SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

September 15, 2009 16:03 ET

SEIU Canada: Pension Funds Pushed to Reform in Wake of Financial Crisis

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2009) - After suffering heavy losses during the financial crisis, Canada's pension funds will be forced to answer for the sustainability of their investments, under new legislation unveiled today in Ottawa.

A private members bill introduced by MP Robert Oliphant will compel federally-regulated funds to disclose the consideration they have given to environmental, social and governance factors when investing the retirement savings of Canadians.

The bill follows similar legislation in leading G20 countries where the requirement to disclose the consideration given to the sustainability of investments proved to be a tipping point that pushed many pension funds to embrace more long-term strategies.

"The financial crisis exposed the way executives at pension funds were often chasing short-term returns through high-risk investments that won executives big bonuses but wound up costing Canadians dearly," said Jacob Leibovitch, Executive Director of SEIU Canada.

"Taxpayers wound up on the hook because many pension fund executives did not pause to give adequate consideration to the sustainability of their investments. It is time they were made to answer for the long-term impact of their investment strategies," said Mr. Leibovitch.

The Executive Director of SEIU Canada called on all parties to support the legislation.

The Service Employees International Union is the fastest growing union in North America with over 2-million members who contribute to about 50 public sector pension plans and 20 private sector plans with combined assets of more than $1.2 trillion.

Contact Information

  • SEIU Canada
    Christine Miller
    National Representative, Communications