19 07, 2021

5 key questions on pensions

2021-07-19T13:53:05-07:00July 19th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By: Jeffrey R. Smith Source: HR Reporter Employer-sponsored pension plans have shifted some of the responsibility for retirement saving to employees, but a supportive plan can be a good tool for recruitment and retention. Canadian HR Reporter spoke about pension plan strategies with Som Seif, founder and CEO of Purpose Investments in Toronto, which recently launched the Longevity Pension Fund. Q: How has an aging workforce affected employers’ approach to pension plans? A: “It’s one of the biggest social [...]

7 07, 2021

Canadian DB pensions see improved funded position, investment returns

2021-07-07T09:03:28-07:00July 7th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

Source: Benefits Canada The aggregate funded ratio for Canadian defined benefit pension plans in the S&P/TSX composite index increased from 94.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 to 95.6 per cent in the second quarter, according to a new report from Aon. It also found pension assets rose by four per cent during the same period. The rise was credited to positive returns on fixed income assets and continued strong equity market performance. However, long term Government of [...]

17 06, 2021

Canada’s largest pension funds come together at inaugural climate change event

2021-06-17T16:53:50-07:00June 17th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans, Sustainable Investing|Tags: , |

Source: Benefits Canada Representatives from eight of Canada’s largest pension funds — known as the Maple Eight — participated in the first meeting of the Sustainable Finance Action Council last week. On June 11, representatives of the Alberta Investment Management Corp., the British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the [...]

11 06, 2021

DB Plan Funded Status Remains Stable in May

2021-06-11T14:27:07-07:00June 11th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By: Rebecca Moore Source: Plan Sponsor The aggregate funded ratio for U.S. defined benefit (DB) pension plans sponsored by S&P 500 companies increased by an estimated 0.1 percentage point month-over-month in May to end the month at 94.2%, according to Wilshire. The monthly change in funding resulted from a 0.6 percentage point increase in asset values partially offset by a 0.7 percentage point increase in liability values. The aggregate funded ratio is estimated to have increased by 6.4 and [...]

19 05, 2021

We loved our pensions. Then our employers took them away. How was that allowed to happen?

2021-05-19T08:31:10-07:00May 19th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|

By Nicholas Goldberg Source: Los Angeles Times In a recent column in the New York Times, Paul Krugman argued that if President Biden succeeds in giving Americans affordable childcare, universal pre-K and paid family leave, it will be almost impossible to take them back. People would never allow such desirable, transformational benefits to be taken away once they had become part of the fabric of our society, he wrote. Officials wouldn’t dare try because the backlash would be too [...]

12 05, 2021

F.B.I. Asking Questions After a Pension Fund Aimed High and Fell Short

2021-05-13T08:05:27-07:00May 12th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

By Mary Williams Walsh Source: The New York Times The search for high returns takes many pension funds far and wide, but the Pennsylvania teachers’ fund went farther than most. It invested in trailer park chains, pistachio farms, pay phone systems for prison inmates — and, in a particularly bizarre twist, loans to Kurds trying to carve out their own homeland in northern Iraq. Now the F.B.I. is on the case, investigating investment practices at the Pennsylvania Public School [...]

3 05, 2021

72% of Canadian pension funds considering consolidation options: survey

2021-05-13T08:05:25-07:00May 3rd, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

Source: Benefits Canada The majority (72 per cent) of Canadian pension funds said they’re currently focused on consolidation options that offer greater certainty they’ll be able to meet their liabilities, according to a survey by CIBC Mellon. It also found 50 per cent of pension funds surveyed plan on implementing consolidation plans over the next three to five years. The same percentage (50 per cent) of respondents that said they’re considering merging other funds’ assets into their owns plans [...]

23 04, 2021

Borderless Pension Plans

2021-05-13T08:05:24-07:00April 23rd, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By Michael Brough Source: HR Daily Advisor As organizations become more global, HR leaders face the challenge of how best to reward and protect certain groups of their international staff. Pensions and savings benefits are often tightly bound by local rules and restrictions that can exclude some workers or render the benefits unattractive or insecure. One option is to look at the increasingly popular “borderless” or international pension plans that exist outside of domestic frameworks. When the first Willis [...]

23 04, 2021

DB plan solvency in best position since financial crisis: FSRA

2021-05-13T08:05:24-07:00April 23rd, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

By James Langton Source: Advisor's Edge In the first quarter of 2021, the funding status of defined-benefit (DB) pensions in Ontario surged to its best level since the financial crisis. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) reported that the median solvency ratio for the province’s DB pensions rose to 103% (as of March 31), up from just 85% in March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic began. In the first quarter, the median solvency ratio rose from 98% [...]

7 04, 2021

UK universities propose cutting benefits to save pension scheme

2021-04-07T16:22:15-07:00April 7th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

By Bethan Staton and Josephine Cumbo Source: Financial Times Hundreds of thousands of university sector staff in the UK would see their retirement benefits cut under employer proposals to avert “unaffordable” rises in contributions as the sector struggles with a years-long pensions crisis.  Plans outlined on Wednesday by Universities UK, which represents more than 340 higher education sector employers, would see guaranteed pensions for about 200,000 of the 460,000 members become less generous, with higher-earning academics taking the biggest [...]

7 04, 2021

Strengthening markets affect contributions

2021-04-07T10:16:19-07:00April 7th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By Rob Kozlowski Source: Pensions & Investments U.S. corporate pension plans continue to lower their pension contributions as a strong market and accelerated pension contributions in the past have kept funding levels healthy despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. corporations plan to contribute a total of slightly less than $15 billion to their global pension plans in 2021, according to Pensions & Investments' analysis of S&P 500 companies that announced contributions of at least $100 million. The [...]

2 04, 2021

Canadian pension plans register big funding boost in Q1

2021-04-02T09:06:43-07:00April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By Rob Koslowski Source: Pensions & Investments The aggregate funding ratio of Canadian pension plans rose to 94.8% as of March 30 from 89.4% three months earlier, according to a survey from Aon. The overall funding deficit was about $21 billion. Overall pension assets lost about 2.3% in value over the quarter ended March 30 due to negative returns on fixed income that were partially offset by strong equity gains, according to a news release Wednesday announcing the survey. [...]

1 04, 2021

Canada’s DB pension plans continue to improve in 2021

2021-04-01T14:47:30-07:00April 1st, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By Steve Randall Source: Wealth Professional Good news for Canada’s retirement savers, pension funds are continuing to improve their financial health in the first three months of 2021. The aggregate funded ratio for Canadian defined benefit pension plans in the S&P/TSX Composite Index increased from 89.4% to 94.8% in the first quarter according to the Aon Pension Risk Tracker. The strong performance of Canadian stocks helped bolster the position of pension funds, partially offsetting negative returns on fixed income assets, [...]

1 04, 2021

Pensions In The Sunshine State: Avoiding Unintended Dark Clouds

2021-04-01T14:47:54-07:00April 1st, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

By Dan Doonan Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security Source: Forbes Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would eliminate retirement plan choice for state employees. The proposed measure would do away with defined benefit pensions for newly-hired employees, offering only a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan. Other states and localities that have implemented dramatic shifts to their public employee retirement plans have experienced unfortunate, unintended consequences – from skyrocketing costs to losing experienced employees who deliver essential public services. [...]

1 04, 2021

More should be done to help part-time employees into pensions, say experts

2021-04-01T14:48:39-07:00April 1st, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By Vicky Shaw Source: Yahoo! Sport Only about 58% of part-time UK employees have a workplace pension, figures show. Nearly nine in 10 (86.4%) employees who work full-time have a workplace pension, but that figure falls to just over half (57.8%) of those working part-time, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figures, from 2020, also show that just over a third (34.8%) of people with a workplace pension are in a “gold-plated” defined benefit (DB) scheme, [...]

24 03, 2021

Too embarrassed to ask: what’s the difference between a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution pension?

2021-03-24T14:53:59-07:00March 24th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

A pension is simply a tax-efficient savings vehicle, or “tax wrapper”, that allows you or your employer to invest for your long-term future.  For most of us, the main goal of a pension is to provide us with money to live off in later life, usually once we’ve retired from full-time employment. The rules governing pensions can seem confusing, particularly as the government fiddles with them at almost every other budget. But at the most basic level, there are [...]

24 03, 2021

Trump’s tax cuts in 2017 helped decrease risks for pension plans

2021-03-24T14:07:56-07:00March 24th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

Defined-benefit pensions are an economically significant source of retirement income in the United States. About 37 million private sector workers rely on one of the 25,000 defined-benefit plans sponsored by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for retirement income. These employees receive a defined sum of money, i.e., “defined benefit”, on retirement. A key feature of defined-benefit plans, which differentiates them from defined-contribution plans, is that the responsibility for funding future benefits falls primarily on the company sponsoring the [...]

24 02, 2021

Canada’s pension system gets top grades in new benchmark

2021-02-24T15:00:17-08:00February 24th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

Canada’s pension system was ranked first overall among 15 countries in the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark. It ranked Canadian funds first in governance, citing the “global reputation for superior performance and governance excellence” of Canada’s five largest funds, namely the British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board. Of these, the benchmark highlighted the best practices [...]

22 02, 2021

Could There Be a Renewed Interest in DB Plans?

2021-02-22T13:48:01-08:00February 22nd, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|

Over the years, the retirement plan industry has introduced new features for defined contribution (DC) plans to mimic the advantages participants received from defined benefit (DB) plans. It seems that although DB plan sponsors have been eliminating or offloading their obligations, the industry has recognized the benefits of a plan design in which  employees automatically participate and receive guaranteed payments for life. Richard Hudson, a consulting actuary with First Actuarial Consulting Inc. (FACT), says the real problems for DB [...]

19 01, 2021

Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures

2021-01-19T16:16:16-08:00January 19th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

Economic gains attributable to defined benefit (DB) pensions in the U.S. are substantial. Retiree spending of pension benefits in 2018 generated $1.3 trillion in total economic output, supporting nearly seven million jobs across the nation. Pension spending also added nearly $192 billion to government coffers at the federal, state and local levels. Pensionomics 2021: Measuring the Economic Impact of Defined Benefit Pension Expenditures calculates the national economic impacts of U.S pension plans, as well as the impact of state [...]

7 01, 2021

Canadian DB pension plans entering 2021 in good financial shape

2021-01-07T15:20:54-08:00January 7th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

The aggregate funded ratio for Canadian pension plans in the S&P/TSX composite index increased from 90.8 per cent to 91.2 per cent during the past 12 months, according to Aon’s pension risk tracker. Aon found the funded status deficit decreased by $200 million, which was driven by asset increases of $18.7 billion and offset by year-to-date liability increases of $18.5 billion. Pension assets returned 9.9 per cent over 2020 and ended the fourth quarter up 3.9 per cent. The year-end, [...]

6 01, 2021

Private-Sector DB Funded Status Held Steady in 2020

2021-01-06T13:44:38-08:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

By some measures, corporate pension plans’ fortunes improved in 2020; by others, they did not. A new analysis reports that for private-sector DB plans’ funded status, 2020 was a wash. Willis Towers Watson reports that pension plan assets among the plans it studied increased by $80 billion. Drilling down, they estimate that: overall investment returns averaged 12.9%; domestic large capitalization equities grew 18%, while domestic small/mid-capitalization equities realized gains of 20%; aggregate bonds saw gains of 8%; long corporate [...]

6 01, 2021

Canadian DB plans bouncing back after stock rally

2021-01-06T13:42:33-08:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

A rally on the stock market in the fourth quarter helped boost the strength of Canadian defined benefit pension plans to end 2020, according to a new report by Mercer Canada. The consulting firm said its pension health index, which represents the solvency ratio of a hypothetical DB plan, rose to 114 per cent at the end of December from 107 per cent at the end of September. Mercer said in the fourth quarter the funded positions of DB [...]

8 12, 2020

Kroger withdraws from UFCW pension fund to start new variable plan

2020-12-08T10:12:04-08:00December 8th, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

Kroger Co. ratified an agreement to withdraw from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union-Industry Pension Fund and contribute to a new variable annuity pension plan, the company said. Similar agreements were ratified by Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. and Albertsons Cos. The tentative agreements were announced in July. The grocers and the UFCW created the UFCW and Employer's Variable Annuity Pension Plan for future benefits, with a pension benefit formula good through June 2028, when future contributions [...]

2 12, 2020

New Jersey Police and Fire nabs its first CIO

2020-12-02T11:25:20-08:00December 2nd, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|

Russell Niemie was named chief investment officer of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey, confirmed Dan Bank, a spokesman for the Trenton-based plan. The position is new at the $27.4 billion pension plan. "Russ brings more than two decades of experience to the Police and Firemen's Retirement System, and we are extremely fortunate to be able to draw from his expertise and leadership," said Gregory Petzold, executive director of the retirement system, in a statement. Mr. [...]

6 11, 2020

Canadian DB pensions return 3.13% as markets rebound

2020-11-06T11:32:11-08:00November 6th, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

Canadian defined benefit pension plans posted a median 3.13 per cent return for the third quarter of 2020, following a strong market rebound, according to a new report by BNY Mellon Asset Management Canada Ltd. The organization’s master trust universe, which is comprised of 86 Canadian corporate, public and university pension plans, found U.S. equities was the highest-performing asset class with a median return of 6.46 per cent, trailing the S&P 500 index’s 6.83 per cent. And Canadian equities posted a [...]

17 08, 2020

Pensions preferred over higher pay

2020-08-17T12:26:51-07:00August 17th, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

Eighty per cent of Canadians would rather have a better pension plan, or any pension plan, instead of a higher salary, according to a new survey. “[This idea that] people would actually forego some salary increase to get a higher pension is something that I think surprises, just the level of commitment to that,” says Jim Keohane, president and CEO of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) in Toronto, which commissioned the survey. The 80 per cent is [...]

3 08, 2020

Canadian defined benefit pension plans enjoy best quarter ever

2020-08-03T11:56:43-07:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

Canadian defined benefit pension plans experienced a pronounced upsurge in the second quarter, posting a median return of 9.6 per cent, according to the RBC Investor & Treasury Services All Plan Universe.  This marked the highest single quarter return in the universe’s history, reversing the steep Q1 losses and raising the median plan’s return to 1.4 per cent on a year-to-date basis. The gains followed a series of aggressive fiscal and monetary support measures introduced in March to address [...]

22 04, 2020

McConnell rules out pension aid for states

2020-04-22T15:27:04-07:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

States should be able to pursue bankruptcy rather than relying further on the federal government during the coronavirus pandemic, and any federal assistance should not be spent on addressing pension underfunding, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Wednesday during a radio interview. Radio host Hugh Hewitt asked whether Mr. McConnell would insist on reforms of state pension plans if states get more funding from the next COVID-19 assistance measure expected from Congress. "There's not going to be any [...]

22 04, 2020

CORPaTH’s letter to Congress Leaders

2020-04-22T13:52:55-07:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

CORPaTH has reached out to Congressional leaders to offer a variety of powerful and pragmatic ideas to assist in creating positive solutions to the pension crisis affecting millions of Americans who are currently retired or who hope to retire in the future. Click here to read the letter. Click here to read the letter.

22 04, 2020

NIRS Reponds to The New York Times on Public Pensions

2020-04-22T08:10:43-07:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: |

In response to a New York Times article published April 2, 2020, an article regarding public pensions, NIRS writes that characterizing these retirement plans that serve 15 million working and 11 million retired employees of state and local government as “time bombs” borders on journalistic malpractice. Indeed, public pension funds face challenges that will arise because of the unprecedented economic conditions facing all investors. But, the vast majority of these plans are built to last. The letter indicates that when [...]

21 04, 2020

Public pensions survived the Great Recession. They will survive coronavirus, too

2020-04-21T10:25:22-07:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

For most Americans these days, timing is everything when it comes to retirement. At the moment, it looks like those who recently retired or who are on the cusp of retirement may have picked a bad time to be born. For them, the steep drop in the investment markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic came at just the wrong moment. History tells us that the markets will recover and that cycles of ups and downs are inevitable. But under [...]

6 03, 2020

Safeway, Giant agree to guarantee pension payments for UFCW members

2020-03-06T09:19:36-08:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

Members of two United Food & Commercial Workers locals in the Washington region reached a collective bargaining agreement with Safeway Inc. on Wednesday that guarantees full funding of pension benefits for current employees and retirees. A similar agreement was also reached with Giant Food of Maryland, which in February reached a tentative agreement. Union officials said that the more contentious Safeway agreement, ratified by local members hours before a planned strike, was one of very few agreements guaranteeing pensions. [...]

18 02, 2020

McClatchy files for Chapter 11 protection while PBGC talks continue

2020-02-18T14:26:36-08:00February 18th, 2020|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

McClatchy Co. filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday while it continues to seek support for a reorganization plan from key stakeholders, including the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. In its bankruptcy announcement, the company said the goal is to emerge from the process in the next few months after resolving legacy debt and pension obligations. "We are moving with speed and focus to benefit all our stakeholders and our communities," President and CEO Craig Forman said in the [...]

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