Social change the goal for DB pension plan director

Haris Sardar has gone from feeling like a 'DB killer' to a 'DB healer'

Social change the goal for DB pension plan director
Haris Sardar, Director, Pension Solutions, CAAT Pension Plan

Haris Sardar, director, pension solutions at CAAT Pension Plan, has come from a world where he felt like a “DB killer” to a world where he feels like a “DB healer.”

Before he joined the pension plan, he was in the consulting world, where many of his clients were single employer DB pension plans.

“It was all about shareholder value,” he says. “It was all about balance sheet cost and income statement hits and how it affects the bottom-line profits. Unfortunately, we saw a lot of emphasis placed on shareholder value, thus we saw the decline of the DB plans in the past few decades.”

Sardar, an actuary, is also professional visual artist and paints large scale oil on canvas. “All of my paintings have very deep-rooted meanings of oneness of humanity, secularism, and female empowerment. I'm on a mission of social change there as well.”

With the success of his painting career, he was on his way to becoming a full-time painter. But that’s when the opportunity at CAAT came up. “This was probably one of the most altruistic opportunities that there could be for a pension actuary. I would be able to work on an entire country's retirement system and to possibly bring a solution that will have everlasting changes to make a deep difference in the economy as a whole.”

Sardar took the job. In fact, while there was only one role available, CAAT hired two people – Sardar and Sabeen Purewall. Sardar is director, pension solutions, and Purewall is director, pension solutions and partnerships.

The combined role “takes the legislative and actuarial knowledge and combines it with Sabeen's communication, marketing, and sales talent to make the whole team come alive from each aspect.

“It really brings out the best of both of our talents to be able to go to market as a complete package to educate the industry on what we're doing and to relay the benefits of the CAAT Pension Plan.”

Passionate about creating change

Sardar is passionate about creating change in the world of retirement savings so Canadians will have enough money to enjoy this chapter of life.

“What people don't talk about is the fact that Canada is headed to the one of the most severe pandemics yet, which is old age poverty,” he says. 

“In my realm here at CAAT and with our talented team, we are able to bring a solution which can eradicate that looming huge economic issue for the entire great nation of Canada.”

In fact, Sadar says his biggest inspiration is the social change CAAT is making. “That really drives me to keep on doing what we're doing, because that end goal is having a massive change. As an actuary, we were taught that our entire responsibility is to the public first and we should never do anything half heartedly, and I live by those values. I’m also inspired by the energized and talented team that helps to achieve our goal.”