CANADA - Canada's pension fund deficit rose to C$190bn (US159bn) by end 2004, up from $160bn the year before, a report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA) has found.
On the defined benefit side, 59% of Canadian pension plans were in deficitat December 31, 2004. According to the report, that figure would rise to 96% if you provided for indexation of benefits.
Anthony Ariganello (pictured), president and CEO of CGA, said the issue of under-funded pension plans had become “one of the most perplexing financial issues facing business executives, legislators and Canadian pensioners who are or will in the future be reliant on pension revenue as an important component of their overall retirement incomes.”
The new CGA-Canada report encourages employers to consider the relative benefits of defined contribution programmes as a safer long-term solution for their employees.
The 19% overall increase from 2003 is part of an ongoing decline, as Canada's workforce ages and fewer workers support a growing group of retirees.
This, combined with the under funding of Canadian defined benefits pensions, will negatively impact the retirement of many Canadians, said Ariganello. “The pension situation in Canada is ripe for reform, and that is necessary to sustain the lifestyle and economic expectations of Canadians,” he said.
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.