CBIA/Lawyers Financial and the CAAT Pension Plan join forces

Affinity arrangement to connect the legal community across Canada to a sustainable defined benefit pension

Toronto, June 8, 2020 – Canada’s lawyers and their law firm staff now have access to a defined benefit pension plan through an affinity arrangement between the Canadian Bar Insurance Association (CBIA) and the CAAT Pension Plan.

Lawyers Financial is a brand of CBIA representing a comprehensive suite of financial solutions, including insurance, investment products, and advisory services, to serve the financial needs of the legal community in Canada. The CAAT Plan has been delivering secure, lifetime pensions for over 50 years. In 2018, CAAT launched its DBplus offering, an innovative, award-winning plan design that provides pension certainty for employees and no balance-sheet risk for employers, all at fixed contribution rates.

In 2016, spurred by the legal community’s desire for a defined benefit pension solution, a Lawyers Financial task force, comprised of leading pension and actuarial experts, began investigating pension options. The result was a decision to work with the CAAT Pension Plan to provide Canada’s legal community with predictable and sustainable lifetime pensions through DBplus. CAAT’s DBplus becomes the exclusive defined benefit pension offering marketed to the legal community through Lawyers Financial.

The affinity program, which is the first of its kind for CAAT, makes it easier for the Canadian legal community, including lawyers, partners, office support staff and non-legal professionals, to join DBplus. Lawyers Financial liaises directly with interested employers to educate about the plan’s features and benefits, determine eligibility and begin the enrollment process. CAAT’s subject matter experts are available to offer both member and employer support. Any new employer must meet the CAAT Pension Plan’s guiding principle that it is in the best interest of the Plan.

Initial interest from firms big and small has been strong. CAAT welcomed Toronto-based employment and labour law firm Wright Henry LLP on October 1, 2019. On July 1, 2020, another group of new participating Lawyers Financial employers will join DBplus, including firms from Ontario and Alberta, as well as the CBIA itself and its 19 employees.


“We’re excited about this fresh approach to working with organizations interested in joining CAAT. Through DBplus and the affinity program with Lawyers Financial, we are making secure lifetime pensions a reality for members of the legal community in Canada.”

- Derek W. Dobson, Chief Executive Officer and Plan Manager, CAAT Pension Plan

“The need for a plan like DBplus is significant because many in Canada’s legal community – from administrative staff at small-town firms to partners at big-city outfits – don’t have any pension at all. Lawyers Financial’s affinity arrangement with CAAT checks all the boxes for what secure retirement income should look like.”

- Dawn Marchand, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBIA/Lawyers Financial

“The ability to join CAAT creates an opportunity for small, boutique firms like Wright Henry LLP to offer a defined benefit pension plan to our employees. Being able to provide strong pension coverage to staff aligns with our mission as a firm, and the simplicity and certainty of DBplus allows us to provide this valuable and secure pension coverage managed by the experts at CAAT, while letting us focus on our core activities.”

- Michael Wright, Wright Henry LLP

About CAAT Pension Plan

Established in 1967, the CAAT Pension Plan is an independent, jointly governed, multi-employer plan that offers multiple designs of a defined benefit (DB) pension. CAAT’s award-winning DBplus offering is leading to extraordinary pace of growth for the Plan. Originally established for the 24 Ontario colleges, the CAAT Plan now proudly serves more than 75 participating employers from the for-profit, non-profit and broader public sectors from across Canada, and is open for continued growth in membership where it is mutually beneficial. The CAAT Plan is respected for its pension and investment management expertise and focus on benefit security. As at January 1, 2020, the Plan had $13.5 billion in assets and was 118% funded on a going-concern basis with a $2.9 billion funding reserve, and a 10-year annual net rate of return of 10.0%. To learn more about DBplus, visit www.DBplus.ca.

About CBIA/Lawyers Financial

Federally incorporated in 1981 as a not-for-profit organization, with roots going back to the 1950’s, CBIA’s mandate is to be the trusted provider of choice for insurance and financial products to the legal community, their families and employees in Canada. Being not-for-profit, success is measured in satisfied clients, not dollars. At all times, a 12-member Board of Directors, comprised of lawyers from across Canada, focus strategies in the best interests of the legal profession. Lawyers Financial is CBIA’s brand representing a comprehensive suite of insurance and investment solutions and advisory services. To learn more about CBIA/Lawyers Financial, visit www.lawyersfinancial.ca

For more information:

John Cappelletti
CAAT Pension Plan
Mobile: 416-720-7853

Dawn Marchand
CBIA/Lawyers Financial
Mobile: 647-961-0176