Understanding and communicating pension details the focus of University Finance Workshop

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On Friday, November 3rd, the annual OCUFA University Finance Workshop brought together faculty association members and staff from across Ontario who regularly review university financial statements. The day’s focus was on understanding and communicating the details of pension and retirement benefits, areas of financial complexity that many faculty members stretch to comprehend.

The morning featured a panel discussing different perspectives on pensions, including an overview of the current provincial context for university pension plans and presentations on how these plans are valued by actuaries and reported in university financial statements. Participants were given pointers on reading pension information in financial documents and assessing the health of a pension plan. Following this panel, participants broke-out into working groups to review actual financial statements and apply the methods they learned.

After lunch, another panel focused on identifying the numbers in financial statements that are important to communicate and developing effective messaging to communicate to members about the impact these numbers could have on their futures. Groups were then assigned scenarios and roles as the university administration or faculty association and tasked with clearly articulating a response that would resonate with faculty members.

Although the theme of the day was pensions, the aspiration is for all participants to have left with skills they can apply to analyzing financial statements and communicating their conclusions more generally.

This article originally appeared in OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week, please subscribe.

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