October 18, 2023
Plannera Corporate Board Established
We are excited to announce that the Plannera Corporate Board has been established and its new Directors appointed. This is a significant milestone in our journey to becoming Plannera Pensions and Benefits (Plannera).
The MEPP Commission and the PEPP Board approved the appointment of 10 Directors to the Corporate Board in September 2023. In addition, an 11th board member will act in an ex-officio capacity, which means they will be a non-voting member of the Corporate Board. This member, as outlined in The Public Pensions and Benefits Administration Act, will be the Deputy Minister of Finance or a delegate.
The new board members bring strong and diverse skill sets, including corporate board and business experience, to Plannera’s corporate governance. The Corporate Board will play an important role in guiding the new not-for-profit corporation’s strategy plan and positioning it for long-term success. The board will report to the MEPP Commission and the PEPP Board.
Board members were appointed after an extensive search led by an external executive search firm in summer 2023. More than 100 applications were received, with a committee composed of MEPP Commission and PEPP Board members recommending the final Directors appointed to the Corporate Board.
Learn more about the members of the new Plannera Corporate Board:
Arnie spent his nearly 40-year career as a Chartered Professional Accountant with Canpotex Limited and Saskatchewan Blue Cross. He retired in 2020 after serving 16 years as President and CEO of Saskatchewan Blue Cross. Arnie has extensive experience with Health and Dental, Out of Canada Travel, Life, and Income Replacement insurance. While at Blue Cross, he served in leadership roles on the boards of the Blue Cross Life Insurance Company of Canada, the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, and the Western Conference of Prepaid Health Plans. He also served as director on the boards of the Saskatchewan Institute of Chartered Accountants, Saskatchewan Pension Plan, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company, and the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.
Samer is a partner of MLT Aikins LLP, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He advises clients in Saskatchewan and abroad on matters involving mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities, governance, and other corporate and commercial matters. Samer currently co-leads the agriculture and food practice group in the six offices of MLT Aikins LLP and is a member of its Innovation Committee. He has extensive board experience, having served on or advised committees and boards of directors of public companies, financial institutions, private businesses, and non-profits, including the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Bar Association. He has degrees from the University of Calgary and the University of Saskatchewan.
Brad recently retired from his role as Executive Vice-President and CFO of Regina-based SSC Security Services Corp. He previously co-founded Input Capital Corp, the world’s first agriculture streaming company. He also founded Assiniboia Capital Corp, and built it into Canada’s largest farmland fund before selling it to the Canada Pension Plan. Brad is a trained financial planner with over 10 years experience as a public affairs professional. He has extensive board experience, including with SSC Security Services Corp, Mongolia Growth Group Inc., Cypress Hills Partners Inc., AgFunder, the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, and the International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development. He received a Master of Public Administration in Electoral Governance from Griffith University in Australia.
Garnet is Dean of Business Emeritus at the University of Regina, director and chair of the investment committee of Western Surety Company and a member of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Investment Management Board for the Pension Budget Reserve Fund. He was previously a senior public sector executive, with roles including Deputy Minister, Cabinet Secretary, and Chair & CEO of the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. His experience includes the City of Regina Civic Pension Plan, chair of the Saskatchewan WCB Pension Board, the University of Regina Pension & Benefits Committee, and founding director of Greystone Managed Investments. He was a member of the Accounting Standards Board of Canada, and for more than 11 years was a director on the Public Sector Pension Investment Board. He is an honorary Chartered Professional Accountant, and holds business degrees from the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, and Western University.
Jayleen is a retired senior executive with more than 25 years’ experience in HR, leadership, business transformation and change, mergers and acquisitions, pension plan management, and governance. She was previously the Chief People Officer at Concerta Bank and Vice President of Human Resources for Viterra. Jayleen has a deep background in pension plan management. As part of her Viterra duties, she was accountable for the oversight of multiple Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution, and 401k plans in both Canada and the US. She holds a BBA (Finance) from the University of Regina and has prior experience as a trustee for a multi-employer pension plan in Canada.
Karen Lautsch, Ministry of Finance Delegate
Karen has held executive roles in several Ministries throughout her 31-year career with the Saskatchewan public service. She is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Services and the Office of Planning, Performance, and Improvement in the Ministry of Finance. She also served as the Board Chair for Saskdocs and the Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan, and has been on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Residential Society since 2009. Karen has an Administration degree from the University of Regina.
Crystal is Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board's CFO and Vice President, Corporate Services. She was formerly Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Associate Vice President of Strategy and Saskatchewan Research Council's CFO and Vice President of the Finance, Safety & Risk Division. She also has served on many executive committees and boards of directors, including serving as the Finance, Audit, Investment & Risk Committee Chair of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority Board. She was a member of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer Board, Chair of the SaskTel Centre Board and Audit & Finance Committee Chair of the Royal University Hospital Foundation Board. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Certified Director of the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada, and an International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach.
From 2005 to 2022, Russell was the CEO of Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership, an award-winning, successful economic development venture owned by the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. He has more than 25 years’ experience leading business entities, including as Director of Economic Development for the Prince Albert Grand Council, with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and in the commercial banking unit of the Credit Union in La Ronge. Russell has served on numerous boards and committees in an executive and board capacity and has extensive background in areas such as commercial banking, strategic planning, corporate governance, and budgeting. He has a Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
Jeff joined Information Services Corporation (ISC) in 2006, where he served as Chief Operating Officer before eventually becoming President, CEO for 13 years. Under his leadership, ISC made the transition from a provincial Crown corporation to a publicly traded company in 2013. Prior to joining ISC, Jeff served in various leadership roles over his 13 years at the City of Regina, including as the Director of Transit, as well as managing information technology and geographic information systems. He has served on several boards throughout his career, including nine years on the Saskatchewan Roughriders Board (and five years as the Vice Chair), the CFL Board of Governors, and the Conexus Arts Centre Board. He is President and Chair of the Board for Regina Minor Football and is also the Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator of the University of Regina Rams.
Ben is the Director of Sales for Raven Industries, an agricultural technology company based in South Dakota. He is an Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering graduate from the University of Saskatchewan. As a recognized business leader, he works as an executive, board member, farmer, agriculture engineer, and technology expert in agribusiness, private equity, and technology. He is also significantly involved in philanthropy and community volunteering, including as a board member with Diabetes Canada, and previously with STARS, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the University of Saskatchewan Alumni. Ben has previously served on corporate boards including SaskTel, Meadow Lake OSB, and NorSask Forest Products.
Blake is a financial professional with over 40 years’ experience managing pensions and investments in the public and private sectors. He has held several senior leadership roles including Deputy City Treasurer at the City of Calgary, Vice President and Treasurer at Farm Credit Canada in Regina, and Vice President Investments at the Local Authorities Pension Plan, Alberta’s largest pension plan in Edmonton. He has also served on many boards and committees, including Vice Chair of the City of Regina Pension Investment Board, President of the Edmonton CFA Society, and a member of the City of Edmonton’s Investment Committee. Blake is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder, and has an Administration degree from the University of Regina.
The Corporate Board will meet quarterly starting in December 2023 and be responsible for overseeing Plannera operations, strategy and risk management.
We are also happy to announce that Plannera has a new logo and brand that reflects our Saskatchewan roots while embracing the future in pension and benefits. Plannera is embracing its new brand promise: Partners for a secure financial future.
May 23, 2023
UPDATE: Legislation passed enabling PEBA’s transition to not-for-profit corporation
On May 17, a significant milestone was reached as the Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA) continues to transition to a not-for-profit corporation at arm’s length from the Government of Saskatchewan. Bill 94, The Public Pension and Benefits Administration Corporation Act, was passed by the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and received Royal Assent.
PEBA began pursuing the transition in 2021 at the request of the trustees of the two largest pension plans it administers: the Public Employees Pension Plan (PEPP) and the Municipal Employees’ Pension Plan (MEPP). The new NPC will strengthen and streamline governance and aligns with Canadian best practice in the pension industry.
Your pension plan is not changing. MEPP will continue to be overseen by the Municipal Employees’ Pension Commission, and the Plan’s investments will continue to be managed by the same world-class firms. Your contribution rates, entitlements and services are unaffected.
Throughout the process, we’ve worked hard to engage pension and benefit plan members, employers, unions and other stakeholders to ensure that they understand the need for the transition and how it will affect them. This included online member town halls, which are available to view on the MEPP website. We will continue to keep you informed of our progress.
The new NPC will begin operations on January 1, 2024 under the name Plannera Pensions and Benefits (Plannera). The name reflects PEBA’s ongoing commitment to helping members successfully plan for retirement. It was developed based on input from employees, plan members and employers. Plannera will continue to provide the same high level of service employers and members now receive.
We are proud to be the administrator of your pension plan, and strive to bring you the best service and support. If you have any questions about the transition, please view these frequently asked questions about the NPC or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 14, 2023
Town Halls - Update
Online town halls were held on February 23 and 24, 2023, to provide members with information and updates on PEBA’s progress toward a new operating structure as a not-for-profit corporation at arm’s length from the Government of Saskatchewan.
The sessions were led by the Municipal Employees’ Pension Plan (MEPP) Commission Chair Rod Quintin and Tricia Brown, PEBA’s Director of Policy and Governance.
You are invited to watch a recording of the town hall.
You are also invited to review answers to the most frequently asked questions.
February 27, 2023
Online Town Halls
Online town halls were scheduled on February 23 and February 24 to provide members with information and updates on PEBA’s progress toward a new operating structure as a not-for-profit corporation at arm's length from the Government of Saskatchewan. The plans that PEBA administers, including MEPP, will not change, and members can expect the same great service and support they're accustomed to.
The Chair of the MEPP Commission, Rod Quinton, and Tricia Brown, Director of Policy and Governance for PEBA, walked attendees through the changes and what they will mean for the organization going forward. There was also an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.
The town halls were recorded and a video of the recording will be posted here soon. Check back for that and for future town hall announcements.
May 20, 2022
The Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA) is pursuing a new operating structure as a not-for-profit corporation separate from the Government of Saskatchewan.
Why is this change being made?
“PEBA is one of the last provincial government agencies in Canada that administers pensions on behalf of pension plan boards,” PEBA Assistant Deputy Minister, Jeremy Phillips said. “The boards of the largest pension plans PEBA administers requested the Government facilitate this change, so it has been initiated.”
This effort was conceived and spearheaded by the Municipal Employees’ Pension Commission (MEPC, the Commission), with 26,000 members and $3 billion in assets and the Public Employees Pension Board (PEPB, the Board), with 67,000 members and approximately $12 billion in assets. They will jointly own the new not-for-profit corporation, which will continue to be based in Regina.
“The Canadian pension plan landscape continues to evolve,” MEPC chair Ashley Stradeski said. “Our Commission is excited about moving toward Canadian best practice.”
Will I be impacted by this change?
There will be no changes to the pension and benefits plans that PEBA manages. Members and participating employers will not be impacted in any way. Similarly, there will be no changes that affect PEBA employees during this transition. Salaries, benefits, and union affiliations will not be impacted.
When will this change happen?
PEBA has been and continues to work with the Government of Saskatchewan and expert consultants on the design and transition to the new governance and operating structures.
In 2022, a legislative process will begin to allow PEBA to operate as a not-for-profit corporation, separate from the Government of Saskatchewan. It is anticipated this transition will be complete by 2024.
What if I have questions?
Please review the Steady. Trusted. Future Ready. - MNP Report. If you have questions about this change after reviewing the report, please contact a Pension Information Officer at 306-787-2684 or toll-free at 1-877-506-6377.
MEPP - Town Hall - March 2023
The road to Not-for-Profit Corporation (NPC) town hall. This video will provide you with rationale for the change, an update on the progress and answers to questions asked by members.