Canada’s pension system was ranked first overall among 15 countries in the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark.
It ranked Canadian funds first in governance, citing the “global reputation for superior performance and governance excellence” of Canada’s five largest funds, namely the British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the Caisse de depot et placement du Québec, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board. Of these, the benchmark highlighted the best practices of the BCI and the PSP.
Canada’s pensions ranked second in performance and cost (behind the U.S. and the Netherlands, respectively) with high marks for risk, asset mix and portfolio composition, as well as total fund return and value. Canada was also ranked fourth in responsible investing (behind Denmark, the Netherlands and first-place Sweden) with governance deemed the weakest area of this factor.
While rankings were based on information disclosed by pension funds, the benchmark noted that Canadian funds also excelled on communication dimensions that weren’t scored. “Their annual reports were well organized, cohesive and packed with important information for stakeholders. The narratives typically went beyond just ‘what we do’ to add insights about ‘how we do things’ and ‘why we do it this way.’”
The benchmark is the first formal collaboration between Top1000funds.com and CEM Benchmarking Inc., which jointly established a board last fall, according to a press release.