Canada's actuaries call for First Ministers to add pensions to their meeting agenda for November 10th



    OTTAWA, Oct. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's actuaries are calling on federal
and provincial governments to take action to support the financial futures of
millions of Canadians and provide relief to serious problems which have arisen
due to the current global economic downturn.
    Actuaries continue to be concerned about benefit security for current and
future pensioners, notably those in plans which will undergo actuarial
valuations this year-end. The asset base of some pension plans has been
significantly reduced by the global economic problems and these plans may be
in jeopardy unless governments step in with some form of short-term relief.
These plans are in jeopardy as the plan sponsors cannot afford the cost
increases.
    James Murta, Immediate Past President of the Canadian Institute of
Actuaries says, "Governments are providing assistance to many financial
institutions which are having difficulties. Pension plans are very important
to the public and we believe that governments need to put pensions on their
priority lists. Governments can take steps to add to the security of pension
plans. Due to the current credit crunch, pension plan sponsors that need to
borrow funds to top up their plans to the current regulatory levels may find
that there are no lenders in the marketplace."
    Further, Mr. Murta stated, "Governments need to step up to the plate. For
example they could backstop Letters of Credit which plan sponsors could use to
fulfill these requirements. This would be very helpful."
    Canada's actuaries are also calling on governments to do two things. The
first is to add pension issues to the agenda of the First Ministers' meetings
scheduled for November 10th. This would give them an opportunity to address
short-term problems. In the medium- to long-term, we believe that a National
Pension Reform Summit, attended by all the ministers who have legislative and
regulatory responsibility for pension matters, should be held in early 2009.
"The Institute, retiree groups and pension plan sponsors have supported this
concept, and we believe that this kind of meeting has enormous potential to
bring positive, lasting change to the pension and retirement saving
environment," stated Mr. Murta.

    The Canadian Institute of Actuaries is the national organization of the
actuarial profession. Member driven, the Institute is dedicated to serving the
public through the provision, by the profession, of actuarial services and
advice of the highest quality. In fact, the Institute holds the duty of the
profession to the public above the needs of the profession and its members.
Actuaries employ their specialized knowledge of the mathematics of finance,
statistics and risk theory on problems faced by pension plans, government
regulators, insurance companies (both Life and Property/Casualty), social
programs and individuals.

    actuaries.ca




For further information:

For further information: Les Dandridge, (613) 236-8196, ext. 114

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