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November 28, 2016

Longevity Risk Transferred

Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited, a designer and manufacturer of anti-counterfeit documents, has transfered $35 million of longevity risk associated with just over 200 pensioners, to the Canada Life Assurance Company. The transaction is the first streamlined longevity agreement in Canada. Under this agreement, Canadian Bank Note maintains full responsibility for the payment of monthly pensions to its pensioners, but the insurer will reimburse the pension plan should pensioners exceed life expectancy. “Plan sponsors are becoming more focused than ever on understanding and managing non-core business risks,” says Manuel Monteiro, Canadian financial strategy group leader at Mercer which provided advice to Canadian Bank Note on the agreement. “With continuous improvements in life expectancy, which affects pension plans of all sizes, we expect there will be further developments in the market with more longevity related insurance transactions by organizations, both large and small across Canada.”

Canadians Face Reality Gap

There is a startling gap between the lifestyle expectations of those Canadians 40+ years and the reality, says research sponsored by HomEquity Bank. The study, which looked at the financial health and viability of Canadian seniors, indicates that the majority (82 per cent) attach significant importance to the ability to stay in their homes during the entirety of their retirement years. At the same time, almost half of those who identified themselves as retirees have outstanding debt and 40 per cent report savings of less than $100,000. Furthermore, a quarter of those aged 75+ still have a mortgage. It also found 69 per cent expressed confidence that they have sufficient funds to retire; 78 per cent have savings and investments; and 25 per cent include the sale of their home as a factor in retirement income. "This data shows a deeply troubling gap between perception and reality," says Yvonne Ziomecki, senior vice-president, marketing and sales at HomEquity Bank. "Canadian seniors are among those with record household debt levels and also surprisingly minimal savings.

Gen-X Not Saving Enough

More than two-thirds of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 say they're not saving enough for retirement and one in four say not being ready for retirement is keeping them up at night, says a TD survey. As a result, the majority of Gen-X Canadians (60 per cent) who aren't saving enough do not expect to be able to retire on time and half as many (29 per cent) expect to still be working in some capacity during retirement. The top barrier preventing Gen-Xers from retiring on time is everyday financial demands like living expenses, mortgage or rent, and childcare costs (61 per cent.

Co-ordinating Plan Real Challenge

Intergovernmental processes can play an important role in co-ordinating the implementation of Canada’s national carbon pricing plan, while taking account of provinces’ differing economic and other circumstances, says the Institute for Research on Public Policy. In October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a national carbon pricing plan for Canada. Provincial and territorial governments have two years to implement a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax in line with the federal minimum price. Otherwise, the federal government will impose a carbon tax in that jurisdiction. The real challenge will be co-ordinating implementation of the plan, say Tracy Snoddon and Debora VanNijnatten, from Wilfrid Laurier University and authors of the report. “Four provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario), representing 80 per cent of the population, already have carbon pricing programs. These programs will need to be harmonized with each other and with new ones developed by other provinces.”

Peister Earns Award

Sherry Peister, chair of the board of directors at Green Shield Canada (GSC), has been named a ‘Women's Executive Network 2016 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner.’ She received the ‘Accenture Corporate Directors Award’ which recognizes the accomplishments of professional women in leadership roles. Sherry was appointed as GSC's first female board chair in 2010. Since then, she has had a profound impact on advancing its strategic direction and mission by recognizing the ever-evolving nature of the health and dental benefits industry and being a strong advocate for change. Launched in 2003, the awards celebrate the accomplishments of Canada's top female executive talent as well as their organizations and networks.

Wolpert Offers Legal Update

CPBI Pacific will provide a ‘Legal Update,’ with Michael Wolpert, a partner at Lawson Lundell LLP. It will highlight noteworthy legal developments with pension and employee benefit issues over the past year. It takes place December 7 in Vancouver, BC. For information, visit www.cpbi-icra.ca

November 25, 2016

ESG Investing Enables Change And Opportunities

Social finance is a growing trend that enables positive change through investments and provides an estimated $22 trillion market opportunity, says Catherine Thrasher, managing director, global risk solutions Canada ‒ BNY Mellon Technology Solutions. Speaking at the Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events ‘ESG Update,’ she told the ‘Social Finance in Asset Servicing’ session that those assets are pooled into four main categories: impact investing, environmental finance, development finance and microfinance, and socially responsible investing (SRI). In a 2012 study of BNY Mellon clients, Thrasher said they were surprised to find only 24 per cent had implemented some form of environment, sustainability, and governance (ESG)/SRI strategy. “We expected it to be higher given the discussion,” she said. The study found there were directional differences by plan type with public pensions and endowments invested in ESG strategies almost twice as much as corporate plans. This is probably because of organizational values and legislative pressures. Thrasher said that more recent research shows the percentage of asset owners who have some form of ESG/SRI strategy today it is more in the 30 to 35 per cent range. BNY Mellon will release its ‘Study of Materiality of Nonfinancial Information’ in the first quarter of 2017.

Manitoba Adding PRPPs

Manitoba has introduced legislation that will allow the creation of pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs). Once passed, Manitoba will join Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in allowing the use of PRPPs. The plan is intended for employees and self-employed Manitobans who do not have access to workplace pensions. The legislation also allows employers to set up a PRPP for employees.

ETFs Increasingly Important

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are increasingly playing an important role in Canadians' investment portfolios, with nearly one-third of Canadian investors (31 per cent) reporting they own ETFs, says an ‘ETF Pulse Survey’ from BlackRock Canada. The findings suggest this momentum is only expected to increase with a large proportion of ETF owners (93 per cent) and non-owners (38 per cent) surveyed showing an interest in purchasing ETFs in the next 12 months. While more than half of Canadian investors are planning on learning more in the coming year, of those that don't currently own them, they are more than twice as likely to seek out more knowledge around ETFs next year, compared to the last 12 months. Investors are choosing ETFs largely to replace mutual funds (41 per cent) and/or individual stocks (45 per cent), to improve diversification (53 per cent), and reduce their risk profile (43 per cent).

ESG Factors Important For Returns And Risk Management

One of the drivers behind responsible investing is the recognition that environment, social, and governance (ESG) factors can be material to both returns and risk management. This is a view shared by academics, sell-side researchers, industry experts, and the world’s largest institutional investors, says Max Zehrt, director, institutional relations, Canada – Sustainalytics. Speaking at the Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events ‘ESG Update,’ he told the ‘Trends & Approaches to ESG’ session that investors’ objectives when considering ESG factors include enhancing investment performance, reputation management, and aligning values with investment objectives. And today, he said, “we are not just excluding companies with controversies, but including companies that have a positive impact.” The interest has also shifted from the institutional side over to the retail side. Eighty-eight per cent of research shows that solid ESG practices result in better operational performance of firms. Likewise, 80 per cent of research shows that stock price performance of companies is positively influenced by good sustainability practices. Zehrt said investment managers need to start by getting the ‘buy in’ from the top. They need to invest in the process and generate value by structured integration of ESG research and insights into investment decision-making and active ownership processes. Asset owners can integrate ESG questions explicitly into RFPs and onboarding discussions, monitor external managers and track performance, and engage in active ownership.

Clearing Requirements For Pension Funds Reviewed

The European Commission is considering changes to central clearing requirements for certain derivatives trades for pension funds as part of a review of European regulation. The EC review highlighted the progress and effort made by central clearing counterparties in developing ways for pension funds to post the required collateral as margin. Clearing solutions for pension scheme arrangements to post non-cash assets as variation margin are, however, unlikely to be available in the foreseeable future. Instead, upon expiration of the exemption, pension funds will either need to rely on repo markets for collateral transformation trades to satisfy their need for collateral or increase their cash holdings. Pension funds in Europe are exempt from the requirement to post cash for initial margin for central clearing under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation until August 2017 and that might be extended one additional year.

Aon Hewitt Offers Alternative Blueprint

Aon Hewitt has presented its blueprint for a new, alternative pensions system in the Netherlands which focuses on fine-tuning the current one rather than radical change. It recommends splitting pensions into compartments for workers and pensioners within an individual pension fund and introducing age-dependent indexation. Unlike others under discussion, it says its plan would avoid a complex transition and deliver better results than those produced by the current system. At the moment, the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) is considering two alternatives for a new, sustainable pensions system. In addition to a variant of individual pensions accrual combined with collective risk-sharing, the SER is also assessing a pensions contract based on real pensions, rather than nominal pensions.

Administrator Checklist Examined

The Canadian Group Insurance Brokers’ ‘Building and Using a Plan Administrator Checklist’ mini-seminar is designed for those who specialize in employee benefits or that want to. Attendees will learn how to create a checklist to utilize when new cases are installed, train new plan administrators, and conduct client renewals. Information reviewed will include taxation, privacy, administration, and HR issues. It takes place December 7 in Markham, ON. For information, visit http://www.cvent.com/d/lvq0qg/1Q

November 24, 2016

FSCO Helps Ease ESG Disclosure

Although 36 per cent of Ontario pension plans say they have incorporated environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their investment strategy, that number might be overstated due to the mischaracterization of the term, ‘incorporating ESG’,” says Michael J. Long, senior policy analyst with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). Speaking at Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events seminar, ‘ESG Update,’ he told the ‘SIPP & ESG – A Regulatory Update’ session there were a lot of questions around ESG disclosure, most of which were posted after the filing was due. Since the government of Ontario introduced ESG disclosure legislation in January, FSCO has had the opportunity to compile and aggregate data to get an understanding of which plans incorporate ESG factors, why or why not, and what questions were asked most frequently. It found that 64 per cent of Ontario pension plans did not incorporate ESG into their investment strategy for reasons including deferring ESG practices to managers, needing more time to consider an ESG policy, and disagreeing that incorporating ESG factors adds value. And, even though 36 per cent of plan sponsors said they have incorporated ESG factors, Long suggested that number is mischaracterized because of a misunderstanding of how the term is defined. He said the SIPP needs to clearly indicate whether the plan incorporates ESG or not. If the plan does incorporate ESG factors, the SIPP needs to describe how this is done. “Carte blanche delegating to managers is not incorporating ESG factors into the plan’s policies and procedures,” Long said. FSCO has posted frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers on this topic on its website, at www.fsco.gov.on.ca, under Pensions, then FAQs. FSCO also anticipates publishing the SIPP statistics next year.

Growth Pays For Top Performers

If you want the best people, you need to make money to pay and train them well, says François Plourde, CEO at CIMA. In a panel discussion at the Aon Best Employers in Canada awards ceremony, he said this is why his company strives for sustainable growth. To achieve this, the employer needs to make sure everyone understands the business plan. Todd Mather, a partner at Aon Hewitt, said high growth companies leverage talent and those that are successful have clarity on where organization is going and how it will get there. This includes a customer focus, including understanding their needs in the future and how to meet those needs. Keri Fraser, senior director of people services at Colliers International, said they do this by being customer-centric. However, they only try to be the best at the most important areas of customer concerns because employees can be exhausted trying to focus on everything. Another challenge is retaining top performers and James Dawe, group vice-president at Cintas Canada Limited, said one of the ways they are doing this is by focusing on their succession plan. Executives now know who can be placed where and this gets them ready for jobs that may be available in two or three years. This alleviates any sense that they are spinning their wheels and working hard to no avail. And while finding top performers is difficult, Philip Yuzpe, president and chief operating officer, senior director, people services, Sentry Investment, said this typically means rewarding the top producer. However, they realize they need to grow high performers who are not the best producers and they need to be prepared to part ways with people who don't fit in with the company culture.

Patients Waited 20 Weeks

Canadian patients waited longer than ever this year for medical treatment, says a study by the Fraser Institute. ‘Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2016’ reports a median wait time of 20 weeks ‒ the longest ever recorded ‒ and more than double the 9.3 weeks Canadians waited in 1993, when the Fraser Institute began tracking wait times for medically necessary elective treatments. Before this year, the longest recorded median wait time was 19 weeks in 2011. Among the provinces, Ontario recorded the shortest wait time at 15.6 weeks-up from 14.2 weeks in 2015. New Brunswick recorded the longest wait time (38.8 weeks). Crucially, physicians report that their patients are waiting more than three weeks longer for treatment (after seeing a specialist) than what they consider to be clinically reasonable. It's estimated that Canadians are currently waiting for nearly one million medically necessary procedures.

Materiality Matters In ESG Investment Strategies

Materiality matters in a plan sponsor’s approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in investment strategies. Research shows firms with good performance on material sustainability issues and concurrently poor performance on immaterial sustainability issues enjoy the strongest financial returns, says Christine Girvan, managing director of sales, Canada, with MFS Investment Management. Speaking at Benefits and Pensions Monitor Meetings & Events seminar, ‘ESG Update,’ she told the ‘Long-term Investing & Why Material ESG Factors Matter’ session that this has implications for asset managers who have committed to the integration of sustainability factors. “Sustainability is more than having a recycling program,” said Girvan, noting that 90 per cent of companies say sustainability is important, while only a quarter have a business case for sustainability. Different industries will have different factors that are important. Environmental would be more important in mining, for example. To determine what is material, Girvan said to view it as more of a process than a product. ESG integration should start with a policy based on beliefs related to ESG, followed by discussing the process with managers, how it would affect proxy voting practices, and monitoring the process including following up with managers.

Alberta Provide Financing To Savanna

Alberta Investment Management Corporation has signed a letter of commitment and a subscription agreement, on behalf of certain of its clients, to enter into a strategic financing relationship with Savanna Energy Services. The investment provides its clients an opportunity to gain direct exposure to one of North America's most efficient and lowest cost structure drilling contractors. The company has a modern, diverse drilling rig fleet that is geared for maximum performance in major oil and gas plays worldwide.

Peiris Joins Accompass

Anne Peiris is a vice-president in the compensation practice at Accompass. She has experience in senior leadership roles at major global human resources consulting firms, banks, and insurance companies, most recently with Mercer.

Eating Disorders Examined

The Employee Assistance Program Association of Toronto (EAPAT) will examine ‘Eating Disorders in the Workplace.’ Dr. Madalyn Marcus, a clinical psychologist in the young adult eating disorders program at Southlake Regional Health Centre, will discuss how to support a specific employee with an eating disorder, as well as help foster a healthy workplace around eating habits. It takes place November 29in Toronto, ON. For information, visit Eating Disorders

November 23, 2016

Framework For Pension Regulator Set Out

The Ontario government has introduced Bill 70 ‒ the Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act. It offers various pension-related initiatives, including substantive changes to certain pension minimum standards, says a Hicks Morley ‘FTR Now.’ It includes framework legislation for a new financial services regulator with responsibility for pension plans registered in Ontario and proposes administrative monetary penalties for violations of pension standards. Key pension-related aspects of Bill 70 include allowing a retired member to elect a portability transfer from a pension plan if the pension plan permits the election. As well in some wind-up situations, the superintendent of financial services would be able to appoint an administrator to conduct the wind up and settlement of benefits, including by way of annuity purchase. It also would amend the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) to authorize the government to make regulations exempting an employer or a successor employer from the requirement to make payments into a pension plan on wind up. The superintendent could also levy administrative monetary penalties (AMP) for failing to comply with a legislative requirement. The introduction of these to the PBA likely signals a significant change in the regulation of pension plans registered in Ontario. Together with the Ontario government’s creation of a new pension regulatory authority, Hicks Morley says the introduction of an AMP framework likely signals a significant shift in the manner in which compliance with the PBA will be enforced in future.

Wellbeing Yet To Recover

Although Canada's economy has recovered from the 2008 recession, wellbeing has not, says the University of Waterloo’s ‘Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW).’ "The 2008 recession stole our leisure time, our volunteer time, our living standards, and our sleep and we never got them back," says Bryan Smale, director of the CIW. "There is a massive gap between how well the economy is doing and Canadians' wellbeing, and that gap grew during the recession." In 2008, the gap between GDP and the CIW was 21 per cent. By 2010 it was 24.5 per cent. By 2014 had grown to 28.1 per cent. The CIW tracks 64 indicators to provide a comprehensive analysis of eight domains of vital importance to quality of life. It shows, for example, that the time crunch is an ongoing challenge. Canadians are spending almost 30 per cent less time with their friends, commute times to work are longer, and only 35 per cent are getting enough sleep, down from 44 per cent in 1994. Life expectancy is up and ratings for mental health are slightly better, but Canadians' overall health ratings are worse. Diabetes rates are 2½ times higher than in 1994 and more than one in five people has a health or activity limitation.

Sponsors Should Assess Tools

As CAP members shift their focus from building account balances to ensuring income adequacy, they’ll need to understand how their current savings levels will translate into income in retirement, says Eckler’s ‘Capital Accumulation Plan Income Tracker (CAPit).’ And while there’s no shortage of tools available through financial institutions, insurers, the government, and other organizations, not all tools are created equal. When selecting tools, plan sponsors should assess the quantity of information that members have to enter as this can discourage them from using the tools in the first place. As well, they need to assess the assumptions on investment returns and time horizon, longevity, and inflation rates as retirement income projections can vary significantly depending on which tool members use. The third quarter trend for which measures the gross income replacement level generated by a typical CAP, remained the same as at June 30, 2016, says CAPit. Continued increases in Canadian equities during the quarter offset the impact of low interest rates and a slight decrease in annuity rates, resulting in a stable gross replacement rate from last quarter.

U.S. Growth To Improve

Investors should look to U.S. and emerging market equities in the year ahead as global growth stabilizes, says report from UBS AG's wealth-management division. It predicts that global growth will accelerate moderately in 2017 with global real gross domestic product (GDP) growth likely rising to 3.5 per cent, up from 3.1 per cent in 2016, as U.S. growth improves and China continues to slow. Its top investment ideas for this economic climate include both U.S. and emerging market equities: U.S. earnings should grow eight per cent in 2017, supported by stabilizing oil prices, accommodative monetary policy, and potential fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration. Emerging market equities will be supported by several factors, including low interest rates in developed markets, a softer U.S. dollar, stronger growth, and higher commodities prices. Alternative asset classes, such as hedge funds and private securities, also feature as one of the top investment ideas because traditional asset class returns are likely to be moderate in 2017.

EDHEC Explores Novel Approach

The EDHEC-Risk Institute explores a novel approach to address the challenge raised by the standard investment practice of treating attributes as factors, with respect to how to perform a consistent risk and performance analysis for equity portfolios across multiple dimensions that incorporate micro attributes. ‘Multi-Dimensional Risk and Performance Analysis for Equity Portfolios’ suggests treating attributes of stocks as instrumental variables to estimate betas with respect to risk factors for explaining notably the cross-section of expected returns. In one example of implementation, it maintains a limited number of risk factors by considering a one-factor model and estimates a conditional beta that depends on the same three characteristics that define the Fama-French and Carhart factors. In so doing, it introduces an alternative estimator for the conditional beta, ‘fundamental beta’ (as opposed to historical beta), because it is defined as a function of the stock’s characteristics. The report is at EDHEC Risk

Investors Can Increase Profits

Many investors could increase profits and assemble a portfolio more in accord with their personal values if they actively managed their own investments, says Ron Robins, founder of Investing for the Soul. In the article ‘Do-It-Yourself Ethical Investing Pays!’ at the Benefits and Pensions Monitor website, he says this is due to the vast amount of information online and the savings in fees from doing-it-themselves.

Funds With Conviction Could Reverse Flows

European equity funds with conviction and strong performance could lead the way in reversing outflows in the sector caused by a combination of Brexit, stretched valuations, and weak earnings that has sent investors elsewhere, says Cerulli Associates. It notes that active equity funds in Europe have fared considerably better than their counterparts in the United States. A study by S&P Global shows that 90 per cent of active U.S. equity funds tracking the S&P 500 underperformed the index in the three, five, and 10 years to the end of June 2016. In contrast, 63.8 per cent of active equity funds in Europe underperformed the S&P Europe 350 over three years. "To put it in a more positive way, over 36 per cent of active funds matched or beat the index. Whether it is the result of the more disparate nature of the European markets or other factors, Europe clearly has more active funds outperforming than the United States," says Barbara Wall, Europe managing director at Cerulli.

SHARE, MFL Partner On Event

SHARE is partnering with the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) to host the ‘Manitoba Pension Forum and Pre-Forum Events.’ The two-day event will feature a boot camp, master class, and pension forum with programs designed for all levels. Speakers include Jim Keohane, president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), who will discuss building sustainable defined benefit pension plans; as well as Sharon Hendricks, board vice-chair of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), and Jillean Long Battle, chief deputy treasurer of Indiana, who will discuss pensions fit for the twenty-first century. It takes place December 5 and 6in Winnipeg, MB. For information, visit share.ca

November 22, 2016

Funding Level At Worst In North America

The level of underfunding in corporate pension funds is at its worst in North America, says an analysis by MSCI ESG Research. It looked at the funded status of almost 5,300 companies that disclose details of their defined benefit funds across North America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Japan. It analyzed the ratio of underfunded liabilities to annual revenues of the company. North America’s underfunded ratio was 9.2 per cent. Europe came in second at 4.7 per cent, followed by Japan at 3.7 per cent, and Asia-Pacific at 1.8 per cent. For Western Europe, Denmark had the best ratio at an average of 2.1 per cent. In North America, Canada’s 6.1 per cent average underfunded ratio bettered the U.S.’s 10.3 per cent average. Compared with 2015 figures, the underfunded ratio increased across all four regions, with a few exceptions at country level. The ratio increased 21.7 per cent in North America, 8.2 per cent in Western Europe, and 41.1 per cent in Asia-Pacific. For Japan, the underfunded ratio grew 5.7 per cent over the year.

Construction Deaths Higher

Construction trades pensioner deaths were almost 15 per cent higher, on average, than predicted by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) mortality table for private sector plans during the 2002-2012 period, says a study by Eckler Ltd. The CIA report included analysis indicating that pensioners in the construction trades have higher than average mortality rates – and, therefore, lower average life expectancies – than the new tables show. However, it cautioned that, due to data limitations, industry-specific information in the report may not be fully reliable for establishing mortality assumptions for actuarial valuation purposes. Until 2014, when the CIA published its ‘Final Report on Canadian Pensioners' Mortality’ and new Canadian mortality tables, Canadian actuaries relied on U.S. mortality tables to measure pension funding adequacy. As expected, the CIA's report showed that Canadians are living considerably longer than predicted under the old U.S. tables. Eckler's study gathered essential demographic data from 43 construction trades MEPPs across Canada – a pool of data roughly four times the size of the construction industry data included in the CIA report. Considerable variance was found in actual pensioner deaths among trades and individual plans. Preliminary analysis indicates that the standard CIA projection scale may assume greater future mortality improvements than will actually occur for construction trades' MEPPs. With this in mind, plans should review their mortality experience, and thus assumptions, periodically, says Eckler. Cameron Hunter, principal and leader of the trusteed plans group at Eckler, says "The results will help actuaries of participating plans make liability and cost calculations that better represent the characteristics of their plan or its trade. They also provide a significant baseline for future mortality experience research." says Hunter.

Higher Fees Not Justified

Although investors pay high fees for active management, on average, these costs are not justified by higher returns, say the interim results of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) study of the asset management market. It found evidence of weak price competition in several areas and said this overall lack of price competition has allowed the asset management industry to sustain high profits collectively, despite the fact that there are a large number of firms operating in the market. As a result, it is calling for a series of major reforms designed to improve competition in the market, such as a stronger duty on asset managers to act in the best interests of investors. The study found stronger price competition for passively managed funds, although it did find some examples of poor value in this area as well.

AIMCo Using Calypso

Alberta Investment Corporation (AIMCo) is now using a Calypso Technology Inc. collateral management solution. AIMCo, which is active in both exchange-traded and OTC derivatives markets, made the switch after recognizing that the sophistication of its collateral management operation had outgrown the capabilities of its previous system. The new solution provides the organization an enterprise platform that will also support increasing regulatory demands.

Benefits Trends Examined

CPBI Saskatchewan Region’s ‘Benefits, Beyond the Basics’ will provide an in depth look at aspects of group benefits plans and the current trends and emerging issues. Speakers include Alana Shearer-Kleefeld, director of employee benefits at 3sHealth; Tyler Bergh, director of business development (Prairies region) at Sun Life Financial; and Shannan Corey, director of total rewards, human resources, at Federated Co-operatives Limited. It takes place March 1 and 2 in Regina, SK. For information, visit Beyond Basics


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