Financial protection for the future, nest egg, retirement savings

Pension fund assets topped $2 trillion in the second quarter of 2019 — which represents a doubling over the past nine years — according to data from Statistics Canada.

The national statistical agency reported that the market value of assets held by Canadian pension funds grew 2.0% in the second quarter to finish at over $2 trillion.

On a year-over-year basis, assets were up 4.9%. Pension assets have now doubled since they first hit the $1-trillion mark in 2010.

Equity returns powered the second-quarter gains, as equities gained 3.1%, StatsCan reports.

Bonds were up 1.5%, mortgages rose 3.7%, and real estate investments edged up 0.7% in the quarter.

Conversely, short-term investments dropped 9.0% in the quarter.

StatsCan also reports that overall pension revenue declined 3.2% in the quarter due to a 26.1% drop in profits from securities sales. Yet plan contributions increased 14.6% in the second quarter, and investment income rose 12.2%.

Pension fund expenditures rose 2.1% in the quarter, which, combined with the drop in revenue, resulted in net income declining 7.7% from the previous quarter.