A message from the chair of the Municipal Pension Board of Trustees: March 20, 2020
Your pension payments will be paid on time, and your plan is secure
Dear plan member,
The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect the world, and as chair of the Municipal Pension Board of Trustees, I want to offer reassurance about your pension plan. Your pension is a defined benefit pension. This means the amount of your pension payment is not dependent on the performance of the financial markets. You can have confidence that your pension will be there when you need it. If you are a retired member, your pension payments will be paid on time, today and into the future.
Your plan is also well positioned to withstand the turmoil in the financial markets and the slowing global economy:
- First, your plan investments are broadly diversified, which helps lessen the impact of the current market downturn. Investments are split between a wide variety of public equities, bonds, real assets and other investments.
- Second, while there was no way to anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic, our investment agent, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, anticipated a correction in the rising financial market. As a result, the pension fund’s investments were adjusted to reduce risk.
- Finally, the challenge facing investors today reinforces the importance of following a disciplined, long-term approach. This has been a shock to the economy, and we’re not expecting a quick recovery. The significant market downturn will mean a decline in the value of the plan’s investment portfolio. However, there will also be opportunities to acquire investments at a better value. We expect the value of the plan’s fund to bounce back over time, and we’re on track to satisfy our long-term obligations.
The plans’ agents and other service providers have also been affected by COVID-19. They are looking after their employees – encouraging remote work and social distancing. While they are open for business as usual, the physical offices are closed. This will affect how quickly plan staff can respond to requests and answer calls. In-person consultation and workshops have also been cancelled to protect everyone’s health.
We encourage you to use the many online services available to you on the plan website and through My Account.
In this challenging time, please take care of yourself and your loved ones, follow public health guidance (wash your hands, practise social distancing, stay home if you can, etc.) and know that we are taking care of your pension plan.
We’d like to also recognize and express our gratitude to those plan members and employers who are out on the front lines, working for all of us. Please stay safe.
Hilary Brown, MBA, CPA, CGA
Municipal Pension Board of Trustees