Canadian pension experts joined their American counterparts in the U.S. capital last week to discuss how Canadian successes in delivering adequate retirement income might be applied to the American system. Organized by the Brookings Institution, the event Fixing the U.S. retirement system – does Canada have the answers? featured a number of Canadian pension leaders, including Jim Keohane, President and CEO of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), and Hugh O’Reilly, President and CEO 0f OPTrust.
Also on hand to share insights were Toronto-based retirement security firm Common Wealth and Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.
“In recent years, Canada has significantly expanded and improved its retirement income and pension system. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP), which provides Canadians with income security in the case of retirement or disability, has been expanded, and its defined benefit plans for government employees has managed to avoid many of the funding problems plaguing comparable U.S. plans,” says Brookings.
“The country is also making advances in expanding coverage to moderate-and-lower income Canadians. But there’s still work to be done, particularly in improving efforts to target policies to low-to-moderate income workers.
“How was Canada able to achieve this expansion, and is there anything in the Canadian experience that Americans can use to advance retirement system reforms in the United States?”
The agenda included:
• Fixing the U.S. Retirement System – Does Canada Have the Answers?
• How Canada fixed its government employees pension plans.
• Retirement security for low- and moderate-income workers.
On Nov. 22 the Canadian Club Toronto is hosting the event, The Evolution of Canadian Pensions.
“The World Bank Group has collaborated with key experts in the Canadian Pension field to produce a report, prepared by Common Wealth, documenting the evolution of the Canadian model of public sector pension plans,” according to the event description.
Scheduled speakers are: Jim Keohane, President and CEO of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP); Hugh O’Reilly, President and CEO of OPTrust; Kevin Uebelein, CEO of AIMCo; Terrie O’Leary, Executive Vice President, Business Strategy & Operations, Toronto Global; Christine Hogan, Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, The World Bank Group; Joaquim Levy, Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer.

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