Canada is holding its own in global pension leadership with 19 Canadian plans making the list of the top 300 global pension plans, according to Willis Towers Watson.

Its pensions and investments analysis ranks the top global plans in 2015, including the Canada Pension Plan in ninth, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in 18th, the federal Public Service Pension Plan at 55th and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System at 58th.

The report also found that the 19 Canadian plans on the list grew 10 per cent in Canadian dollars last year and credits allocations to non-domestic assets in helping the plans weather the downturn in the energy sector and the lower Canadian dollar. North American pension plans, notes the report, lead the way in allocations to alternative investments compared to their European and Asian counterparts.

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“There has been a fair amount of movement in the ranking in the past five years with winners likely being determined by having fully diversified portfolios that perform well in times of stress and a focus on total rather than relative returns,” said Roger Urwin, global head of investment content at Willis Towers Watson, in a press release.

The report also found:

  • Canada has the sixth largest share of pension assets worldwide.
  • Assets under management of the world’s largest pension funds totaled US$14.8 trillion in 2015.
  • Funds lost 3.4 per cent of their value in 2015, compared to 3.4 per cent growth in 2014.
  • North America remained the largest region in terms of assets under management, accounting for 43.6 per cent of all assets in the research. Europe was the second largest region (27.6 per cent), followed by Asia-Pacific (25.1 per cent).
  • Defined benefit plans accounted for 65.9 per cent of the total assets in the ranking. Defined benefit assets decreased by 4.9 per cent in 2015, compared to a 2.4 per cent decline for defined contribution plans.
  • On average, the top 20 funds invested approximately 40.8 per cent of their assets in equities, 39 per cent in fixed income securities and 20.3 per cent in alternatives and cash.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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