Sessions' Description 

Thursday October 6, 2016
7:00 AM  - 8:30 AMBreakfast
8:45 AM  - 9:00 AMOpening Remarks
9:00 AM  - 10:00 AM

Plenary 1:

Every Conversation Counts

Riaz Meghji, Host of Breakfast Television Vancouver

To be successful, we need to build meaningful relationships. To build meaningful relationships, we need to have meaningful conversations. 

In this funny and heartfelt talk, Meghji documents the memorable conversations that some of the world’s most fascinating figures have engaged in to achieve success and—more importantly—realize their true sense of purpose. Through intimate interviews, he uncovers what makes for great, life-changing social intercourse. And, he explains how simple conversation rules—learn something new; let someone know they matter; introduce an idea—can change everything. Meghji takes a candid and far-ranging look at how creative conversations have the potential to reinvent your business, reenergize your brand, and further develop your career. Success is achieved one conversation at a time, he reminds us. A conversation can change everything or nothing. It’s up to you

10:00 AM  - 10:30 AMBreak 
10:30 AM  - 11:45 AM


Pharmacogenetics :  what you need to know for your health benefits plan

This presentation outlines the key issues to consider for the integration of Pharmacogenetics in a benefits plan including: defining who and which drugs are eligible for testing, educating plan members on what is pharmacogenetics, ensuring physicians are knowledgeable about testing, and finally measuring the benefits. Insurers have a key role in the success of these initiatives. Pharmacogenetics testing can reduce drug wastage, reduce drug spend, and ensure that plan members are prescribed the right drug the first time. For certain conditions, testing can have a significant impact on Short Term and Long Term Disability.

Karen Kesteris,Telus Health 


Member Centric Communication

Communicating to target audiences is challenging given all the competing ‘noise’ and I believe this practical presentation could make for an interesting session for pension plan and benefit providers alike. The presentation will lead off with relevant communication theory, grounded in research and follow with examples of real communications to BC Pension Plan Members. 

Corina De Guire, Director of Plan and Member Communication, BC Pension Corporation

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PMLunch
1:15 PM - 2:45 PMConcurrent Workshops 1,2,3,4
Workshop 1: Benefits 

Have You Had the Benefit Plan Risk Conversation Yet?

This session will explore the many facets of this new emerging risk. And frame the situation around the importance of having the “risk conversation”. This conversation needs to be held internally within organizations so that the financial stewards can recognize the risks and more importantly understand how their values intersect with this risk to develop the proper response and handling.

Are advisors and sponsors thinking about this and developing the tools, resources and most importantly guiding the right conversation. To that avail, is anyone equipped today to have this conversation? And if so, have you had it yet?

Robert Taylor,Principal, TRG Benefits & Pensions Inc. 

Workshop 2:  Benefits 

What Benefit Plan Sponsors Should Know About the US Healthcare Landscape

US benefit trends and health reform landscape may impact all Canadian plan sponsors, even those without US based employees. Learn how some of these US trends and employer strategies could be valuable in assisting Canadian plan sponsors north of the border assure sustainable employee benefit plans. Hear from one Canadian plan sponsor about the challenges associated with managing US employee benefit plans from Canadian headquarters.

Roland D. Guerette, Principal, MercerShelby Robertson, Lead Pension & Benefits, North America, Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, Inc

Workshop3: Investment

Long term View on Interest Rate and Economic Growth

Learn about the economic and financial trends that will keep long-term interest rates lower than in recent past over the next few decades, namely the slowdown of population growth in developed countries, the stabilization of inflation to historically low levels, and the increase of non-traditional interventions by major central banks. Such major factors will require pension fund managers to adjust their target asset allocation given the significant negative implications on expected bond market returns.

Sébastien Mc Mahon (CFA),Senior Economist, iA Financial Group

Workshop 4: Investment

Why We Make Investment Decisions – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Successful active investing needs more than just a reliable process. Even if with a solid approach, it may fail if there is deviation from the discipline when times get tough. This session discusses active investing approaches and uses value investing as a test case for the recently developed work on behavioral decision making. Attendees will hear a discussion on the recent work on managing emotions in the context of investment decisions. In addition they will benefit from guidance on how to assess if a manager is either drifting their style or making sound adjustments to their process.

Perry Teperson, CFA, F.C.I.A., Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Leith Wheeler

2:45 PM  - 3:15 PMBreak
3:15 PM  - 4:45 PMConcurrent Workshops 5, 6, 7, 8 

Workshop 5:

Workplace Mental Health: Implications for Benefits and How to Make a Difference

The increasing prevalence of mental health issues in Canada will challenge the workplace in many ways. Join Dr. Georgia Pomaki, leader mental health at Manulife as she discusses how mental disorders affect today’s businesses and tomorrow’s benefits decisions. Although much of the conversation about mental illness is focused on negative aspects, Dr. Pomaki will highlight positive changes and actionable workplace strategies from prevention to intervention to accommodation.

Georgia Pomaki,  Leader of the Mental Health Specialists Team, Manulife

Workshop 6: Pension

Legal Update

In addition to providing a legal update on current pension and benefit issues of concern to industry professionals, the speaker will address a number of broader issues of interest, including; (1) decumulation (why it should be a constant); (2) target benefit plans (why employers and employees alike should embrace TBs); (3) CPP Reform  (what we know thus far and how it might affect existing arrangements); and (4) the lesson employers and advisors failed to learn from the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2013 Sun Indalex decision (employers never could wear two hats).

Claude Marchessault,  Counsel, Dentons Canada LLP

Workshop 7: Pension 

Pension Risk and Retirement Trends

The Canadian pension landscape is evolving as plan sponsors look for ways to balance their employees’ retirement needs with the costs and risks associated with managing retirement plans. Drawing from Aon Hewitt’s Pension Risk Survey and Hot Topics Survey, this presentation provides insights into:

  • Risk management and asset strategies
  • Capital accumulation plan trends and developments
  • Developments in the measurement and management of longevity risk

Tom Ault, Retirement practice, pension risk settlement and longevity consulting, Aon Hewitt 

Glen Oikawa, Associate Partner, Aon Hewitt

Workshop 8: Investment

Low Volatility Investing: Has the ship already sailed?

The popularity of low volatility equity strategies has surged in recent years as their strong performance in challenging markets led to significant inflows. Given their recent strength, investors are beginning to question the future of these strategies — has the low volatility ship already sailed? We don't believe so. Our presentation will answer questions about valuations, expected performance in a rising rate environment and potential over-crowding within the low volatility trade.

Jean Masson, Ph.D., Managing Director, TD Asset Management Inc.

6:00 PM  - 7:00 PMReception 
7:00 PM  - 10:30 PM

Dinner & Entertainment featuring the Famous Players Band 

Friday October 7, 2016 
7:00 AM  - 8:30 AMBreakfast
8:45 AM - 9:00 AMOpening Remarks
9:00 AM  - 10:00 AM

Plenary 2 : The Power of Human Interaction

In today’s modern workplace, mental health problems have become the leading cause of disability claims, accounting for 70% of workplace disability management costs in Canada. As a former post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Stéphane Grenier knows the toll mental health issues can take on individuals firsthand. in his address, Grenier will offer pragmatic advice designed to foster workplaces that support an open, non-stigmatized approach to mental health. 

Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Grenier , a retired French-Canadian military officer known for his work on psychological war trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder.

10:00 AM  - 10:30 AMBreak
10:30 AM  - 12:00 PMConcurrent Workshops 9, 10, 11, 12 

Workshop 9: 

Exploring Changes in the Drug Pricing Arena

Exploring the environmental changes affecting drug prices and discussing solutions a plan sponsor can implement to effectively manage escalating costs. Sun Life and Enbridge will share their recent experience when cost management strategies have been introduced.

Atul Goela,  Director, Pharmaceutical Benefits, Sun Life
Susan Lewis, Senior Advisor, HR TC, Pension & Benefits, Enbridge

Workshop 10: Pension

What Happens Next?  A look at current trends and future innovation in decumulation

DC plans have now turned their attention to the income phase.  In this session Neil will provide background and insights into decumulation in Canada and share learnings from the US and Australia. Cara will speak from the plan sponsor perspective including reflections on member decision making and sponsor considerations.  Western has administered 2 DC plans ($1.1B) for over 40 years, and a Retirement Income Fund program for 15 years until the program was changed in 2015.

Cara Bourdeau, Pension & benefits Consultant, Western University, in London Ontario
Neil Lloyd, Partner and Head US DC & Financial Wellness Research, Mercer

Workshop 11: 

Target Benefit Conversion: The Experience of the Operating Engineers’ Pension Plan

With the creation of target benefit plans under new B.C. pension legislation effective September 30, 2015, numerous multi-employer pension plans have converted from defined benefit to the new target benefit model.  Learn about why one such plan made that change.  The session will focus on the Board’s decision-making process, the funding and investment environment within which the Plan operates, the communication strategy, and the outcomes (so far) of the conversion.

Greg Heise, FSA, FCIA, FCA, Partner, George & Bell Consulting
Brian Cochrane, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115

Workshop 12: Investment

Alternative Asset Classes in a Multi-Asset Class Portfolio

Alternative here, Alternatives there, alternatives are everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere, but many are considering adding alternatives to their portfolios. Should you? Discover why the answer to that question is yes and along the way learn about the challenges and risks you ought to manage when adding alternatives to your portfolio.

Michael Gillis, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Sales, Greystone Managed Investments

12:15 PM  - 2:00 PMLunch & Closing Remarks
Wednesday October 5, 2016
Wednesday October 5, 2016
US benefit trends and health reform landscape may impact  all Canadian plan sponsors, even those without US based employees. Learn how some of these US trends and employer strategies  could be valuable in assisting Canadian  plan sponsors north of the border assure sustainable employee benefit plans. Hear from one Canadian plan sponsor about the challenges associated with managing US employee benefit plans from Canadian headquarters
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