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 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 282 sitting provincial judges and 353 retired provincial judges and survivors . 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 12 months ending December 31, 2022, the Plan paid a total of $60.4 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 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 2024, 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 Annual Letter of Direction and our objectives reflect a shared focus that includes:

  • Continuing to enhance effective oversight of the operational (including cyber security), strategic, legal, and financial risks encountered by PJPB and the PJPP;
  • Effective governance and operations structure and processes that support and measure effective administration and performance of the PJPP 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.


The Provincial Judges Pension Board (PJPBoard or the Board) is the Administrator of the Provincial Judges Pension Plan (PJPP or Plan). We are responsible for providing steady, independent oversight of the administration of the Plan and investment of its trust funds. In carrying out the duties under our mandate, the Board has a fiduciary obligation to act in the best interests of the Plan membership and other beneficiaries. 

The Board is constituted as a trust agency operating at arm’s length from the provincial government. Five members are appointed to the Board by the Lieutenant Governor in Council including a representative nominated by the AOJ and a chair is designated from among the appointed members.

Our mandate is set in Regulation under the Courts of Justice Act and, since 2020, has encompassed expanded responsibilities for plan related communications, regulatory compliance; and asset management related to plan funding. Combined with our long-standing responsibility for determining eligibility and authorizing payment of pension entitlements and survivor allowances, the Board is accountable for all aspects of administration of the Plan and Fund.

Maintaining a sustainable, tax efficient pension plan is vital to ensuring that our Clients continue to receive a secure, predictable, lifetime income in retirement. Under the Regulation, we have engaged Ontario Pension Board (OPB) to deliver high quality pension administration services we require to fulfill our mandate. Investments are managed through an agreement with the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO). Through these arrangements, we are able to affordably leverage their operational expertise and existing infrastructure to ensure the plan remains viable into the future and delivers the pension as promised.

Strategic directions

When the PJPBoard’s role changed in 2020, we set about creating a pension governance framework to support the administration of the redesigned Plan and funds. As we emerge from 2023, the final pieces of that governance system have been deployed and we can begin to fully shift our focus to delivery and performance. 

For the 2024 plan year, four strategies continue to form the foundation of the Board’s business plan. PJPB will be focused on enhancing the pension governance system, cultivating the Plan’s long-term viability, delivering excellent member service, and building effective stakeholder relations. The PJPB’s four strategic priorities are as follows:

a) Enhance governance structures and processes for the plan and funds

Beginning in 2020, the Board was focused on consolidating responsibility for plan management with OPB, investment management with IMCO and establishing the supporting governance infrastructure. Now that those structures are operational, periodic review of their performance will contribute to improved effectiveness of board oversight and mitigation of governance related risk. Mitigation can be accomplished through ongoing efforts to document new Board policy and Plan administration procedures including, delegations of Board authority, and by implementing new Board approved performance indicators.  The Board can also continue with on-going review of its self-assessment approach and instituting Board education programs (e.g., fiduciary and cybersecurity training).

b) 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 plan assets for the RPP and the RCA. The Board, with the engagement and recommendations of IMCO and our 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 need to monitor the Plan’s funding position and make appropriate recommendations to the Sponsor as necessary. In addition, quarterly investment performance reporting is included in the Board meeting agendas for review and to take any appropriate action.

c) Deliver excellent cost-effective member service

The Board’s responsibilities include pension service offerings to just over 280 active members and more than 350 pensioners and survivors. OPB was appointed to provide expanded, accountable pension operations management that is aligned with the Board’s 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 opportunities to improve existing services to the Plan’s 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 economies of scale associated with large plan populations and high-volume operational environments.

The strategy aligns with the province’s priorities applicable to all agencies, specifically the IT and Communications initiatives that will support the implementation of online service delivery. 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”.

d) 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 the 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 2024 include:

a) IT and communications strategy portal services

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 will explore interim and longer-term communications and self-service solutions that take advantage of OPB’s system modernization initiatives to deliver more cost-effective digital services. In 2024, the Board will continue developing the scope, cost and timelines relating to options for the second phase of its IT and Communications strategy. Business case approval will be required before PJPB can proceed with any proposed projects.   

b) Service level agreement fee review/revision

The current Service Level Agreement (SLA) with OPB provides for periodic review and adjustment to the Plan’s negotiated fixed fees. OPB resources are used to provide administration and governance support services on a cost recovery basis, so this review is important because it ensures that PJPP operations are not being subsidized by PSPP members. The Board continues to refine the scope of services we require from OPB and a small number of services and fees have already been flagged for review. The assessment will focus on any net change in the effort required to manage the Plan and the cost of any new or modified services the Board may want OPB to perform regularly in the future.

We expect this review and any revisions to be completed by the end of 2024.

c) Data flow risk assessment

We will undertake a data flow risk assessment in 2024, to prepare for service improvements proposed under the IT and Communications Strategy. The assessment will help the PJPBoard understand and oversee the management of privacy risk associated with introduction of new digital services for PJPP under OPB information systems, technology, programs, and processes. The review will assess how OPB users are interacting with sensitive PJPP data to help define security responsibilities and confirm that data transmission is secure and protected.

d) Delegation of authority (payments from the plan – pensions, survivor allowances and lump sums)

The Board wants to ensure the smooth and effective delivery of pension entitlements. Currently, unless it establishes rules for making the payment, each new pension paid from the Plan must be approved by the Board and this can lead to delays. Since the Board has rule making authority, we can assign that responsibility within an appropriate accountability framework to our service provider, OPB, and create a more efficient, value-added process. In 2024, we will assess opportunities to use written procedures to delegate pension, survivor allowance and lump sum payment authority.   

e) Board bylaw review

The Board established a general bylaw in December 2020 to ensure it was well positioned to provide oversight of the Plan and agency itself. Within the bylaw’s provisions, the Board committed to a periodic review at least every three years. While we expect to complete our review in 2023, implementation of any changes will likely occur early in 2024.

f) Implement long term investment strategy

The Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA), Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP) and the Investment Management Agreement (IMA) between PJPB and IMCO were adopted in 2023. This will enable the Board to begin shifting Registered Pension Plan (RPP) fund assets from the existing investment portfolio toward its selected long-term optimal investment portfolio. An implementation and timeline will be finalized by the end of 2023 and we expect to be focused on the transition throughout 2024. The Board will proceed with moving to the new asset mix based on advice and on-going consultation with IMCO and PJPB’s new independent investment advisor, Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Consulting costs for the program are included in the 2024 budget.

g) Business continuity plan testing

PJPBoard adopted a business continuity (BC) plan in 2023 and according to best practice, we are planning to introduce a periodic business continuity exercise. These exercises are invaluable in preparing the participants to respond effectively to an incident by validating the BC plan and familiarizing each Board member with their role and responsibilities during an event. The Board recognizes the importance of good facilitation during an exercise and will engage a professional facilitator to run the activity. Program cost is reflected in the Board’s budget for 2024.

h) New Board member on-boarding

With the retirement of the AOJ representative in November 2022, the PJPB is currently operating with less than its full complement. The Board is awaiting the appointment of its fifth member who will be a representative nominated by the Association of Ontario Judges (AOJ). Once appointed, the PJPBoard will oversee the new member’s orientation to ensure they are able to fully contribute to the objectives and priorities of the Board. Once the appointment is confirmed, the Board has an established policy framework for new Board member orientation that will guide their on-boarding.

i) Annual actuarial valuation

The PJPBoard completed its first funding valuation of the redesigned Plan and filed it with CRA in 2023 as required. In keeping with its decision to complete annual valuations, the Board will ask the Plan actuary to perform a valuation in 2024, that includes all three components of the Plan (i.e., RPP, RCA and SUP). Doing so will provide the Board with important information regarding the status of the Plan’s funding. This report is for information only and does not have to be filed with CRA. Program cost is reflected in the Board’s budget for 2024.

j) Annual Pension Statement

The Annual Pension Statement (APS) program will continue and highlights the need for a secure method of electronic communication between the Board and sitting judges. The Board requires a temporary, secure communication channel until it can establish a permanent solution within OPB’s communication infrastructure. We were grateful to The Chief Justice Office for facilitating electronic delivery of the APS by providing access to their e-mail system. A permanent solution will not be achievable in the required timeline and we will need to assess options and decide the matter early in 2024 to permit secure delivery of the next APS in September 2024.  Ensuring the Board is able to communicate electronically is consistent with government-wide priorities to adopt digital delivery.

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 X - 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 and explore budget variance reporting.
  • 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 OPB to provide security awareness training to PJPBoard.
  • 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 the feasibility of adopting a long-term funding policy and prepare annual actuarial valuations.

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 VI “RISK IDENTIFICATION, ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES.”

Uncertainty caused by world events

War, pandemic, and recession are all events that contribute to increasing risk and uncertainty in the investment markets. Each can leave poorly informed or unprepared investors exposed to negative consequences caused by shifts into safer assets. The Board must be alert to these developments and ensure that its strategies are appropriate for the circumstances, maintaining value and meeting the long-term pension promise. PJPBoard expects on-going reporting from both IMCO and our independent investment advisor will contribute to effective management of this risk.

Post pandemic environment

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. PJPB will require on-going assurance from OPB and IMCO concerning their response to the pandemic risk and effectiveness of their business continuity plans.

Sensitivity of judges data/cyber security threats

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.  This is especially important given the PJPBoard intention to explore and shift toward greater use of digital services and communication for the Plan’s members.  OPB has extensive experience with change management and well-established privacy and disaster recovery policies that will help mitigate the risks associated with the introduction of these new services.

Transition to long term investment strategies

Since the Short-Term Investment Management Agreement (IMA) was initially adopted in March, 2020, the Plan’s assets have been invested in low-risk money market instruments. After extensive consultation with the AOJ, PJPB adoption of the Long-Term IMA, Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) and SIPP are complete and the Board can implement its longer-term investment strategy. The Board will need to assess its approach in consultation with IMCO and its Independent Investment Advisor to ensure it is mitigating the financial and operational risks through its transition plan.

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 requires 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 $55 million annually to the RPP and RCA as it copes with 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 engagement

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 feedback, particularly on service needs and experience of the membership. The presence of a member recommended by the AOJ to serve on the Board should also contribute to opportunities for dialogue and improved transparency respecting the Plan’s governance and operations.

On-going AOJ/TBS 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 the government’s expectations.  Despite 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 2024 Budget estimates were developed according to the fee schedule under the 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 for by the PJPB and TBS to ensure Public Service Plan funds are not user to administer the PJPB.

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 fee that are not included in the fixed fee.  The budget estimates contain an allowance for expected projects that will require further definition of scope and cost 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 refers to expected 3rd party services required to support the Board’s governance and oversight responsibilities.

Provincial Judges Pension Plan – annual operating budget

January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024

ItemRPPfootnote 1RCASUPPfootnote 2Total
OPB administration under SLA$491,850$491,850$338,110$1,321,800footnote 3
Insurancefootnote 4$46,700$46,700$46,700$140,100
Legal$33,333$33,333$33,333$100,000footnote 5
Actuarial$16,000$16,000$16,000$48,000footnote 6
Investment advisory$55,000footnote 7$0$0$55,000
Project costs$50,000$50,000$50,000$150,000footnote 8

Provincial Judges Pension Plan - 3-year operating expense projection

January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2026

3 Year projection – full plan2024footnote 920252026
OPB Administration under SLAfootnote 10$1,321,800$1,321,800$1,321,800
Investment advisory$55,000$56,100$57,200
Project costs$150,000$305,000footnote 11$100,000
Annual operating expense$1,814,900$1,976,200$1,777,600


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

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

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 establishing access to and enhancing IT systems can be expensive. Any future IT projects will need to be prioritized and any additional costs generated by the solution will require stakeholder consultation as well as the Board and Sponsor before proceeding.

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 but it must be secure. 

Under PJPB’s service arrangement, OPB provides access to its IT resources to support essential plan administration and Board governance responsibilities. 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. In 2022 however, the Board began preliminary discussions concerning development of a strategy to enhance technology applications for the PJPP and its Membership.

These discussions have driven the Board’s decision to introduce its website for the beginning of 2024 and then a secure portal for members to access digital pension services early in 2025. PJPB will also benefit from OPB’s pension modernization which is set to transform its pension administration processes and technology to meet evolving member and stakeholder expectations and keep pace with technological improvements in the future. Since these improvements require coordination with OPB resources (i.e., people and systems), OPB will follow formal project planning discipline in the deployment.

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 IMCO which serves as the Plan’s Investment Manager.

The Board requires advice on emerging legal issues affecting its obligations and the administration of the Plan. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Osler) was retained to provide legal services to the Board as it implements plan redesign. This arrangement will continue in 2024 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. The Board will need to consider options for representation in 2024.

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, 2024and January 1, 2025. A funding valuation was completed and filed with Canada Revenue Agency by the end of 2023.

The Board contracts independent investment advisory services to support its oversight of the Plan’s investment function. Willis Towers Watson provides 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 will continue to produce and deliver APSs to active members. 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 applying member feedback from APS surveys completed in the prior year.

The Board’s approach to communications has been shaped by its limited access to a direct digital communication channel. The Board will introduce a PJPP website and eventually digital service delivery in 2024 and 2025 respectively. This will provide the Board with the means for more direct and timely communication with the membership. In the meantime, PJPB will consider available 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 its approval authority in accordance with its 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 administrative 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 2024.

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

  • Identifying and pursuing opportunities for revenue generation through partnerships, where appropriate.
  • Identifying efficiencies and savings through innovative practices, and/or improved program sustainability.
  • Operating within your agency’s financial allocations.
  • Complying with applicable direction related to supply chain centralization, including contract harmonization for planned and pending procurements, accounting practices and realty interim measures for agency office space.
  • Leveraging and meeting benchmarked outcomes for compensation strategies and directives.

Comment - The Board continues to enhance its governance and operations and is committed to integrating the priorities above, where possible.

2. Transparency and accountability

  • Abiding by applicable government directives and policies and ensuring transparency and accountability in reporting.
  • Adhering to 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. The Board will also continue to follow established accounting standards and practices and respond to applicable audit findings.

3. Risk management

  • Developing and implementing an effective process for the identification, assessment, and mitigation of agency risks, including COVID-19 impacts and any future emergency risks.

Comment - The Board established and maintains a 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 future 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 by promoting an equitable, inclusive, accessible, anti-racist and diverse workplace.
  • 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, to inform outcome-based reporting and improve service delivery.
  • Increasing data sharing with Supply Ontario when applicable regarding procurement spending and planning, contract arrangements and vendor relations to support data-driven decision-making.

Comment - The Board will consider incorporating outcome objectives into key projects for the coming year including the IT and Communications Phase 1 (Website) and Phase 2 (Portal Services) and Annual Pension Statement.

7. Digital delivery and customer service

  • Exploring and implementing digitization for online service delivery to ensure customer service standards are met.
  • Using a variety of approaches or tools to ensure service delivery in all situations, including pursuing delivery methods that have evolved since COVID-19.

Comment - The Board will introduce a PJPP website and eventually digital service delivery respectively as part of its IT and Communications Strategy. PJPB will seek updates from OPB and IMCO on approaches and tools used to manage the risk of remote service delivery. 

Appendix A - PJPP stakeholder roles summary

Government of Ontario

Plan 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 


(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 - business plan implementation plan table

  • IT and Comm’s Phase 2 - Portal Services
  • SLA Fee review/revision
  • Data Flow Risk Assessment
  • Board approval for initial delegations of authority
  • Bylaw Review
  • Implement Investment Strategy
  • Board Member On-Boarding (AOJ Representative)
  • Other initiatives TBC
  • PJPP privacy policy development review
  • Other initiatives TBC


  • Internal Audit
  • Production and deployment of Annual Pension Statement
  • Annual Tabletop Business Continuity Exercise
  • Update performance measurements for service providers according to emerging requirements
  • Complete Annual Actuarial Valuation and communicate results to key stakeholders
  • Annual review of Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures
  • Improve administration through policy and procedure development
  • Board approval for delegations of authority
  • Website maintenance
  • 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
  • Stakeholder support as required