Met one on one with more than 3,900 members to help them navigate key pension decisions.

Launched a new responsive website in consultation with our current and retired members.

Client satisfaction at 8.7/10

Created a financial literacy and planning series for our members for Financial Literacy Month.

Managed increased demands while staying well within our operating expense budget.

Conducted 118 member presentations, including 24 retirement planning workshops and 19 webinars.

Responded to 49,382 member calls with 97% of calls answered within 10 seconds by a live agent.

Worked toward the integration of new plans into the PSPP.

Continued to align our IT services and practices with the Province’s Digital First strategy.

Peter Shena discusses how service adds value to pensions.

Peter Shena

Chief Pension Officer
Peter Shena

We firmly believe that retirement and financial literacy is an integral part of retirement security. In 2018, we kept building on our Advise and Protect mission by working to increase members’ financial literacy.

How does pension consolidation help Plan sustainability?

Pension consolidation – also known as pension plan mergers – delivers a variety of benefits to the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) and its members. The TVO pension plan and the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) pension plan became part of the PSPP during 2018. These mergers support the government’s stated objective of improving cost efficiency by consolidating smaller public sector plans into larger plans. Joining a larger plan such as the PSPP allows these employers to provide pensions more cost effectively and focus on their core business. This also allows us to grow our client base by bringing more members into the Plan, which improves OPB’s economies of scale.

What have you done around pension modernization?

To deliver the service and security our stakeholders deserve, and to mitigate risks and remain cost efficient, we have to upgrade our business processes and our information technology infrastructure. So we continue to move forward carefully and thoughtfully on modernizing, while being mindful of our operating expenses.

One of our key achievements for 2018 was the launch of our new public website, an essential early step in our longer-term pension modernization efforts. The new site, created after an inclusive and consultative process with our current and retired members, is fully responsive as well as mobile and tablet friendly. In addition to the site providing a better client experience, it is now easier for us to directly update and manage online content, which makes operation of the site cheaper and more efficient.

Additionally in 2018, our Information Technology department, in close consultation with other internal stakeholders, worked to identify which of our systems must be addressed first from a risk mitigation perspective. We determined that, with operational support for our legacy web platforms set to expire in a few years, our priority will be modernizing our member e-services and online employer portals; this will enable us to offer more online services to members and employers, and to build upon the improved user experience delivered by our new website. It will also increase our operational efficiency and continue to safeguard the security of member data.

We will keep moving forward with our pension modernization initiative, working to find ways to use the digital environment to enhance service while containing costs – which aligns our efforts with the Province’s Digital First strategy.

The funded status of the Plan has changed. Should I be worried?

Pensions are planned and managed for the long term. We expect volatility from time to time. For example, when the recession occurred in 2008, we altered our investment strategies to ensure the Plan fully recovered. The Plan remains well funded, and, over the long-term, we are confident in our ability to continue delivering on the pension promise for our current and future members.

What did OPB do to help members make sound pension decisions and improve their understanding of their financial circumstances?

We firmly believe that retirement and financial literacy is an integral part of retirement security. In 2018, we kept building on our Advise and Protect mission by working to increase members’ financial literacy, while also creating greater awareness about the benefits of the PSPP and how it fits into their particular financial picture.

Our efforts included developing new workshops and presentations, as well as publishing articles aimed at helping members understand how important it is to plan for retirement at every stage in their careers.

The enthusiastic response of members to these programs demonstrates both that they recognize the value of their Plan and that they are eager to learn more about how their pensions fit into effectively managing their finances and retirement planning for their future.

After they retire, the majority of our members continue to live in Ontario. Helping them make good decisions about their pensions and finances also benefits the local economy in the communities where they do their day-to-day spending.

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