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Former Governor of the Bank of Canada David Dodge will head the nominating committee, whose mandate is to establish ‘an appropriate and effective’ initial board for the new pensiion plan by recruiting potential director nominees.Sean Kilpatrick/The Globe and Mail

The Ontario government has appointed three financial industry experts – including former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge – to find candidates for a board of directors for the province's new pension plan.

The province said Tuesday that it has set up a nominating committee for the board of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Administration Corp. – to be known as the ORPP AC – that will administer the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. The ORPP is set to be launched in 2017 and will be aimed at workers in Ontario who have no workplace pension plan.

The nominating committee will be headed by Mr. Dodge, and will also include former Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan chief executive officer Claude Lamoureux and former Canada Pension Plan Investment Board chair Gail Cook-Bennett.

Ms. Cook-Bennett was the inaugural chair of the CPPIB when the 12-member board was created in 1998 and so has rare experience overseeing the creation of a major new public sector pension plan. Mr. Lamoureux was the first CEO when Teachers was created in 1990 to be an active, arm's-length manager of pension money for Ontario teachers, so he also has experience launching a new pension organization.

The nominating committee's mandate is to establish "an appropriate and effective initial ORPP AC board" by actively recruiting potential director nominees with "the required range of abilities, experience and skills," the government said in a release Tuesday. Directors will have expertise in areas such as investment management, pension administration, finance, accounting, auditing and customer service.

The governance process for the ORPP is similar to the structure used to create the CPPIB, which operates at arm's length from government and is overseen by a board of independent business and investment experts. In many U.S. jurisdictions, by comparison, public sector pension plans are overseen by boards of government officials and employee or union representatives.

Like the CPP funds, ORPP funds will be kept separate from general government revenues and managed independently.

The ORPP will also start from scratch with what will initially be a small sum of money contributed by workers and employers that will grow quickly into a far larger fund as contributions accumulate. The CPPIB launched in 1998 with an initial transfer of $12.1-million of CPP contributions to invest, but the contributions increased rapidly into a fund now worth over $265-billion.