Changes to governance of public sector pension plans: LAPP, PSPP and SFPP
Until December 2018, most public sector pension plans were governed by the Public Sector Pension Plans Act (PSPPA) and regulations. Although these plans were not directly subject to the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) or overseen by the Alberta Superintendent of Pensions, they did follow many of the same standards.
In December 2018, the Joint Governance of Public Sector Pension Plans Act was passed. Since then, all remaining provisions of the Act have been proclaimed in force either on the date of Royal Assent (December 31, 2018); or on March 1, 2019, and all the necessary regulations have been made or amended.
Completing these tasks set the stage for transitioning the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), and Special Forces Pension Plan (SFPP) to joint governance on March 1, 2019. At that time, these 3 plans will be registered under the Employment Pension Plans Act and will be subject to regulatory oversight by the Superintendent of Pensions. Learn more about joint governance.
More information for plans registered under the EPPA
For information, publications and forms, see Pensions registered under the Employment Pension Plans Act.
Other public sector pension plans: UAPP, MEPP and TPP
The Universities Academic Pension Plan (UAPP), whose members include academic and professional staff of a number of Alberta universities, is not subject to the Joint Governance of Public Sector Pension Plans Act. Rather, UAPP previously became an independent pension plan registered under the EPPA as of January 1, 2001.
The Management Employees Pension Plan (MEPP) remains subject to the Public Sector Pension Plans Act (PSPPA) and its regulations. It is not subject to the Joint Governance of Public Sector Pension Plans Act or the Employment Pensions Plan Act.
The teachers’ and private school teachers’ pension plans are governed by the Teachers’ Pension Plans Act (TPPA) and its regulations, and are administered by the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board (ATRF).
Public service pension plan boards
Sponsor boards for LAPP, PSPP and SFPP
Under the new joint governance structure, LAPP, PSPP and SFPP each have a Sponsor Board and a separate corporation. Each corporation, with its own board of directors, will oversee the operation of each pension plan, fulfilling trustee and administrator roles.
The Sponsor Boards for LAPP, PSPP and SFPP, as established under the Joint Governance of Public Sector Pension Plans Act, are described as follows:
- Each plan has its own sponsor board, which determines plan design and benefits.
- Seats on the sponsor board are equally distributed between employers and employee groups. The initial distribution is set out in legislation, but the sponsor boards are able to make changes to board composition, provided employers and employee groups continue to have an equal number of seats.
- Nominees on the Sponsor Boards have a representative role – with each board member representing the views of the organization that nominated them.
Sponsor boards' roles, responsibilities and authorities include:
- setting contribution rates and benefits
- making plan design rules
- establishing pertinent policies such as those related to funding, conduct, and conflicts of interest
These responsibilities may be delegated to the Corporation, but only as required to maintain compliance with applicable legislation.
Public service pension plan corporations
Corporations for LAPP, PSPP and SFPP
Each plan has its own corporation that carries out trustee and administrator duties.
The organizations that are responsible for appointments to their Sponsor Board also make an equal number of appointments to the board of directors of the Corporation for each plan.
Under the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA), the corporations are responsible for carrying out all the administrative duties set out in the legislation, including ensuring that the plan complies with its own plan documents, and all other actions required for proper administration of the plan as prescribed by the legislation.
The Corporations' roles, responsibilities, and authorities include:
- investing plan assets and setting investment policy
- arranging for actuarial valuations
- entering into transfer agreements with other pension plans
- hiring external service providers
- communicating with plan member
- liaising with plan members
- ensuring the plan complies with all applicable legislation and regulations
Management Employees Pension Board
The Management Employees Pension Board (MEP Board) is not subject to the Joint Governance of Public Sector Pension Plans Act or the Employment Pensions Plan Act. The MEPP has a board which has been delegated certain functions.
The mandate of the MEP Board, as established under the Public Sector Pension Plans Act, is to:
- advise the Minister on any pension matter that is of interest to persons receiving or entitled in the future to receive benefits under the MEPP
- participate in consultations with the Minister with respect to:
- amending, repealing or replacing the MEPP Regulation (the “plan rules”); including plan rules adjusting contribution rates to ensure that the MEPP is funded
- conducting of actuarial valuations with respect to the MEPP and the Public Service Management (Closed Membership) Pension Plan (the “Closed Plan”)
- changes proposed to the PSPP (Legislative Provisions) Regulation
- the cost to be charged for the administration of the MEPP and the Closed Plan
- review administrative decisions for the MEPP and the Closed Plan in accordance with the delegation from the Minister
- set general policy guidelines on the investment and management of the MEPP Fund and on the administration of the MEPP that it considers should be followed by the Minister
More information on the MEP Board can be found on the MEPP website.
Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund Board
The Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund Board (ATRF Board) consists of 8 members nominated by each of the 2 plan sponsors – the Government of Alberta and the plan members, who are represented by The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA). Appointments are made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The Board is the trustee, administrator, and custodian of both the Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Private School Teachers’ Pension Plan, which provide retirement benefits to Alberta teachers.
The responsibilities of the Teachers’ Board of Trustees include:
- administering the pension plans
- making benefit payments
- setting collecting, and reconciling funding contributions and payments
- establishing investment policies for the funds
- investing the assets of the plans
More information about ARTF governance is available in ATRF’s Mandate and Roles document on their Corporate Governance page.
Responsibilities of Pension Policy
Pension Policy, Treasury Board and Finance, is the branch responsible for developing and maintaining all provincial pension legislation applicable to private and public sector pension plans.
Pension Policy is also responsible for:
- advising the Minister of Finance with regard to the remaining public sector pension plans for which the Minister retains the role as the trustee and administrator of that plan
- developing policy for the following plans:
- Provincial Judges and Masters in Chambers Registered and Unregistered Pension Plans
- Members of the Legislative Assembly Pension Plan (closed in 1993)
- Supplementary Retirement Plan (SRP) for Public Service Managers
- providing advice in relation to Alberta’s role as one of the joint stewards of the Canada Pension Plan
Investment of pension assets and administration of plans
The following corporations, owned by the Government of Alberta, provide investment services and pension administration for some of the public sector pension plans listed above.
Alberta public sector pension plans
- Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCO)
- Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS)
- Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board (ATRF)
- Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP)
- Management Employees Pension Plan (MEPP)
- Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP)
- Special Forces Pension Plan (SFPP)
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See other related links, including from the Government of Canada and other pension related sites.
Pension Policy Branch
To connect with the Pension Policy Branch:
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
416 Terrace Building
9515 107 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2C3
Public sector pensions
Contact the following for information on:
Alberta public sector employee pensions: Alberta Pensions Services Corporation
Alberta Teachers’ Pension Plans: Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board
Federal pension plans: Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security