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Pension Plans Certificate Program

​​Master the basics of Pension Plans and Governance

Keep your employees motivated, confident and productive through their worklife.

Compelling reasons to earn your certification:

  • Retirement Plan arrangements are under increased scrutiny from pension regulators and the corporations that sponsor them.
  • Legal issues concerning Canadian private pension plans have grown in prominence, as well as mounting issues over their adequacy in the context of an ageing population. 
  • These concerns have become more acute as a result of the global economic downturn and the poor performance of pension plan investments.

A must-attend program for HR professionals, committee members and pension trustees

  • Learn all about the key elements of operating and administering pension plans.
  • Gain a valuable, practical overview of retirement plans, governance and how you can help manage this valuable benefit. 
  • Survey the sources of legal obligations relating to pension plan administration and understand best practices to navigate the various aspects of pension plans: fiduciary duties, pension law and regulations, funding, investment management and communications.

Complete all three levels and receive your Pension Plans program Certificate.
Each day builds on the knowledge and skills of the previous level.


​Location Dates & Times ​Registration
Yorkville Conference Centre
 150 Bloor Street West
 Suite 201,Toronto, ON
 M5S 2X9​

​Level 1: September 27, 2016
Level 2: October 25, 2016
Level 3: November 29, 2016

Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Register Online

Register by Mail/Fax​
Holiday Inn Barrie
Hotel & Conference Centre
20 Fairview Rd.
Barrie, Ontario L4N 4P3 Canada

​Level 1: September 15, 2016
Level 2: September 22, 2016
Level 3: September 29, 2016

Time: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Register Online

Register by Mail/Fax​
​​*Additional dates and locations to be confirmed ​​​ ​​ ​


WHY you should be here:​

Participant Take-aways:

Level 1 – Introduction to the key elements of a Canadian retirement arrangement and its context

  • Overview of the retirement system in Canada
  • Definitions of the various retirement plans used by employers
  • Regulation of retirement plans
  • Statutory standards and other governance guidelines of retirement plans
  • The role of service providers
  • Investment management
  • Asset custody

Level 2 – In-depth look into the guiding  principles of retirement plans

  • Income Tax Act requirements
  • Minimum standards pension legislation
  • Retirement plan documentation
  • Actuarial funding and accounting reports
  • Employment and Family law issues
  • Investment management for Defined  Benefit and Capital Accumulation plans
  • Employee communication and member support beyond enrollment: making sure the participants understand the true value of their group savings plan

Level 3 – Pension case studies and practical intelligence

  • Pension disputes
  • Designing governance structures
  • Investment policies and other governing documents
  • Real-life fiduciary and actuarial issues /de-risking
  • Investment management (non-traditional portfolio strategies, investment trends, how to drive a meeting or interview with investment managers)
    • Audits by regulators
    • Outlook: a practitioner’s look into the future


WHAT you will gain​

Attendees can offer immediate value-add and ROI to the organization after earning certification in the following ways:

  • Initiate steps for good pension governance.
  • Avoid prospects of legal liabilities related to pension plans, particularly in an environment of economic uncertainty. 
  • Develop an effective risk management strategy and foster a culture of knowledge and best practices among key individuals involved.
  • Ensure compliance with legal obligations and greatly reduce exposure to liability.


WHO should attend:

  • HR professionals 
  • Members of Board of Trustees
  • Pension Committees
  • C-Suite executive
  • Pension trustees
    • directly responsible for administration, governance
    • or management of  pension plans


Speaker Bios​

James Pierlot, B.A. LL.B. B.C.L. LL.M., (Course Leader)

  •  Principal, Pierlot Pension Law
  • James Pierlot has extensive experience advising sponsors and administrators of some of the largest pension plans in Canada on matters relating to pension governance, and compliance with federal tax rules, pension-standards legislation and investment regulations.
  • Recognized as an innovative thought leader, James is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute Pension Policy Council, the Legal Advisory Committee of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Executive Committee of the Pension & Benefits Section of the Canadian Bar Association, and is a past-Chair of the Pension & Benefits Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Frequently quoted in the media, James has authored legislation presented to the House of Commons, provided expert testimony to federal and provincial legislative committees and made numerous submissions to governments on retirement-saving policy.

Jon Marin, Associate, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, LLP

  • Jon Marin practices exclusively in the pensions and employee benefits law area, providing advice on legal and regulatory issues affecting all aspects of provincially and federally regulated pension plans and other employee benefit plans. 
  • Jon deals with issues such as plan design, governance and administration, pension de-risking, plan wind ups, plan compliance, as well as pension and benefit issues arising in corporate transactions generally, including acquisitions, divestitures, mergers and corporate reorganizations.
  • Jon has assisted on several conversions of registered pension plans from defined benefit to shared risk plans (a form of target benefit plan) in both the public and private sectors in the province in New Brunswick.  Jon also provides ongoing advice relating to the administration of shared risk plans.

David Stamp, Partner, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, LLP

  • David Stamp is an expert litigator specializing in pension and benefits litigation and employment litigation, as well as general commercial litigation. He represents major pension funds and corporations in various pensions litigation matters, and has acted for the successful party in a number of well-known pension and benefits cases at various levels of court including the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Appeal. His practice also includes a substantial administrative law component, both advising and appearing before statutory tribunals. David is a frequent presenter on pension class action and other pension litigation issues. He also has extensive experience acting for employers defending wrongful dismissal and other employment-related litigation, and many years of corporate and commercial litigation experience.



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Pension Plans Certificate Program
Dates / Locations
Why you should be here
What you will gain
Who should attend
Speaker Bios
Event Type
Certificate Program
Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development 

  21 Hrs
More Information
Price for all Locations
HRPA Members: $ 1500 + Taxes
Non-Members: $ 1800 + Taxes
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Be sure to request your Bloor Yorkville Experience package when you're in Toronto for HRPA professional development.