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June 27, 2012
Solvency ratios reach new lows, OSFI reports

Solvency ratios of the 400 defined benefit pension plans regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) continue to track at five-year lows, the financial regulator reports.

As of December 2011, solvency ratios averaged 0.81, indicating that federally regulated pension plans had only 81 cents for every $1 of pension commitments. That ratio compared to 0.90 in June 2011. The 0.81 ratio exceeded the previous low of 0.85 recorded in December 2008 at the depth of that year’s equity market crash.

Average solvency ratios since June 2007 are as follows:


(Source: InfoPensions, May 2012, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions)

Perhaps more disturbing, OSFI estimates that 68 per cent of all federally regulated pension plans had a solvency ratio of less than 0.80. That compared to 25 per cent in June 2011.

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