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The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Pension Plan is reporting an 11.1 per cent return for 2020, exceeding its policy benchmark by 0.4 per cent.

The return brings the annualized 10-year net return to 9.9 per cent, providing $1.7 billion in cumulative added value compared to the benchmark, while funding reserves increased to $3.3 billion from $2.9 billion. This represents 11 consecutive years that the plan has improved its funded position, according to a press release, which noted the plan is 119-per cent funded on a going-concern basis based as at Jan. 1, 2021, an improvement from 118 per cent last year. Plan assets are at $15.8 billion, up from $13.5 billion a year earlier.

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“Despite the challenges of 2020, [the] CAAT remains one of the most secure plans in Canada,” said Derek Dobson, chief executive officer of the CAAT, in a press release. “We began the year with healthy funding reserves and I’m proud to say we ended the year stronger.”

In March, the CAAT reported its discount rate was lowered to 4.95 per cent from 5.15 per cent, to reflect expected future trends in market returns and the plan’s long-term focus on benefit security. And in 2020, the plan grew by 7,500 members and by 35 employers, mainly through its DBplus offering, the CAAT said. Among the employers that have joined DBplus are Brink’s Canada Ltd., the Canadian Bar Insurance Association/Lawyers Financial, Sanofi Pasteur, the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, Saint John Airport, St. John Ambulance, Torstar Corp., the United Way of Greater Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and the Vancouver Foundation.

Read: Pension plans’ 2020 financial results impacted by the coronavirus pandemic