Toronto (February 26, 2016) – In 2015, OMERS continued to make steady progress towards delivering secure and sustainable defined benefit pensions to the Plan's members. Its funded status improved to 91.5% as a result of investment returns and member and employer contributions, compared with 90.8% the year before. OMERS earned a net investment return of 6.7% (after all expenses), exceeding its long-term funding requirement of 6.5%. Net assets grew to more than $77 billion in 2015, a $5 billion increase over 2014.
"Strong returns from private equity, infrastructure and real estate helped to offset challenges in public markets, demonstrating the importance of diversification, and investing in high-quality assets," said Michael Latimer, OMERS President and Chief Executive Officer.
Public investments returned 0.7% (net) and private investments returned 14.5% (net). While private markets returns remained solid, financial markets are being challenged by slower global growth, continued low interest rates and increased volatility.
In 2015, OMERS received $3.8 billion in contributions from plan members and employers, and paid out $3.4 billion in benefits.
"We are pleased with the continued improvement of our funded ratio to 91.5% from 90.8%," said Jonathan Simmons, OMERS Chief Financial Officer. "We remain very focused on the long-term health of the Plan, including a return to full funding and delivering even better value for OMERS members and employers."
OMERS is an important part of Ontario's retirement system and the broader economy. Approximately 18,000 new members joined the plan in 2015, leading to an increase in active plan membership of 1.0% over the prior year. Almost 141,000 people receive OMERS pensions every month.
"Our top priorities are serving our members, retirees and employers, and achieving our vision to be a leading model of defined benefit pension plan sustainability," said Mr. Latimer.
Founded in 1962, OMERS is one of Canada's largest defined benefit pension plans, with more than $77 billion in net assets as at December 31, 2015. It invests and administers pensions for 461,000 members from municipalities, school boards, emergency services and local agencies across Ontario. OMERS has employees in Toronto and other major cities across North America, the U.K., Europe and Australia -- originating and managing a diversified portfolio of investments in public markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information, please visit www.omers.com.
Asset Mix and Net Investment Returns