January 11, 2016

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier:

Over the past year, we have made significant progress in our commitment to build a strong and secure retirement income system for the people of Ontario as outlined in my mandate letter. As Associate Minister of Finance responsible for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), I take great pride in the collaborative and consultative work done by the ministry to strengthen retirement income security for all working Ontarians.

Since receiving your mandate letter, we have:

  • Worked in partnership with the Minister of Finance to pass the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015 and the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corporation Act, 2015. The ORPP act lays the foundation for the ORPP and the ORPP AC act establishes the entity that will administer the plan, ahead of implementation on January 1, 2017.
  • Moved forward on the commitment to building a strong, secure retirement income system with the announcement of key design details of the ORPP, including plan comparability, phasing in of contribution rates, staged implementation, and setting a minimum earnings threshold of $3,500 for eligible employees between the ages of 18 and 70. Many of these details are intended to mirror CPP as closely as possible, as we keep future integration in mind.
  • Appointed the initial board of directors for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corporation: Susan Wolburgh Jenah (Chair), formerly the President and CEO of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and Vice-Chair and Acting Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission; Murray Gold, Managing Partner at Koskie Minsky LLP and a leading expert in pensions and employee benefits; and Richard Nesbitt, President and CEO of Global Risk Institute, and the former Chief Operating Officer of CIBC, CEO of TSX Group, and President of TSX Markets.
  • Published a consultation paper on key design questions of the ORPP, including comparable plan, minimum earnings threshold and retirement security for the self-employed.
  • Actively consulted stakeholders on the design of the ORPP through an Ontario-wide consultation process that included: holding roundtables in more than 10 communities; receiving more than 1,000 written submissions from individuals, businesses and organizations throughout our open call for submissions; and over 200 stakeholder meetings, speeches, and presentations, with business associations, labour unions, employers, low-income advocates, the not-for-profit sector and pension experts, among others.
  • Established a Business Implementation Advisory Group to exchange information and knowledge with the business community as the ORPP is implemented.
  • Consulted with the Technical Advisory Group on Retirement Security and experts such as David Dodge, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, and Michael Nobrega, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and former Implementation Lead for the ORPP.
  • Pursued opportunities to promote Ontario’s commitment to strengthening the retirement income system by working with provincial and territorial observers on the Technical Advisory Group and travelling around the country to meet in-person with provincial officials in six other provinces.
  • Continued to engage and collaborate with caucus colleagues including the Deputy Premier and the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to find ways to strengthen our economy.
  • Worked closely with the federal government on key aspects of administration such as registration and data sharing, while continuing to assess a number of different options including leveraging infrastructure that exists within the broader public sector and third-party delivery to create the most efficient and effective plan possible for the people of Ontario.
  • Worked collaboratively with Minister Sousa as we continue to seek an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan, while taking action now through the ORPP to deliver to working Ontarians the retirement security that they deserve.

In summary, we are dedicated to fulfilling the commitments outlined in my mandate letter. I, along with my staff and the ministry, continue to work on building a strong and secure retirement income system for the people of Ontario.

Sincerely,

Mitzie Hunter signature

Mitzie Hunter
Associate Minister of Finance

Results achieved

Mandate Letter Commitment Progress to Date
Work to build a strong and secure retirement income system that will ensure Ontarians enjoy their retirement years. You will continue to seek an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan, but also recognize the need to act now to provide greater retirement income security to Ontarians.
  • Committed to implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) on January 1, 2017.
  • Currently exploring ways to collaborate with the federal government on implementing the ORPP.
  • Working collaboratively with Minister Sousa as we continue to seek an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan.
Working in partnership with the Minister of Finance to develop the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) so that it can be implemented in January 2017. The goal of the pension plan is to support working people who do not already participate in a comparable workplace pension plan. It should be similar to the Canada Pension Plan and provide a predictable stream of income in retirement, require contributions to be shared equally between employees and employers — and target a replacement rate of 15 per cent, up to an annual earnings threshold of $90,000.
  • Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015 in effect.
  • Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corporation Act, 2015 in effect.
  • Announced a comparability test and phase-in strategy in August 2015.
  • Established the ORPP Administration Corporation and appointed the initial board in November 2015.
  • Announced ORPP minimum earnings threshold and minimum age of eligibility in 2015 Fall Economic Statement.
Consulting and collaborating with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, the Minister of Labour, the Attorney General and the President of the Treasury Board during the development of the ORPP. I ask that you — in partnership with the Minister of Finance — update Cabinet on your progress during the implementation of this important file.
  • Ongoing meetings and briefings with Deputy Premier, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, and other partner ministers leading up to Treasury Board and Cabinet decisions.
Actively consulting with stakeholders to ensure there is broad awareness of the benefits of the ORPP to Ontarians, businesses and, when fully implemented, the broader economy.
  • Extensive consultations through regional and community roundtables in 10 locations across Ontario, sector-specific roundtables and over 1,000 written submissions from individuals, businesses and organizations.
  • Over 200 meetings and presentations with stakeholder groups.
  • Established a Business Advisory Group on ORPP implementation and currently finalizing a stakeholder engagement strategy.
    Published consultation paper on key plan design details.
Seeking input on policy and implementation issues — such as a lower-income threshold and assistance for the self-employed — from the Technical Advisory Group on Income Security and from other experts.
  • Technical Advisory Group met nine times over the past year.
  • Working group on comparability test met three times over the spring/summer of 2015.
  • Consulted with technical and governance experts, such as David Dodge, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, and Michael Nobrega, former president and CEO of OMERS and Implementation Lead for the ORPP.
Exploring opportunities to promote Ontario’s commitment to strengthening the retirement income system. You will work with other provinces and territories to expand the ORPP to enhance the retirement income security of those living outside Ontario.
  • Ontario and Québec agreed to share best practices and information on pension administration.
  • Seven provincial and territorial observers have joined the Technical Advisory Group. Representatives are from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, PEI, Nunavut and Northwest Territories.
  • Travelled across the country to meet in-person with six provincial counterparts.
Updated: June 01, 2021
Published: January 10, 2016