Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

June 23, 2005 10:50 ET

OMERS Conducts Annual Overview at Peterborough Regional Meeting

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 23, 2005) - The Board and senior management of OMERS will meet today at the Holiday Inn in Peterborough with area employers and members to review OMERS 2004 results, share highlights of the past year and outline future priorities and initiatives of the Plan.

In Peterborough and surrounding area, almost 3,000 OMERS members work for employers such as the City of Peterborough, Peterborough Fire Fighters, the City of Hastings, and the Peterborough Community Access Centre.

In 2004, OMERS total fund return was 12.1 per cent, a top quartile performance that exceeded its benchmark return of 9.9 per cent. The fund earned net investment income of $3.7 billion, compared with $3.5 billion in 2003. Fair market value of net assets grew by $3.6 billion, an increase of 11 per cent, to total $35.7 billion as at December 31, 2004. The actuarial value of net assets grew to $36.8 billion from $36.0 billion as at December 31, 2003.

As of December 31, 2004, the actuarial value of OMERS liabilities exceeded the actuarial value of its assets, with the result that OMERS is in a deficit situation. OMERS ended 2004 with a pension deficit of $963 million, compared to a $509 million pension surplus at the end of 2003.

"Last year saw strong returns," said Frederick Biro, OMERS Board Chair, "This marks the second year of positive returns and reflects OMERS commitment to maximize our returns by making every investment dollar work harder to the Fund's advantage. Yet despite those returns we are still looking at a small contribution increase for 2006. This is not a move that the Board takes lightly but at the same time we have an obligation to ensure we have the resources to meet the pension promise."

In his remarks, Paul G. Haggis, OMERS President and CEO, will report on the progress of the business model that was introduced in 2004 and involves a shift in capital to private equity and infrastructure, like energy companies and pipelines, while still maintaining a large real estate portfolio. Over the next four years the total investment in these asset classes will increase to about 37 per cent from the current 18 per cent. This asset mix policy will create a "stable, conservative portfolio that will effectively meet our pension obligations today, tomorrow and in the years to come," said Haggis.

OMERS provides retirement benefits to 355,000 members, including 90,000 retired members, on behalf of 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