HOOPP's formula for success results in retirement security for Ontario healthcare workers

Focus should be on sustaining, not cutting pension system

NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Pension models should be focused on ensuring tomorrow's seniors have adequate income in retirement, says John Crocker, President & CEO of HOOPP.

At a ceremony to ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq exchange, Crocker outlined the factors that have made HOOPP - a defined benefit pension plan serving Ontario healthcare workers - a success story. He credited the "clear mission" of being a "pension paying organization," good governance, a sound investment strategy, scale, the right technology, as reasons HOOPP is one of the few major DB plans that is fully funded.

John Crocker was at the Nasdaq exchange to mark the 40th anniversary of their investment technology partners, SimCorp. "The SimCorp system has helped us to automate many manual investment processes, freeing our team to do what they do best - identify opportunities in order to pay pensions," he said.

HOOPP's focus is on ensuring its members have a comfortable, independent retirement with adequate income, and that should be the focus for pension reform discussions as well, says Crocker.

Unfortunately, many in the pension sector are looking at ways to cut back on pensions, he notes. Figures from the National Institute on Retirement Security in the U.S. show that in the U.S., only 33 per cent of private sector employees had pension coverage, versus 85 per cent in 1975. Statistics Canada figures from 2008 show that 72 per cent of Canadian private sector workers have no formal pension plan at all. "Rather than focusing on shifting responsibility for retirement security from employers to individuals, we need to think of ways to sustain the workplace pension system," says Crocker.

"Tomorrow's seniors are today's employees who are increasingly unable to access pensions in the workplace. Without pensions that offer a decent replacement income target, we face the threat of poverty for seniors. Governments should be alarmed that tomorrow's seniors will be fully dependent upon future taxpayers. And when we talk of tomorrow's seniors, we are really talking about ourselves, our children and our children's children," he said.

About the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan

Created in 1960, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is the pension plan of choice for Ontario's hospital and community-based healthcare sector with over 370 participating employers and more than 260,000 plan members and retirees. HOOPP invests the assets of its $35.7 billion Fund, administers the Plan and pays more than $1.2 billion per year in pension benefits. The HOOPP defined benefit plan is a formula based benefit that provides security and peace of mind to Ontario's healthcare workforce.

HOOPP has a strong history of providing pensions to Ontario's healthcare community. It's one of the biggest and most respected pension plans in the country and is an industry leader among multi-employer plans.

In 2010 HOOPP was named one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

As a defined benefit plan, HOOPP provides eligible members with a retirement income based on a formula that takes into account a member's earnings history and length of service in the Plan. Once eligible members start receiving a pension, they receive it for life. HOOPP's assets are actively managed using a diversified, long-term investment strategy.

HOOPP is governed by a Board of Trustees with representation from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and four unions: the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The unique governance model provides representation from both employers and unions in support of the long-term interests of the Plan.


Link to text of speech
http://www.hoopp.com/about/media/releases/2011/formula_for_success.pdf

Link to photo - editors, if using photo, please credit as follows: © 2011, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
http://www.hoopp.com/about/media/releases/2011/images/nasdaq.jpg

Recent articles about HOOPP
http://www.hoopp.com/about/media/archive/

Recent media releases from HOOPP
http://www.hoopp.com/about/media/

SOURCE HOOPP

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