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This course is designed to teach pension basics - terminology, design, funding, legislation, etc. Basic retirement and estate planning concepts are also studies to give participants a solid understanding of how pensions are integrated into the retirement planning process.

Registered Pension Plan Fundamentals

  • Pension plans – what are they?
  • The implement/no implement decision
  • Key pension terminology & definitions
  • Pension plan documentation
  • The major players
  • Practical exercise – interpreting the plan document

Pension Plan Legislation and Design Basics

  • Legislative overview
  • The Income Tax Act
    • who enforces
    • impact on plan design
  • Minimum standards legislation
    • who regulates
    • impact on plan design
  • Pension plan types
    • defined benefit
    • defined contributions
  • Risks by plan type
  • Practical exercise – plan compliance with legislation

Retirement Income Basics

  • The sources of income at retirement
  • Government sources
    • CPP; OAS; GIS
    • income replacement ratio tool
  • Employer sources
    • DB, DC, other CAPS
    • vehicles for locked-in/non locked RPP funds
  • Personal and other savings
    • savings, investments; home equity; SPP
  • Protecting the income streams
    • tax planning
    • life insurance, estate affairs, etc.
  • Practical exercise – DB calculations & income replacement

Communicating the Pension Message

  • What is communication?
  • Communication vs disclosure
  • The pension communication policy
  • Communication error liabilities
  • Employer communication challenges
  • Tool kit for communication
    • media, methods & tools
    • budgeting & professional help
  • Create the “right” implementation plan


“Learning the big picture helped me understand the full life cycle of pension and appreciate the complexities. Everyone working in the pension industry should take this course.”

Sathya Ramamoorthy, CAAT Pension Plan, Toronto