The financial statements from last year have just been published on the ONTC website. As you can see, as of March of last year, the fund was still in a deficit position.
It is also apparent it will take a significant effort by the government to restore all the financial damage done to the company after years of trying to abandon it.
HR Director Glenn Zabarelo provided a copy today of the Actuarial Valuation as of Jan 1, 2014 which the ONPA requested on Jan 2, 2015 after it was finally ready for publication. Unfortunately the report shows the fund is still in a deficit position as of Jan 1st of last year. It appears that the pension fund has a going concern deficit of almost $58M and a unfunded solvency liability of $152M. There is a lot of information in the valuation and we will be preparing questions to clarify exactly what it all means in relation to our pensions.
On the good news front, the Mortality Table was changed from 1994 to a more uptodate assessment of longevity as of 2014 and the discount rate for investments was lowered from 5.70% to 5.40%, which is more reflective of todays investment environment. These changes will help to ensure sustainability in the long term, but they have a cost associated to them, and it appears that even with the Solvency Funding Relief ONTC will be required to make special payments in the future.
While we may feel this is only appropriate given the actions of the company in the past, it does put more pressure on the sustainability of the organization and our best protection for our pensions is the ongoing operation of the company. There are many regulatory changes coming and we will continue to monitor and provide input to those changes as we go forward.
If you have the time to go through the document, I would suggest you forward any questions you may have to me at ONPABoard@outlook.com and we will include them to avoid duplication. We will post both the questions and the answers when they are available.
Articles like this are the reason we need your membership to ensure we have a strong voice. Although many pensions are being rendered unsustainable by low contribution rates and poor governance, most plans at risk are there because during the boom times, regulators insisted on contribution holidays and sponsors dipped into the funds for purposes not originally contemplated. We recognize that longer lifespans and lower than anticipated ROI’s are going to have an effect on the fund’s performance, but we need to speak out on behalf of the members whose contributions have already put the fund in a position where investment income is providing all of the current pension payouts.
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Article in Benefits Canada – New mortality tables could push declines further