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Queen's University

Campus News

Update on Pension Committee governance

Friday March 14, 2008

A consensus on some key governance issues was reached recently at a Pension Committee meeting. There was agreement on the following key points from the February 26 meeting:

1) The Pension Committee will be the only board committee accountable for pension matters, and will continue to report to the Board of Trustees. There will be no separate Board Advisory Committee. The Pension Committee will continue exercising its established mandate in regards to pension administration and investment policies.

2) Membership of the Pension Committee will change as follows:
- The VP Operations and Finance and VP Human Resources, currently voting members, will now become ex-officio non-voting members.
- In place of these two positions, the Board will appoint two additional representatives, bringing the number of Board nominees to five respresentatvies from three.

3) The total Pension Committee membership is unchanged at 11 voting members, and comprises:
- Six employee representatives as follows:
• four plan members presently employed at Queen's, two from academic staff and two from unionized and non-unionized staff;
• two former employees who are retired and receiving a Queen's pension.
- Five Board nominees

Some key roles and responsibilities of the Pension Committee are as follows:
• plan amendments
• approval of actuarial (funding) reports
• statement of investment policies and procedures
• appointment of plan actuaries, custodians, and other service providers
• hiring and firing of investment managers
The list, while by no means exhaustive, is unchanged from the current mandate.


Actions to occur in the short term, and possibly before the May Board meeting will include creating a new constitution for the Pension Committee, and drafting guiding principles for committee members. These steps are part of a longer-term plan to create appropriate governance policies and principles for the Pension Committee. Bill Cannon, Chair of the Pension Committee, has agreed to remain in this key position, and will be an active participant in these deliberations. As drafts of key documents are prepared, they will be made available for review.

If you have any questions regarding this update please contact Bill Cannon (, Andrew Simpson ( or Rod Morrison ( for more clarification.

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