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Two sides to the story

Ontario asks participants to sing the praises of pension plans

An Ontario pension plan is taking the pro-defined benefit message to the streets.

OPTrust, which manages the assets of the C$19.1 billion ($14.3 billion) Ontario Public Service Employees Union Pension Plan, Toronto, is asking union members to spread the word about how much they like their pension plans and why.

The program was begun April 10, and in the first three days, 200 participants signed up online on the People for Pensions website or by phone asking for information they could share with others about the plan.

Along with promoting the success of the OPSEU plan, OPTrust officials want those outside the plan to discuss with others the importance of having a quality workplace pension plan, including the benefits of pooled money management for retirement assets.

“We want to ensure our members understand that our plan is structured in such a way that creates the right alignment between investment risk and liability, which is in the best interest of our plan members,” said Tim Shortill, OPTrust's senior vice president of strategy, communications and public affairs.

In announcing the program, Hugh O'Reilly, OPTrust president and CEO, said the discussions will lead to better retirement incomes for everyone, not just OPSEU plan members. “This is part of our work of being a pension citizen,” Mr. O'Reilly said.

This article originally appeared in the April 17, 2017 print issue as, "Ontario asks participants to sing the praises of pension plans ...".