Second National Summit on Pension Reform


When: Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 16:00 - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 17:00

Where: Toronto, ON

The Public Policy Forum convened the second National Summit on Pension Reform October 8-9, 2014, in Toronto. This important discussion brought together senior leaders from across sectors to explore options for enhancing retirement income security in our country.

Canada's pension systems need attention. For over two decades, economists have warned that shifting macroeconomic and demographic trends threaten to reduce the standard of living for millions of Canadians in their post-work years. An ageing population, slow economic growth, and low savings rates are significantly straining our country's retirement income systems. As Canadians are living longer, fewer people have the pension coverage or personal savings they need to achieve income security in their retirement. There is a growing realization that this issue requires a combined and sustained response from all sectors.
In 2013, Canada's Public Policy Forum convened 220 experts and executives in New Brunswick at our first National Summit to explore the most pressing issues related to pension reform. This gathering catalyzed important issues, and participants voiced unanimous determination to continue the cross-sector dialogue. On October 8-9, 2014, we plan to build on our first Summit by convening a pan-Canadian, multi-sector discussion that will focus attention on two key challenges: pension coverage and sustainability.

In the News

Advisor: Middle class needs the most pension help
Benefits Canada: The pivotal role of Pillar 1
Benefits Canada: 3 ways to improve Canada’s retirement system
CBC: Your house is not a retirement plan, Sun Life CEO says
Globe and Mail: How annuities can gold-plate a silver pension
Globe and Mail: How a housing market decline could put Canadian retirement savings at risk
Globe and Mail: Defined contribution pension plans more costly, study finds
Glove and Mail: Why Canadians need to get more aggressive with their retirement saving
Financial Post: Why shifting from DB to DC pension plans won't work
News for Ontario's 99 per cent: New Details Emerge in Ontario’s Epic Fight with Harper Conservatives Over Pensions
Toronto Star: Ontario’s pension timeline ‘ambitious,’ minister says 
Toronto Star: 'Self-control problems' plague Canadian retirement savings, economist warns
Toronto Star: A closer look at our public sector pension envy: Mayers
Wealth Professional: How to support those with no self-control
Wealth Professional: The week that was

Additional materials:

Behavioral Economics and Behavioral Change – David Laibson
Converting public sector DB to DC – Robert Brown
Identifying the Solutions – Paul Moist
New Zealand’s KiwiSaver – Why has it been so successful? – Peter Neilson
Knowing What we Now Know – Peter Neilson
The Road to KiwiSaver – A Short History – Peter Neilson
Are Canadians Ready for Retirement? – Fabrice Morin

To shed light on the issues and potential solutions facing Canada's pension systems, the Summit featured distinguished speakers from the business community, federal and provincial governments, labour groups, and academia, as well as experts and leaders from outside Canada who will share global perspectives on these issues. Speakers included:

Keith Ambachtsheer
President & Founder, KPA Advisory Services Ltd. and Director Emeritus, Rotman International Centre for Pension Management

Robert Brown
2014 President
International Actuarial Association
Rob Carrick
Personal Finance Columnist,
The Globe and Mail
Dean A. Connor
President & CEO,
Sun Life Financial
David Dodge
Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones LLP and former Governor of the Bank of Canada

Janet Ecker
President & CEO,
Toronto Financial Services Alliance
Dana Flavelle
Business Writer,
Toronto Star
Carol W. Geremia
President, MFS Institutional Advisors and Co-Head, Global Distribution,
MFS Investment Management
Malcolm Hamilton
Senior Fellow,
C.D. Howe Institute

Mitzie Hunter
 Associate Minister of Finance, Government of Ontario
Tony Keller
Editorial Board Editor,
The Globe and Mail
David Laibson
Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and expert on the use of nudge economics in retirement planning
Paul Ledwell
Executive Vice President, Canada's Public Policy Forum
David J. Mitchell
President & CEO,
Canada's Public Policy Forum
Paul Moist
National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees
Bernard Morency
Premier vice-président, Déposants, stratégie et chef des Opérations, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Bill Morneau
Executive Chair
Morneau Shepell

Mark Prefontaine
Assistant Deputy Minister, Financial Sector Regulation and Policy (FSRP) Division, Government of Alberta
Peter Neilson
Chief Executive, Investment Savings and Insurance Association of New Zealand; Former Cabinet Minister, Government of New Zealand
Tom Reid
Senior Vice President, Group Retirement Services (GRS),
Sun Life Financial Canada
Will Sandbrook
Director of Strategy, Research and Analysis, NEST (United Kingdom)
Barbara Shecter
Senior Business Writer, Financial Post
Fred Vettese
Chief Actuary
Morneau Shepell
Hassan Yussuff
Canadian Labour Congress

By engaging leaders from across regions and sectors, we have: 

  • Explored options to advance retirement income security among at-risk groups.
  • Identified innovative approaches to expand coverage without overtaxing public or corporate finances.
  • Examined the potential roles each sector can play in providing greater coverage and sustainability.
  • Helped foster the multi-sector connections and partnerships necessary to make our pension systems more sustainable and balanced.

For information please contact:

James McLean
Project Lead
(416) 333-4930

With thanks to our lead partner


 And to our partner: