TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Nov. 7, 2013) – The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) Administration Corporation today released the following statement:
OMERS Administration Corporation supports the policy directions signalled in today’s Fall Economic Statement – especially the Statement’s focus on job creation and economic sustainability in the Province of Ontario.
In particular, we welcome the exemption, for investments in certain Ontario infrastructure projects, from the “30 percent rule.” This proposal is a welcome change and an invitation by the government to pension plans to play a broader role in the economic development of Ontario. “We see this as an important step in the right direction. It will facilitate and simplify the ability of pension funds to invest in Ontario infrastructure,” said Michael Nobrega, President and CEO of OMERS Administration Corporation.
“Another welcome proposal is the exemption from the ‘10 percent rule.’ This exemption will give pension funds greater flexibility to pursue investment strategies that are a strong match for our liabilities,” continued Mr. Nobrega.
An additional proposal is a reference to continued support for entrepreneurs and innovation in Ontario’s information and communications technology corridor. “This is a clear signal of the government’s commitment to innovation as a direct investor in venture capital funds. We know that public and private sector collaboration in the innovation economy works. As a leading Canadian investor in the venture capital space, OMERS recognizes the economic potential of Canada’s next wave of innovators and entrepreneurs. Building a vibrant knowledge-based economy in Ontario means we must have the ecosystem in place to support their growth and success,” said John Ruffolo, OMERS Ventures President and CEO.
“All of these proposals are a clear recognition by government of the important role that pension plans like OMERS play in the growth of Ontario’s economy,” said Mr. Nobrega.
As a critical component of Ontario’s retirement system, OMERS has for 50 years been focused on providing financial security to municipal workers and their families when they retire. OMERS is invested in Ontario-based companies employing thousands of people, such as Husky Injection Molding, Bruce Power, Teranet and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
With over $60 billion in net assets at December 31, 2012, OMERS is one of Canada's leading pension funds, representing approximately 970 employers and 430,000 members, retirees and survivors.