The Voice of Multi-Employer Plan Interests in Canada

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May 23, 2017 – TORONTO, CANADA - From May 10 to May 12 MEBCO (Multi-Employer Benefit Council of Canada) hosted the 9th annual transatlantic conference. Partners in the conference, held in Montreal, were the European Association for Paritarian Institutions of Social Protection (AEIP) and the United States’ National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP). Topics discussed included global trends in regulation and supervision of pension plans, environmental social and governance issues for pension plan investments. Health topics included emerging trends and innovation in health care. Panels of global experts discussed best practices foe disease prevention and workplace health and safety. The conference closed with a discussion on the social dialogue and the state of play in Canada, the US and globally.

Phylis C. Borzi and Bob Baldwin Keynote Speakers at 9th annual World Pension Alliance conference – Montreal

Bob Baldwin, an Ottawa-based expert in global pension governance provided a keynote address to the 9 th annual transatlantic conference in Montreal. Bob’s address covered the evolution of pension coverage that covered global trends. He discussed the pillars in the retirement system and encouraged thought on pension adequacy. The Honorable Phylis C. Borzi, former US Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) discussed trends in pension regulation and supervision. The panel discussed the complex regulatory environments in Canada, the US and Europe. Papers delivered by conference speakers can be found at mebco.org.

Expert Panel review of global pension systems

A panel that included Yvonne Yee Mun Sin, ASA, ACIA, MAAA recently head of global pensions at the World Bank, Gerhard Rieman, Director, Pensionfederatie, The Netherlands and Randy Defrehn of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Pension Plans (NCCMP) discussed the evolution of risk sharing with citizens through defined contribution pension plans. The panel discussed the need to have intersectorial (financial, health, labour, social) cooperation to manage pension plans on a holistic basis. The panel also agreed with the premise that pensions need multi-disciplinary champions that advocate for pensions. The committee also heard about concerns in both the US and Canada regarding transfers out of commuted values that can create problems due to financial literacy constraints. Papers delivered at the conference can be found at mebco.org.

Distinguished Panel discusses ESG issues at 9th Transatlantic Conference

Liam Kennedy, Editor of Investment Pension Europe led a panel discussion that covered important issues relating to ESG in the selection and management of pension fund investments. Panel member Mike Mazzuca of Koskie Minsky LLP discussed fiduciary issue in employment of ESG principles. Judith Moore, Head of Sustainability Research and Policy at Affirmative Investment Management discussed the evolution of green bonds. Papers delivered at the conference can be found at mebco.org.

The Honorable Earl Pomeroy – 9th Transatlantic Conference Keynote Speaker on US Health Care

The Honorable Earl Pomeroy, a former US government congress member representing North Dakota provided the 9th annual transatlantic conference with an historical view of the US health care system that includes Medicare, Medicaid, private coverage and employer-provided coverage. He highlighted that 49% of Americans’ have health care through employer-sponsored plans and another 22% of Americans are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. He estimated that 24 million Americans will have less or no health care under the proposed changes to Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Papers delivered at the conference can be found at mebco.org.

Jean-Louis Peyrude discusses “Nudging” at 9th Transatlantic Conference

In his address to the 9th annual transatlantic conference Mr. Peyrude, President of OCIRP – organisme commun des instituions de ren et de preyvoyance) the union of French provident institutions discussed best practices for disease prevention. He highlighted the importance of “nudging” – encouraging small changes in behavior that can have positive health results.

9th transatlantic conference panel on prevention strategies for psychosocial risks and mental health promotion

An expert panel in workplace mental health that included Jeane Day, Director General, groupe enterprises et sante, Canada, Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier, Assistant Vice President Sun Life Financial, Clement Allanic, PSYA, France, Joseph Riccuitti Co-founder of Mental Health International and Stephen O’Sick of the Bricklayers Union Local 2 led an informed discussion on the tools available to employers, employees and unions for education about mental health. Ms. Day reviewed the training tools available to Quebec employers including multi-level certification in mental health training. Dr. Pelletier illustrated the link between financial wellness and mental health. Mr. Allanic reviewed the services provided by PSYA France and shared recent statistics from French employer groups. Mr. Riccuiti provided an overview of mental health issues in Canada and challenged the conference attendees to explore workplace issues more deeply. In particular he encouraged thinking about how mental health issues do impact the workplace whether or not the issue is founded in the workplace. Mr. O’Sick informed about his union’s experiences with drug addiction and especially the misuse of opiods. Papers delivered on this topic can be found at mebco.org.

World Pension Alliance elects new Chair

At its plenary meeting, voting members of the World Pension Alliance (WPA) that includes the American Benefits Council, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, European Association of Paritarian Institutions of Social Protection (AEIP), International Federation of Pension Funds Administrators (FIAP), Multi Employer Benefit Council of Canada (MEBCO), National Conference on Public Employees Retirement Systems (NCPERS), National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Pension Plans (NCCMP) and PensionsEurope elected Susan Bird, representing MEBCO as its Chair for 2017/2018. Susan succeeds Bruno Gabbellieri of AEIP who chaired the WPA from May 2016. WPA’s Vice Chair for 2017/2018 is Matti Leppalai of PensionsEurope. The WPA’s coordinator for 2017/2018 will be Dr. Francesco Briganti. The WPA estimates its members provide pension benefits to 350 million individuals and assets of USD 7 trillion. The WPA is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. 

Papers can be found at www.mebco.org. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Five reasons why your MEBCO membership is critical
Your MEBCO membership guarantees that multi-employer plan interests will be considered whenever change is on the horizon. With your support, MEBCO will continue to be a strong and effective voice. Join today!
  1. The threat to multi-employer plans is real.
    The legislative framework is constantly changing, and cost-management and cost reduction are at the top of every agenda.
  2. Legislative changes can be significant.
    Recent proposed changes have threatened to offload costs onto plans, restrict plan coverage, and have compromised the viability of some plans
  3. Multi-employer plans are worth protecting.
    Multi-employer plans play a vital role in providing health services and retirement plans to over 1 million workers and their families in industries typified by small companies and a mobile work force.
  4. Multi-employer plans need a united lobby.
    Multi-employer plans carry a low profile due to the fact that the coverage is thinly spread over many employer groups and mobile workers.
  5. MEBCO is committed to protecting your interests.
    When governments propose changes, MEBCO is the single, clear voice at the table representing the unique interests of multi-employer plans.