Executive summary

The Provincial Judges Pension Board (PJPB or Board) is a trust agency, and its 5 Board members are responsible for the administration of the Provincial Judges Pension Plan and the investment of its Registered Pension Plan (RPP) Trust Fund and Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) Trust Fund. A chair is selected from the among the 5 members and one member is a representative of the Association of Ontario Judges (AOJ).

The Provincial Judges Pension Plan (PJPP or Plan) is a contributory defined benefit plan providing pensions and pension services to 294 sitting provincial judges and 343 retired provincial judges and survivors footnote 1. Since the implementation of fund redesign effective January 1, 2020, pensions and survivor allowances are paid from three sources: the RPP Trust, the RCA Trust, and the Supplemental Pension Account (SUPP). For the 9 months ending December 31, 2021footnote 2, the Plan paid a total of $42.5 million in pensions and survivor allowances.

The Board has no employees to carry out its complex responsibilities. Ontario Pension Board (OPB) and the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO) were selected to play key roles in supporting Plan and Fund administration and will provide negotiated services to the Board on a cost recovery basis. Plan expenses related to RPP, and RCA administration are paid from the respective funds. Expenses relating to the SUPP are paid directly by the Province.

While the complexity of the Plan’s benefit structure has increased and we are also responsible for investing Plan assets under the revised Plan, PJPP operations continue to meet the Board’s and the membership’s service needs. Moving forward, it is important that we remain focused on fine-tuning our performance measures, oversight standards and capabilities so we can assess and respond to emerging needs of the Plan and its membership. For 2023, the Board will continue to enhance the pension governance system, cultivating the Plan’s viability, delivering excellent member service, and building effective stakeholder relations. We are also mindful of the Sponsor’s priorities within the Mandate letter and our objectives reflect a shared focus that includes:

  • Providing effective oversight of the operational (including cyber security) and enterprise risks encountered by PJPB and the PJPP, including risks associated with the COVID‑19 pandemic;
  • Establishing operational structures and processes that support and measure effective administration and performance of the Plan and its funds;
  • Providing strong oversight of both IMCO, and OPB, in their respective roles under the Plan
  • Delivering superior client service, effective communication, and stakeholder relations to help the Plan’s beneficiaries understand their pension entitlements, rights, and responsibilities under the PJPP.

Although there is still work to be done, the Board has established a solid foundation for Plan governance and operations. We are looking forward to working with all our stakeholders in the coming year and beyond so we can continue to deliver on the Plan’s pension promise.

Mandate

The Provincial Judges Pension Board was first established in 1992 to administer pensions and survivor allowances for provincial judges, their surviving spouses, and eligible children. At the time the Board was composed of three members and constituted as a Trust Agency operating at arm’s length from the Sponsor.

PJPP Funding Redesign came into effect January 1, 2020, expanding both the Board’s mandate and its size. Funding redesign had a major effect on the Plan’s governance and operational framework adding broader oversight responsibilities for administration of the Plan and investment of its two new trust funds. While the Board remains a trust agency operating at arm’s length from the Plan Sponsor, it is now composed of 5 appointed members, including one member recommended by the AOJ, and its responsibility for PJPP oversight has grown to take in: active members; plan funding; communications; compliance; and asset management.

The Provincial Judges Pension Board (the Board) oversees the management of the Provincial Judges Pension Plan and investment of RPP and RCA funds for sitting and retired judges, and their survivors including eligible children. The Board is the source of reliable unbiased pension information needed to support effective decisions relating to pension operations and how Clients wish to participate and retire under the Plan. Maintaining a sustainable, tax efficient pension plan is vital to ensuring that the Plan’s Members, Pensioners, and Survivors continue to receive a secure, predictable, lifetime income in retirement.

In carrying out the duties under its mandate, the Board has a fiduciary obligation to act in the best interests of the judges and other Plan beneficiaries.

Strategic directions

Since the expansion of its mandate and reconstitution, PJPB has focused on establishing necessary infrastructure to support Board oversight and plan operations. The redesigned Plan provisions became fully operational on January 1, 2020 and PJPB began overseeing the delivery of expanded pension administration services by OPB. Early in 2020 the Board began work on a series of implementation priorities for the 2020/2021 plan year that included engaging IMCO to manage RPP and RCA assets and OPB to manage the Plan.

In the 2023 plan year, four strategies will form the foundation of the Board’s business plan. PJPB will be focused on enhancing the pension governance system, cultivating the Plan’s viability, delivering excellent member service, and building effective stakeholder relations. The PJPB's four strategic priorities are as follows:

Enhance Governance Structures and Processes for the Plan and Funds

Since 2020, the Board has focused on consolidating responsibility for plan management with OPB, investment management with IMCO and establishing the supporting governance infrastructure. With the finalization of its service agreement, PJPB has completed documenting roles and responsibilities of OPB, IMCO, and other stakeholders that support the Plan’s governance processes. Going forward PJPB will continue giving effect to the new operational management function and improving our monitoring capabilities relating to the performance of stakeholders that participate in the governance and administration of the Plan and Funds. This will be accomplished through ongoing efforts to document new Board policy and Plan administration procedures including delegations of Board authority and implementing new Board approved performance indicators. Efforts to enhance governance will also include on-going review of the Board’s self-assessment approach and instituting Board education programs (e.g., fiduciary and cybersecurity training).

Cultivate the Plan’s Long-Term Viability (security of the promise)

PJPB is responsible for service delivery to active members (sitting Judges) as well as pensioners and for oversight of investment plan assets for the RPP and the RCA. The Board, with the engagement and recommendations of IMCO and our professional expert advisors (e.g., Aon and our new independent investment advisor, Willis Towers Watson) has developed investment strategies that aim to maximize risk-adjusted economic benefits and keep the Plan affordable for members and the Sponsor. To achieve these goals the Board will monitor the Plan’s funding position and make appropriate recommendations to the Sponsor as needed. In addition, quarterly investment performance reporting will be included in the Board meeting agendas for review and to take any appropriate action.

Deliver Excellent Cost-Effective Member Service

The Board’s responsibilities include pension service offerings to 294footnote 3 active members. OPB was appointed to provide expanded, accountable pension operations management that is aligned with the Board’s new Mandate. PJPB is committed to ensuring active members understand their pension entitlements and rights and responsibilities under the PJPP so they can make informed decisions about their participation in the Plan. The Board will also seek to continue to improve existing services to the Plan’s 343footnote 3 pensioners and survivors while maintaining efficient and accurate pension payroll operations. The PJPP is a relatively small but complex pension plan with limited opportunity to achieve the economies of scale associated with large plan populations and high-volume operational environments. Going forward, the Board with the assistance of OPB, IMCO and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), will need to balance costs and anticipated benefits to ensure members receive “value for money.”

Foster Effective Stakeholder Relations

Each of the PJPP's stakeholders bring important perspectives to any discussion concerning judicial pensions. The AOJ provides insight on member needs and expectations and the presence of an AOJ representative on the Board is welcome. Administration of the redesigned plan requires regular and ongoing collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure successful delivery of member services and effective plan and fund management. A complete list of plan stakeholders appears in Appendix A. The Board will continue to build its reputation as a trusted partner through regular communication and consultation with its various stakeholders.

Overview of current and future programs and activities

Plan funding redesign added new investment oversight and administrative responsibilities relating to the management of the RPP and RCA trust accounts including, investment of assets, tax administration, member contribution records and associated financial reporting. All preexisting responsibilities and supporting processes under the Plan remain and did not require any significant modifications to ensure stable plan operations.

Major program activities for 2023 include:

Adopt electronic fulfillment solution for the 2023 Annual Pension Statement

The Annual Pension Statement (APS) program highlights the need for a secure method of electronic communication between the Board and sitting judges. We were grateful to The Chief Justice Office for facilitating electronic delivery of the APS again this year by providing access to their e-mail system. The Board requires a temporary, secure communication channel until it can establish a permanent solution within OPB's communication infrastructure. A permanent solution will not be achievable in the required timeline and we will need to assess options and decide the matter early in 2023 to permit secure delivery of the next APS in September 2023. Ensuring the Board is in a position to communicate electronically is consistent with government-wide priorities to adopt digital delivery.

Implement the New Fund Investment Strategy

The Investment Management Agreement (IMA) between PJPB and IMCO includes a schedule of permitted investments and restrictions to be in place until a Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P) is approved.

The investment objective of the short-term investment strategy is to provide a highly liquid portfolio of money market securities predominantly comprised of Canadian Government T-Bills and high-quality short-term securities. The primary focus is on capital preservation and liquidity given the increased level of market volatility and uncertainty due to the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic economic impact.

Full adoption of the Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) and SIPP will enable the Board to begin shifting fund assets from the existing investment portfolio toward its selected long-term optimal investment portfolio. The Board will need to consider the implementation timeframe required to move to the new asset mix based on ongoing advice and consultation with IMCO and PJPB's expert advisors (Aon and WTW).

Document PJPB ESG/Investment Beliefs

Many pension plans have adopted policy to set out their framework for assessing risk and opportunities relating to ESG factors and their investment decision-making. The Board is in the initial stages of evaluating its response and whether it will proceed with documenting its ESG/Investment Beliefs in 2023.

Implement OPB Management Roles and Responsibilities

A key issue for the Board during the implementation of Plan redesign was the management structure it required to properly carry out its responsibilities as trustee and plan administrator. Rather than adopting the “distributive” management model that was previously in place, the Board favoured consolidating responsibility for plan operations management with OPB. The new SLA between PJPB, OPB and TBS reflects this expanded role. Fees for the new services reflect the revised nature of the responsibilities (i.e., OPB assuming a management role) but continue to be provided on a cost recovery basis. In addition to day-to-day responsibility for managing plan operations, programs and activities that require implementation include:

  • Establishing measures that will allow the Board to assess OPB's performance;
  • Ongoing policy and procedure development that will document delegations of Board authority and define new administrative processes for OPB;
  • Delivery of regular strategic and priority updates including risk management;
  • Preparation and submission of Annual Report and Business Plan;
  • Agencies and Appointments Directive (AAD) compliant procurement of required service providers (i.e., actuarial, and legal) for the Board;
  • Ongoing development of governance and operations structures and processes to support PJPB oversight of the redesigned Plan and its funds.
  • Ongoing consultation on emerging plan issues and projects.

Revise Board Mission and Values Statement

The mandate of the plan has changed, and we have commenced review of the existing mission and values statements. A restatement of the mission, vision and values will help the Plan’s stakeholders, including its service agents, better understand the Board’s strategic goals so they can contribute effectively to achieving them. Several options have been proposed and are under consideration, but further discussion is required to reach a consensus for the purpose of adopting final statements.

Internal Audit

The Board considers internal audit to be a vital tool for assessing performance and achieving accountability. Both OPB and IMCO began assisting PJPB with a review of their approaches to internal audit and objective setting. Since many of OPB's internal audits focused on processes that either include PJPP membership or the general operating environment, it agreed to share the relevant final reports for the Board’s review and allow it to monitor management’s response to any findings. The Board has received a schedule of planned internal audits for the 5-year period from 2022 to 2026.

Develop IT Electronic Service Delivery Plan including proposal for website development

The Board considers the development of IT service delivery to be vital for improving our service offerings as well as making progress against government priorities for digital delivery and customer service. We believe that creating a service delivery plan will help define the Board’s expectations so we can more effectively explore interim and longer-term solutions that take advantage of OPB's system modernization initiative initiatives and deliver a more cost effective PJPP solution. In 2023, the Board will assess the scope, cost and timelines relating to several options for IT initiatives. Business case approval will be required before PJPB can proceed with any proposed projects.

Update Performance Measurements for Service Providers According to Emerging Requirements

Work has begun to consider whether the current Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are effective in the redesigned plan setting. In 2023, the Board will oversee the documentation of reporting standards that more effectively support its governance responsibilities.

Actuarial Valuation

An initial actuarial funding valuation was prepared for the Provincial Judges Registered Pension Plan as at January 1, 2020. Under the provisions of the Income Tax Act a plan valuation report must be filed with CRA within 4 years of the most recently filed valuation. A discount rate will be required to complete the valuation for the purpose of filing with Canada Revenue Agency by December 31, 2023 to satisfy its regulatory obligations.

Annual review of Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP)

Under the trust agreements for the RPP and RCA the Board must adopt a SIPP that includes content required for plans subject to Ontario Pension Standards legislation. Once adopted the Board is required to review annually and amend the document as required. Final adoption of the Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) and SIPP has taken longer than initially expected due in part to consultations between TBS the AOJ.

Once the consultations are complete the PJPB will be able to finalize its SIPP. Thereafter, the Board can clarify its approach and establish its procedures for SIPP review.

Explore Opportunities To Extend Security Awareness Training To Board Members

Over the last decade there has been an extraordinary rise in cyber-crime and each of our service providers have taken action to mitigate risk in their respective organizations. As a Board, we are not immune to cyber security risk, and we have asked OPB to develop training options that are best suited to a Board member’s role and responsibilities. We expect training to be delivered to the PJPB in 2023.

Remuneration Commission support as required

The PJPB does not participate in the Provincial Judges Remuneration Commission process. However, the Commission may make pension recommendations which in turn can have an impact on the Plan’s administration (e.g., additional member communication, application for regulatory approval). Where PJPB is consulted we can assist with identifying the administrative effects of proposed changes to the Plan.

Resources needed to meet goals and objectives

The Board expects to meet its objectives through the ongoing application and operation of its restated Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the OPB, particularly OPB’s assumption of the Plan Management function.

For objectives that are not part of the fixed fee services, or where an unanticipated expense occurs, the Board will require a business case and may need to engage TBS for specific analysis and additional resources. These fees are expected to cover all aspects of projects including OPB staff resources.

To meet its goals and objectives for the planning period, the Board requires the following resources:

  • OPB Facilities, Management, Administrative and Financial Services (OPB fixed fee services).
  • OPB Project Services:
    • Project Funding (e.g., Website development and production).
    • Project management.
    • Business analysis.
    • Subject Matter Expertise.
  • IMCO investment management and performance management.
  • Investment advisory services
  • Plan Actuary.
  • PJPB Independent Legal Counsel.
  • Insurance

Note: Related financial information appears in the Table found in Section 10 - Financial Budget.

Risk identification, assessment and mitigation strategies

Under the Service Level Agreement, OPB is responsible for managing the development, ongoing monitoring, and reporting of PJPB's enterprise risk framework. OPB's risk management team works closely with the Board to maintain a risk framework designed to identify and assess key and significant risks to PJPB's mandate, implement key controls or mitigations , shape future action plans and report on progress.

Risk mitigations and action plans have been identified and the Board receives regular updates at its quarterly meetings.

The Board has defined its risks, identified mitigations and action plans. Top risks in terms of severity for the Board are:

  • Client Services – IMCO: Risk of not having a strong management structure with respect to IMCO's role and responsibilities related to PJPP.
    • Action Plans: to mitigate this risk include negotiation of a comprehensive long-term IMA and establishing on-going performance measures for IMCO for ongoing evaluation
  • Client Services – OPB: Risk of ineffective oversight of OPB's role and responsibility related to delivering superior client service regarding pension related information and annual statement to its members under the PJPP.
    • Action Plans: Documenting operational procedures and obtaining Board approval for delegations of authority.
  • Cyber security: Risk of failure of critical IT systems or a breach with catastrophic consequences.
    • Action Plans: OPB to confirm IMCO’s mitigations in place.
  • Plan funding (investment): Risk that plan funding might be adversely impacted by government funding decisions that are not aligned with the plan’s purpose and goals.
    • Action Plans: assess feasibility of adopting a long-term funding policy

Environmental scan

The environmental scan below provides a description of the business environment in which the Board is operating. It identifies and briefly discusses the considerations used to inform the risk assessment reflected in the discussion under Section 6 - “Risk identification, assessment and mitigation strategies.”

COVID‑19 Pandemic

PJPB contracts its pension management services through the SLA with OPB and its investment management services through the IMA with IMCO. Both organizations have shown they have strong business continuity plans in place, ensuring PJPB has not experienced any disruption of business since the onset of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Governments have since eased many of the public health measures that were in place but uncertainty relating to COVID sub-variants is expected to continue into the future. PJPB will require on-going assurance from OPB and IMCO concerning their response to the COVID risk and effectiveness of their business continuity plans.

Sensitivity of Judges Data

Personal information belonging to sitting and retired judges is extremely sensitive and if accidentally disclosed could have a serious effect on the privacy and personal safety of the individual judge. The Board recognizes the special circumstances that apply to judges and requires that OPB ensure personal information is adequately secured at all times and especially prior to transmission by mail or electronic means. In addition, the Board relies on OPB's well-established privacy and disaster recovery policies that reduce the risks associated with a major event.

Global Financial Conditions

The economic landscape has shifted considerably since the beginning of 2022. Inflationary pressure has been steady with central banks responding with interest rate increases while trying to avoid slipping into recession. As a result of this uncertainty, markets have also been challenging. Currently the Plan’s assets are invested in low-risk money market instruments until discussions between the province and the AOJ concerning final adoption of the Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) and SIPP are complete and the Board can adopt a longer-term investment strategy. Once the strategic asset allocation is adopted, the Board will need to assess the economic conditions at play, to determine the best approach to transitioning the assets into the market.

Expanded Board Mandate

Funding redesign expanded the PJPB's mandate to include new responsibilities for: oversight of active members, plan funding, communications, compliance, and investment asset management. Since the implementation of Plan redesign the PJPB has focused on establishing essential governance structures and processes relating to these new accountabilities. Implementation is continuing and will focus on establishing the remaining processes to support more efficient Board oversight through effective delegation to OPB and IMCO.

IT Opportunity and Cost

Over the years the relatively small number of Plan members has contributed to limited investment in complex and expensive IT solutions, resulting in a heavy reliance on manual processes for pension administration services. The redesigned Plan will require a more urgent assessment of automation solutions. While automation is expected to yield improvements in client service, risk mitigation, quality, cost effectiveness and governance there will be a cost associated with establishing access to and modifying existing OPB systems. Any additional cost generated by these changes will require the Sponsor’s approval.

Sponsor’s Fiscal Constraints

Under Plan redesign the province expects to make contributions of more than $40 million annually to the RPP and RCA as it copes with COVID‑19 pandemic and the related economic impacts. Sponsor fiscal constraints would not affect contributions to the Plan but may create challenges for funding special projects to support Plan and Fund administration in the future.

Key Stakeholder Involvement

Membership of the Plan is composed of individuals who are considered legally and financially sophisticated. In the past, PJPP-related pension issues were typically raised by individuals and resolved in that context. More recently however, the AOJ has signaled a greater interest in the PJPP's operations and governance framework. As a stakeholder, the AOJ represents sitting and retired Judges who are also members of the Plan and has a keen interest in ensuring the administration of the Plan respects the principle of judicial independence.

The Board values the AOJ as a key stakeholder and welcomes their greater participation in the Plan’s governance via the legislative requirement to appoint an AOJ representative to serve on the Board. This development should contribute to opportunities for dialogue and improve transparency respecting the Plan’s governance and operations.

On-Going Litigation

Implementation of funding redesign is expected to resolve long standing litigation that began in December 2013. That Application has since been adjourned and the original Standstill Agreement, which was established to maintain administration of the Plan according to the old provisions, was periodically extended over the years. The Board continues to monitor its legal costs associated with the delay and ongoing compliance with the Standstill Agreement.

Provincial Judges Remuneration Commission

Compensation for Judges is determined through a commission process prescribed within the Framework Agreement. The 9th and 10th Judicial Remuneration Commissions have made their recommendations and they include changes to the Plan’s design. The next Judicial Remuneration Commission will consider periods on and after April 1, 2022 and it is unclear whether further pension changes are a priority in the near future.

Agency Accountability Requirements

In an effort to strengthen accountability and clarify roles and responsibilities in the Broader Public Sector the government has been providing more frequent guidance to provincial Agencies like PJPB. Many organizations, including this Board, have found the directives helpful in more precisely defining their obligations and government’s expectations. In spite of this accountability relationship with the government, the Board as Trustee and fiduciary of the PJPP consistently and firmly asserts its independence in all actions and decisions affecting interests of the Plan’s beneficiaries as required by law.

Staffing, human resources, and compensation strategy

The Board has no employees. There is, as a result, no human resources impact, and no need for a compensation strategy or benchmarking against other public sector bodies.

Outcome and output‐based performance measures and targets

PJPB is committed to performance measurement and has established several output measures that are tracked and reported through the Board’s quarterly meetings. Telephone call performance data, exception reporting on case processing as well as compliance status are examples of output measures the Board has implemented over the years to help it assess the delivery of services to beneficiaries of the Plan.

Plan redesign introduced additional responsibilities that require PJPB to consider whether its existing key performance indicators are sufficient and whether it should adopt more sophisticated metrics at this time. The Board is taking steps to ensure it is aligned with the Province’s commitment to evidence‐based reporting through output and outcome‐based reporting. Performance Reporting is identified as an on-going priority for the Board in each of the next 3 years. This is an excellent opportunity to improve both: service delivery for clients and the Board’s ability to oversee the Plan’s pension and investment operations.

Financial budget

The 2023 budget estimates were developed according to the fee schedule under the draft SLA with OPB and support a fixed fee approach for Plan pension operations management. These services are delivered on a cost recovery basis and paid by the PJPB and TBS to ensure Public Service Pension Plan funds are not used to administer the PJPP.

Approval of the final draft of the SLA is expected by the end of the 2022 fiscal year. The SLA establishes a fixed fee model that provides the PJPB with cost effective access to professional pension plan management and board support services. New or expanded pension administration services may generate additional project fees that are not included in the fixed fees. The budget estimates contain an allowance for expected projects that will require further definition of scope and cost in order to obtain required approvals. This will include a PJPB digitization strategy focused on communications and online service delivery through a secure web-based application.

The remaining budget items refer to expected 3rd party services required to support the Board’s governance and oversight responsibilities.

Provincial Judges Pension Plan Annual Operating Budget January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023
ItemRPP footnote 4
$
RCA
$
SUPPfootnote 5
$
Total
$
OPB administration under SLA491,846491,846338,1091,321,801footnote 6
Insurancefootnote 742,78942,78942,790128,368
Legal40,00040,00040,000120,000footnote 8
Actuarial15,00015,00015,00045,000footnote 9
Investment advisory4,0004,0004,00012,000
Project costs50,00050,00050,000150,000footnote 10
Total

643,635

643,635

489,899

1,777,169

Provincial Judges Pension Plan 3-year Operating Expense Projection January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025
3 Year projection – full plan2023footnote 11
$
2024
$
2025
$
OPB administration under SLA1,321,8011,348,2371,375,202
Insurance128,368130,935133,554
Legal120,000120,000120,000
Actuarial45,00045,90046,818
Investment advisory12,00012,24012,485
Project costs150,000153,000156,060
Annual operating expense

1,777,169

1,810,312

1,844,119

Reality

PJPB does not control realty outside of RPP and RCA trusts.

Information technology (IT) / electronic service delivery (ESD) plan

Under PJPB's service arrangement OPB provides access to its IT resources to support plan administration. Since OPB has responsibility for development and maintenance of pension and other business systems, the Board has not needed to establish a PJPP specific IT plan. Early in the first quarter of 2022, the Board met to begin preliminary discussions concerning development of a strategy to enhance technology applications for the PJPP and its Membership.

The PJPP has a small client base spread over a large geographic area and these characteristics would seem to favour some level of electronic communications and service delivery in the future. Care must be taken when designing Electronic Service Delivery to consider how to best mitigate related privacy and security risks. The Board’s Communication Policy confirms that digital delivery is its preferred channel of communication for the PJPP. Before moving forward with a digital strategy however, a business case defining project scope, budget and timelines need to be developed in consultation with key stakeholders and approved. While project scope is still being defined, our budget and expense projections provide an early estimate of the initiative cost over a three-year timeline.

Like the Province, the Board is committed to digital delivery and customer service. Automation may yield improvements in risk mitigation, quality, cost effectiveness and governance but there are costs associated with establishing access to and enhancing IT systems. Any future IT projects will need to be prioritized and any additional costs generated by the solution will require stakeholder consultation as well as Board and Sponsor approval within a business case before proceeding. A decision to adopt an e-service strategy must be supported by client need and deliver measurable value (e.g., expected, and actual usage rates) once implemented. PJPB will complete development of its Technology and Communication strategy in 2023 and we expect to use a phased deployment to help manage the project expense.

Initiatives involving third parties

The Board does not have employees and must oversee 3rd parties retained to manage and administer the plan and its funds. The Board delivers services through contracts with OPB, which acts as Plan management and the IMCO which serves as the Plan’s Investment Manager.

From time to time the Board requires advice on emerging legal issues affecting its obligations and the administration of the Plan. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Osler) was retained in 2020 to provide legal services to the reconstituted Board as it implemented plan redesign. This arrangement will continue into 2023 and is an expense allocated to the RPP, RCA and Supp funds. The firm of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (“BLG”) was retained in 2014 to provide legal services to the Board relative to the litigation arising from the government’s restatement of the plan to bring it into compliance with the ITA. The engagement complies with Ministry of the Attorney General’s guidelines for engaging external counsel and TBS is responsible for payment of BLG’s invoices.

Aon provides actuarial consulting services under contract to OPB. PJPB can access these services according to the terms of OPB's contract. These services include preparation of on-going funding valuations of the plan and more complex entitlement calculations such as determining the commuted value of individual entitlements for the purpose of family law valuations. The PJPP requires annual actuarial valuations, and the next reports will be prepared as at January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2023. A formal valuation will need to be completed and filed with Canada Revenue Agency by the end of 2023.

In 2022, the Board completed a procurement process to engage independent investment advisory services to support its oversight of the Plan’s new investment function. Willis Towers Watson was the successful proponent and is providing regular access to senior investment expertise for the purpose of developing and reporting on investment strategies for the Plan’s funds.

Engagement of 3rd parties to perform work for the PJPB must be completed in compliance with the province’s Procurement Directive.

Implementation plan

See Table at Appendix B.

Communication plan

Delivery of high-quality service offerings starts with effective communication between the Board, the Plan’s beneficiaries, and its stakeholders. The Board also believes that good communications help create an environment of trust and openness that is vital to collecting feedback on how to continually improve the member service experience. The Board will continue to focus on improving the exchange of Plan related information needed to support informed decision-making in all aspects of the Plan’s administration.

Legislative changes effective January 1, 2020 expanded the Board’s communications mandate to include active members in addition to pensioners, survivors, and personal representatives. To ensure clarity of expectations and goals and to facilitate timely delivery of communication programs, PJPB adopted its first Communication Policy at the end of 2021. The policy serves as a resource to help prioritize future communications initiatives and ensure delivery in a logical, well planned, and cost-effective manner.

The Board completed delivery its second APS in September 2022 and there were efficiency gains compared to the first production year. APSs are a valued source of pension entitlement information for plan members across Ontario. The APS provides plan members with personalized pension entitlement information encouraging responsibility for their retirement planning and financial health in retirement. The AOJ is an invaluable resource for member’s perspectives on content and the Board expects to achieve excellent results through an elevated level of early consultation on content requirements and the possibility of coordinating digital delivery.

The Board’s approach to communications is shaped by its limited capability for digital communication. The Board is assessing the feasibility of introducing a PJPP website and digital service delivery in the future. PJPB is also considering temporary arrangements it can access to support e-communication directly with sitting judges. To ensure security, the Board expects to continue relying on more traditional oral and written communication platforms to reach its retiree and survivor audiences. All communication products are developed in-house and approved, by either the Board or the Chair as appropriate, prior to distribution. To improve the efficient operation of the Plan and timely notification of the membership the Board can delegate approval authority in accordance with its newly adopted Communication Policy.

PJPB members need access to knowledgeable staff that can provide timely, personalized information about the Plan. The Board plays an active role in the development of administrative policy which is used to guide development of written operational procedures by OPB, our service provider. Documenting procedures and template communications to support staff will ensure PJPP members receive consistent and accurate information each time they contact the Board. In the coming years we will continue to clarify administrative policy with respect to emerging pension issues including those related to future Remuneration Commissions.

Transparency and openness are cornerstones of trust and are hallmarks of the Board’s approach to communications. The PJPB strives to ensure our stakeholders have access to information and an opportunity for dialogue about the Plan’s financial and operational performance. Public consultations are outside the scope of the Board’s mandate, but each member is committed to consultation with our stakeholders in advance of administration changes that may have a direct effect on them or their constituents.

The Board will continue to identify opportunities for communication that will help active members, retirees and survivors make informed decisions concerning their pensions. The Board will also create opportunities for stakeholder feedback by consulting the Chief Justice Office and AOJ frequently on these and other pension administration services to assess member satisfaction and suggested changes.

There are no media or public consultation anticipated in 2023.

A response to the expectations set out in the TBS agency mandate letter

Each year the Government informs provincial agencies of its high-level expectations for their governance and operation in the form of a mandate letter from their Minister. The agencies in turn incorporate these priorities into their strategic plans During the 2023 fiscal year the Minister has specifically asked the Board to focus on providing:

  • effective oversight of the operational, strategic, legal, and financial risks encountered by PJPB and the PJPP, including managing any residual impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic;
  • effective governance and operations structure and processes that support and measure effective administration and performance of the redesigned Plan and its funds; and
  • strong oversight of both the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO), in its role in managing assets the PJPB is accountable for, and the Ontario Pension Board (OPB), in its role as management and regarding its service level responsibilities in respect of the PJPP.
  • Superior client service, effective communications and stakeholder relations that help all Beneficiaries of the Plan understand their pension entitlements, rights, and responsibilities under the PJPP.

The government has also communicated seven government wide priorities that apply to the Board. Not all are relevant, and we have identified all that are applicable to the Board’s operations as follows:

  1. Competitiveness, Sustainability and Expenditure Management
    • operating within the Board’s financial allocations
    • identifying and pursuing opportunities for innovative practices, and/or improved program sustainability
    • complying with applicable direction related to supply chain centralization
    • identify opportunities to advance the Ontario Onwards Action Plan

    Comment ‐ The Board continues to enhance its governance and operations and is committed to integrating these priorities where possible.

  2. Transparency and Accountability
    • abiding by applicable government directives and policies and ensuring transparency and accountability in reporting
    • adhering to requirements of the Agencies and Appointment Directive, Public Service of Ontario Act ethical framework, accounting standards and practices, and responding to audit findings, where applicable
    • identifying appropriate skills, knowledge and experience needed to effectively support the board’s role in agency governance and accountability

    Comment ‐ The PJPB will ensure it meets its accountability commitments by maintaining regular reporting on all known obligations and allocating a standing agenda item to address new compliance matters. The Board will maintain its “Board member skills matrix,” updating from time to time and as needed to ensure diverse and complementary Board composition.

  3. Risk Management
    • developing and implementing an effective process for the identification, assessment and mitigation of risks, including planning for and responding to health and non-health emergency situations such as COVID‑19

    Comment ‐ The Board established its new risk management framework, documenting risk by category, assessing severity, and identifying mitigations and action plans. The Board adopted quarterly reporting requirements and will continue to build mitigations to ensure continuity when responding to emerging risk. The Board is committed to supporting measures that are intended to mitigate the impacts of health and non-health emergencies including COVID‑19.

  4. Workforce Management

    Comment ‐ Not applicable as the Board does not have employees.

  5. Diversity and Inclusion
    • developing and encouraging diversity and inclusion initiatives promoting and equitable, inclusive, accessible, anti-racist and diverse workplace
    • demonstrating leadership to an inclusive environment free of harassment
    • adopting an inclusion engagement process to ensure all voices are heard to inform policies and decision-making

    Comment ‐ The Board does not have employees but will seek assurance through relevant OPB and IMCO reporting, that workplace culture and client interactions meet these requirements.

  6. Data Collection
    • improving how the agency uses data in decision-making, information sharing and reporting, including by leveraging available or new data solutions to inform outcome-based reporting and improve service delivery
    • supporting transparency of data work and data sharing with the ministry, as appropriate

    Comment ‐ The Board will consider incorporating outcome objectives into key projects for the coming year including the IT and Electronic Service Delivery Plan and Annual Pension Statement.

  7. Digital Delivery and Customer Service
    • exploring and implementing digitization or digital modernization strategies for online service delivery and continuing to meet and exceed customer service standards through transition
    • adopting digital approaches, such as user research, agile development and product management

    Comment ‐ The Board will be examining the feasibility of digital delivery as part of the development of a new Technology Strategy. PJPB will seek updates from OPB and IMCO on approaches and tools used to manage COVID‑19 in those workplaces.

Appendix A ‐ PJPP stakeholder roles summary

StakeholderRole
Government of OntarioPlan Sponsor
  • Executes plan design decisions settled under the Provincial Judges Remuneration Commission process
  • Prepares plan amendments
  • Shares the cost of funding benefits with members
Provincial Judges Pension Board (PJPB)Plan Administrator and Trustee
  • Oversees all aspects of administration of pensions and survivor allowances
  • Oversees the investments of the Plan’s assets
  • Approves all payments from the fund
  • Oversees member and pensioner communications
  • Ensures compliance with regulatory and agency requirements regulatory reporting requirements are met.
  • Adjudicates appeals
  • Pays expenses associated with administering the RPP and RCA plans and Funds.
Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) (Centre for Public Sector Labour Relations and Compensation)Plan Sponsor Representative
  • Oversees implementation of pension design and policy changes
  • Oversees implementation of non-pension benefits design and policy changes (e.g., life insurance, health and dental benefits, long term income protection plan, severance)
  • Pays expenses associated with administering the Supplementary plan, including expenses related to legal and actuarial services
Association of Ontario Judges (AOJ)
  • Represents contributors and beneficiaries of the Plan in matters affecting remuneration, pension design and non-pension benefits.
  • Nominates a representative to sit on the Board
Chief Justice’s Office (CJO)Administrator of the Ontario Court of Justice
Provides Judicial support for:
  1. sitting judges
  2. judges’ appointments and assignment to administrative ranks
  3. per diem judges
Produces communications for sitting judges with input from PJPB/OPB
Ontario Pension Board (OPB)Plan Management
  • Delivers secretarial services for the Provincial Judges Pension Board meetings
  • Monitors member and Sponsor contributions
  • Manages member, pensioner, and survivor information
  • Prepares member, pensioner, and survivor communications
  • Calculates pension entitlements
  • Disburses pension entitlement
  • Develops Plan policy and procedures
  • Designs and delivers Plan communications
  • Completes compliance, regulatory and plan financial reporting
Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)Fund Manager
  • Manages the Plan’s assets on behalf of the Provincial Judges Pension Board
  • Maintains Fund records
  • Supports compliance and regulatory reporting
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (OSS) (Ontario Shared Services, Pay and Benefits Services Division)Pay and Benefits administrator
  • Completes tax reporting – Issues T4s for sitting Judges (showing pension deductions and pension adjustments)
  • Runs payroll for sitting judges
  • Handles day-to-day administration of non-pension benefits (e.g., life insurance, health and dental benefits, long term income protection plan, severance)

Appendix B - Implementation Plan Table

202320242025
  • Develop ESG/Investment Beliefs
  • Establish performance measures for OPB and IMCO for ongoing evaluation
  • Explore opportunities to extend Security awareness training to PJPBoard members
  • Develop IT Electronic Service Delivery Plan including website development
  • Complete/File actuarial funding valuation by December 31, 2023 and communicate results to key stakeholders
  • Implement Fund investment strategy
  • Adopt electronic fulfillment solution for 2023 APS
  • Remuneration Commission support as required
  • Revise Annual Report and Business Planning processes
  • Adopt the Board’s Mission, Vision and Values statement
  • Approve PJPP privacy policy
  • Complete funding policy feasibility assessment
  • IT Electronic Service Delivery Plan
  • website development
  • SLA Fee review
  • Data Flow Risk Assessment
  • Remuneration Commission support as required
Remuneration Commission support as required

On-Going

  • Internal Audit
  • Production and deployment of Annual Pension Statement (APS)
  • Update performance measurements for service providers according to emerging requirements
  • Annual review of Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures
  • Improve administration through policy and procedure development
  • Board approval for delegations of authority
  • Stakeholder consultation on emerging plan issues and projects.
  • Quarterly strategy and priority updates
  • Development of governance and operations structures and processes to support redesigned Plan and its funds.
  • Identify, assess, and mitigate emerging risks