February 11, 2002
The total assets of the Canada Pension Plan continued to grow in the nine months ended December 31, 2001.
On a consolidated basis, the total fixed income and equity assets available to the Canada Pension Plan earned investment income of approximately $2.4 billion for the nine months ended December 31, 2001, producing an estimated 5.8% rate of return.
The fixed-income assets (after maturities) had a market value of approximately $38 billion on December 31, 2001. For the year-to-date, the fixed income portfolio produced approximately $2.3 billion. The return for the nine months was approximately 5.9%. These assets consist of federal and provincial bonds and an operating cash reserve. They are directly owned by the Canada Pension Plan and administered by the Department of Finance.
The market value of assets managed by the CPP Investment Board totalled $13.8 billion on December 31, 2001, compared with $7.2 billion at fiscal year end on March 31, 2001. They represented 27% of the total assets available to the Canada Pension Plan and consisted of 95% public equities in stock index funds, 3% private equities, and 2% cash being held to finance pending private equity purchases. These assets had a year-to-date investment income of $56 million for a 1.5% rate of return. The CPP Investment Board’s 1.5% return compared with 0.6% for the benchmark portfolio. Canadian public equities earned 3.7% compared with 2.3% for the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 Composite Index. Foreign equities had a negative 2.6% return versus minus 3.1% for the benchmark (a blend of the S&P 500 Index for U.S. equities and the MSCI EAFE Index for international equities).
In the third quarter investment income earned by the CPP Investment Board was $1.4 billion, offsetting the $1.4 billion loss incurred in the second quarter. ”The real story is the high volatility of equities in the short term,” said CPP Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer, John A. MacNaughton. “Our equity portfolio had a modest gain in the first quarter, followed by a large loss in the second quarter, which was erased by a strong gain in the third quarter. We expect this volatility to continue and the dollar amounts, both positive and negative, to widen as our assets grow. We remain convinced that equities will produce positive returns over the long term that will more than compensate for this volatility.” The CPP Investment Board expects to have more than $130 billion under management within 10 years and currently invests exclusively in equities because of the large fixed-income portfolio owned by the Canada Pension Plan and because it believes equities will produce superior long-term returns for the risks incurred. Based on actuarial projections for the Canada Pension Plan, contributions are expected to exceed benefit payments until 2021, providing a 20-year period before a portion of the investment income is needed to help pay pensions. The CPP Investment Board is a crown corporation created by an Act of Parliament in December 1997. It invests in capital markets funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan to pay current pensions. Cash flows are currently invested in equities to balance the cash and bonds owned by the Canada Pension Plan. By increasing the long-term value of funds, the CPP Investment Board will help the Canada Pension Plan to keep its pension promise to Canadians. Based in Toronto, the CPP Investment Board is governed and managed independently of the Canada Pension Plan and at arm’s length from governments. Its fiscal year is from April 1 to March 31.
For further information contact:
John A. MacNaughton
President and Chief Executive Officer