News & Views

You are here

Tracking the funded status of pension plans - As at June 30, 2012

This graph shows the changes in the financial position of a typical defined benefit plan since December 31, 2007. For this illustration, assets and liabilities of the plan were each arbitrarily set at $100 million as at December 31, 2007. The graph shows the impact of past returns on plan assets and the effect of interest rate changes on solvency liabilities.

The Evolution of the Financial Situation of Pension Plans since December 31, 2007

Assets fell to their lowest level in February 2009, at which point the solvency deficiency (i.e. the difference between assets and solvency liabilities) reached $37 million. Last month, liabilities climbed to their highest level and also showed the highest solvency deficiency yet, at $44.6 million.

In June 2012, most equity markets around the world rallied, resulting in an increase in assets. As well, the small increase in bond yields had little impact on the variation of assets. Furthermore, liabilities increased, resulting in a sharp increase in the solvency deficit. By the end of June 2012, the solvency deficit had risen to $44.6 million, up from $40.2 million in May 2012.

Since the beginning of the year, the funded status of this typical pension plan has deteriorated and the deficit increased by 17.6%.

Please contact your Morneau Shepell consultant for a customized analysis of your pension plan.

Canada Bond Yields


  1. No consideration has been made for contributions paid into the plan or for benefits paid out of the plan.
  2. Solvency liabilities are projected using the rates prescribed by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries for the purpose of determining pension commuted values. Early application of the 2009 standards is not reflected.
  3. The underlying typical defined benefit plan is a final average plan with no pension indexing.
  4. Solvency liability calculations take into account revised CIA guidance on the solvency valuation assumptions (annuity proxy) announced on May 24, 2012.
  5. Assets are shown at full market value. Returns on assets are based on those of the Morneau Shepell benchmark portfolio (55% equities and 45% fixed income).