Trent University Transitioning to Multi-Employer University Pension Plan
Move to a jointly-sponsored pension plan starting with faculty has positive financial implications for Trent
Trent University’s planned move to the new multi-employer, jointly-sponsored University Pension Plan (UPP) Ontario, reached a new milestone with the recent completion of the consent process.
In accordance with the Pension Benefits Act (PBA), prescribed conversion notices were sent to all Trent University Faculty Association (TUFA) members and former members who were participating in a stand-alone pension plan. The member/former member consent process was successfully concluded on March 30, 2021 with over 99% of members consenting to join the UPP.
“We are pleased to be joining the UPP and grateful to our partners – the University of Guelph, Queen’s University and the University of Toronto – for their groundbreaking work on the plan. We welcome the opportunity to create sustainable defined benefit pensions for faculty employees for the long-term,” says Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “Joining the UPP will enhance our financial strength, and is very much in keeping with the government’s desire to have university sector single employer plans become jointly sponsored pension plans. We laud the faculty association, its members and our faculty retirees for their mutual support of the plan.”
The UPP was formally established in January 2020 and will serve members and retirees at Queen’s University, University of Guelph and University of Toronto starting July 2021, with Trent University being accepted as the fourth member. With the consent process now complete, a formal application seeking approval of the conversion of the existing TUFA Plan will be filed with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Contingent upon FSRA approval, expected in the fall, the membership of the TUFA Plan will transition to the UPP effective January 2022.
“Faculty and librarians at Trent have long been dedicated to working collaboratively with the University’s leadership to secure the viability of our pension plan,” says Dr. Sue Wurtele, chief negotiator for the Trent University Faculty Association. “TUFA views the move to the UPP as an exciting and important step on this journey.”
The stable funding regime of the UPP ensures predictability for both employees and employers, and the UPP shares governance between employer and employee sponsors, gives members a new level of involvement and control over the governance of their pension plan.
Trent University and TUFA have maintained a very keen interest in the development of the UPP, and together reached a formal consent Memorandum of Agreement in 2019 providing the Association's own consent to conversion. The University will be working closely with the UPP joint sponsors, the Board of Trustees, and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), over the coming months to complete all of the regulatory and other work that is required to meet the timelines for conversion.
The University’s financial picture has been increasingly positive largely due to strong enrolment growth (domestic and international) at both its Peterborough and Durham campuses over the past six years. DBRS Morningstar gave Trent an A stable rating for the fourth year in a row since the University’s first debenture offering in 2017, and the move to the UPP is seen as reinforcing the institution’s ongoing fiscal success.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that is personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines,. Across all disciplines, Trent students bring critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in greater demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Kathryn Verhulst-Rogers, Manager, Communications, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6182 or firstname.lastname@example.org