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Canada. Market value of retirement savings up

The market value of retirement savings held in employer-sponsored pension funds increased by $35.4 billion, or 4.5%, between the first and second quarters of 2009. This was the first increase since the second quarter of 2008.

Employer-sponsored pension funds amounted to $826.5 billion at the end of the second quarter, but were still down 13.4% from a high of $954.6 billion at the end of 2007.

The market value of stocks and equity funds accounted for 32.7% of total pension fund assets at the end of the second quarter, compared with a high of 40.1% in the first quarter of 2006.

The proportion of fund assets held in bonds decreased to 36.9%. Real estate investments accounted for 8.2%, mortgages 1.6%, and short-term investments 3.8%. The remaining assets, which include pooled foreign funds, accounted for 16.7%.

In total, the market value of foreign investments accounted for 29.0% of total pension fund assets at the end of the second quarter.

Revenues of $26.6 billion exceeded expenditures of $16.0 billion in the second quarter for a positive cash flow of $10.6 billion. This was a reversal from the previous quarter and the first positive cash flow since the second quarter of 2008.

The positive cash flow resulted primarily from significant gains on the sale of securities and a 37.2% increase in investment income compared with the first quarter of 2009.

Revenue from employer and employee contributions in the second quarter increased 8.5% to $9.7 billion. Benefits paid to retirees remained unchanged from the previous quarter at $10.0 billion.

In total, about 5.9 million Canadian workers are members of employer pension plans. Of this group, 4.8 million workers are members of trusteed plans. The remaining 1.1 million members with employer pension plans are managed principally by insurance company contracts. Data in this release refer only to trusteed plans and their pension funds.
© Statistics Canada -

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