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Retraite Québec

Our publication: Administering a pension plan well



This self-assessment is designed to help pension committee members determine whether the committee is applying sound pension plan admnistration rules.

General questionsYesNo
1.Have you received training for your role as a pension committee member?
2.Do you have access to all of the documents relating to the pension plan and its management? These include:  
 a)the plan text and any amendments
 b)the internal by-laws of the pension committee
 c)annual information returns (provincial, federal)
 d)the plan's financial reports or financial statements
 e)audit reports and reports on supplementary matters arising from an audit, if applicable
 f)actuarial valuation reports and notices relating to the plan's financial situation (defined contribution plans)
 g)the investment policy, if applicable
 h)the funding policy (defined benefit plan)
 i)the annuity purchasing policy (defined benefit plan), if applicable
 j)the general transfer agreements between supplemental pension plans, if applicable
 k)administrative processes (written policies, directives, administration guides)
 l)contracts between various collaborators (service contracts, mandates, delegations of power)
 m)expert reports and opinions of consultants
 n)supporting documents for administrative expenditures
 o)the minutes of the pension committee meetings
 p)the minutes of the annual meetings
 q)the minutes of the annual meetings
3.Do you think that the pension committee's internal governance rules are sufficient to allow you to carry out your duties?
Specific questionsYesNoI don't know
Sharing of responsibilities among the various collaborators
4.Are you aware of the responsibilities of each collaborator?
5.Do you know if they have been entrusted tasks through a mandate, delegation of powers or service contract? (See the part of this collection entitled Role and Responsibilities of the Pension Committee for more information.)
6.Are there mechanisms in place to monitor the work of its collaborators (reports, meetings, etc.)?
7.Does the pension committee regularly evaluate the performance of its collaborators?
Monitoring of plan compliance and risk management
8.Are there mechanisms in place to allow the committee to make sure that the plan is in accordance with current legislation?
9.Are there mechanisms in place to allow the committee to make sure that the plan is managed in compliance with its provisions?
10.Are there mechanisms in place to allow the committee to rapidly identify the various risks (e.g. failure to pay contributions)?
If you administrate a defined contribution pension plan for which members determine how the amounts in their account are invested, the pension committee is not obligated to establish a written investment policy. Skip to question 14.
11.Do you know how often the investment policy is revised?
12.Are you aware of the specific events requiring a revision of the investment policy (other than at regular intervals)?
13.Are there any rules allowing the committee to make sure that the distribution of investments complies with the provisions in the investment policy?
14.In the case of a defined contribution plan for which members choose their own investments, is the overall performance of the investments monitored?
Internal governance of the pension committee
15.Does the pension committee have rules concerning:
 a)members' knowledge acquisition (training and information relevant to their duties)?
 b)the sharing of responsibilities between members?
 c)conflicts of interest and ethics?
16.Are there rules concerning communicating information about the plan and its administration to members and beneficiaries?
17.Is there a written policy for handling complaints from members or beneficiaries?
If you answered No or I don't know to any of the questions above, please discuss these issues at a pension committee meeting and revise your pension plan's administration rules.
There is no point in rushing; you must start off on the right foot.

If your plan is not soundly managed, do not try to change everything at once. Take the time necessary to implement sound administration practices in one area at a time. You could begin with your financial duties, then move on to administrative duties and communication, etc. It is important that the pension committee make sure that all collaborators, including members and beneficiaries, are made aware of the work plan and its progress.