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Daily News Alerts

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January 19, 2021

SPONSORS NEED ACCESS TO RELIEF MEASURES

The consultation on ‘Strengthening Federally Regulated Pension Plans’ articulates well the challenges facing many companies in the current environment. However, the extension of economic curtailment measures into 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic means that many industries will experience two consecutive years with a significant shortfall in operating results relative to normalized levels, says the Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC). Notwithstanding the recovery in capital markets, operating metrics will take longer to repair and there will be many demands on reduced cash flow for plan sponsors for a number of years to come. Recognizing that companies face a diverse set of challenges, and that individual plan sponsors may have multiple plans with varying funded positions, PIAC recommends that the federal government be open to a variety of relief measures. From a macro perspective, measures which front-end relief into the next three to five years will provide the best alignment between what would simultaneously benefit both plan sponsors and the economic recovery. It calls on the government move quickly, such that plan sponsors have visibility on pension funding early in the year, allowing more accurate budgets, and, if possible, to re-allocate cash flow toward other business needs which may aid in the economic recovery. In terms of the options themselves, any measures which require consent from plan members will be unviable in most situations other than potentially cases where a plan sponsor is in more acute financial distress. It believes that most plan sponsors will not want to go down that road unless they have no other choice. Instead, letters of credit offer an attractive option to reduce up-front cash costs and preserve benefit security. As well, surety bonds, which are currently being used by some sponsors to secure non-registered benefits, should be considered for use in solvency funding requirements. From a plan member perspective, these would provide the same level of protection as a letter of credit while offering the plan sponsor competitive pricing and reduce renewal risk by expanding credit capacity, thereby offering relief during these challenging economic times.

January 19, 2021

DECUMULATION IN CAP PLANS EVOLVES

Private sector companies in Canada have shown increasing interest in capital accumulation plans (CAPs) for a number of years and CAP assets under management continue to grow. However, the transition of these savings into decumulation products has not been entirely beneficial for retirees. In ‘CAP To The Future: Decumulation In CAP Plans,’ Michelle Loder and Christie Lambie, vice-presidents, DC solutions, at Morneau Shepell, look at the evolution of the decumulation landscape in Canada as a fundamental step forward in the direction of improved wellbeing for CAP participants at all stages of the journey to retirement.

January 19, 2021

ORAL HEALTH ROADMAP SET OUT

FDI World Dental Federation has set out a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary roadmap on how to impact health policies and tackle challenges to improve oral health and reduce oral health inequalities over the next decade. ‘Vision 2030: Delivering Optimal Oral Health for All’  recommends strategies to address the oral disease burden that communities can adapt to their own needs and circumstances, enabling them to implement relevant solutions. It also considers how broad societal shifts, such as aging populations, will require the oral health workforce to adapt and remain equipped to deliver consistent care. Achieving optimal oral health for all requires strong advocates who are ready to tackle this major public health challenge, it says.

January 19, 2021

ESG CONSIDERATIONS INCREASINGLY INFLUENTIAL

As financial institutions accelerate the adoption of sustainability into their operations, ESG considerations will become increasingly influential for issuers generally in 2021, says Fitch Ratings. Financial firms are increasingly incorporating sustainability into their lending and investment decisions, their corporate governance frameworks, and other policies and this should “increase the influence of ESG on company strategy, financing and operating environments in 2021,” it says in a report. “The growing interest in sustainability is sparking debate on how corporate governance frameworks should foster long-term responsible corporate behaviour. Combined with more active investor ownership and the formalizing of sustainability targets into remuneration and sustainability-linked instruments, we expect ESG issues to increasingly influence strategic and management decisions.”

January 19, 2019

FIELD JOINS CANADIAN PACIFIC

Carole Field (FCIA) is managing director, pension plan management, at Canadian Pacific. She joins the organization from Mercer where she was business leader, Calgary wealth.

January 19, 2021

MENTAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES EXAMINED

‘Mental health: from technological innovation to human progress’ will be the focus of a CPBI National event January 27. Charmaine Alexander, senior advisor in disability management at Desjardins Insurance will give a behind-the-scenes look at new technologies deep into the heart of organizations where the future of mental health is unfolding. Information is at http://www.cpbi-icra.ca/Events/Details/National/2021/01-27-National-Webinar-Mental-health-from

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