Viewpoint Blog

First Quarter 2011 Review

Continuing the trend of the second half of 2010, the Canadian equity market posted strong first quarter results with the S&P/TSX Composite Index up 5.6% over the period. Gains were led by the health care sector (which represents only 1% of the overall Index) and the energy sector as crude oil prices increased in the face of rising political tension...

Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute / Benefits Canada - DB Governance

Ryan Kuruliak, Vice President was the featured presenter at the Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI) Fundamentals Series on DB Pensions. His discussion covered the future of DB plans in Canada from a governance perspective. His discussion was covered in Benefits Canada .

The Economy and Financial Markets Review - Q4 2010

With strong market performance in the second half of 2010, driven by improving and stabilizing economic data, most markets have recovered nearly all the value that was lost during the crash of late 2008. The Canadian stock market had a strong fourth quarter with the S&P/TSX Composite Index up 9.4%. The materials and energy sectors led the gains as...

The Economy and Financial Markets - Third Quarter 2010

Global stock markets rebounded during the third quarter although they remain volatile. While investors continued to cling to perceived safety in assets such as gold and federal debt, strengthening economic numbers began to appear and provided markets with some optimism later in the quarter. The Canadian stock market roared back in the third quarter with the...

DC Pensions - Prudent Risk Management Pays Off

With the amount of commentary related to plan sponsor fiduciary risks associated with Defined Contribution plans one would think the logical solution is just to steer clear of them. Fortunately, plan members have demonstrated that the lifetime value of this benefit is well worth the business resources required to ensure the risks are managed prudently. The...

Pension plans may be underutilizing the services of their consultant

Pension committees are typically composed of management staff with core responsibilities which have nothing to do with pension governance and investment monitoring. For this reason, it is not unusual for pension committees to engage third party consultants to periodically facilitate investment reviews. One could equate this to periodically getting different...

Proposed changes for Ontario Pension Plans – Bill 236

The Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2009(Bill 236) which received first reading in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on December 9, 2009 proposes a number of changes that will affect both plan sponsors and plan members of pension plans. The proposed changes include: •Immediate vesting upon joining plan •Elimination of partial plan windups •Increase in...

FSCO Annual Information Returns - there is a better way

As we know, FSCO is charged with regulatory responsibilities relating to pension plans in Ontario. They are also "charged" with charging for costs associated with these services - the most recent posted budget amount for 2007-2008 reflects billings in excess of 13 million for their services. As plan sponsors and plan administrators, you are familiar with...

Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union hikes defined benefit contribution rate to 54% of wages!

Here is an interesting story out of Saskatchewan that offers an extreme example of the risks of defined benefit pension plans in the current environment. The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU) has 35 employees and a defined benefit pension plan. On January 14, 2010 the SGEU planned to increase the employee contribution to the pension...

Retirement Plan Administration Updates for 2010

The 2010 limit for tax-deferred contributions to a registered pension plan is $22,450, which is equivalent to an income of $124,722.22. Persons below this limit will continue to be restricted to 18% of earnings. Click here for a table showing the 2010 limits for various retirement plan types. Click here for the 2010 limits for the Canada/Quebec Pension...

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