UPP Consent Achieved: Building A Sustainable Defined Pension Plan For The Future

Another significant milestone has been achieved towards the creation of the University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP).

The required consent threshold has been surpassed at the University of Toronto, enabling the conversion to the UPP to proceed.

UPP consent thresholds were also met at the University of Guelph and Queen’s University for each of the five existing pension plans. This brings the Ontario university sector one step closer to a new, sustainable defined benefit pension plan for the future.

“Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard to create what all participants believe will be a strong and sustainable pension plan for members when they retire,” said Angela Hildyard, Special Advisor to the President and Provost, University of Toronto. “The administrations at the three universities are delighted we’ve received consent from employee groups, and strongly support the move to the UPP to preserve a defined benefit pension plan in the university sector for generations to come.”

The University of Toronto, University of Guelph and Queen’s University, together with the faculty associations, the United Steelworkers (USW), and representatives of the non-unionized employees at the three universities (through the Ontario Association of Non-Unionized University Employees), are working closely to develop a sustainable pension plan that covers employees at all three universities.

CUPE, OPSEU, Unifor, IBEW have consented to the conversion to the UPP at the University of Toronto on behalf of the employees they represent.

This important step marks the culmination of many months of collaboration, consultation, and hard work on behalf of all stakeholder groups participating in the creation of the UPP.

“After the years of planning and consultation that went into designing a sustainable joint sponsored pension plan, I’d like to thank all University of Toronto pension plan participants for taking the time to engage with this process and provide their consent for the UPP,” said Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity, University of Toronto. “Now we begin the hard work needed to transfer our existing pension plans and implement the new UPP.”

What’s Next?

The transfer of the existing pension plans into the UPP involves several technical steps and additional approvals to proceed. As such, the UPP is anticipated to be fully implemented and operational by July 1, 2021, after all legislative compliance activities and disclosures have been completed and necessary approvals obtained. For further information on the next steps for the UPP refer to the UPP website.

At that point, all members from the existing pension plans will join the UPP and active members will begin accruing benefits based on the UPP provisions.  At the same time, assets and liabilities of the existing pension plans will be transferred to the UPP.

About the UPP

The UPP will be a Jointly Sponsored Pension Plan (JSPP), jointly governed by both employers and plan members, similar to other well-known, multi-employer jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs), such as the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). Once established, other Ontario universities can start joining the UPP. As it grows, the UPP will create a larger pool for investing, as well as for sharing pension costs and risks.

For more information, please read the UPP Joint Communique or visit the UPP website at www.universitypension.ca