FREDERICTON (CNB) – The three members of the Task Force on Protecting Pensions were named today by Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister Marie-Claude Blais.

The task force, which was announced on Oct. 28, will lead public consultations and examine the long-term stability and security of private pensions in New Brunswick.

The three members of the task force are Paul McCrossan, Susan Rowland and Pierre-Marcel Desjardins.

"Employees deserve to know that the pensions they have contributed to all their working lives will be there when they retire,” said Blais. “Retirees need to know the pension they count on will continue to support them throughout retirement. That is why I am pleased we have been able to assemble such a qualified team of experts to undertake this important review."

Among the issues that the task force will examine are:

●    rules protecting employees and pensioners;
●    ensuring that the long-term sustainability of pension promises made to workers is honoured and protected; and
●    reviewing the structure meant to protect pension plans to insure they are as effective as possible.

"Our goal at the end of the review is to ensure New Brunswick has the rules and regulations in place that are needed to offer our residents the best protection possible for their hard-earned pension savings," said Blais.

The task force brings extensive experience in the field of private pension administration and pension restructuring. The panel will report back to government with their findings and recommendations.

Biographies of task force members

Paul McCrossan

Throughout his career as a consultant and actuary, McCrossan has held various positions with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Society of Actuaries and the International Actuarial Association. He has written and lectured extensively on the topic of finances and pensions. Serving twice as a Member of Parliament, he was involved in the reform of a number of key pieces of pension-related legislation, including the Pension Benefits Standards Act and the Canada Pension Plan Act.  

Susan Rowland

A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, Rowland has focused her career on pension and benefits law, with particular expertise in the restructuring and funding of pension plans. Appointed as representative counsel by the Superintendent of Financial institutions for Ontario, she has assisted in resolving the under-funding of several high-profile pension plans, including: Algoma Steel, Ivaco Inc., General Motors of Canada and Chrysler Inc. Rowland has published numerous papers in professional journals and has been frequently invited to speak before groups interested in pension and insolvency issues.   

Pierre-Marcel Desjardins

Desjardins has a Ph.D. in economics and has been teaching economics at the Université de Moncton since 1990. He is also researcher at that Canadian Institute for Research on Public Policy and Public Administration. He is vice-president of the Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes, the executive director of the Canadian Regional Science Association, a member of the board of directors of the Caisse populaire Kent-Sud, and a member of the advisory committee for the Sainte-Marie-de-Kent local service district.