for more exclusive content, see categories in sidebar
NEST numbers show the value of auto enrolment

NEST numbers show the value of auto enrolment The search is on for a solution to inadequate retirement income, a quest stretching across much of the developed world as countries confront the economic and social ills of aging populations not having enough income to sustain them through their post-working years. Although the solutions on the table vary, the problems are essentially the same: people ...more

Being a responsible investor pays off

Being a responsible investor pays off Responsible investing through ESG standards is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for business, based on the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan’s 17.7 per cent 2014 return on investments. In fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to deliver the best financial results for its members, HOOPP integrates environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors into its investment ...more

Retirement crisis hit after a slow build of more than 30 years

Retirement crisis hit after a slow build of more than 30 years To the casual observer the retirement crisis might seem as if it arrived unannounced, suddenly knocking on the door to steal the golden years of millions of workers and their families. However, those in the know will tell you no crisis more than 30 years in the making just shows up one day. Rather, it was ...more

Public pension model meets today’s labour realities: CCPA’s Block

Public pension model meets today’s labour realities: CCPA’s Block Building a comprehensive retirement income solution around a public model is a practical response to current employment and labour mobility realities, says economist Sheila Block. For many Canadians, the cradle-to-grave type of employment that one’s grandfather might have enjoyed has morphed into a pattern of full-time, part-time, contract and temporary work. Today’s workers ride a wave ...more

Quebec coalition plans for the long game against Bill 3

Quebec coalition plans for the long game against Bill 3 Mark Ranger recalls that day in September when thousands of Quebec municipal workers took to the streets of Montreal to protest Bill 3. The spirit of that day lives on, he says, despite the passing of the bill that unilaterally diminishes retirement benefits. “For the first time you had all the municipal workers in the streets ...more

ORPP addresses retirement income anxieties: Mitzie Hunter

ORPP addresses retirement income anxieties: Mitzie Hunter The provision of adequate retirement income is more than an academic and policy debate, it’s a real-life topic of conversation and concern around the dinner tables of Ontario, says Mitzie Hunter, the minister in charge of ushering in the province’s new pension plan. When talking to Ontarians, Hunter, the province’s associate minister of finance, finds that ...more

In Conversation with Jim Tomkins, Chair of the SHEPP Board of Trustees

Jim Tomkins is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) Board of Trustees for 2014. As chair he serves the needs of over 52,000 Plan members working in the healthcare industry across Saskatchewan. Jim is a long standing member of the SHEPP Board of Trustees, and we recently caught up with him ...more

Retirees mobilize to maintain promised benefits

Retirees mobilize to maintain promised benefits Retirees probably have better things to do than congregate on the corner of Queen and Bay at 5 p.m. on a workday, but on an early fall day earlier this year that’s just what Jeanie Campbell and others were doing. They weren’t there to see the sights of the big city. They were there to register ...more

The lost wisdom of grandparents found again in auto enrol

The lost wisdom of grandparents found again in auto enrol Canadians are increasingly being reminded of the importance of saving for retirement. Yet, despite such efforts, savings remain dismally low, driving what pension experts are calling a looming crisis of inadequate retirement income. The verdict seems to be in that left to their own devices, Canadians won’t voluntarily put money aside for retirement. Certainly immediate demands ...more

Lack of adequate retirement income push people to GIS – ARIA post

Lack of adequate retirement income push people to GIS – ARIA post Some traditions are just too good to let go. And if they are discarded or replaced with a lesser brand for the sake of convenience, vested interests, or perception, ramifications often follow. Proponents of ditching the traditional defined benefit pension model in favour of a defined contribution savings scheme might want to consider the results of ...more

Seniors’ fight for retirement rights benefits younger Canadians

Seniors’ fight for retirement rights benefits younger Canadians Governments should have learned a number of truths about seniors. They are engaged, have insight and knowledge gained from a lifetime of experiences, and know how to come out swinging when their interests are challenged. Yet, says Susan Eng, CARP’s vice-president of advocacy, some politicians seem to have forgotten the lessons of time when it comes ...more

Income inequality divides millennials and boomers

Income inequality divides millennials and boomers It seems there is substance to all that anecdotal chatter about 20-somethings returning to the nest after taking off for school and other life lessons, only to find the cost of going it alone too much for a paltry income to sustain. There’s nothing new about young people landing back on their parents’ couch after flying ...more

Municipalities and pension funds natural match of need and opportunity, says chair of LUMCO

Municipalities and pension funds natural match of need and opportunity, says chair of LUMCO Ontario municipalities need capital for infrastructure projects, big and small, while Canada’s big pension plans have an appetite for investing in such projects. It could be the perfect union of need and opportunity, says the chair of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO). Jeff Lehman, mayor of Barrie and chair of LUMCO, recently wrote ...more

Business needs to make the case for adequate retirement income

Business needs to make the case for adequate retirement income The retired couple contacted his office about a stark choice confronting them: food or heat. They didn’t have enough money for both. A growing number of reports and anecdotal evidence suggests they aren’t alone, as people across Canada struggle with inadequate retirement income, suggesting that the oft-discussed retirement crisis is now at the doorstep of many ...more

Retirees take aim at feds’ target benefit plans

Retirees take aim at feds’ target benefit plans Getting on the bad side of retired Canadians is never a good idea, a lesson one might have thought today’s generation of politicians would have learned from Brian Mulroney when he tried to de-index pensions back in 1986. After incurring the wrath of seniors, particular one irate elderly woman who told him during a protest on ...more

Voluntary ‘doesn’t work’ as a retirement model: Don Ezra

Voluntary ‘doesn’t work’ as a retirement model: Don Ezra In a perfect world Canadians would be saving enough of their working income to provide for a comfortable and secure retirement. But there’s lots of evidence to conclude that when it comes to retirement planning, it’s far from a perfect world. There is plenty of information to suggest that left to their own devices Canadians can’t ...more

Overall lack of pensions narrows retirement income gap between men and women

Overall lack of pensions narrows retirement income gap between men and women As today’s women shatter glass ceiling after glass ceiling they are narrowing the gap with men in all walks of life. However, when it comes to retirement income, the lack of adequate pension provision for both sexes is becoming an unfortunate equalizer. The absence of workplace pension plans has resulted in a kind of race to ...more

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan

Quebec’s VRSP model aims at workers without a pension plan Whether it’s NEST in the United Kingdom, Australia’s superannuation system, the KiwiSaver in New Zealand, or the new VRSP in Quebec, all have one thing in common: a realization that people need some sort of nudge to help them save for retirement. The DC-type plans have some key differences, but a core element is a requirement ...more

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor

Mandatory aspect of ORPP a bold initiative, says Jo-Ann Hannah of Unifor Retirement anxiety is a real and tangible concern for millions of Canadians. More than 60 per cent don’t have an occupational pension plan, and for them the traditional notion of the ‘golden years’ is fast becoming unattainable. Efforts are being made to solve the riddle of inadequate retirement income, with solutions including the promised Ontario Retirement ...more

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever

Stay focused on market volatility, says AIMCo’s Leo de Bever As Canadian pension plans surge back towards surplus on the strength of stellar 2013 investment returns, cooler heads realize the good times won’t last forever and that funds need to continue to manage risk to keep the pension benefits flowing to retirees. Leo de Bever seems to fit comfortably into this group of cautious managers. The ...more

In The Headlines
UK privacy watchdog launches probe of pension pot details – ARIA post

(March 30, 2015) Are details of individual pension pots in the United Kingdom being sold to criminals? That’s what an investigation launched by a privacy watchdog is trying to find out, reports The Telegraph. It is suspected that pension details of millions of UK pensioners are ending up in the hands of criminals, sold for as ...more

DB income ‘huge economic energizer’ to local economies: Mayers – ARIA post

(March 30, 2015) The social and economic benefits of a traditional pension plan are not limited to the recipients of monthly pensions, advocates of the defined benefit model point out. A pension plan that’s part of a benefits package assists employers in recruiting and retaining skills, and also helps with the transition of employees out of ...more

Firms continue to focus on risk reduction – ARIA post

(March 30, 2015) Even as the average cost of buying out a defined benefit plan remains stable, the Mercer Global Pension Buyout Index confirms a trend towards reducing “risks associated with pension liabilities,” reports the Canadian Investment Review. “The index tracks the cost of an insured annuity buyout relative to the corresponding pension accounting obligations in Canada, ...more

Petroff retires from Teachers – ARIA post

(March 30, 2015) The CIO and executive vice-president of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is set to retire effective June 1, reports Benefits Canada. Neil Petroff’s contributions to the success of the plan “cannot be overstated,” says Teachers’ president and CEO Ron Mock. “Neil has worked in various areas of the investment division and taken on progressively ...more

Retired steelworkers intervene in pensions rights case – ARIA post

(March 27, 2015) It’s a landmark case which could rewrite pension law in Ontario, and retired steelworkers have won the right to be heard, reports the Toronto Star. Hamilton and Nanticoke pensioners were given the right to file a “friend of the court” brief in an Ontario Court of Appeal case dealing with the rights of ...more

Few ‘rushing into the arms of PRPP providers’ – ARIA post

(March 26, 2015) Writing for Lexology, Lorraine Allard, a lawyer with a focus on pensions, considers how popular Pooled Registered Pensions Plans (PRPP) are likely to be. Since being first released by the federal government, the reaction to PRPPs from the press and retirement industry “has ranged from polite indifference to near hostility,” writes Allard. “Very little ...more

American retirement assets reach $24.7 trillion – ARIA post

(March 26, 2015) Retirement assets of American investors reached $24.7 trillion as of the end of 2014, reports Plan Sponsor (PS). According to data from the Investment Company Institute, retirement assets grew six per cent last year. Those results mean that retirement assets account for 36 per cent of all American household assets, reports PS. Broken down, ...more

Merged food giant’s pension assets would be $13.3 billion – ARIA post

(March 26, 2015) The merger of two food giants could craft together a company that has combined pension assets of $13.3 billion, reports Pensions & Investments (PI). The new company would be called the Kraft Heinz Co., with the deal still needing to be approved by Kraft shareholders. It’s expected the deal will be done the ...more

Committee hears ORPP feedback – ARIA post

(March 25, 2015) The Standing Committee on Social Policy is holding public meetings on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), and this week heard from business and labour groups, reports Benefits Canada. While business groups talked about “unintended economic consequences” of the ORPP, labour organizations say the provincial plan to bolster retirement income doesn’t go far ...more

OPTrust likes private equity and infrastructure ‘down under’ – ARIA post

(March 25, 2015) The OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) is looking to invest up to $1 billion in Australian private equity and infrastructure, reports the Globe and Mail. The fund has an office in Sydney and according to OPTrust managing director Stan Kolenc, “illiquid and long-dated assets suit the pension fund more than public equities since since ...more

Oxford looks to add rental buildings – ARIA post

(March 25, 2015) Oxford Properties Group Inc., the investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), is looking to develop rental accommodation, reports the Globe and Mail. The investment group has plans to build new apartment buildings to get in on growing demand for such units; Oxford already owns “more than 9,800 rental units in ...more

Retirement insecurity will be issue in presidential election: Kolivakis – ARIA post

(March 24, 2015) While commending Kelley Holland of CNBC for writing about the retirement crisis and how the 401 (k) experiment has failed workers and families, Leo Kolivakis of Pension Pulse says it didn’t “surprise him one bit” as he had previously written about why the 401(k) “nightmare … was going to lead to more ...more

Demise of pensions tarnish golden dreams – ARIA post

(March 24, 2015) The promise of golden years at the end of a long working life has been tarnished for millions of people, writes John W. Schoen for CNBC. Today’s generation of retirees, as well as those who will come after, may well be asking why they don’t have their parents’ or grandparents’ retirement, and instead face ...more

Stats Canada chart shows the decline in pension coverage – ARIA post

(March 24, 2015) Canadians, the data proves, are living longer, which means more time spent in retirement, reports Stats Canada in a new report, the ups and downs of pension coverage in Canada. Most workers will retire sometime in their 60s, which means up to 20 years or more of retirement living. With the lack of ...more

Switch from DB has failed most workers – ARIA post

(March 23, 2015) The average American household has $18,433 in a 401(k) savings account, while nearly 40 per cent of workers have less than $10,000 in retirement savings socked away, reports Kelley Holland for NBC News. The figures come from a recent report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The lack of retirement savings is seen ...more

UK charity says new rules could empty pension pots – ARIA post

(March 23, 2015) New UK pension rules coming into effect in April could result in pensioners running out of private savings by the time they reach 75, according to the charity Age UK, reports the BBC. The new rules will allow Britons 55 and older to take as much cash as they want out of their DC ...more

Financial worries carry over to workplace – ARIA post

(March 23, 2015) A new survey finds what is becoming increasingly obvious. People are stressed, and they are taking that stress to work where it is impacting productivity, reports Benefits Canada. The biggest stressors, according to the State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) survey, include “student loans and mortgages, healthcare costs and an unsettled feeling that one has ...more

American retirement assets hit $21.5 trillion – ARIA post

(March 20, 2015) How big is the American pensions industry? With total assets hitting $21.5 trillion, it’s bigger than the country’s GDP, which comes in at $17 trillion, reports Benefits Pro. Total retirement assets include funds in public and private plans, as well as holdings in IRAs. Current assets are 9.6 per cent higher than the $19.6 ...more

Committee holds ORPP hearings – ARIA post

(March 20, 2015) As reported by Benefits and Pensions Law, hearings for Bill 56 are on through the end of March. The bill, which sets out the legislative framework for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), is having hearings, which began March 23, on the 30th and 31st in Toronto. The bill has passed second reading ...more

DB plans offer Canadians ‘better retirement security’ – ARIA post

(March 20, 2015) The way some people and organizations tell it, “the whole pension system that has provided retirement security for millions of Canadians for nearly 50 years is suddenly bankrupting the country,” writes Greg Dwulit for the Healthaholic blog at SEIU Healthcare. The truth, as it turns out, is quite different, he writes. “Contrary to what ...more

Defined contribution plans not addressing income adequacy

Writing in The Daily Journal, USA Today contributor Duncan Black warns that Social Security in the U.S. needs to be expanded, because defined contribution 401(k) plans are not delivering adequate retirement incomes.
“The move away from traditional defined benefit plans to defined contribution 401(k)-style plans … has not succeeded in providing for a secure retirement,” he writes.… … Read More

For many, vacation a bigger priority than retirement – ARIA post

While fewer and fewer Canadians have the security of a workplace pension – and must be self-reliant for retirement income – it appears we are a nation of spenders rather than savers.
Writing for the Huffington Post blog, Deborah Nixon notes that Canadians, like others around the world, appear to have rejected the idea of saving for retirement and just “spend spend spend.”
She cites a recent international survey by HSBC of 15,000 people, age 25 and older, that found “48 per cent have never saved for retirement,” and that 43 per cent of those asked “would save for a vacation before retirement.”
But, she adds, they know saving for the future is important – a TD Canada Trust survey found that “70 per cent of Gen Xers (1965-1981) feel that they are not saving enough money and 56 per cent of boomers (1946-1964) are worried about not having enough money in their later years.”
The HSBC research showed that 84 per cent experienced “a life event that affected their ability to save,” and 26 per cent said they had been “impacted by the economic downturn.” Low interest rates for things like mortgages are encouraging people to buy houses, she writes, and people are spending more.“As consumers, we are very skilled at rationalizing what we do, including our impulse purchases,” she notes.… … Read More

High debt, tighter rules making Canadians leery about buying homes – ARIA post

We continually hear how the high level of household debt in Canada is preventing people from voluntarily saving for retirement via RRSPs and TFSAs.
A report by Jennifer Kwan for Yahoo! Finance Canada suggests that high debt may also be impacting Canadians decisions to buy new homes.… … Read More

Strong results for Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – ARIA post

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan posted returns of 13 per cent in 2012, Bloomberg News reports.
The plan, “Canada’s third-biggest retirement-fund manager,” saw gains in real estate, private equity, and stocks, the news service reports.… … Read More