Toronto (February 24, 2017) – OMERS, the pension plan for Ontario’s municipal employees, further improved its funded status in 2016 with an increase to 93.4% due to strong investment returns, and member and employer contributions. The 2016 net investment return was 10.3% (after all expenses), compared to a benchmark of 7.9%, and a net return of 6.7% in 2015. Net assets grew $8.1 billion in 2016 to $85.2 billion.
"OMERS is committed to delivering secure and sustainable pensions for our members," said Michael Latimer, OMERS President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our strong investment returns in 2016 reflect the value of our well-diversified portfolio of high-quality assets, which we are continuously building."
"We are pleased to share that all of our asset classes produced solid returns," said Mr. Latimer. "We continue to work toward our vision of being a leading model of defined benefit pension plan sustainability."
"2016 marks the fourth consecutive year that our funded status has improved," said Jonathan Simmons, Chief Financial Officer. "Good investment performance enabled us to strengthen our balance sheet. We have also reduced the discount rate on our pension obligations by five basis points."
OMERS is an important part of Ontario's retirement system and the broader economy. In 2016, almost 150,000 retired members received a monthly OMERS pension. In total, $3.6 billion in benefit payments flowed back into the economy.
"I am proud of the strong progress OMERS made in 2016 to deliver on our five-year strategy – the key objective being to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Plan for our members," said Mr. Latimer.
Founded in 1962, OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, with more than $85 billion in net assets, as at December 31, 2016. It invests and administers pensions for more than 470,000 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