The Fund

The Staff Pension Plan Fund (the "Fund") is made of contributions received from members and the University, as well as net investment returns.  The Fund is invested in accordance with the requirements of applicable legislation and is held and managed separate and apart from other University funds.

In the Staff Pension Plan, the Fund's performance does not directly affect the value of members' pensions.  However, investment performance does impact the rate of contributions required from members and the University.  Please review the During your career section of this website for more information on contribution rates.  

The Statement of Investment Policies and Goals

The university has established a Statement of Investment Policies and Goals, which provides for the prudent investment of the Fund, and takes into account factors that may affect the funding and solvency of the plan and therefore, the ability of the plan to meet its financial obligations.  The policy is reviewed at least annually by the Investments and Administration Committee, who may recommend amendments to the University’s Board of Governors if and when appropriate.  

It is important to understand the nature of the obligations that are being funded.  Pension plans have long-term investment horizons and need to balance investment and economic risks in their pursuit of investment returns.  As a result, the Plan holds a diversified portfolio that facilitates prudent management of risk, and the policy sets out the categories of permitted investments, diversification, asset mix and rate of return expectations. The Fund employs an active management style, which provides the opportunity to outperform specific investment benchmarks.

The long-term investment goal of the Fund is to achieve a minimum annualized rate of return, net of investment expenses, of three and one-half percentage points in excess of the Canadian Consumer Price Index.  This 3.5% real return objective is consistent with the overall investment risk level that the fund could assume in order to meet the pension obligations of the plan, and normally will be assessed over longer time periods; i.e. over ten years or more.  Progress towards this goal is monitored on a rolling 4-year basis.

You can find out more about the Staff Plan's investments in the Reports to Members.