10 01, 2020

Canadian pensions ‘envy of the world,’ OMERS chief says; Fund handles retirement of almost half a million active, retired employees

2020-01-10T14:09:13-08:00January 10th, 2020|Categories: Retirement|Tags: , , |

The new head of Ontario Municipal Employment Retirement System is feeling pretty confident about the pension fund's ability to find pockets of value this year. "The Canadian pension plans are the envy of the world in so many ways," Blake Hutcheson said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg. "It's been made OK to own platforms and buy and scale companies, giving us tremendous competitive advantage. It's been made OK to put teams together and pay them properly to compete [...]

8 09, 2017

Participants urged to tout the benefits of DB plans

2017-09-08T18:04:19-07:00September 8th, 2017|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , |

Executives at Ontario-based public pension plans are enlisting their participants to talk up defined benefit plans to friends and neighbors in hopes of ultimately pressuring their corporate employer colleagues to keep their DB plans. The efforts all center on grass-roots programs to educate public plan participants on the value of a defined benefit plan as the optimal structure for providing a long-term retirement. The hope, the executives say, is that participants will convince their corporate-worker neighbors about the value [...]

12 08, 2016

Ontario looks to ease valuation rules for defined benefit plans

2016-08-12T21:03:05-07:00August 12th, 2016|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

The Ontario government is asking defined benefit plan executives in the province for their views on how to change its complex pension fund valuation rules. At issue is the current practice of filing two valuations each plan year: one is a solvency valuation that values a DB plan as though it had been terminated and all obligations settled as of the filing year; and the other, a going-concern valuation that assumes the plan will never be terminated. Both public [...]

19 03, 2015

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Committee hearings

2015-03-19T20:33:33-07:00March 19th, 2015|Categories: Pension Reform|Tags: , , |

Earlier this year, we had written about the Ontario government’s plan to implement an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) for Ontario workers and its potential implications for employers. Briefly, the ORPP would be a “defined benefit (DB) type of plan” with an employee/employer contribution rate of up to 1.9% each, requiring mandatory participation, subject to exemptions for workers who already participate in a “comparable” workplace pension plan.  While the meaning ofcomparable workplace pension plan is yet to be finalized, the Ontario government [...]

9 03, 2015

Why this Ontario pension plan can afford to boost its benefits

2015-03-09T23:58:51-07:00March 9th, 2015|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , |

Ontario’s nurses, social workers, lab technicians and other hospital staff have a lot of reasons to smile today. At a time when most pension plans are cutting benefits, their Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) has just increased inflation protection for its 295,000 members. Instead of covering 75 per cent of the annual increases in the cost of living, HOOPP is raising the bar to 100 per cent. […]

11 04, 2014

Ontario Teachers Gains 11% in 2013

2014-04-11T17:56:07-07:00April 11th, 2014|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , |

Janet McFarland of the Globe and Mail reports, Teachers rides hot markets to first pension surplus in a decade: The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has moved into a surplus position for the first time in a decade, underscoring the dramatic improvement in the funding of Canadian pension funds over the past year. The pension plan, which manages pension assets for 307,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario, said higher long-term interest rates and investment returns of 10.9 per cent last [...]

2 04, 2014

More pension plans move into surplus as market returns improve

2014-04-02T20:54:45-07:00April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

The huge Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) is the latest defined benefit pension plan in Canada to report a much-improved financial position, thanks to healthy stock markets and higher long-term interest rates. The OTPP today reported a surplus of $5.1 billion – its first surplus in 10 years – with the plan 103 percent funded. “A preliminary surplus is good news, however our plan continues to face demographic challenges as well as market uncertainty,” said OTPP chief executive Ron [...]

28 03, 2014

Ontario Pension Plan may pay political dividends: Cohn

2014-03-28T17:39:04-07:00March 28th, 2014|Categories: Pension Reform|Tags: , , |

Beyond the usual rhetoric, a most unusual platform is taking shape in the Liberal campaign shop. Ahead of a possible spring election, Premier Kathleen Wynne has seized on a sleeper issue for her political revival: Pension reform. Improbably, pensions now dominate her political speeches. Her strongest attack lines have targeted Prime Minister Stephen Harper for blocking Canada Pension Plan improvements. “If you (Harper) won’t lead the way, then get out of the way,” she told cheering Liberals at a weekend [...]

24 02, 2014

OMERS posts 6.5% return, stands by ‘risk-balanced’ strategy

2014-03-10T23:56:32-07:00February 24th, 2014|Categories: Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , |

Ontario’s giant municipal pension fund manager said it earned a 6.5-percent return in 2013 despite seeing its bond portfolio hit hard by higher interest rates after the fund implemented a new investment strategy that lost money last year. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) said its underfunded status improved last year, but the pension manager still has a $8.6-billion deficit, which will probably not be erased until some point between 2021 and 2025 depending on investment returns. OMERS [...]