For the first time in three years, Canadian defined contribution pension plan sponsors, investment professionals and industry thought leaders gathered in person for Benefits Canada’s 2022 DC Investment Forum.
On Sept. 23 at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, the full educational day covered topics such as behavioural finance, target-date funds, sustainable investing, real estate and fixed income, as well as a look at how Saskatchewan’s Public Employees Pension Plan is including alternative investments in its DC plan portfolios and the legal considerations for DC plan sponsors around environmental, social and governance investing.
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Personal finance expert
Alongside the steady decline of defined benefit pension coverage in Canada, defined contribution plans have seen a massive growth — “a secular shift of responsibility onto the individual when it comes to retirement security in Canada,” according to Preet Banerjee, a personal finance expert.
MFS Investment Management
MFS Institutional Advisors Inc.
When defined contribution plan sponsors conduct due diligence on target-date fund providers, they’re often considering questions of active versus passively managed funds, the benefits of glide paths that glide to versus through retirement, strategic versus tactical funds and a provider’s approach to environmental, social and governance investing.
Sun Life Global Investments
Sun Life Global Investments
Responsible investing can drive stronger risk-adjusted returns and is increasingly being seen as a tool for prudent risk management, but defined contribution plan sponsors must understand target-date fund managers’ varying approaches to implementing environmental, social and governance factors into these funds.
Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions
As greater numbers of defined contribution pension plan members ask for environmental, social and governance-friendly investment options, plan sponsors will need to grapple with how to implement these solutions into their target-date funds.
While real estate has long been a part of defined benefit pension plans’ asset allocations, its inclusion in investment portfolios has steadily climbed in recent years. But defined contribution plan sponsors and members also stand to benefit from the asset class’s inflation-hedging properties, as well as its ability to boost income and improve portfolio diversification.
CIBC Asset Management
Rising interest rates and market turmoil have called into question the ability of core fixed income to provide pension plan sponsors with its traditional benefits of stable returns and income, diversification and capital preservation.
Saskatchewan’s Public Employees Pension Plan
When Saskatchewan’s Public Employees Pension Plan decided to make investments in alternative assets, it took a defined benefit approach to its defined contribution pension plan, giving its members access to private equity and infrastructure while still offering daily liquidity.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Increasingly, defined contribution plan sponsors are grappling with adding environmental, social and governance investing options to their plans as a growing number of members ask for them, but the legal landscape for ESG investing is complicated, according to Kathy Bush, partner at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP.