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Monday, May 30, 2005
Employer pension plans: Trusteed pension funds1992 to 2002
The value of the retirement savings of millions of Canadian workers with trusteed pension plans increased from $253 billion to $557 billion between 1992 and 2002, an increase of 120%. This was a better performance than the rise in value of Canadian stocks over the same period (97% as measured by the TSX).
Besides investment in equities, pension funds also earn interest and dividends, and typically have contributions from employers and employees. Therefore, the return on investment of pension funds can outperform the increase in value of stocks as measured by the TSX, and even have a positive return on investment over a period when the value of stocks declines. For example, between 2001 and 2002, the TSX lost 14% of its value, but trusteed pension funds achieved a 1.7% return on investment.
A detailed set of historical statistics on the performance of trusteed pension funds are now available. The data include detail on their assets, revenues and expenditures by sector (public or private), type of plan (defined benefit or defined contribution) and contributory status (contributory or non-contributory plans). As well, the number of funds and membership is available for the same classification variables. The years available are 1992, 1993, 1994 and every two years after that to 2002.
Trusteed pension plans are a type of employer pension plan held in trust and invested in the financial markets for the benefit of plan members. They represent about 72% of the value of all employer pension plans. The other forms of employer pension plans consist of government consolidated revenue funds (pension plans for public servants), and insurance company contracts with employers to provide employees with retirement benefits.
The data were collected through the Census of trusteed pension funds, the only census of the industry conducted in Canada. A detailed analysis of the historical data will be available in November.
This historical series will be updated in January 2006 for the data year 2004, and every two years thereafter. The census data are complimentary to the Quarterly estimates of trusteed pension funds and are more detailed than the quarterly estimates, whereas the latter are more timely.
Available on CANSIM: tables 280-0005 to 280-0007.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2608.
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 or 1 888 297-7355; fax: 613-951-3012; firstname.lastname@example.org), Income Statistics Division.