• Investments generated almost $10 billion of net investment income
  • Net assets grew to $95 billion
  • Funded status improved to 94%

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for Ontario’s municipal employees, achieved a net investment return of 11.5% (after all expenses), compared to a benchmark of 7.3%, and a net return of 10.3% in 2016. The combination of investment return and contributions led to an improvement in OMERS funded status in 2017, bringing it to 94%.

“All of our major asset classes performed well in 2017,” said Michael Latimer, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Our strategy is working. The investment return, combined with contributions from members and employers, improved our funded status. We are committed to meeting the pension promise over the long term.”

“OMERS funded status has improved for the fifth consecutive year,” said Jonathan Simmons, Chief Financial Officer. “Double-digit returns for two years in a row have also allowed us to reduce the discount rate on our pension obligations by a further 20 basis points in 2017.”  

OMERS is an important part of Ontario's retirement system and the broader economy. In 2017, almost 150,000 retired members received a monthly OMERS pension. In total, $4 billion in pension payments flowed back into the economy.

“Feedback from our members, employers and sponsors is important. We are reaching the halfway point in our 2020 Strategy with strong progress on our objectives,” said Mr. Latimer. “I want to thank all of our employees for contributing to a successful year.”

OMERS will publish its 2017 Annual Report in early March.

Founded in 1962, OMERS is one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, with more than $95 billion in net assets, as at December 31, 2017. It invests and administers pensions for almost half a million members from municipalities, school boards, emergency services and local agencies across Ontario. OMERS has employees in Toronto and other major cities across North America, the U.K., Europe, Asia and Australia – originating and managing a diversified portfolio of investments in public markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information, please visit www.omers.com.

Asset Mix and Net Investment Returns
 Net Return
 for the year ended December 31,
 2017  2016 
Public Investments   
Fixed Income    
Inflation-Linked Bonds2.0% 3.3%
Government Bonds0.2% 2.3%
Credit6.9% 9.0%
Total Fixed Income4.3% 6.5%
Public Equity14.7% 7.1%
Total Public Investments11.4% 9.4%
Private Investments   
Private Equity11.1% 12.3%
Infrastructure12.3% 10.9%
Real Estate11.4% 12.3%
Total Private Investments11.6% 11.8%
Total Net Return11.5% 10.3%
 Asset Mix
­­as at December 31,
 2017  2016 
Fixed Income    
Inflation-Linked Bonds4% 6%
Government Bonds7% 11%
Credit18% 17%
Public Equity34% 28%
Private Equity12% 14%
Real Assets   
Infrastructure16% 17%
Real Estate14% 15%
Short-Term Instruments-5% -8%
Total100% 100%
Net Assets $ 95.0 billion   $ 85.2 billion 

Media Contact: Ann DeRabbie, aderabbie@omers.com, 416-369-3681