History, Policy and Purpose

Benchmark was founded, in 1987, to specifically address the needs of multi-employer pension and benefit plan trusts. While we have broadened our service base over the ensuing years, that activity continues to be our primary focus. Consequently, our services, for benefit programs like yours, have been modified and improved to meet changing demands. To-day, Benchmark has a nation-wide base of experienced personnel capable of creating, implementing and maintaining the right benefit plans for sponsors in every size, industrial or institutional type, and geographic location. Our affiliation, with a full-service, third-party administrator (Prudent Benefits), lends a practical dimension to our consulting services, in terms of the efficient manageability of plan designs we propose. By way of qualifying that resource, our administration arm serves 59 benefit trusts across Canada, of which eleven are health & welfare funds (with 22,000 participants) in Manitoba. The smallest has 5 members; the largest 10,000. One of our Manitoba-based pension clients has approximately 30,000 members.

One of the main principals, upon which our organization was founded, is dedicated leadership within the Canadian benefits industry. Senior management has led the way with personal involvement, and with constant encouragement for others to follow suit. The extent of our combined contribution is illustrated, below, with references to many of the positions held, past and presents, by a cross-section our people, and to some of the representative activities the industry has called upon us to perform.

 

  • Six, three-year terms on the Canadian Board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (“The IF”).
  • Two terms as Chair of the Canadian Board of The IF.
  • Many terms on, and as Chair of, investigative, advisory and developmental and standing committees of The IF.
  • Dozens of engagements as speakers, panellists and moderators at Conferences sponsored by The IF.
  • Member of the Dalhousie University Exam Panel for the CEBS Program.
  • Founding member of the Advanced Trustee Management Standards (ATMS) Program.
  • Writer, Producer and Director of the first three educational videos distributed by The IF.
  • Section Writer in three editions of The Canadian Trustees’ Manual.
  • Membership on several committees dedicated to the continuing education of the pension actuaries in Manitoba and elsewhere.
  • Awarded the Bronze Medal for Volunteer Service by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
  • Lecturer to Federal Government employees of benefit trusts.
  • Lecturer to The Law Society of Upper Canada on benefit trusts.
  • Member of the Board established by The Law Society of Ontario and the University of Windsor investigate the feasibility of pre-paid legal coverage as an employee benefit in Canada.