February 20, 2013
Jim Leech, President and CEO of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers'), issued a call to action in his keynote speech today to the National Summit on Pension Reform in Fredericton. The Summit was convened by Canada's Public Policy Forum and the Government of New Brunswick to encourage candid, high-level conversations about pensions.
"Canada needs a blue-ribbon team to champion this cause, as we did when the CPP was created," said Mr. Leech. "The Public Policy Forum has the organization, credibility and pedigree to do the same for future retirement financing security for all Canadians. So let's continue talking… And doing. I'll be the first to raise my hand to join you to ensure that we as a country stand up and don't just take notice, but take action."
The two-day event brings together a diverse group of leaders and experts from governments, private companies and labour unions from across Canada to examine issues such as pension sustainability, inter-generational equity and the private sector savings gap. The Summit is also analyzing New Brunswick's experience with its own recent public pension reforms.
In his remarks, Mr. Leech introduced a new pension funding documentary, co-produced by Teachers' and Cormana Productions. Entitled Pension Plan Evolution - A New Financial Reality, the 23-minute video takes a global look at how pension plans are changing to meet economic and demographic challenges ranging from volatile markets to increasing longevity. It includes interviews with thought leaders from around the world addressing important pension issues such as: How will pension plans meet their commitments to members? How will contributions and pension benefits be affected?
The documentary is available for viewing on www.otpp.com and the website also includes commentaries from Teachers' executives and members of its senior management team. DVD copies of the documentary can be requested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the conference, Mr. Leech said: "Pensions, like any species that wishes to survive through time, must adapt to the environment. That means we must ensure that benefits and contributions are fair and correlated; that assets and liabilities can be balanced; that expectations are realistic and success is achievable."