Job Details
Independent Chair, Staff Pension Plan (5555)

Job Posting

Independent Chair, Staff Pension Plan
Organization:  University of British Columbia
Province:  British Columbia
Location:  Vancouver
Job Start Date: 
Salary:  22500

Business Title: Independent Chair, Staff Pension Plan


Location: Vancouver, BC (Board meetings will be conducted in-person)


Hours: 4-8 hours per month


Compensation: $22,500 per year +$500 per meeting + travel expenses


Staff Pension Plan Overview


The University of British Columbia (UBC) Staff Pension Plan (SPP) was established on January 1, 1972 and serves current and past staff employees and retirees, as well as employees of the University’s related employers. The Plan is sponsored by the University and it provides retirement, termination and death benefits for members. The Plan is among the most valued benefits offered by the University and is designed to provide stable lifetime retirement pensions. The key features of the Staff Pension Plan design are its target benefit plan nature and its funding policy. Contributions are fixed and benefit payments are subject to the Plan’s ability to pay these benefits. This requires the Plan and the Board to have a clear focus on long term sustainability.


Plan Governance


The University of British Columbia (UBC), acting through its Board of Governors and senior management, is the sponsor and administrator of the UBC Staff Pension Plan. The University has established a Pension Board to perform administration duties related to the Plan. UBC Investment Management (UBCIM) is the investment manager for the Plan and they employ a manager-of-managers approach.

The primary responsibility of the Pension Board is to represent the interests of all members and recommend Plan policy and procedure improvements to the University, including the Plan’s asset mix. The day-to-day administrative duties are performed by the staff in the UBC Pension Administration Office who work closely with the Pension Board.


Plan Details

The Plan has $2.3 billion in assets and over 17,000 plan members (62% active, 19% deferred, and 19% pensioners). The Plan has operated as a Target Benefit Plan since its inception in 1972. The actuarial valuation of the Plan is in the process of being completed as of December 31, 2022.


Structure of SPP Board


The UBC Staff Pension Plan board consists of eight Board members and an Independent Chair. Four Board members are elected by Plan members, and four Board members are appointed by the University.


Board Terms:


The SPP’s Independent Chair will serve a four (4) year team. The University may reappoint the Independent Chair up to an additional two 4-year terms.
Board meetings are typically held at least six (6) times per year and committee meetings will be held in coordination with full board meetings. Meetings are held in-person at the Pension Administration Office on the UBC Point Grey campus.




Chairs all meetings of the Board.
Consults with the Executive Director, Pension on Board meeting agendas and any pre-reading material.
Engages, advises and supports the Board members in their decision making and planning for the long-term sustainability and performance of the Plan.
Thorough understanding of the fundamental policies of the Plan as they relate to governance, funding and sustainability.
Assists Board members in their education and comprehension of complex pension issues.
Consults with the Executive Director, Pensions on the onboarding of new Board members.
Consults as needed with Plan advisors, including the Plan actuary and investment manager.
Brings forward projects and action items from meetings, managing the ongoing project list established by the SPP Board.
Consults with the Executive Director, Pensions on the selection or recommendation of plan advisors.
Consults with the Executive Director, Pensions on the annual objectives for the Plan and Pension Administration Office.
May be required to engage with the Superintendent of Pensions and the BC Financial Services Authority.
Coordinates with the Faculty Pension Plan an annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director, Pensions.


Education/Work Experience:


Designated actuary preferred or extensive experience in Target Benefit pensions
May not be an employee, officer, governor, or contractor of the University and may not be a member of former member of the Plan.


Skills, Knowledge, and Experience:


Extensive experience gained from a career of advising or directing pension plans; experience working with target benefit plans would be a significant advantage.
Previous experience serving on or directly supporting a pension plan Board preferred, ideally in a Chair role.
Has developed a solid investment focus to actuarial and pension work, bringing insight and value to conversations as this Pension Plan, like all others, growing demands on the Plan.
Strong knowledge of pension risk management, including actuarial, investment, regulatory and operational risks.
Working knowledge of the rules of order to ensure efficient and well-run meetings occur without sacrificing the benefit that comes from personal interaction and discussion around issues.
Sufficient experience to know what questions need to be asked and where and when it is appropriate to push back on consultants and advisors of the plan.
Deep pension expertise with the ability to anticipate needs of Board members and ensure that the appropriate data and analysis is available on a timely basis for the Board to make informed decisions.
Highly organized individual who can think ahead to keep the agenda moving forward with Board members, consultants and advisors.
Strong interpersonal skills that can quickly build trust and establish oneself as truly looking out for the Plan’s best interest.
Consensus builder who can take disparate views and find the common ground.
Ensure that all Board members believe their views are being heard and that the plan is governed in the best possible manner without getting distracted with personal agendas or views.


Competency Proficiency:


Leads and organizes people to achieve goals by providing clear directions and adapting one's leadership style as needed; serves as a role model for others by exemplifying the highest standards for professionalism, integrity, ethics, and honesty.
Uses effective communication skills, influence strategies and compelling messages to inspire and motivate others to excel; fosters trust and empowers people to act.
Makes timely decisions and applies sound judgment to assess risks, evaluate alternatives and select the best course of action; uses a combination of analytical thinking, intuition, mental agility, and seasoned experience to address complex or ambiguous issues.
Uses foresight, environmental awareness and thought leadership to create a compelling vision for the future of the Plan and develop distinctive strategies to support the long-term sustainability of the Plan.

By continuing to use this website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.