Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

May 18, 2006 10:00 ET

OMERS Team Holds Regional Meeting

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 18, 2006) - The Board and senior management of OMERS will meet today at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel with area employers and active and retired members to review plan performance and outline future priorities of the pension plan.

In Hamilton and surrounding area, over 4,400 active OMERS members work for employers such as the City of Hamilton, Children's Aid Society of Hamilton-Wentworth, Hamilton Police Services and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. More than 2,500 retired members live in Hamilton and receive an OMERS pension.

Paul G. Haggis, OMERS President and CEO, will report on the Fund performance for 2005 and the progress of OMERS long-term investment strategy that involves a shift in capital to private equity market investments. The total investment in private market assets will increase to about 37 per cent from the current 19.8 per cent.

For 2005, OMERS reported a total fund return of 16.0 per cent, a top quartile performance that exceeded its benchmark return of 13.2 per cent. "The exceptional returns in private market assets, combined with the continued strength of global equity markets contributed to another strong year," said Mr. Haggis. "Our asset mix strategy is working and we remain committed to increasing our asset allocation in private market investments."

However, the actuarial value of OMERS liabilities exceeded the actuarial value of its assets, with the result that OMERS ended 2005 with a pension deficit of $2.8 billion. "Again in 2005 we've seen strong returns," said David Kingston, OMERS Board Chair, "This marks the third year of positive returns and reflects OMERS commitment to maximize its returns, despite a short-term deficit." Mr. Kingston will also review some of the Board's activities for 2005 and discuss some of the governance initiatives scheduled for 2006.

OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension plans, with about $41 billion in assets. The Plan provides retirement benefits to about 365,000 members, including over 99,000 retired members, on behalf of approximately 900 local government employers across Ontario. Visit the OMERS website at www.omers.com for more information.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System
    Debbie Oakley
    Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs
    (416) 369-2402