2021 | Issue 1



ACPM releases a new white paper on Financial Literacy. Click on the image to access the paper.

Articles of Interest


The Rise of Remote Workers: What You Can Do for a Seamless Remote
Environment As a Pension Plan Administrator

By Kevin Lynch, Director of Canadian Business Development, Sagitec

2020 is being called the 'remote-work' year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But recent surveys from PwC and Gartner show that many companies across multiple industries will move more of their employees to a remote environment over time.

How can companies successfully maneuver this long-term shift?

The crisis has cemented technology's role at the heart of transformation. We want to shed light on the tools, technology, and processes that companies can leverage to ensure seamless delivery of projects, increased collaboration, and work efficiency. We will also provide more insights into how secure cloud applications and services can enable and advance remote work capabilities for organizations and employees alike.


In Search of New Value: How Canadian Pension Plan Investment Managers
Are Preparing For A Post-Covid-19 Environment

By Alistair Almeida, Executive Director & Segment Lead, Asset Owners, CIBC Mellon

Canada’s pension plans enjoy a well-deserved global reputation for strong management and resilient performance, but they are not immune to shocks in the markets in which they operate. The COVID-19 pandemic has been testing pension plans and their asset managers, prompting significant volatility in financial markets, reshaping the global economy and forcing organizations of all sizes to carry out operations with many employees and stakeholders working remotely.  This is the backdrop against which CIBC Mellon surveyed 50 of Canada’s leading pension plans, seeking insights into how they have coped with the crisis, the challenges and opportunities that now lie ahead, and how they are positioning themselves accordingly. 


China’s Relations with the World

By Vaibhav Tandon, Economist, Global Risk Management division, Northern Trust

The U.S. and China have been embroiled in a trade war since 2018, but the U.S. is not the only nation whose relations with Beijing have soured.  Canada, the U.K., India, and Australia have also sparred with China on various issues. In most cases, China has responded with the objective of avoiding damage to its own economy, rather than preventing further deterioration of its respective ties. Despite these issues, its exports continued to grow in 2020. At some point, however, Beijing will have to re-think how many trade battles it can afford before its economy begins to suffer.  Punishing partners may lead them to look for relationships elsewhere. 


Impact of commuted values on the sustainability of defined benefit pension plans

By Marilou Forget, FSA, FCIA, Senior Consultant, 
Normandin Beaudry
The low interest rate environment of recent years has led to a sharp increase in pension plan commuted values. Despite changes to provincial funding rules, growing commuted values have had major implications for Canadian pension plans. This increase affects the sustainability of single-employer defined benefit pension plans (DB plans) in particular. In this article, we’ll outline the issues facing these plans and present a solution implemented in Quebec that could serve as inspiration for other legislations.  

China’s Economy: Recovery and Rebalancing 

By Chris Kushlis, CFA, Asia Sovereign Credit Analyst, 
T. Rowe Price 

China has recovered strongly from the coronavirus pandemic. China’s V-shaped recovery has been primarily attributed to a strong public health response. China remains the major manufacturing hub of the world, but it is moving up the value chain quickly. The rise of technology and innovation represents a meaningful shift in direction for China’s economy that is probably underappreciated by the market. Policies in China over the next few years will continue to focus on structural reforms, with policymakers continuing to seek lower, more sustainable growth, but of better quality. This is the long-term goal, and investors should concentrate on China’s past record and its ability to achieve this.

Responsible Investing in China: What You Need to Know

By David Allen, Managing Director, Zephyr Consulting 
Penny Peng, Associate, Mercer 
Unprecedented strides are being made in China endorsing and adopting the concept of responsible investment, with emphasis on ESG integration. This bodes well for savvy onshore and offshore investors who take the time to understand the actual practices and implications. If you haven’t yet, this article is a great place to build a solid understanding of what’s going on and what you can do about it. This is one boat that you don’t want to miss.


ESG implementation: navigating the evolution of your practice

By Margaret Childe, Managing Director, Head of ESG, Research and Integration, Canada, Manulife Investment Management
In this article, some thoughts are provided on ESG considerations for pension plan sponsors and administrators in Canada regarding the implementation of ESG strategies and the creation of long-term sustainable investments. This article is written in my own personal capacity and is not meant to provide legal/financial advice, please consult further with your lawyer/advisor.


Are Alternatives Going Mainstream?

By Niki Zaphiratos, Managing Director and Head of Asset Owners, Global Client Coverage, Canada, 
RBC Investor & Treasury Services
Facing economic uncertainty and political turmoil, combined with pressures from an aging population, Canadian defined benefit pension plans are concerned about the sustainability of their plans. In response, pensions are re-assessing their asset mix and increasingly relying on alternative investments to achieve ongoing sustainability. According to a survey conducted by RBC Investor & Treasury Services, nearly three-quarters of Canadian pension plans currently include alternative investments as part of their holdings, increasing to 96% of large plans. When it comes to defined benefit plans, are alternative investments going mainstream? 


Investing in China today: Huge opportunities and Hidden risks

By Barnaby Nelson, CEO, The ValueExchange
Investments into China are increasingly central to portfolio investors around the world. But what risk factors should Pension funds be aware of as they begin to scale their China flows? Leveraging a recent, global survey of China investors, we explain the hidden risks that today’s China entrants need to be managing as they build out their investment platforms.

ACPM Advocacy and Information


Below are links to ACPM Advocacy submissions. Additional legislative and regulatory information is in the “Laws & Regulations” section of this issue.


ACPM Online Events and Sponsorship
ACPM will be conducting numerous online video events featuring a wide variety of topics in 2021 and there are individual or bundled Sponsorship opportunities. These events will provide your organization with a high degree of corporate profile to senior management professionals in the retirement income industry. Please contact Judy Lei, Manager, Operations and Programs, at judy.lei@acpm.com if you have any questions.

For the list of ACPM events, please click HERE.

2022 Ontario Regional Council Golf Tournament
 Angus Glen Golf Club: 7:15 am to 3:00 pm
June 6, 2022
Markham, Ontario

For Golf Sponsors and more information, please click HERE.




A collection of postings from the Federal government, CAPSA, OSFI and the CRA over the last several months.

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Numerous postings from provincial governments and their respective agencies across the country.

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