Staff Report #1
May 26, 2021
To All Commissioners
Re: 2020 Pension Fund Audit
That the Commission:
- APPROVE the draft financial statements, as set out in Enclosure I, relating to the non-insured pension fund as at December 31, 2020 noting the statements have not changed from those presented in the Draft version at the March 31, 2021 meeting; and
- DIRECT the administration to forward the 2020 Pension Statements to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority as required under the Pension Benefits Act.
The draft 2020 Pension Statements were presented to the Commission at its March 31, 2021 meeting. The statements were presented in draft and could not be approved given the pending and outstanding service organization report from Manulife. The report has been received and did not result in any required changes to the 2020 Pension Statements.
The audit of the pension fund applying to the pre-February 1, 1989 pension plan benefits and the preparation of the related report and financial statements are in accordance with the requirement of the Pension Benefits Act 1987. The 2018 Auditors’ report and related financial statements deal with one of three parts of the funding program for the Commission’s pension plan.
As indicated in Note 1 of the notes to the financial statements, the fund’s net assets provide for:
- applicable active members, benefits in respect of services rendered on or after January 1, 1987 up to and including January 31, 1989 in accordance with the terms of the February 1, 1989 plan amendments and/or as amended from time to time;
- applicable active members, an amended pre and post-retirement surviving spouse’s benefit for all pre-February 1, 1989 service; and
- disabled members at February 1, 1989 plan benefits in accordance with the terms of the pre-February 1, 1989 pension plan document, for the period of January 1, 1987 to January 31, 1989.
Pension benefits accrued up to December 31, 1986 are provided for under a fully insured group annuity policy, and the liability and related assets are not reflected in the attached financial statements, except as noted above.
Post-January 31, 1989 pension benefits for active members are provided by OMERS. Changes by OMERS to the plan since January 31, 1989 apply to service after January 31, 1989 only. The liability and related assets for post-January 31, 1989 service are not reflected in these financial statements.
The Pension Benefit Act requires an actuarial valuation be completed every three years. The last actuarial valuation of the non-insured pension fund was completed as at January 1, 2019. The January 2019 actuarial valuation showed the fund as having an excess going concern surplus of approximately $4.0 million ($3.4 million on a solvency basis). The next actuarial valuation of the plan will be required no later than January 1, 2022 or in the event of a prior plan change affecting the cost of the plan, in accordance with the minimum requirements of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act.
The Commission has entered into agreements with its employees governing the use of any estimated actuarial surplus over a period of time with such use being to improve pre-February 1, 1989 pension benefits for members of the post-February 1, 1989 plan and who have not yet accessed the plan benefits as well as members who had retired, and were accessing plan benefits. Amendments approved by the Commission in October 2015, have been applied and are reflected in the attached statement.
Effective June 8, 2019, all regulatory functions of FSCO were assumed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (“FSRA”). FSRA has indicated that until such time as new regulatory guidelines are issued, all existing regulatory directions remain in effect.
On December 11, 2019 changes to the Ontario General Regulation under the Pension Benefits Act increased the threshold of assets triggering the filing of an auditor’s report for pension plans from $3 million to $10 million. Given the assets as at December 31, 2020 were $6.9 million, the pension plan did not require an audit for its 2020 fiscal, as was also the case in 2019. As the audit was included in the current contract with KPMG, it was decided the 2020 pension audit would continue as planned. Administration will review options and alternatives going forward in discussion with Manulife (plan custodian), KPMG and the Pension Advisory Committee with a recommendation the subject of a future staff report.
Copies of the audit report will be provided to the Manulife Insurance Company, the Pension Advisory Committee and FSRA. A meeting with the Pension Committee will be scheduled in 2021 to review once the filings are completed.
The General Manager and the Director of Human Resources have been listed as pension plan administrators, covering both the OMERS plan and the pension fund held by Manulife.
Mike Gregor, Director of Finance
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager