Mission and Mandate of the Office of the Chief Actuary

The federal government and the provinces, through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), public sector pension arrangements and other social programs have made commitments to Canadians and have taken on emanated responsibility for the financing of these commitments. Some are long-term and it is important that decision-makers, Parliamentarians and the public understand these and the inherent risks. The Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA) has a vital and independent role to play in this process. The OCA provides checks and balances on the future costs of the different pension plans under its responsibilities.

The mandate of the Office of the Chief Actuary is to conduct statutory actuarial valuations of the CPP, Old Age Security (OAS) program, federal public sector employee pension and insurance plans and the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP). These valuations estimate the financial status of these plans and programs as required by legislation. Since 2012, the OCA is responsible for preparing the statutory actuarial report on the Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate. Hereinafter, this actuarial report will be tabled before Parliament by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

The OCA prepares actuarial reports as required by legislation including reports on proposed changes to the CPP introduced in Parliament. The OCA submits these reports to the minister of Finance, the minister of HRSDC, the President of the Treasury Board and to the Chairperson of the Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC). The OCA also provides sound actuarial advice that assists them in the design, funding and administration of these programs.

Social Insurance Programs Section

This Unit assists the Chief Actuary in providing to the Ministers of Finance and HRSDC and the Chairperson of CEIC statutory actuarial reports showing the costs, liabilities and long-term financial projections for the CPP, the OAS, the CSLP and the EI Program. Other non-statutory actuarial services include actuarial estimates of costs and liabilities and long-term financial projections of any changes to the CPP, the OAS, the CSLP and the EI Program being considered by governments.

Public Sector Insurance and Pension Programs Section

This section assists the Chief Actuary in providing to the President of Treasury Board statutory actuarial reports on the costs, liabilities and long-term financial projections in respect of several insurance and pension programs. Other non-statutory actuarial services normally associated with the administration of these programs:

  • Actuarial estimates of costs and liabilities of all public insurance and pension programs for Public Accounts purposes;
  • Actuarial information to Treasury Board on the costs charged by private life insurance companies for the group life, health and disability programs sponsored by the government for its employees;
  • Actuarial information and services to the various sponsors of Public Sector programs in respect of transfer and arrears values, Retirement Compensation Arrangements, credit-splitting on spousal union breakdown, optional survivor benefits, etc.;
  • Actuarial estimates of costs and liabilities, of proposals to change any of the public insurance and pension programs; actuarial information and services to Treasury Board in respect of privatization agreements of certain government departments or Crown Corporations; and
  • Actuarial information and services to the Department of Justice or the Judge Advocate General in respect of litigation cases under any of the insurance and pension programs of the government, including expert witness testimony in court cases.

Other non-statutory actuarial services include actuarial estimates of costs, liabilities and long-term financial projections of any changes being considered by Governments.

Supplying Actuarial Information and Services

Policy for Supplying Actuarial Information and Services on the Canada Pension Plan:

In the interest of fostering informed public commentary on the Canada Pension Plan, the Chief Actuary has in the past responded to many requests to explain actuarial information and, in some circumstances, to do special actuarial work related to the Canada Pension Plan when time and resources made this possible. This policy (PDF, 43 kB) is designed to standardize practices used to foster informed public commentary on the Canada Pension Plan and ensure transparency in their operation.

Policy for Supplying Actuarial Information and Services on Other Government Programs:

For services on other government programs, the Chief Actuary has also responded to requests to do special actuarial work related to the public pensions, when time and resources made this possible. This policy is also designed to standardize practices used to foster informed public commentary on the public pensions and ensure transparency in their operation.

Applicable Fees:

In each fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) a charge for special information or actuarial work on a fee for service basis provided by the Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA) is necessary to reflect the adequate costs incurred by the OCA. On a full cost recovery basis, the charge to be paid for actuarial services provided by the Chief Actuary of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), in respect of requests for services ancillary to the mandate of the Chief Actuary on the Canada Pension Plan or on other government programs, is $230 per hour starting April 19, 2011.