An informational bulletin for members of the ELCIC Pension Plan
February 2017   
Investment Results - 2016 
The ELCIC Pension Plan return for 2016 is 6.4% (before expenses) when combining the results of the Fixed Income Fund and the Growth Fund. Assets in individual member accounts are allocated between these two funds based on the member’s age, so the individual returns will vary based on the allocation.
Here is a breakdown of the results by fund and investment manager:

Fixed Income Fund
Phillips, Hager & North (PH&N), the fixed income investment manager posted a return of 2.2% which was slightly better than the index, but not enough to meet the inflation target. The last quarter of 2016 had negative investment results due to rising interest rates. PH&N did better than the index due to their credit and liquidity strategies.
In the mortgage portfolio, PH&N outperformed the index, which they attribute to, ”focusing on our long-term relationships and providing creative financing solutions we have been successful in delivering strong service and competitive pricing while still prioritizing risk mitigation.” In looking ahead PH&N goes on to say, “We have started 2017 with a strong pipeline of opportunities and are pleased with the yield levels being achieved in the commercial mortgage market.”
Growth Fund
Jarislowsky Fraser (JF), the Canadian equities value manager outperformed the index in the last quarter of 2016. However the return for the year at 18.8% lagged behind the index for 2016 overall.
“This quarter there were no new positions added to the portfolio,” JF reports, “but we exited Suncor Energy Inc. based on valuation and due to increasing concerns about the shift in strategic direction towards more oil sands mining. The proceeds were used to add to some of the existing energy names with a better risk return profile such as Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Enbridge Inc., and Pembina Pipeline Corporation.”
Manulife Asset Management (MAM) reported that this quarter they sold the portfolio’s position in Kinross Gold Corp. and rather than add new names to the portfolio, they added to the current picks in the financial sector.
“At the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, “Manulife reports in their Outlook, “the equity market rallied on the new U.S. administration’s pro-growth election platform of lower tax rates, less regulation and increased infrastructure spending. As 2017 continues, equity markets will be focused on whether the new U.S. administration can execute these pro-growth policies and how they will impact not only the U.S., but also other countries around the world.”
Allianz GI Global Sustainability Fund acknowledged that it was a challenging quarter due in part to the surprise US election result and subsequent sharp market style rotation. However, they have a positive outlook due to “improving global cyclical economic data and potential tax cuts and fiscal stimulus in the US which should underpin both economic and corporate earnings growth.”
ELCIC Pension Plan member statements for the year January 1st to December 31st, 2016 are being prepared and should be arriving in your mailbox by the end of the month. Please review your statement carefully to ensure GSI has all your personal data correct and that your pension contributions are accurate. Contact our office if you have any questions and to report any errors or updates.

Continuing Education Plan member statements will also be included in this mailing. Please take a moment to review your CEP account and consider what education opportunities may enrich you and your ministry in the coming year.

What Happens to Your Pension Account at Retirement?

In your years working for the ELCIC you have been saving a portion of your salary to support yourself in your retirement. Your account balance (reported on your semi-annual member statement) must be transferred out of the ELCIC Pension Plan and used to create income in your retirement years. There are several options for you to consider in order to create this income.

Please contact GSI a few months before you plan to retire to request the required forms needed to make your pension election. GSI will transfer your account balance to your financial institution (or the group account – see below) on a tax free basis when final contributions are received and all forms are properly completed.

Post-Retirement Group Plan

GSI has sponsored a group plan for former members (and spouses) of the ELCIC Pension Plan as an alternate option for your pension account balance when you are ready to start your pension income. The group plan might give you more flexibility and lower fees than the offerings on the retail market.

The post-retirement group plan offers LIF/RRIF products and a variety of investment choices approved by the GSI Board in compliance with the Statement of Investment Policies & Procedures for the post retirement account. The list of investment options can be found on our website. 

GSI has partnered with Eckler to assist you in transitioning to retirement and choosing the group plan products that would work best for you. If you would like to know more about this please call James Ralko at Eckler toll free at 1-877-988-1581 for a brochure and fund information. Eckler can also answer you questions regarding your government benefits, RRSP’s and taxes.

Alternatively, if you would like to purchase an annuity, Eckler, at your request, can gather market quotes from the life companies and assist you in making your selection and getting you set up. Just call the toll free number above or contact GSI.

GSI administers pension and benefits plans that enhance the 
well-being of employees who serve in the ELCIC and its affiliates.
Copyright © 2017 ELCIC Group Services Inc, All rights reserved.

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