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Halifax, NS – April 29, 2019 – Nova Scotia Teachers’ Pension Plan Trustee Inc. (TPPTI) announced today that the Teachers’ Pension Plan’s (Plan) net assets were $4.938 billion as at December 31, 2018, down from $5.111 billion at the end of 2017. The funded status of the Plan at the end of 2018 decreased to 75.3% on a going-concern basis, compared to 78.4% at the end of 2017.

The decrease in the Plan’s funded ratio as at December 31, 2018 was the result of three main factors:
1. Contributions received by the Plan were substantially less than the value of benefits paid out to retirees and survivors.
2. Plan liabilities continued to increase.
3. Flat investment returns in 2018 did not offset the losses incurred under numbers 1 and 2.

At year-end 2018, the Plan achieved a one-year return of +0.42 per cent, gross of investment management fees (+0.17 per cent, net of investment management fees). The Plan outperformed the policy benchmark of -0.03 per cent by 20 basis points and underperformed the actuarial assumed rate of return of 6.05 per cent. “In 2018, equity markets were modestly positive in the first 3 quarters but suffered a market collapse and the return of volatility in the fourth quarter. This created a challenging investment climate. The Plan’s asset mix is intended to reduce risk during turbulent periods. The asset mix met this objective,” stated TPPTI Chair, John B. Carter.

The low funded ratio of the Plan remains concerning to TPPTI, and TPPTI continues to support the sponsors of the Plan, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, in their efforts to improve the Plan’s health. To that end, Mr. Carter said the following: “I am pleased to advise that the Plan Sponsors and TPPTI have commenced a joint initiative, which includes the retention of an independent pension consultant, to identify meaningful changes in order to improve the long-term financial sustainability of the Plan and increase the retirement security of its members. The report of the independent pension consultant is anticipated to be completed later in 2019, and TPPTI will be encouraging the Plan Sponsors to effect Plan amendments based on the report’s recommendations.”

To read the 2018 Teachers’ Pension Plan Annual Report, visit the Plan’s website at: 
www.nstpp.ca/teachers/about/plan-performance

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For more information, contact:
Gisèle Taylor,
Senior Communications Advisor
Conseillère principale en communication
Nova Scotia Pension Services Corporation
P: 902-429-6432 | taylorgd@nspension.ca | www.novascotiapension.ca