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Toronto.
Veneise Samuels is an OPSEU representative. She is a Senior Industry and Student Recruitment Officer at George Brown College. Ms. Samuels also serves as Second Vice President on the executive of OPSEU Local 557.
Shared objectives lead to security
The Plan’s governors consider benefit security, contribution stability, and equity among members to be top strategic priorities. Read what the Plan's governors have to say about their top strategic priorities.
The Board of Trustees is a 12-member board. As fiduciaries, Trustees are legally bound to act in the interests of all Plan members. The Board of Trustees sets the investment strategy and funding risk that are appropriate for the Plan’s long-term obligations and establishes policies for administering benefits.
Dr. Scott Blakey (Chair of the Board of Trustees), has served as an Employer Trustee since 2015. He serves on the Audit Committee and Governance Committee of the Board. Dr. Blakey is the Chief Administrative Officer of Durham College. He joined the College in 2012 as Vice President, Human Resources. Prior to that, he worked as General Manager, Employee and Development for the Toronto Transit Commission. Dr. Blakey has extensive volunteer experience, including 12 years with the TTC Pension Fund Society where he served in various roles, including President of the Pension Fund Society. He has a doctorate in education from the University of Toronto.
Rasho Donchev (Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees) has served as an Employee Trustee since 2015. Mr. Donchev serves on the Audit, Governance, and Investment Committees of the Board. He is a Scheduling Officer at Centennial College and serves as President of OPSEU Local 559.
Darryl Bedford has served as an Employee Trustee since 2010. He is Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. A professor in the School of Information Technology at Fanshawe College for over 10 years, he is Local President for OPSEU Local 110. Mr. Bedford is a Life Member of the Association for Computing Machinery and has in the past worked as a computer programmer analyst for Canada Trust.
Virginia Di Monte was appointed as an Employee Trustee in 2018. She serves on the Finance and Administration Committee. Ms. Di Monte is a Payroll Administrator at Seneca College. She also serves as Treasurer of OPSEU Local 561.
Harry Gibbs has served as an Employer Trustee since 2003, and is Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. An advisor to a number of Canadian pension investment committees, he has in the past been Vice President, Investments of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario, Senior Consultant in the Asset Consulting Group of Towers Perrin, and President of the Pension Investment Division of Air Canada. Mr. Gibbs has also been a Vice President and Director of the Pension Investment Association of Canada.
Bill Kuehnbaum has served as an Employee Trustee since 2016. He is Co-Chair of the Governance Committee and sits on the Finance and Administration Committee of the Board. Mr. Kuehnbaum is also a Board Member of SHARE, an organization dedicated to the principles of responsible investing. In addition, he sits on the board of the Evangelical Lutheran Foundation of Eastern Canada. Previously, Mr. Kuehnbaum served as a trustee and chair of the Investment Committee of the Pension Plan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Before retiring, Mr. Kuehnbaum was a Professor of Mathematics at Cambrian College. He was also First-Vice President/Treasurer of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
Karen McRae was appointed as an Employer Trustee in 2016. She sits on the Investment Committee and the Finance & Administration Committee. Ms. McRae has deep experience in the finance, pension, and mutual fund industries. She previously worked as Senior Vice President, Investments at the Mackenzie Financial Corporation. Ms. McRae sits on the Board of Trustees of the Anglican Church of Canada Pension Fund. She holds an ICD.D designation, an MBA/LL.B from York University and a B.A. (Hons. Economics) from the University of Toronto.
Alnasir Samji has served as an Employer Trustee since 2010. He is Co-Chair of the Audit Committee and sits on the Finance and Administration Committee. Managing Principal at Alderidge Consulting Inc., he has in the past been a Principal at Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson), specializing in pension and actuarial consulting. He is Chair of the Pension Committee on the Torstar Board of Directors, and has previously chaired the Pension Committee of the United Way of Greater Toronto. Mr. Samji is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
Don Smith was appointed as an Employee Trustee in 2013. He is Co-Chair of the Audit Committee and Finance and Administration Committee. He is a faculty member in the School of Business at Georgian College, where he has served for 20 years. As a Chartered Accountant, he has been a member of CICA and OICA committees concerned with member education and accounting standards development. Mr. Smith has an MBA from York University and a Diploma in Education from the University of Western Ontario.
Beverley Townsend has served as an Employer Trustee since 2008. She is Co-Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. A health care consultant, she is a past Chair of ACAATO (precursor to Colleges Ontario), past Chair of the Loyalist College Board of Governors, and Honorary Director of the Loyalist College Foundation. Ms. Townsend has 30 years of management and administration experience in the public healthcare sector.
Gretchen Van Riesen has served as an Employer Trustee since 2015. She is the Co-Chair of the Governance Committee, and sits on the Investment Committee of the Board. Ms. Van Riesen is a consultant in the pensions and benefits industry. She serves as a board member of the Municipal Employer Pension Plan of Ontario and as trustee of the Teachers’ Pension Plan of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Kim Watkins was appointed to the Board of Trustees by OCASA in 2017. She currently sits on the Investment Committee. She is the Chief Financial Officer of Mohawk College and serves as Treasurer for the Mohawk College Foundation. Ms. Watkins has a Masters of Business Administration from Laurentian University. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified General Accountant. She also holds a Certified Risk Management designation.
Subcommittees of the Board
Equal representation and voting extends to these subcommittees of the Board of Trustees that make recommendations to the Board in particular areas of focus:
- Appeals Subcommittee – hears member appeals of the interpretation of Plan rules.
- Audit Committee – reviews the effectiveness of the organization in controlling and managing operational risk. It ensures the reliability of financial reporting and reviews the annual financial statements.
- Finance and Administration Committee – is concerned with Plan design, funding and administration, legislation, litigation, and the appointment and evaluation of actuarial and legal advisors.
- Governance Committee - assists the Board of Trustees in ensuring effective Board functioning and decision making as well as overseeing management of the CEO & Plan Manager.
- Investment Committee – develops and recommends the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures and related policies such as those concerning responsible investing and investments in derivatives.
Plan Equity Review Task Force - Governance in Action
As part of delivering value, the Plan considers fairness among generations and member groups when making decisions about contribution rates and benefits. To accomplish this, the governors established a Plan Equity Review Task Force that completed a review of certain Plan provisions in early 2016. Two changes to benefit provisions that
were the outcome of its review took effect in 2016.
- The pension accrual for members on long-term disability is now the same as for active members.
- The ability to elect a commuted value payout is limited to six months following termination of active membership.