Board of Trustees
OPTrust was established to give plan members and the Government of Ontario an equal voice in the administration of the OPSEU Pension Plan (the Plan) and the management of the assets through joint trusteeship. As sponsors, the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) each appoint five Trustees to OPTrust’s 10-member Board. One Government of Ontario appointee and one OPSEU appointee fill the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair, with the roles alternating between Government of Ontario and OPSEU appointees every two years.
As the legal plan administrator, the Board has overall responsibility for the administration of the Plan and the management of the assets. The Plan’s governing documents define the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. It also provides the Board with the authority required to ensure OPTrust can deliver retirement security to its over 106,000 members, pensioners and their dependents.
In accordance with the Plan’s governing documents, established trust principles and the governance practices of jointly sponsored pension plans, the Board has delegated responsibility for managing the affairs of OPTrust to the President and CEO, subject to certain matters for which the Board has retained responsibility. The effect of the Board’s delegation is to vest strategic and monitoring responsibilities in the Board of Trustees and management responsibilities in the CEO.
The Board retains its own advisors to assist it in carrying out its oversight and monitoring responsibilities and is supported by the Office of the Corporate Secretary.
OPSEU appointed Len Elliott to the Board of Trustees in April 2019. Len is an Industrial Health & Safety Inspector with the Ministry of Labour in London, Ontario. He has more than 14 years’ experience in the Ontario Public Service with a background in occupational health, labour relations and emergency management.
OPSEU named Aisha Jahangir to the Board of Trustees in May 2023. Aisha is a Mental Health Nurse at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre with over 25 years of experience. She is a member of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and has served as council member for College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) since 2021.
The Government of Ontario appointed Robert Plamondon to the Board of Trustees in January 2019. Robert is a consultant, board member, economist, historian and author. He has extensive expertise in strategic planning, organizational transformation, performance management, finance and public policy.
OPSEU named Ram Selvarajah to the Board of Trustees in April 2021. Ram became Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee, effective November 1, 2022. Ram is a Senior Systems Analyst with the Ministry of the Solicitor General and has more than 20 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service.
The Government of Ontario appointed Don Wilkinson to OPTrust’s Board of Trustees in July 2017. Don brings over 30 years of public accounting experience providing assurance and advisory services to Canada’s largest pension funds, institutional investors, telecommunications, and real estate companies.
Standing Committees of the Board
- The Governance and Administration Committee (GAC) monitors plan administration and major pension initiatives and oversees the preparation of actuarial valuations. The GAC also oversees various governance-related activities, recommends and oversees governance reviews, monitors Trustee education and development and oversees the preparation of the Funded Status Report.
- The Audit, Finance and Risk Committee (AFRC) monitors the budget and provides oversight in the areas of financial reporting, tax compliance, audits, internal controls, corporate insurance, information technology (digital), data management, regulatory compliance and enterprise risk management.
- The Investment Committee (IC) oversees the investment activities of OPTrust and monitors the progress of strategic investment initiatives. The IC also makes recommendations to the Board for approval of key investment metrics and investment policies.
- The Human Resources and Compensation Committee (HRCC) monitors OPTrust’s People strategy, monitors the management compensation strategy, including incentive plans, reviews and approves CEO compensation and reviews the compensation of the Executive Team and other top earners.
The Board has also established an ad hoc governance committee, which makes recommendations to the Board on various governance initiatives, and two committees which operate on an as-needed basis: the Adjudication Panel, which gives Plan members access to a review process in the event of certain types of disputes, and the Concern Assessment Panel, which provides a forum for addressing complaints under OPTrust’s Whistle-Blowing Policy.