Joint governance grounded on collaboration and trust

As a JSPP, governance and risk at UPP are a shared responsibility between members and employers, where each has equal say in plan design, funding, and administration.

Joint governance ensures a high degree of accountability and transparency while putting the interests of Plan members at the centre of every decision.

How it works at UPP

Guided by individual and clearly defined mandates, UPP’s Joint Sponsors and Board of Trustees work in concert to ensure the Plan is run efficiently, strategically, prudently, and in the best interest of all Plan members.

Joint Sponsors

Two representative Sponsor Committees (Employer and Employee) with six members each

Set contributions and benefits formula 

Define funding policy

Appoint administrator

Set terms for and approves new entrants

Employer sponsor committee

Donna Janiec, Queen’s University

Steve Millan, Queen’s University

Martha Harley, University of Guelph

Sharmilla Rasheed, University of Guelph

Angela Hildyard, University of Toronto

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, University of Toronto

Employee sponsor committee

Kelly Sedore, CUPE, Queen’s University

Robert Hickey, QUFA, Queen’s University

Herb Kunze, UGFA, University of Guelph

John Tartt, USW, University of Guelph

Colleen Burke, USW, University of Toronto

Lisa Kramer, UTFA, University of Toronto

Administrator – Board of Trustees

Made up of 14 sponsor-appointed members, including an independent, jointly-appointed Chair

Actuarial evaluation

Investment of assets

Member services and benefit payments

Meet our board of trustees

With members’ interests always the focal point, UPP’s Board responsibilities include actuarial valuations, legal compliance, investments, and pension benefits.

The Board includes six Trustees selected by the Employer Sponsor, six by the Employee Sponsor, one nominated by non-unionized members and appointed by the Employee Sponsor, and an independent, jointly-selected Chair. These 14 individuals bring varied experience and deep expertise in areas important to UPP.

Five standing committees of the Board oversee management activities and make recommendations to the Board in areas specific to their respective mandates. The Board approves committee recommendations in its oversight of UPP’s operational, investment, strategic, and governance matters. 

Gale Rubenstein

Gale Rubenstein

Gale Rubenstein is counsel at Goodmans LLP. She has been recognized as a leading practitioner in the fields of corporate restructuring, pensions and regulatory matters over her lengthy career with Goodmans.

Gale has represented the Province of Ontario in the Stelco, General Motors and Chrysler restructurings, in which creative approaches to pension matters were key. She also acted as the provincial facilitator for public sector jointly sponsored pension plan negotiations, involving Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Plan, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and OPTrust.

From 2007 to 2009, during the financial crisis, Gale represented the Investors’ Committee dealing with asset-backed commercial paper.

Gale served on the Board of Hydro One from 2007 to 2018. She currently serves on the Boards of the Scarborough Health Network, Algoma Steel Inc., Outside the March Theatre Company, the Social Services and Seniors Committee of the United Jewish Appeal and on the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Advisory Panel.

Gale earned a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Osgoode Law School.

Alan Jette

Alan Jette

Alan Jette retired from TD Bank Group (TDBG) in 2016 where he served as Executive Vice President, Treasury and Balance Sheet Management (TBSM) and Treasurer from 2000 to November 2016. He had enterprise-wide accountability for effective management of the Bank’s balance sheet including non-trading market risk measurement and management, funds transfer pricing, liquidity risk, funding and capital management and investing the Bank’s $120 billion non-trading marketable securities portfolio. TBSM was also responsible for establishing a risk measurement framework and risk profile assessment across all defined benefit pension plans. Alan also served on the Bank’s Retirement Investment Committee, overseeing the investment strategies, management and performance of over $ 9 billion in global pension assets on behalf of TD’s pension plan members.

Alan joined TDBG through its acquisition of Canada Trust where he had served as Senior Vice President Treasury and Risk Management. Prior to joining Canada Trust, he was the founding and managing partner of the Asset/Liability Management Group, an independent investment counselling firm specializing in providing quantitative investment and asset/liability management analysis and valuation to financial intermediaries. Alan was a founding partner of Yield Management Group, in charge of its asset/liability management advisory group.

Alan earned a bachelor’s degree from Carleton University and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University.

Alex McKinnon

Alex D. McKinnon

Alex D. McKinnon is the Research Director for the United Steelworkers Union (USW), Canadian National Office. He has worked on staff with the Union for over 35 years. Alex was the first rank and file member hired to the USW’s National Office Research Department and, in 2013, became the first rank and file member to be promoted to the Research Director.

Alex serves as a pension trustee on the multi-employer Steelworkers Pension Plan, and is Chair of the Canadian Energy and Related Industries Pension Plan (CERi). He also serves on various committees for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, including the Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAC) and the Multi-Employer Pension Plan Committee.

Alex has served as the Vice-Chair and Chair of the University of Toronto Pension Plan and is currently the  President of Multi-Employer Benefit Plan Council of Canada (MEBCO) He previously served as a Labour Co-Chair of the Ontario University Pension Project. Alex is as a spinal cord peer support volunteer and was appointed to the Board of Directors of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario in 2018, where he serves as Treasurer as well as on the governance committee.

Alex earned a bachelor’s degree (Economics) from Sir Wilfred Laurier University and holds the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation in addition to a variety of certifications in pension fund governance. He has also completed the ICD – NFP course for non-profit directors.

Alex currently is the Chair of the UPP Pension Services Committee as well as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee.

Hazel Claxton

Hazel Claxton

Hazel Claxton retired from Morneau Shepell (now LifeWorks) in 2018 where she served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Hazel was responsible for developing and executing on a robust talent strategy to fuel the company’s business strategy and contributing to approaches to deliver more value to clients. She also chaired the company’s Pension Steering Committee.

Prior to joining Morneau Shepell in 2013, Hazel spent 29 years at PwC Canada where she held several leadership roles, including Canadian Leadership Group member, Human Capital Leader, and Partner within the Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Group, an area she practiced in for 20 years. 

Hazel serves on the boards of Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, TELUS Corporation, and Unity Health Toronto where she chairs the Resources Committee and the Audit Subcommittee. She previously served on the Boards of Queen’s University, St. Michael’s Hospital, and the Shaw Festival Theatre.

Hazel earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Queen’s University and is a CPA, CA. She also holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Hellen Sinclair

Helen Sinclair

Helen Sinclair is a corporate and not-for-profit director. She spent her early career at The Bank of Nova Scotia, leading to her appointment as head of the bank’s strategic planning and public affairs functions. From 1989 to 1996, she was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Bankers Association.

Helen currently serves on the Board of the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation where she co-chairs its Centre for Urban Health Solutions Cabinet. She is also a member of the Audit Committee of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. . She previously served as a director of Stelco (Chair of its Pension Committee),  the Toronto Dominion Bank, Davis + Henderson, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and EPCOR Utilities. She was previously the Chair of the YMCA of Greater Toronto, a member of the GTA United Way Campaign Cabinet and a member of the Board of Governors of York University.

She also has held positions on a variety of public policy and regulatory bodies, including the former Pension Commission of Ontario, and co-chaired an alliance of pension plan sponsors known as the Business Committee on Pension Policy, which commissioned research and conducted advocacy on pension legislation reform.

Helen earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics (Honours) from Glendon College, York University, and a Master of Arts (Economics) from the University of Toronto. She has also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Acadia University.

Horatio Bot

Horatio Bot

Horatio Bot is the Executive Director, Budget, Planning and Finance in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto, managing the Faculty’s budget and providing broad-based financial and analytical support to the academic leadership. The Faculty of Arts & Science is the largest academic division of the University with 70 academic units, four Constituent and three Federated Colleges, offering undergraduate and graduate programs to approximately 32,000 students.

Before joining the Faculty in 2012, Horatio held chief administrator appointments in other University academic divisions including Nursing and Architecture, as well as business analytics and consulting roles in the Faculty of Medicine and the University’s Financial Services Department.

He serves on the Board of the University of Toronto Faculty Club and as the inaugural Chair and Director of the Board of the Ontario Association of Non-Unionized Employees (OANUE).

Horatio earned an honours bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, and a Master of Arts (Philosophy) from McMaster University.

Hugh Mackenzie

Hugh Mackenzie

Hugh Mackenzie is a public finance economist providing consulting services to governments, unions and other organizations in the non-profit sector on budgetary policy; public and private sector cost analysis; retirement income; public finance; and economic policy.

Hugh has worked in the Canadian workplace-based pension system for 40 years as a negotiator and a plan board member, and has been an active participant in public discourse on the future of retirement income in Canada. He was involved from the earliest stages in negotiating and creating the University Pension Plan, as a consultant to the University of Toronto Faculty Association.

Hugh is a former member of the boards of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the Ontario Public Service Pension Plan, the Canada-Wide Industrial Pension Plan and the Investment Advisory Committee of the Canada Post Pension Plan. He currently serves on the Board of the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario and chairs the investment committees of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation and the Wellesley Institute. He was a founding member of the Actuarial Standards Oversight Council of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Hugh earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree in Economics (Public Finance) from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). He holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Janet Ecker

Janet Ecker

Janet Ecker is currently Vice-Chair of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, having been a member since 2014. She also served as Chair of the Pension Committee where she was closely involved in the creation of the University Pension Plan. 

As founding CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, Janet built an influential public-private partnership working to create an international financial services hub. With government and industry support, she also established the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services and the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education. The Centre was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a best practice in collaborative public-private partnerships.

As Ontario Minister of Finance, Janet was the first woman to deliver a budget in the province. She also led significant public policy reforms as Minister of Education, Minister of Community and Social Services and Government House Leader.

Among other awards, Janet also received an Order of Canada in 2016 for her public service and contributions to the financial sector.

A frequent public commentator, she currently serves on several public and private sector boards, agencies and advisory committees and is a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute and a member of its National Council. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism (Honours) from University of Western Ontario. She holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Jonathon Ferris

Jonathan Ferris

Jonathan Ferris is the Membership Officer for the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA). In this role, he assists and represents Members with issues related to the Collective Agreement and many other specialized Labour Relations issues. He plays an active role in policy development and provides advice to the Executive board. He also provides support for both UGFA’s bargaining units throughout Collective Bargaining negotiations. He also participates with the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Grievance Committee, assisting in the development of a more robust and uniform approach to Academic Labour issues.

Prior to joining UGFA, Jonathan worked as a lawyer in private practice in Ottawa and has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice as well as the Ontario Court of Justice and various tribunals. He has also worked on cases before the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Jonathan participates with various community organizations and groups, having a strong belief in the value of grassroots mobilization and initiatives. He presents on a variety of topical issues for various community groups and guest lectures for UGFA members.

Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree (Honours) in International Development from the University of Guelph, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Ottawa. He has also completed the Foundations of Trust Management Standards (FTMS) and the Advanced Trust Management Standards (ATMS) – A from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

Kathy Bardswick

Kathy Bardswick

Kathy is Chair of the Sustainable Finance Action Council and immediate past President of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices having stepped down in June, 2021. Previously, her professional career spanned nearly four decades with The Co-operators Group Ltd., retiring from her role as President and Chief Executive Officer in December, 2016. During her tenure as CEO, she led The Co-operators sustainability journey, receiving various domestic and global recognitions for the insurance group’s efforts. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science (Math) from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from McMaster University. She currently sits on the boards of Foresters Financial, Wawanesa, and RGA Canada. Kathy holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Guelph and an Honorary Chartered Insurance Professional from the Insurance Institute of Canada.

Laura Brownell

Laura Brownell provides advice and support on pension and benefits matters for the Society of United Professionals, an Ontario-based trade union representing over 8000 professional employees. She has been employed by the Society since 2008. As part of her responsibilities, she continues to play an integral role in protecting the interests of pension plan members during pension asset and liability transfers as smaller single employer plans increasingly merge with larger plans.

In 2019, Laura began a one year leave of absence from the Society to take on an acting role as Senior Research officer in the pension division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. While in that role, she served as a member of the Employee Sponsor Committee of the University Pension Plan and was involved in the development of its definitive documents, including the pension plan text and the Funding Policy.
Laura is an active member of the Ontario Federation of Labour Pension Committee and the Canadian Labour Congress Pension Advisory Ad Hoc Committee. She was Co-Chair in 2019 and 2020 for the annual Toronto Lancaster House Pensions Conference. Laura also serves as a member of the Multi-Employer Pension Plan Technical Advisory Committee for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

Laura earned a Master of Industrial Relations degree from the University of Toronto. She also holds an Osgoode Certificate in Pension Law.

Lee Anne Macmillan

Leanne Mac Millan

Leanne Mac Millan was the Director of Research for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and served as a member of the Pension Committee of the University of Toronto from 2013 to 2019.

Prior to her retirement in December 2020, Leanne exclusively represented working people both in private practice and in-house, including assisting jointly sponsored pension plans in the public sector and health benefit funds in the construction sector. She was involved in the transition of a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan to a jointly sponsored pension plan in the health care sector, including the development of the Trust Agreement. She also represented employees who transitioned to a jointly trusteed single employer plan in the public sector in Nova Scotia.

Leanne has been involved in pension surplus and “wind up” litigation and has acted on behalf of trustees seeking direction from the courts. She has also lectured on the fiduciary responsibilities of trustees and the duty to act with an “even hand”.

Leanne earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies (Honours) from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was admitted to the Bar in Nova Scotia and Ontario but has retired.

Ron Mock

Ron Mock

Ron Mock is a recognized leader in long-term fund investing and pension administration and advocacy. Ron served as President and CEO of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) from 2014 to December 2019. During his 18 years at OTPP, Ron worked in various roles within the Investment Division, including leading the Fixed Income and Alternative Investment Department, overseeing approximately $70 billion of the firm’s assets.

Ron started his career as an electrical engineer with Ontario Hydro, where he ultimately became responsible for nuclear safety and licensing at key nuclear generating stations. After moving into finance, he served with investment dealer Burns Fry (now BMO Nesbitt Burns), where he directed sales and trading staff in derivative products and held the firm’s membership seat on the Chicago Board of Trade, among other exchanges.

York University awarded Ron an honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of his contributions to corporate leadership, investments and gender equality and the Recognition Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership. Ron currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Schulich School of Business at York University. In 2018, Ron was presented with Belgium’s Commander of the Order of the Crown, one of the highest distinctions in the national orders of the Kingdom of Belgium.

Ron earned a Bachelor of Applied Science (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from York University.

Sue Wurtele

Sue Wurtele

Sue Wurtele is an award-winning educator and a member of the faculty of the Trent University School of the Environment. Her teaching and research focus on cultural and feminist geography with an emphasis on issues relating to aging.

Sue serves as the lead negotiator for the Trent University Faculty Association and through her years in that role, and as chair of the provincial collective bargaining committee for university faculty, she has gained extensive experience in pensions and benefits. Additionally, in the early explorations of options for a jointly sponsored pension plan in the university sector in Ontario, Sue was the labour co-chair of the University Pension Project.

Sue also served as the inaugural Chair of the Board of Trustees for ONE-T, an employee life and health trust (ELHT) in Ontario’s education sector serving approximately 15,000 members.

Sue earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Trent University and a Ph.D. from Queen’s University.

We want to hear from you.

UPP members have a direct voice at the decision-making table through their Sponsor delegates and their appointed Board of Trustees.