Uses and misuses of pension committees: A how-to on good governance

By Jayne Casanova
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/12/2001

Given the attention focused on pension governance these days, many organizations are reviewing their governance structures for ways to strengthen them. And one of the best ways of affecting a quick improvement is to target the organization’s current pension committee. For some this will mean creating a committee where none exists.

Pension committees are key to applying principles of good governance. (This article focuses on single-employer pension plans registered in jurisdictions other than Quebec.)

The processes that support a good governance structure must ensure that responsibilities are assigned to the “right people” in the “right place.” “Right people” means those making the decisions possess the prerequisite knowledge, skills and experience. “Right place” refers to where in (or outside) the organization power or responsibility resides. That is, how is power shared between the board and senior management? Who is responsible for what?