|At December 31||2008||2007|
|Former members with entitlements in the Plan||1,782||1,375|
|Total members and pensioners||82,124||80,589|
OPTrust's active membership remained stable in 2008, increasing by a total of 133 members to 47,850 at year-end. The number of current OPTrust pensioners continued to increase, reflecting the gradual maturing of the Plan's demographic profile.
OPTrust's -16.2% return for 2008 reflects the sharp drop in equity markets in the second half of the year. Against this negative backdrop, our return bettered our weighted benchmark for the ninth year running. The average annual return since the Plan's inception in 1995 exceeds both our benchmark and the Plan's funding target return for the same period.
The Plan's net assets fell to $11 billion in 2008, down from $13.6 billion the year before. The decline in net assets is the result of a $2.4 billion investment loss and benefit payments and expenses that exceeded contributions by $179 million.