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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

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits

Anxious workers would trade pay for pension benefits Canadians are becoming increasingly anxious that their retirement years may not be as golden as once imagined, and they are willing to bargain with employers to achieve greater retirement security. A report by Towers Watson, the Global Benefits Attitude Survey, reveals Canadians are so concerned about their retirement readiness, they are willing to trade wages for ...more

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay

Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan Applauds the Appointment of New CEO Alison McKay The Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison McKay as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Alison was selected to replace former CEO Brad Garvey who left the organisation in April, 2013 due to a sudden and unexpected illness. “I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead as SHEPP builds on recent ...more

ARIA exclusive: Adequate retirement income good for people and economy: Murray Gold

ARIA exclusive: Adequate retirement income good for people and economy: Murray Gold Even though analysis shows that an expanded Canada Pension (CPP) would benefit younger Canadians more than it would boomers at or near retirement’s door, some opponents of higher contributions to pay for better benefits insist younger Canadians would be footing the bill for an older generation that hasn’t saved enough. It would take decades for higher ...more

Increased longevity fuels retirement-income anxiety

Increased longevity fuels retirement-income anxiety The good news is that Canadians are indeed living longer and generally healthier lives. The bad news is that where there is life there is expense and Canadians, notably those not in a defined benefit pension plan, have to come up with the money to fund those extra years. And as Ian Markham, Retirement Innovation Leader ...more

In The Headlines
Wealth imbalance among the threats to markets: Leech – ARIA post

(Jan. 29, 2015) In an interview with David Berman of the Globe and Mail, Jim Leech, former CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), says that he sees two big current risks for today’s markets: geopolitical instability and income inequity. “We have a major country with nuclear weapons, backed into a corner and led by a guy ...more

Hamilton report details possible pension income loss – ARIA post

(Jan. 29, 2015) The importance of pensions to Hamilton steelworkers and to the city itself was driven home by a City of Hamilton report that details how much stands to be lost if pensions are cut, reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. One of every 72 Hamilton residents relies on a pension from U.S. Steel, money that ...more

Healthy state of mind makes for more productive workplace – ARIA post

(Jan. 29, 2015) A mentally healthy workplace makes for a healthy and more productive workforce, employees overwhelmingly believe, reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. At Morneau Shepell’s recent ‘Employers Connect 2015′ session, Paula Allen, the company’s vice-president, research and integrative solutions, said that 90 per cent of employees say a workforce’s collective mental health is directly related to ...more

Borrowing to invest pays off if horizon is long term – ARIA post

(Jan. 29, 2015) With the markets continuing to be bullish, Adam Mayers, personal finance editor for the Toronto Star, asks if it’s a good idea to borrow to invest. “Borrowing to invest is always a risky strategy, especially so in a climate like this. The bull market is six years old, and nothing lasts forever,” he writes. The ...more

CPPIB increases investment in Canadian equity market – ARIA post

(Jan. 29, 2015) The Canadian private equity market has received a $330 million boost from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Northleaf Capital Partners (Northleaf), according to a release posted to www.marketwired.com. “The funds will be committed to a Canadian fund-of-funds program that will be managed by CPPIB’s longstanding investment partner, Northleaf. This investment is ...more

Parents not keen on retirement help from their children – ARIA post

(Jan. 28, 2015) When it comes to relying on family for a comfortable retirement, millennials say they owe it to their parents, while their parents aren’t looking for that kind of assistance, reports Benefits Canada. According to a recent RBC poll, 72 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 say it’s their responsibility to help ...more

Millennials more likely to envision ideal retirement – ARIA post

(Jan. 28, 2015) A new study from BMO reveals that millennials are generally more optimistic about their retirement prospects than are boomers, reports Benefits Canada, an optimism driven, in part, by their age. The study funds that 47 per cent of millennials feel positive about their chances for an ideal retirement, while only 35 per cent of ...more

Financial health from risk management view – ARIA post

(Jan. 28, 2015) A new Morneau Shepell report takes a look at the financial position of pension plans from a risk management viewpoint. While 2013 was an excellent year for pension plans in terms of their financial position, 2014 was more of a mixed bag. “Yes, returns for most asset classes were attractive, but lower interest rates led ...more

Look to emerging markets for business opportunities: Wiseman – ARIA post

(Jan. 28, 2015) Investing in opportunities in Asia and other “fast-growing regions of the world” is key to improving Canada’s international business success, the Globe and Mail reports Mark Wiseman saying. Thinking big on the international stage will benefit Canadian companies, Wiseman, CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, said this week, writes Janet McFarland ...more

It’s not your parents’ retirement – ARIA post

(Jan. 27, 2015) When today’s workers contemplate retirement, they tend to feel it won’t be the same as their parents’ or grandparents’ retirement. The data tends to back them up, reports Benefits Canada. Among current retirees, more than two-thirds finished their careers between the ages of 55 and 64. However, only 39 per cent of working ...more

Retirement picture dire, and expected to worsen – ARIA post

(Jan. 27, 2015) The Center for American Progress says that after reviewing data on how American workers are saving for retirement, two facts become clear: millions of Americans don’t have enough banked to maintain their standard of living in retirement, and the situation is getting worse. According to a release from the center, the lack of ...more

Wiseman announces changes at CPPIB – ARIA post

(Jan. 27, 2015) The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has two new executive appointments, announces Mark Wiseman, President & CEO. Mark Jenkins was promoted to Senior Managing Director & Global Head of Private Investments, responsible for leading the direct private equity, infrastructure, principal credit investments, natural resources and portfolio value creation functions. Pierre Lavallée is now Senior Managing Director & ...more

Staying the course may be risky – ARIA post

(Jan. 27, 2015) Canada’s “fabled stability and “resource-heavy economy” helped it weather the worst of the Great Recession, despite slow economic growth relative to the United States, writes Aubrey Basdeo in Benefits Canada. Since the 2008 financial crisis, “Canadian investors have enjoyed strong returns amid low inflation and a predictable interest rate environment,” he continues, saying ...more

Moody’s cites concerns over Quebec infrastructure deal – ARIA post

(Jan. 26, 2015) The rating agency Moody’s has concerns about the agreement between the Quebec government and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec which sees the Caisse “finance, execute and own the province’s new public transit projects,” reports Pension 360. “Although the province is responsible for identifying projects of public interest and has the right ...more

Pension plans are for pensioners, not governments – ARIA post

(Jan. 23, 2015) Are the federal Liberals looking at Canada’s pension plans as a source of funds to finance their infrastructure plans? If they are, writes Kelly McParland in the National Post, Canadians should pay attention to how the strategy unfolds. “Pension plans exist for the benefit of the pensioners, not for governments in search of ...more

Bolstering CPP benefits most effective and efficient: editorial – ARIA post

(Jan. 23, 2015) Advocates for enhanced retirement security for Canadians have consistently argued that improving the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is the best way to achieve that goal. Even as Ontario proceeds with its new pension plan, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), the preferred option for the province remains an enhanced CPP; the provincial option ...more

Pension funds using more RI guidelines – ARIA post

(Jan. 22, 2015) Responsible investment became a much larger part of the asset mix, jumping to $1 trillion, a 68 per cent increase from a previous survey, reports Benefits Canada. “The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) publishes its responsible investment trends report every two years. In 2011, RI assets topped $600 billion, a modest increase from $517 ...more

Federal Liberals eye Quebec infrastructure model – ARIA post

(Jan. 22. 2015) The agreement between the Quebec government and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to have the pension-fund manager “finance and run public transit infrastructure” has caught the attention of the federal Liberals, reports Lee Berthiaume in the Ottawa Citizen. The Liberals, he writes, are considering how Canadian pension funds could help finance ...more

Don’t leave ESG compliance until last minute – ARIA post

(Jan. 22, 2015) Ontario pension plans are now required, as of Jan. 1, to include information in their SIP&Ps as to whether ESG factors are part of their investment strategies, reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. According to Stephanie J. Kalinowski, partner with Hicks Morley, plan administrators must develop a definition of ESG for their SIP&P. “Speaking at the ...more

Actuaries urge focus on aging issues, including retirement income – ARIA post

(Jan. 21, 2015) Bolstering retirement security is one way American President Barack Obama and the 114th Congress can improve the lot of an aging America, reports Benefits and Pensions Monitor. The American Academy of Actuaries is calling for a “concerted national strategy on policies to support systems such as retirement security and lifetime income, healthcare, and ...more