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Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds)

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First quarter 2009 (Previous release)

The market value of retirement savings held in employer-sponsored pension funds declined $19.8 billion, or 2.4%, during the first quarter of 2009. This drop in value follows decreases of 8.7% in the third quarter and 6.7% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Employer sponsored pension funds amounted to $791.1 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2009, down $163.5 billion from a high of $954.6 billion at the end of 2007.

The market value of stocks and equity funds accounted for 31.1% of total pension fund assets at the end of the first quarter of 2009, down from a high of 40.1% in the first quarter of 2006.

The proportion of fund assets held in bonds increased to 38.4%. Real estate investments accounted for 8.7% of total assets, mortgages, 1.8% and short-term investments, 4.0%. The remaining assets, which include pooled foreign funds, accounted for 16.0%.

Expenditures of $31.4 billion exceeded revenues of $17.6 billion in the first quarter for a negative cash flow of $13.8 billion. This was the third consecutive quarter that pension funds experienced a negative cash flow.

The negative cash flow resulted from continuing losses on the sale of securities, and reduced investment income and pension contributions, which both typically peak in the fourth quarter of each year.

Revenue from employer and employee contributions in the first quarter of 2009 amounted to $8.9 billion. Benefits paid to retirees reached $10.0 billion, exceeding pension contributions for a seventh quarter in a row.

In total, about 5.9 million Canadian workers are members of employer pension plans. Of this group, 4.8 million workers are members of trusteed plans. The remaining 1.1 million members with employer pension plans are managed principally by insurance company contracts. Data in this release refer only to trusteed plans and their pension funds.

Available on CANSIM: tables 280-0002 to 280-0004.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2607.

For more information about the current survey results and related products and services, or to enquire about the concepts, methods, or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (613-951-7355; toll-free 1-888-297-7355; fax: 613-951-3012; income@statcan.gc.ca), Income Statistics Division.

Table 1

Trusteed pension funds, market value of assets by type
  First quarter 2008r Fourth quarter 2008p First quarter 2009p
  $ millions % of total assets $ millions % of total assets $ millions % of total assets
Total assets 947,015  100.0 810,890  100.0 791,134  100.0
Bonds 327,905 34.6 308,205 38.0 303,699 38.4
Stocks 336,672 35.6 255,247 31.5 246,245 31.1
Mortgages 14,574 1.5 14,755 1.8 14,248 1.8
Real estate 70,091 7.4 69,735 8.6 68,822 8.7
Short-term 32,600 3.4 32,184 4.0 31,380 4.0
Other assets 162,228 17.1 129,278 15.9 125,605 15.9
Assets, funds under $10 million 2,945 0.3 1,487 0.2 1,134 0.1
revised
preliminary
Note(s):
Data may not add up to totals as a result of rounding.

Table 2

Trusteed pension funds: Revenue and expenditures
  Fourth quarter 2008p First quarter 2009p Fourth quarter 2008 to first quarter 2009
  $ millions % change
Total revenue 21,618  17,596 -18.6
Revenue from contributions 9,805 8,949 -8.7
Investment income 9,814 6,542 -33.3
Net profit on sale of securities 226 45 -80.1
Miscellaneous revenue 1,616 1,926 19.2
Revenue, funds under $10 million 156 134 -14.1
Total expenditures 49,293  31,431  -36.2
Pension payments out of funds 10,139 10,029 -1.1
Cost of pensions purchased 587 350 -40.4
Cash withdrawals 2,359 1,707 -27.6
Administration costs 889 790 -11.1
Net loss on sale of securities 34,554 17,290 -50.0
Other expenditures 422 768 82.0
Expenditures, funds under $10 million 342 498 45.6
preliminary
Note(s):
Data may not add up to totals as a result of rounding.