Regulator finds municipal workers' pension plan did not comply with Pension Benefits Act

    No adequate oversight into investments and fees - McGuinty must act

    TORONTO, Aug. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - One of the country's largest pension plans
has been found not to be in compliance with its governing legislation.
    The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released its report
late today on its 3-year examination of the Ontario Municipal Employees
Retirement System (OMERS) and its investment activities. The purpose of the
report was to investigate compliance with the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) of
    FSCO made findings with respect to OMERS' lack of due diligence for
compliance with the PBA in respect of certain investment transactions.
Specifically, it noted that, in transactions involving the Oxford Group and
Borealis Capital Corporation, FSCO could not conclude that OMERS "met the
standard of care, implicit in...the Act, to provide the appropriate persons
with sufficient information to monitor the Plan and Fund for compliance with
the requirements of the PBA".
    Sid Ryan, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario,
said the report demonstrates the weakness of FSCO as a regulator.
    "It is disappointing that FSCO, after three years of investigating,
failed to release details of the potentially offending transactions or to
comment on the reasonableness and appropriateness of fees that were paid to
Borealis Capital Corporation, Borealis Real Estate Management Inc. or their
senior executives and shareholders, among others," Ryan said.
    Ryan noted that FSCO's report did comment on changes that must be made to
make OMERS more accountable and transparent. He expected OMERS to comply and
cooperate with CUPE in this effort. In the meantime, Ryan said that CUPE will
continue in the courts to get answers and real results for the over 100,000
members of CUPE who are a part of the OMERS pension plan.
    "There remains a lack of proper oversight," Ryan said. "This is a 23-page
report that took 3 years and ultimately does not address the issues raised by
CUPE and the media about investments made and fees paid by the plan. We asked
Premier McGuinty to look into this years ago. His government must act to get
to the bottom of the affair."

    For further information and background see

For further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE-Ontario, cell (416)
209-0066; David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878-1431

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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