Bill Morneau, Executive Chair of Morneau Shepell and Jim Leech, former President and CEO of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, discuss current pension landscape in Canada
Two highly regarded Canadian pension experts sit down for a panel discussion at the FEI Conference moderated by Paul Ledwell, Executive Vice-President of Canada's Public Policy Forum
NIAGARA FALLS, ON, June 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Bill Morneau, Executive Chair of Morneau Shepell, the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services, and Jim Leech, former President and CEO of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, sat down to discuss the current pension landscape in Canada. The panel discussion, chaired by Paul Ledwell, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Public Policy Forum, took place at the Financial Executives International (FEI) Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario in front of a large audience comprised of more than 350 Chief Financial Officers, Vice Presidents and other leaders in Canadian private and public sector organizations.
Mr. Morneau and Mr. Leech addressed attendees on the need for government, unions, business and citizens to focus on cooperating to achieve a sustainable system to fund pensions going forward. The two spoke of the need for Canada to enhance the current system.
"We are now at a critical juncture for our retirement system. The actions we take now will have a profound impact on Canadians for the rest of this century," said Bill Morneau. "It's vital for us to work together to achieve a sustainable system that will ensure our children and theirs a prosperous, secure retirement."
Added Jim Leech, "Over the next 20 years more than seven million Canadians will exit their jobs for retirements that will last longer than anyone anticipated. The majority of these retirees do not have pensions or sufficient savings. Now is the time to work together to fix our ailing pension programs.
Mr. Morneau and Mr. Leech also shared their perspectives on the future of pensions in Canada and how important it is for organizations to plan accordingly to fund their retired workforce.
"Employers can play an important role by engaging and enabling employees to save in cost-effective vehicles that will assist them to meet their retirement goals," said Bill Morneau. "Easing retirement anxiety through prudent planning can improve productivity and create a more effective workforce."
"Inadequate or unsustainable pensions represent a huge financial challenge. Private and public sector employees will have dramatically different outcomes in the future. The decisions we need to make now are about re-balancing and sharing the risk between employer and employee," added Jim Leech.
Jim Leech recently co-authored a book titled The Third Rail: Confronting Our Pension Failures with Globe and Mail journalist Jacquie McNish. The book was recently awared the 2014 National Business Book Award. Bill Morneau co-authored The Real Retirement: Why You Could Be Better Off Than You Think, and How to Make That Happen, with Morneau Shepell Chief Actuary Fred Vettese.
About Morneau Shepell Inc.
Morneau Shepell is the largest company in Canada offering human resources consulting and outsourcing services. The Company is the leading provider of Employee and Family Assistance Programs, as well as the largest administrator of retirement and benefits plans and the largest provider of integrated absence management solutions in Canada. Through health and productivity, administrative, and retirement solutions, Morneau Shepell helps clients reduce costs, increase employee productivity and improve their competitive position. Established in 1966, Morneau Shepell serves more than 20,000 clients, ranging from small businesses to some of the largest corporations and associations in North America. With approximately 3,500 employees in offices across North America, Morneau Shepell provides services to organizations across Canada, in the United States, and around the globe. Morneau Shepell is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.
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