Canadian defined benefit (DB) pension plans posted modest gains in the second quarter, according to data from RBC Investor & Treasury Services.
RBC’s All Plan Universe, which tracks the performance of a cross-section of assets under management across Canadian DB plans, said overall returns were 2.7% in Q2, down from 7.2% in Q1. Returns sat at 10.2% for the first half.
Canadian equity returns for DB plans were 2.3% in Q2, down from 12.4% in Q1. Global equity returns were 1.8%, down from 9.9%.
Fixed income investments also fared worse in the second quarter. Canadian fixed income returns for DB plans were 3.7% in Q2, down from 5.6% in Q1. Canadian bond yields also fell, RBC said.
“The first half of 2019 has been positive for Canadian defined benefit pension plans and all indicators show that the Canadian economy is healthy, but small cracks are beginning to appear,” said Ryan Silva, RBC Investor & Treasury Services’ director, head of pension and insurance segments, Global Client Coverage, in a release.
“Second quarter growth can be considered healthy, but modest, and managers will need to maintain their cautious approach and actively manage their portfolios and risk exposure,” he added.