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Tuesday, September 6, 2022 – Effective Monday, September 5, 2022, WISE Trust’s Board of Trustees was joined by two new members. Bruce Smith joins as Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees, representing WSIB as Plan Sponsor and will also co-chair the Governance and Human Resources Committee, while serving on the Asset and Liability Management, Audit and Finance, and Plan Administration Committees. Peter George joins as a Trustee and will serve on the Asset and Liability Management, and the Audit and Finance Committees.  

Terms have ended for both Wayne Gladstone, our current Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Trustee Peter Jarvis effective September 4th. Both Wayne and Peter have been Trustees for WISE Trust since our inception and played an integral role as we stood up our new jointly sponsored pension plan. We thank Wayne and Peter for their extraordinary commitment and service to WISE Trust over the past three years.

The WISE Trust Board of Trustees is made up of eight members: four appointed by the WSIB and four appointed by the Ontario Compensation Employees Union (OCEU). The new makeup of the Board will sit for the first time as a group in September 2022 and will continue to deliver on commitments made in WISE Trust’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. As always, the Trustees’ focus is to deliver long-term retirement stability and deliver the defined benefit promise to WISE Trust’s 10,000+ members. 

New Trustee Bios

Board of Trustees
Bruce Smith
Co-Chair
Bruce Smith is Executive Advisor to the Chair’s Office, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Bruce brings with him extensive leadership and governance experience from both the private and public sectors where he has held the positions of President and CEO, Board Chair and Director.

Bruce has over 20 years of experience as a Director including the WSIB where he served as Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee and member of the Governance and Health & Safety Committees as well as the newly created Service Excellence Advisory Group. Bruce is also a past member of the Board of Directors for St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, Ontario and Fanshawe College where he served as Board Chair for two years as well as Chair of Colleges Ontario – the advocacy organization representing Ontario’s 24 colleges of applied arts and technology.

Bruce had the honour of serving in the Ontario Legislature from 1995-1999 as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Middlesex & Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education & Training. During that time, Bruce served on the Policy Coordination sub-committee of Cabinet and Caucus Advisory Committee to the Minister of Finance.

Bruce earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western University, an Honour’s Degree in Environmental Studies (minor degree in Political Science) from the University of Waterloo, and a Diploma in Urban Design from Fanshawe College.
Board of Trustees
Peter George
Trustee
Peter George is the CEO of Neurolytixs Inc., an exclusive global licensee of Lawson Health Research Institute’s blood-based invitro diagnostics, specializing in the detection of concussions. Peter has diverse corporate and Board experience spanning decades in sales, marketing and venture capital in the areas of health care, real estate development and asset management.

Peter is the co-founder and past director of LB Energy Inc., one of the largest developers of renewable energy in Ontario. Peter is deeply rooted in his community, having volunteered and fundraised for SickKids, Windsor Regional Hospital, Art Gallery of Windsor and St. Clair College.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Windsor.

A message from our Chief Pension Officer (CPO), Susan Kay-Dunn:

WISE Trust is proud to celebrate our two-year anniversary on July 1st, 2022!

While our pension plan has a long history – having been established in 1940 as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB) Employee Pension Plan – the story of WISE Trust is still in its infancy.

On July 1, 2020, we opened our virtual doors for business. Unlike most newly created JSPP’s who started operations with sizeable teams and a good sense of their business needs, WISE Trust forged new territory with a “build as you go” approach. Starting with just 3 employees and a blank page, we had a unique opportunity to build a “fit for purpose” future state. Since that time, we have made remarkable progress on that journey.

Over the past two years we have build the foundation for WISE Trust; including building our foundational IT infrastructure, launching our new website and onboarding a financial system provider and implementation partner. We hired project team members and business leads, eventually growing our tiny team of three to 35. By the end of our first full year of operations we had a plan to transition financial and pension administration services over from one of plan sponsors, the WSIB. By January 2023 we anticipate that we will complete the transition, with the help of our partners: IMCO, State Street, WSIB and Royal Bank. In addition, by the second quarter of 2023, we anticipate that the final remaining support services will have transitioned to our virtual workforce, making WISE Trust a fully independent and self-sufficient pension plan. This represents a staggering amount of work for a small, fully virtual workforce, all accomplished while assuming responsibility for administering the pension plan for our 10,000+ members.

At this time, I would like to acknowledge the ongoing partnership and support from WSIB who has continued to provide support services for us while we get up and running. I would also like to acknowledge our WISE Trust team. While many of our team members have been with us less than a year, each day they demonstrate outstanding commitment to the organization and dedication to our over 10,000 members. Finally, thank you to our participating employers and trusted partners. Together we can celebrate the amazing progress we have made in standing up WISE Trust.

 

On July 1, 2022, your pension contribution rates will increase by 0.6 per cent of your pensionable earnings.

 

Effective July 1, 2022, contribution rate A (the per cent of pensionable earnings below the YMPE*), will increase to 7.0 per cent and contribution rate B (the per cent of pensionable earnings above YMPE), will increase to 8.8 per cent.

*Year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) is a number set by the Government of Canada at $64,900 for 2022.

Learn more about how you contribute to your pension and the contribution formula.

When will this be reflected on my pay?

Your contributions are deducted directly from your bi-weekly pay. Depending on which WISE Trust participating employer you work for, you’ll see the contribution increase on the following pay date:

WISE Trust Participating Employer Pay Date
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) July 28, 2022
Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) July 28, 2022
Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) July 28, 2022
Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) July 14, 2022
Workplace Safety North (WSN) July 28, 2022
Workplace Insurance and Safety Employee Trust (WISE Trust) July 28, 2022

Why is this happening?

Since July 1, 2020, member contribution rates have gradually increased by 0.6 per cent of pensionable earnings per year and will do so until the funding for the Plan reaches a 50/50 employer-member cost-sharing ratio. By doing this together, we will help maintain a sustainable pension plan!

Learn more about how your WISE Trust pension is funded.

 

Got a minute to learn more about your pension?

Here are some topics you might be interested in:

 

This week we are proud to publish our 2021 annual “Highlights for Members” report. The report includes an overview of WISE Trust’s yearly performance for current, retired and deferred members.

As of December 31, 2021, the plan was 100% funded with $4.2 billion in net assets. In 2021, we also selected a new Strategic Asset Allocation for implementation starting in 2022 to support our investment objectives in the coming years.  

Key Highlights from 2021

Data as of December 31, 2021  

$4.2B net assets  

100% funded ratio 

$88M employer contributions  

$30M member contributions  

6 participating employers  

2021 investment performance (gross of investment costs) 

11.8% 1-year return (11.2% net return)  

9.7% 3-year return  

7.7% 5-year return  

Plan membership 

5,053 active members  

4,259 retirees and beneficiaries  

765 deferred members  

10,077 total members  

 

“We spent a good part of 2021 reviewing our investments and potential funding outcomes. This has been particularly important as the global economy continues to be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in unpredictable market behaviour and uncertain returns on investments. Despite these challenges, we are pleased with the Plan’s strong performance in 2021”.

– Wayne Gladstone and Harry Goslin (Co-Chairs of the WISE Trust Board of Trustees)

“2021 was another remarkable year of progress for WISE Trust as we marked our first full calendar year of operations in July 2021. Over 2021, we accomplished many foundational items supporting our efforts to deliver on the defined benefit pension promise as a stand-alone pension plan organization”.

– Susan Kay-Dunn (Chief Pension Officer and Plan Manager)

2021 Highlights for Members Report

Check out the report to learn more about how we are fulfilling our defined benefit pension promise to our members in 2021 and in the future!
A recent study has found that the average retirement age is 62. Yet more than 53% of Canadians are unsure how much they will need to retire. If you’re thinking about retiring, now is the time to start planning.

Tip

If you’re coming up to retirement, we recommend that you notify your manager and contact the WISE Trust Pension Contact Centre six to nine months before your desired retirement date to ensure that your pension begins on your desired retirement date.

Here are some pointers to help you plan out your retirement

How much income will I receive?

Ever heard of the term “three-legged stool”? The three-legged stool is made up of your WISE Trust pension, government benefits like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) and, your personal savings. Look closely at these three sources to understand what your income could be and, keep in mind, like many sources of income, your WISE Trust pension is subject to income tax.

Start by estimating your WISE Trust pension on My Pension Resource. You can estimate your pension at a specific age, date, or a “quick date” – your earliest retirement date, earliest unreduced retirement date, or normal retirement date.

To estimate your CPP and OAS payments, visit Canada.ca.

Also on My Pension Resource, check out the Total Retirement Modeler Tool which will allow you to pull together all three legs to give you an estimate of your total income.

How much will I spend?

Your spending habits will change when you retire, you’ll likely spend less on gas but spend more on your hobbies.

Create a budget to ensure you can afford the necessities and have a rainy-day fund when sudden expensive purchases pop up. You should speak to a financial advisor who can help in establishing a long-term plan.

When can I retire?

The normal retirement age is 65. You can choose to retire earlier if you qualify for early unreduced retirement.

You can retire without any reduction to your lifetime pension if you qualify for:

Factor 85: Your age when added to your years of membership or pensionable service equals at least 85 years

60/20 rule: You are at least 60 years old and you have at least 20 years of membership or pensionable service in the plan

Learn more about when you can retire.

Survivor Benefits?

Planning for retirement may involve decisions relating to what you want to leave for your beneficiaries when you pass away.

Your WISE Trust pension has survivor benefits which help protect your loved ones if you pass away before or after retirement. This includes your spouse and any dependents with or without disabilities. Learn more about survivor benefits.

Learn more

These questions are important to consider when planning your retirement. Our website has answers to your retirement questions. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for contact us.

In response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and ensuing humanitarian crisis, we are partnering with Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO), our Investment Manager, to exit our minimal holdings in Russia.  Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, their families and friends.

Read IMCO’s full statement for more information.

Winter is ending and spring is just right around the corner. Flowers will begin to bloom and soon our taxes will be due. But we’re here to help you prepare for the April 30 deadline.

Here are some reminders

Do you have your T4 or T4A?

If you haven’t received your T4, check to make sure your employer has your correct mailing address on file or if you signed up for paperless communications. If it still hasn’t shown up, contact your HR department.

If you are a retiree, you can find your T4A in the mail or on WorkforceNow if you registered and signed up for paperless communications. Learn more if you are already retired.

Pensionable contributions are tax deductible

Did you know you can deduct your pension contributions made to the Plan on your 2021 income tax return? Learn more about registered pension plan deductions on the CRA website.

Home office expenses for employees

If you have worked more than 50% of the time from home for at least four consecutive weeks in 2021 due to the pandemic, you can claim a deduction on your income tax return. Learn more about this claim through the CRA.

Donations and tax credits

If you report charitable donations made in 2021 or unclaimed donations from the past five years, it can be used to reduce your taxable income Your tax savings will equal the amount of tax credit calculated. Learn more about calculating your charitable tax credits.

Do it yourself or outsource

Depending on the difficulty of your taxes, you may decide to do it yourself or hire a professional. If you have the time, consider using certified tax software to ease the workload. If you don’t have the time, and have available funds, consider hiring a professional.

The tips provided should help you prepare your important documents to take on the tax season. Now you can sit back and enjoy the spring weather.

We struggle to commit to a long-term goal because of the initial hump – we just don’t know where to start. We can’t save for the future because we’re unsure about the present. Get over the initial hump using these three suggestions.

Identify your own motivations

You don’t have to picture yourself at 65 to start saving. Instead, picture the version of yourself one year ahead. You know in the next year you need to replace an aging laptop or car. Save for that version of yourself and once you achieve that goal focus on the long-term.

Understand the future benefits of saving

We can understand the future benefits of saving when you have met your short-term goals. Try setting a smaller saving goal, save $200 a month rather than $400. After a year, you will have saved $2,400 and you still get to enjoy a little bit of spending money each month. Now you’ve laid the foundation for your long-term goals. Like the Chinese proverb goes “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

Understand your pension

Get to know how your WISE Trust pension is saving money for your future self. A good jumping point to learning your pension is the Five Ws – Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Who is WISE Trust? What is a pension? When do I start making contributions? Where can I learn more? Why should I care about my pension?

Tip

Get the Five Ws answered by checking out Pension 101.

Now, you know where to start. Try one of these three suggestions to get saving for your future self. Good luck!

Relationships begin and end. Children grow up. Careers start and stop. As you go about the ups and downs of life, it is important to make sure things like spousal and beneficiary information, Wills, and Powers of Attorney, are up to date.

As a rule of thumb, try to review this information annually, around your birthday or when you receive your annual pension statement in June, for example. By doing this, you ensure your information is current which is an important part of your family’s future well-being.

Your spousal and beneficiary information are a vital part of survivor benefits. Survivor benefits can help protect your loved ones financially when you pass away. The type and amount of survivor benefits provided under the Plan on whether you have an eligible spouse and/or eligible children and whether you have started receiving a pension when you pass away. You should name a beneficiary, a person, organization, or your estate, to receive survivor benefits, if any.

It is easy to update your spousal and beneficiary information for your pension through these easy steps:

  1. Register or log in to My Pension Resource
  2. Select “Profile” and then click on “Beneficiaries”
  3. Confirm that the beneficiaries listed are correct
  4. If you need to make updates, complete the Spousal Declaration and Beneficiary Designation , and mail it to the WISE Trust Pension Contact Centre.

Life changes quickly. That’s why it’s so important to keep this personal information up to date, especially if your family or relationship status looks different now than it did a few years ago. Five minutes today can save your family time and worry in the future.

At WISE Trust, we know that financial literacy is a vital component of everyday life because managing your daily finances and making secure investments in your future are both closely related. We understand that navigating financial decisions can be complicated, which is why we are committed to helping you understand your pension and strengthen your financial planning skills.

Why financial literacy is important

As the financial marketplace grows increasingly complex, it is crucial that Canadians have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make informed decisions about the financial products and services that best meet their needs. Understanding the basics about money is as essential today as basic literacy.

Three goals for you this month

To start on the right track this month, consider making these three goals for yourself:

  1. Build your knowledge. Read up on various financial topics. Whether its spending 15 minutes reading an online blog, scrolling through our website, or attending one of the events we have on at WISE Trust, every little bit counts.
  2. Let your goals be your guide. Setting financial goals and tracking your progress will drive you to learn and persevere. For example, if you are someone thinking of retiring, model your retirement income with the tool on My Pension Resource, to get a full picture of what your pension and other personal savings look like for your retirement income.
  3. Get familiar with your financial situation. Track your spending by making a budget and make sure you understand key personal financial documents including your pay stubs, investment statements, annual pension statements, loans, Wills, and Powers of Attorney.

Resources for you

  • Register for an education session hosted by WISE Trust, or one of our partner sessions with CPA Canada and the Ontario Securities Commission.
  • Check out the Government of Canada’s financial literacy month page that includes helpful resources and initiatives.
  • Find out how financially savvy you are compared to your fellow Canadians by taking an 8-minute quiz.

Resources for your family

Enjoy learning!