Provincial Pension Plans Gain Ground

first_imgThe provincial government’s two major pension plans performedbetter than expected in 2003, as stalled financial marketsrebounded. Both the Public Service Superannuation Plan and the Teachers’Pension Plan doubled the targeted rate of return in 2003, for a14 per cent gain over the previous year. The assumed rate ofreturn was seven per cent. Nova Scotia Finance Minister PeterChristie today, July 21, released audited results for the plansas of Dec. 31, 2003. The Public Service Superannuation Plan improved its funded ratioto 86 per cent, almost a four per cent increase over the previousyear. The Teachers’ Pension Plan funded ratio also improved fourper cent to 81 per cent. All pension plans aim to have theirfunds fully funded at 100 per cent, to cover current and futurepension needs. “Pension funds are managed for the longer term, but a 14 per centreturn on investment in one year is impressive,” said Mr.Christie. Over the past 10 years, the province’s pension funds haveaveraged gains of more than nine per cent. The plans havecombined assets of more than $6.7 billion. For the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the unfundedliability decreased to $493 million, a $94 million improvementover 2002. The Teachers’ Pension Plan unfunded liabilitydecreased as well, and is now $871 million, an improvement of$144 million. There are about 26,000 active and retired members of the PublicService Superannuation Plan and the same number in the Teachers’Pension Plan. “Members of these pension plans should know that their pensionfunds are well managed and conservatively invested for theirretirement years,” said Mr. Christie, who is the trustee for bothplans. The overall health of the Public Service Superannuation plan wasstrengthened this year with a one per cent contribution rateincrease for existing employees, along with a matching increasefrom the employer. The contribution increase has closed theyearly funding shortfall and will help secure employees’ pensionsfor the long term. This was the first rate increase in 20 years. The investment funds for both pension plans are monitored by theinvestment advisory committee, which includes representatives ofthe provincial government, the Nova Scotia Government Employees’Union and the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union. Copies of independent valuation results and annual reports forthe Public Service Superannuation Plan and the Teachers’ PensionPlan can be found on the Department of Finance website .last_img read more

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