Growing CPP fund could take on expanded benefit coverage | National Union of Public and General Employees

Growing CPP fund could take on expanded benefit coverage

The CPP Fund's assets reached a record high of $148.2 billion at the end of its fiscal 2010. That surpassed a previous high of $127.7 billion in June 2008, months before the onset of the global financial downturn.

Toronto (24 May 2011) – The Canada Pension Plan is prepared for any expanded role, if federal and provincial governments decide to increase benefit coverage, according to David Denison, president and chief executive of the CPP Investment Board. Denison made the comments last Thursday after reporting that the fund's assets rose to a record high last year.

"We're not advocating one way or another on reforms, but if it does translate into CPP expansion and we're asked to manage it — we can do it," Denison said.

Over the past two years, the labour movement has strongly lobbied for expansion of CPP as a solution to the low private sector pension coverage in Canada. Labour’s proposal is to gradually double CPP benefits, which would require doubling both employer and employee contributions over seven years.

The performance of CPP investment fund — which invests the money not immediately required to pay pensioners — is key to ensuring that future generations of Canadian have access to CPP payouts, even when the number of contributors declines in relation to pensioners.

The CPP Fund's assets under management reached a record high of $148.2 billion at the end of its most recent fiscal year, compared with $127.6 billion at the end of fiscal 2010, it said in its annual report Thursday. That surpassed a previous high of $127.7 billion in June 2008, months before the onset of the global financial downturn.

About $15.5 billion of the increase in fiscal 2011 came from investment income.  However, the return rate on its investment portfolio dropped to 11.9 per cent from to 14.9 per cent in the year earlier. Denison said that although stock markets performed well in 2011, they were even stronger in 2010 when investors flocked back into the market.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:

President's Commentary: The top ten reasons to expand Canada Pension Plan