At OPTrust, our members count on us for one thing: a stable and sustainable pension that they know will be there for them in retirement. Ensuring we can pay pensions today and preserve pensions for tomorrow is our mission each and every day.
That is why I’m pleased to report we remained fully funded in 2015, despite an environment marked by investment, economic and demographic challenges.
While the year saw us perform well, the Plan continues to mature and interest rates remain at record lows. To adapt to the realities we face today and in the future, we developed an investment strategy with a singular focus: the Plan’s funded status. We call our strategy “member-driven investing” (MDI) and we designed it to better align our outcomes with members’ needs, using its strategic focus to enhance the likelihood of pension certainty, sustainability and stability.
We are member driven
Creating alignment with our members’ interests also means understanding that the investment decisions we make today could have a significant effect on the world in the future. Sustainability is key, which is why we recognize that environmental, social and governance factors can affect the risks and returns of any investment.
In 2015, as part of our responsible investing program, we continued to strengthen our advocacy efforts by engaging with policy makers and regulators to promote good governance practices and sustainable financial markets. We also received an A+ rating for our overarching approach to responsible investing from the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) and were nominated for the third time for a global RI Reporting Award from Responsible Investor.
Our mission is to pay pensions today and preserve pensions for tomorrow.
As a member-driven organization, delivering excellent service to members is a top priority. In 2015, our Member Services department completed its "centre of excellence" project – a multi-year initiative that helped transform the way we provide service to our members. Our high satisfaction scores confirm that our centre of excellence is working. In fact, in 2015, our members continued to rank our services very highly with an average score of 9.2 out of 10.
Preserving pensions for tomorrow
As we spent the year focused on OPTrust’s future, we also looked to the many Ontarians who do not have access to a secure, well-funded workplace pension plan. We put our full support behind the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) and recommended that the Province draw on expertise from plans like ours to ensure they take the most cost-effective approach to establishing and running it.
We also laid the groundwork to expand the Plan and make it available to more employers and employees in Ontario’s broader public sector without a workplace pension plan. We look forward to bringing new members into the Plan in 2016, pending approval of our sponsors.
Finally, we look forward to participating in and expanding the pension dialogue this year through our Global Pension Leadership Summit, which will be held in Toronto. The goal of the event is to foster discussion and to generate insights and ideas on how investors can work collectively to find solutions to complex issues.
In an era of global economic challenges, pensions matter more than ever. I’d like to thank each person at OPTrust for their hard work on behalf of the Plan’s members in 2015. We remain unwavering in our commitment to excellence and delivering retirement security for our almost 87,000 members and retirees.
President and CEO