Canadian Manufacturing

Former Pan Am chief Saad Rafi tapped as CEO of Ontario pension corporation

Rafi to be paid $525,000 as head the agency overseeing the ORPP

January 13, 2016  by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press

TORONTO—The man the Liberal government brought in to fix problems with Toronto’s Pan Am Games committee will head the agency overseeing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Saad Rafi, who had also been a deputy minister in several government departments, will be paid $525,000 as CEO of the ORPP Administration Corporation, and will be eligible for an annual performance bonus of up to 25 per cent.

The government says Rafi will focus on building the administration corporation and delivering on its mandate to implement the provincial pension plan, with deductions from paycheques and contributions by employers scheduled to begin next January.

However, it could not point to any pension plan experience in Rafi’s resume, which also includes time as an equity partner with Deloitte, a professional services firm.


Finance Ministry spokesman Scott Blodgett says pension and investment knowledge is important for the organization once it’s established, but adds there are distinct skills needed for the start-up phase which the board knows that Rafi can provide.

Rafi will be responsible for developing the corporation’s organizational structure and overseeing the set-up of the infrastructure and technology needed to administer the new pension plan.

Under the provincial pension, Ontario workers who do not already have a pension plan will have to contribute 1.9 per cent of their pay, to a maximum of $1,643 a year, which employers will have to match for every employee.

The mandatory contributions will be phased in over two years, starting with larger companies in 2017 before expanding to include smaller operations like convenience stores and dry cleaners.

Rafi was paid $428,000 as CEO of the Toronto Pan Am Games organizing committee when he was brought in after complaints about expenses from some of the Games’ highly paid executives, including former CEO Ian Troop.

The government says Rafi helped bring in the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games within the $2.4-billion budget.

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