T. ROWE PRICE has launched two pooled vehicles for Canadian institutional investors. The pooled vehicles are based on the company’s global growth equity and international core equity strategies. These strategies were previously available only to institutional investors with individual accounts— arrangements that require a large initial investment and allow an investor to have a highly customized portfolio. The new vehicles have a minimum account size of $5 million and are available to both DB and DC plans.
AON HEWITTrecently released its fourth guide to target benefit plans (TBPs). Aimed at entities planning to start a TBP or change their existing pension plan to a TBP, this guide focuses on the role of investment policy in these uniquely structured plans, such as risks, performance objectives and asset/liability modelling. The first three guides focus on explaining how TBPs work. The new guide is available at targetbenefits.ca.
Meet an Advisory Board Member
principal, Eckler Ltd.
How did you end up in the pension industry?
Pensions were not in the plan or even on my radar. After graduating from law school and articling at a downtown Toronto law firm, I was looking for an in-house counsel role and was offered one at an actuarial consulting firm. After I started with the firm, I was drawn to the pension and investment aspects of the work. I enrolled in a part-time MBA program and transitioned first to the pension practice and, later, to the investment practice.
What is one solution to Canada’s low retirement savings rate?
For years, the industry has struggled with educating Canadians on the importance of saving, retirement savings targets and investment basics. Despite considerable efforts, this work has been less than successful. Employees remain chronic undersavers and seem bound by the shackles of inertia. The best way is to introduce smarter DC plans, including features such as mandatory participation, automatic contribution escalation and target-date funds as default choices.
What’s your favourite sport?
I like playing squash and Ping-Pong. I enjoy my racquet sports indoors and in confined spaces! In the summer, I enjoy the occasional golf game.
Did you know?
Researchers now know why almonds have a positive impact on the heart. A recent study by a U.K. university shows having 50 grams of almonds daily for four weeks can boost a form of vitamin E in the blood and make blood vessels expand more easily, lowering blood pressure. This can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So if you have an on-site work cafeteria, include almonds and other nuts in its menu. And consider serving nuts and fruit in lieu of chips and other unhealthy snacks during meetings.
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