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Employer pension plans (trusteed pension funds), third quarter 2018

Released: 2019-03-13

The market value of assets held by Canadian trusteed pension funds edged down 0.7% in the third quarter, to just under $1.9 trillion. On a year-over-year basis, the market value of assets grew 7.3% compared with the third quarter of 2017.

Investments in real estate reported the largest increase for the second consecutive quarter, up 2.3% to $191.1 billion. Investments in bonds had the largest decline, down 3.1% to $591.4 billion, while the value of stock holdings decreased for the third consecutive quarter, down 0.9% to $569.9 billion.

Small decrease in foreign investments

Foreign investments edged down 0.5% in the third quarter to $707.2 billion and accounted for 37.3% of total holdings. Foreign bond investments declined 9.2% to $80.5 billion. Foreign stock holdings decreased 1.0% to $344.2 billion.

Slight decline in pension fund income

Pension fund revenue edged down 1.3% in the third quarter to $42.6 billion. Investment income led the decline, down 11.3% to $13.2 billion, while total revenue from contributions decreased 8.5% to $14.9 billion. Net profit on the sales of securities helped moderate some of that decline, up 22.6% to $13.5 billion.

Pension fund expenses up

Expenditures increased 0.5% in the third quarter to $24.2 billion. Pension payments edged up 0.2% to $16.3 billion. Administrative costs grew 2.7% from the previous quarter to $1.8 billion. Overall, net income declined 3.5% during the third quarter to $18.4 billion.

Over 6.2 million Canadian workers belonged to employer-sponsored pension plans in the second quarter. Of this group, 5.2 million or 82.7% belonged to pension plans with assets managed by trusteed funds, while the remainder had assets managed by insurance company contracts.

  Note to readers

For the purposes of this survey, trusteed pension funds include the assets of one or more registered pension plans: those held under a trust agreement, those held by a pension corporation or pension fund society, those administered under legislation of the Government of Canada or government of a province of Canada, and those held by an insurance company for investment management only.

Excluded from the survey are pension funds held in total under an annuity insurance contract.

Contact information

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