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November 11, 2020


Pilot Program Assesses Electronic PA

TELUS Health, Canada Life, and Innomar Strategies have launched an electronic drug prior authorization (ePA) solution for Canada. It will start with a pilot program to assess the value and potential benefits for users. The companies will test the digitized process to fulfill prior authorization submissions for real prescription cases and evaluate its impact on process efficiency, consistency of adjudication results, and the overall plan sponsor and member experience. Prior authorization is applied to certain prescription medications to determine if a benefits plan member is approved to receive coverage for that specific drug. Digital ePA solutions, which are available in other countries, help to unlock system efficiencies and productivity gains, resulting in decreased time spent fulfilling prior authorization submissions. With submissions in Canada expected to grow due to the increased utilization of specialty medicines, and even more coming to market, this ePA solution is set to make a significant impact across the country’s health benefits industry.

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Ontario Preserves Target Benefit Framework

The Ontario government’s 2020 Budget ‒ Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover ‒ addresses its ongoing commitment to develop a target benefit framework under the Pension Benefits Act (PBA), says a Hicks Morley ‘FTR Now.’ It has also taken steps to preserve the previously enacted but not-yet-in force framework from automatic repeal. The PBA’s target benefit framework was first enacted a decade ago by Bill 120. These provisions were subject to repeal on December 31, 2020, because they had not been proclaimed in force during the 10 years following the original enactment date in 2010. In order to avoid this, the not-yet-in force provisions related to target benefits have been re-enacted largely in the same form as they were originally enacted. The re-enacted target benefit changes to the PBA will only come into effect on a future date to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The budget also highlighted a commitment to consolidate smaller public sector pension plans with larger pension plans as part of its strategy of supporting the sustainability and affordability of public sector pension plans. It notes that consolidations produce substantial savings by increasing efficiencies, reducing agency pension administration costs, and leveraging cost-effective asset management through the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO).

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Views On Solvency Review Wanted

The government of Canada wants to learn more about Canadians’ and stakeholders’ views on potential options for temporary broad-based solvency funding relief and measures to strengthen pension plan governance and administration for federally regulated pension plans. To do so, its department of finance has released a consultation paper as it committed to in Budget 2019. About seven per cent of private pension plans in Canada are in federally regulated industries like banking, telecommunications, and inter-provincial transportation. The consultation is also soliciting views on solvency reserve accounts, variable payment life annuities, and ministerial guidelines on special funding relief. Submissions can be made up to January 14, 2021, via email to FIN.Pensions-Pensions.FIN@canada.ca or mailed to Financial Crimes and Security Division, Financial Sector Policy Branch, Department of Finance Canada, 90 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5.

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Working Remotely Beginning Of Change

While there has been quite appropriately a lot of focus on working remotely, that’s not the end of it, that’s actually just the beginning of change, says Paula Allen, senior vice-president, research, analytics, and innovation, at Morneau Shepell. Speaking on ‘Working Well: Workplace health in an age of disruption’ at the Medavie Blue Cross ‘Benefits Together 2020 Virtual Conference,’ she said in destructuring the way people are working, it’s not just how they work, it’s when they work and how their performance is measured. In fact, “there’s a heightened focus on true productivity right now,” she said. For some, this remote environment is fraught with problems. They can’t onboard anybody, build relationships, or connect with their team. “At the end of the day, it’s just going to take a while before people realize that there’s many different ways that you can manage a group, that you can collaborate,” said Allen. It’s also important to realize that a lot of the change that is taking place will be positive. Virtual care is one as is the flexibility that’s offered from working remotely. But change “really is hard and one change leads to another change leads to another change,” she said. And “more change will happen and that will be hard on populations and that will be hard on employees. Employers would be doing well to realize that they’re going to need to demonstrate empathetic leadership in order to make sure that their people can get through this,” she said.

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CI Investments Rebrands

CI Investments Inc. is rebranding as CI Global Asset Management (CI GAM). As part of the rebrand, legacy in-house investment boutique brands Cambridge Global Asset Management, Harbour Advisors, Sentry Investment Management, and Signature Global Asset Management will be phased out and operate under the CI GAM banner. Investment managers at CI GAM will share information across the firm rather than within their investment boutiques, it says. The rebrand is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

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Private Assets Drive Alternative Growth

At the end of 2020, alternative assets firms globally will hold $10.74 trillion in assets under management(AuM). And by the end of 2025, Preqin predicts that this will rise to $17.16 trillion – a CAGR of 9.8 per cent and an overall 60 per cent increase. Private equity and private debt will be the biggest drivers of growth, respectively increasing their assets by 16 per cent and 11 per cent annually and private equity will come to account for around half of the total alternatives industry. Other asset classes are predicted to see slower growth, but all are set to expand in size over the next five years. Regionally, Asia-Pacific is emerging as the biggest growth market: with AuM focused on the region increasing by a CAGR of 25 per cent, total assets are set to hit almost $5 trillion by the end of 2025.

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Ontario Teachers’ Leads Investment In Driving Company

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board’s (Ontario Teachers’) Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) is leading an investment round in Pony.ai, an autonomous driving company. This round also had participation from existing partners Fidelity China Special Situations PLC, 5Y Capital (formerly Morningside Venture Capital), Clearvue Partners, and Eight Roads, among others. Pony.ai’s mission is to deliver autonomous mobility by building technology that allows vehicles to drive safely on public roads. Its Robotaxi services has been offered to the general public in major cities across the U.S. and China – serving thousands of riders  and covering more than 3.5 million kilometres autonomously – since 2018. It is also working closely with OEMs, tier-ones, and logistic companies to develop robo-truck solutions targeting the long-haul logistics market.

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November 10, 2020


COVID Threatens Future Female Leadership

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the pipeline of next-generation female leaders and potentially reversing the progress corporate Canada has made in diversity and inclusion, says an analysis from Thinking Ahead, a signature platform at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) which shares perspectives on issues affecting global capital markets. It says the economic fallout from the pandemic is disproportionately hitting female workers. Female participation in Canada’s workforce plunged to a 30-year low at the height of the pandemic in April 2020 driven by both layoffs and shifts in how people live and work. Reduced female labour force participation would risk the pipeline of next generation female business leaders and women on corporate boards. In its latest research piece, ‘Women, COVID-19 – and the threat to gender equity and diversity,’ CPP Investments engaged with diversity, capital markets, and governance experts about the steps companies and policy makers can take to protect the gains to date and assure future progress. Its recommendations include setting measurable diversity targets for boards seats and executive positions by adopting targets for female representation; tracking diversity at all organizational levels and building a talent pipeline; supporting childcare for working parents to enable more women to return to work; and re-examining existing systems to identify and combat bias in the corporate culture. “The business risk of losing the expertise and perspectives brought to the table by women is too great to ignore,” says Mark Machin, president and CEO of CPP Investments. “It is a business imperative that we work to solve this problem and, in doing so, shape a faster economic recovery for Canada and greater value creation for Canadian businesses.”

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Funding Solvency Improves

Solvency positions improved over the quarter ending September 30 as the market continues to recover from the pandemic-induced shocks in March, says the ‘Q3 2020 Estimated Solvency Report for Ontario’s Defined Benefit Pension Plans’ from FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario). This resulted in the median projected solvency ratio increasing to 94 per cent at September 30, up from 90 per cent at the end of June and 85 per cent at the end of March. Nevertheless, this remains below the level of 99 per cent at December 31, 2019. The improvement increased the percentage of pension plans that are projected to be fully solvency funded to 34 per cent, while reducing to 25 per cent those that are projected to have a solvency ratio below 85 per cent. However, it says it remains as important as ever for plan administrators to review their funding and investment strategies so they can prudently manage their plans through the cycle. Many have already completed their reviews or are in the process of doing so – others are urged to do likewise.

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Biden Promises Unprecedented ESG Boom

U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden’s administration will usher in an unprecedented boom for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments, says Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group. With the Democratic candidate becoming the president-elect of the United States of America, he says there’s been a massive surge around the world from clients this year looking for such investments. “But this phenomenon is set to be dramatically accelerated with Joe Biden in the White House,” he says. Biden and Kamala Harris, his vice-president, actively championed on the election trail and before, values that have an inherent synergy with ESG-orientated investments including climate change, social justice, equality, diversity, human rights, and corporate transparency and accountability. As well, the Biden administration is aiming to reverse policies established by outgoing President Donald Trump. For instance, Biden has promised to bring the U.S. back into the Paris Agreement, the multi-nation pact to combat climate change, on day one of taking office, and called for a transition in America from fossil fuels to renewable energy. “Such campaign issues will now likely become policy,” says deVere.

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ICERs Calculation Need New Parametres

Just because incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) have always been calculated with the public payer perspective doesn’t mean they should, says a Telus ‘Health Benefits Hub.’ By calculating ICERs with new parameters, plan sponsors would be able to make more evidence-informed decisions. ICERs give payers an idea about the cost-effectiveness of drugs entering the market making them valuable tools in making decisions about reimbursement. And with expensive drugs continuously coming to market, plan sponsors need to control spending while providing access to effective therapies for employees. Economic evaluation can help shed light on whether an investment in a drug provides value for money. And while the dialogue on this has largely just begun, the standard deviation evidenced in research – 14 per cent – is high enough to make a compelling argument to drug manufacturers to adjust their economic evaluations. A 14 per cent standard deviation suggests that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio difference can be large in either direction. “The goal should be to work with both payers and manufacturers to make the health economic models relevant to the private payer,” it says.

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European Firms Look At Fiduciary Management

While the UK and the Netherlands are the key markets in Europe for fiduciary management, pension schemes throughout the region are considering appointing fiduciary managers with the aim of gaining access to more esoteric asset classes and improving their governance, says Cerulli Associates. It estimates that UK fiduciary assets under management (AuM) were US$253 billion at the end of 2019. Defined benefit schemes currently make up the largest proportion of the UK’s fiduciary assets with more than 72 per cent at the end of last year. However, it expects defined contribution schemes’ share of fiduciary assets to experience much stronger growth over the next three to five years. Demand for fiduciary management in the UK DC space will be driven primarily by small, trust-based DC schemes. Dutch pension assets exceeded US$1.9 trillion in 2019 and approximately 88 per cent of those assets were under fiduciary management. New business opportunities in the Dutch fiduciary market are expected to come largely from manager turnover. It expects portfolio customization to become a key factor in winning and retaining fiduciary business in the next three to five years.

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Sun Life Offers Inclusion Program

Sun Life has invested in ‘Inclusion Works by Hive Learning,’ an interactive digital inclusion program. Inclusion Works is a peer learning program, designed to help employees own, accelerate. and embed change — accelerating the pace at which inclusion becomes a habit. Branded ‘Kaleidoscope’ for its employees, the program will take participants on a journey from unconscious bias to conscious action by embedding tiny, but powerful, acts of inclusion into their daily behaviours and routines. Over the past 18 months, the program was piloted with 1,500 employees in North America and Asia. At the end of the pilot, 94 per cent felt confident demonstrating inclusive behaviours at work; 88 per cent committed to taking action on what they learned; and 92 per cent found the overall learning experience engaging and valuable.

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Funds Target Logistics Centres

Goodman Group, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), and APG Asset Management N.V. have each allocated an additional £300 million of equity to investment vehicles in the UK, targeting the logistics sector. The expansion follows the success of the Goodman UK Partnership (GUKP) established in 2015 to invest in prime industrial and logistics properties on a long-term basis. The additional commitment will be used to further expand the portfolio of high-quality, sustainable logistics and industrial properties strategically located on key arterial routes, particularly around Greater London.

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November 9, 2020


TBPs Require Different Mindset

The conversation around target benefits plans (TBPs) requires a different mindset, says Barry Gros, pension board chair for the University of British Columbia Staff Pension Plan and a member of the B.C. Financial Services Authority Target Benefit Provision for Adverse Deviation (Pfad) Working Group. In a C.D. Howe Institute ‘Intelligence Memo,’ he says the conversation on TBPs needs to change. In the discussions about the viability of target benefit (TB) pension plans, he keeps hearing that ‘contribution adequacy’ or ‘contribution sufficiency’ seems to be the primary concern. However, the basic tenet of TBP design was that the contributions are fixed and the benefits, even if they are formula driven, end up being what the contributions can support. The concept of contribution adequacy comes from a defined benefit mindset where the benefit is guaranteed which is not the case with TBPs. Instead of focusing on contributions required to deliver a guaranteed benefit, the focus of the TBP should be on the benefits the contributions can reasonably support. Unless the conversation changes, legislation of TBFs could greatly restrict the expansion of these plans and the breadth of their design at a time when the industry has been looking for more innovation in pension design, he says.

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ESG Portfolios Resilient Due To Focus On Sustainability

For ESG investors, the central focus is on sustainability, says Margaret Childe, head of environmental, social, and governance (ESG), Canada, at Manulife Investment Management. In the article ‘Why ESG Portfolios have Proven to be More Resilient in the Context of COVID-19,’ she says a condition of resiliency represented in company fundamentals and management effectiveness at managing material risks, in aggregate, gives companies a better chance of thriving in the future. The measure of a company’s sustainability comes down to how resilient and agile they are in handling many stakeholders, global uncertainties, shocks, and disruptions, regardless of whether these are caused by a pandemic, social unrest, or an environmental emergency. “Qualitative, pre-financial factors are accepted by ESG strategies as potential drivers of future business strength and weakness. That may be one reason why momentum continues to gather behind ESG strategies, as investors increasingly look to see whether a company has the strategic vision and capabilities to achieve and maintain strong ESG performance,” she says.

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Dry Powder Decreases In Middle East

A decrease in the amount of dry powder from $8.3 billion to $6 billion shows that fund managers are finding attractive private capital opportunities in the Middle East, says Preqin. With economies in the Middle East at a crossroads due to the decline in oil prices and the COVID-19 outbreak which have increased the need for structural economic reform, initiatives are underway to boost domestic employment. Private capital AuM (assets under management) in the region has been stable for the past decade. As of March 2020, AuM stood at $24 billion, slightly lower than the $29 billion recorded as of December 2011. However, estimates of investor appetite are optimistic and large funds keep coming into the market. The 10 largest funds currently in market are seeking a combined $5.6 billion. Dave Lowery, head of research insights at Preqin, says, “Private capital will play an important role as the Middle East’s economies restructure and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. The region can rely on the large number of investors and fund managers it has, who are already creating a vibrant and active investment market, for private capital growth.

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Hedge Funds Skeptical About ESG Returns

Hedge funds are increasingly incorporating ESG (environment, social, and governance) criteria into their investment processes, but skepticism remains over its impact on returns, says a BNP Paribas corporate and institutional banking report. Its survey found that 40 per cent already implement ESG criteria, while nearly 60 per cent say they will do so within the next two years. It says hedge funds are “reaching a tipping point” for ESG integration as they become “increasingly aware of their responsibilities to the environment and society”. Over half of hedge funds say there will be increased demand for ESG-integrated investments post-COVID-19, but many are still skeptical about whether it can improve risk-returns. Just 48 per cent believe ESG can improve their risk-return profile. The main driver behind ESG implementation was client demand, according to 71 per cent of respondents, while 67 per cent said it was to meet investor requirements.

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CDPQ Invests In Titan Aircraft

Titan Aircraft Investments Ltd., a joint venture of its Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. Titan Aviation Holdings, Inc. subsidiary, and Bain Capital Credit, have entered into a US$300 million warehouse financing agreement with a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ and BNP Paribas as joint lead arrangers and lenders. The warehouse facility will provide debt capital to finance the acquisition of freighter aircraft leases by Titan Aircraft Investments.

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Vaccinations Discussed At Session

Ajit Johal, clinical director at Immunize.io, will discuss vaccines that should be considered by individuals and as health plan benefits at the CPBI Pacific’s ‘Vaccines 101:  You don’t know what you don’t know.’ It takes place December 8. Information is at http://www.cpbi-icra.ca/Events/Details/Pacific/2020/12-08-Vaccines-101-You-don-t-know-what-you-don-t

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November 6, 2020


Practical Applications Need Consideration

The Pension Investment Association of Canada (PIAC) wants the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) to consider the practical application of its decisions. In its comments on the PSAB review of ‘Section PS 3250, Retirement Benefits,’ it highlight potential concerns. To start, it says Canada’s public sector pension plan model is unique, However, earlier this year, PSAB signaled its intention to base future standards on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) as well as maintain its ability to deviate from IPSAS standards when appropriate. PIAC believes that PSAB must consider the unique nature of Canada’s public sector pension model, as well as the unique governance and funding rules set out in provincial pension legislation. As such, PSAB should deviate from IPSAS standards when considering how public sector entities should account for pension obligations. It also says increased volatility in public sector financial statements may result from a new requirement to measure pension obligations using discount rates related to the yield on high quality corporate bonds. PIAC believes that increased volatility in public sector financial statements is one potential and undesirable impact of requiring pension obligations to be measured using discount rates related to the yield on high-quality corporate bonds. Additionally, using the market yield of high-quality corporate bonds will also result in higher valuation of pension obligations than the ultimate cost under the funding model. Both concerns exacerbate the short-term focus which has undermined defined benefit pension plans in recent years to the detriment of society at large, it says.

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PA Comes With Challenges

While prior authorization (PA) should be relatively straightforward, it is not without its challenges, says a Connex Health Consulting and Pangaea Group white paper. ‘Report on Prior Payer Prior Authorization in Canada: Simplify Prior Authorization’ says prior authorization ‒ a process where private payers reimburse a prescribed medication on the condition of satisfactory medical evidence from a patient and their physician ‒ is placing a financial burden on insurers; an administrative burden on patients, medical practitioners, and patient navigators; varies in the criteria used to evaluate PA medication and assessment of patient eligibility; and impacts patients due to the time it takes to adjudicate claims. The latter has a physical and mental health impact on patients, particularly those who experience extended wait times to access sometimes lifechanging therapies. To improve the process, it recommends the creation of a patient-centric PA process and a consensus on some standardization between private payers to develop, for example, administrative efficiencies and expedited claims processing. It also wants standards developed for annual reporting, accreditation and recognition for private payers who achieve and maintain best practices, cost/benefit metrics, and stakeholder evaluations. While it recognizes that developing a solution will be challenging, it says the timing is right for creating efficiencies in PA. Since at least 2007, there has been a growing percentage of total drug spend on specialty drugs and this category is expected to continue to grow. As the number of drugs, including specialty drugs, that are subject to PA grows, so will the associated financial burden of PA management and administration on payers and other stakeholders. Addressing PA now to simplify the process and create efficiencies will reduce administration costs and improve the experience for all stakeholders, most particularly patients.

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More Promotion Of Ethnic Diversity Needed

Investment professionals are concerned that the money management industry is not doing enough to promote ethnic and cognitive diversity, says a survey of CFA Society of the UK members. It found that while some progress has been made, key areas still require attention. The most work is needed in inclusive talent acquisition and retention, according to 56 per cent of respondents. The gender pay gap followed at 53 per cent as well as representation at board and executive levels, at 52 per cent. Ethnic diversity was highlighted as an area of concern, with 35 per cent of respondents saying they think their firm is doing enough to recruit from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Thirty-eight per cent said their firm was not doing enough and the remaining respondents were unsure.

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ESG Provides Better Risk-Adjusted Returns

For all asset managers, not just those offering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) products, a growing pool of allocators and investors believe that consideration of these factors can provide better risk-adjusted returns over the long term, says Cerulli Associates. The vast majority (88 per cent) of asset owners place at least moderate importance on asset managers having ESG capabilities and 77 per cent of investment consultants rate it as at least somewhat important. Nine of the top-10 consultants use a formal ESG rating process or take ESG considerations into account as part of the overall manager recommendation. Similarly, more than one-third (39 per cent) of institutional asset owners score investment managers based on their ESG integration approach. More than half (54 per cent) of asset owners surveyed incorporate ESG considerations into their investment decision-making to align investment objectives with organizations’ values. Allocators are placing high priority on managers having an ESG integration process.

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PSP Investment Closes

Integral ILS Ltd. has closed a cornerstone investment mandate with the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). PSP Investments has provided Integral with significant LP commitments to launch a dedicated ILS (Insurance Strategy) focusing predominantly on natural catastrophe-linked reinsurance and insurance transactions. The vision of Integral is to drive further evolution in the ILS fund management model with an investor-focused fiduciary that also benefits from a long-term and stable alignment with industry leaders in reinsurance and insurance underwriting and distribution.

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Smith Has Dual Roles

Tyler Smith is vice-president, actuarial and investment consulting, at People Corporation and Coughlin and Associates. He joined Coughlin in 2017 from Benchmark Decisions where he was a consulting actuary.

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Oncology Innovations Discussed

The November 26 session of the Benefits Breakfast Club will look at ‘Innovations in Healthcare and Benefits Plans: Oncology.’ Dr. Mark Vincent, medical oncologist, London Health Sciences Centre; Bev Herczegh, pharmacist and consultant at Pangaea Group; Denise Balch, principal consultant and president of Connex Health; and Alan Birch, drug access facilitator for the cancer care program at North York General Hospital; will explore advances in oncology and the challenges of reimbursement. They will also discuss how simplifying the current prior authorization process would reduce the administrative burden for payers and other stakeholders and improve turn-around time for claims adjudication. Information is at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bbc-webinar-ontario-innovations-in-oncology-registration-120213607135?mc_eid=7e402198d2&mc_cid=ddfa70afaf

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November 5, 2020


CPP Maximum Increases

The maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for 2021 will be $61,600, up from $58,700 in 2020, says the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Contributors who earn more than $61,600 in 2021 are not required or permitted to make additional CPP contributions. The basic exemption amount for 2021 remains at $3,500. The RRSP dollar limit, which is also indexed, will be $27,830 for 2021, up from $27,230 in 2020. The employee and employer CPP contribution rates for 2021 will be 5.45 per cent, up from 5.25 per cent in 2020, and the self-employed contribution rate will be 10.9 per cent, up from 10.5 per cent in 2020. The increase in contribution rates is part of the continued implementation of the CPP enhancement, which began in 2019. The maximum employer and employee contribution to CPP for 2021 will be $3,166.45 each and the maximum self-employed contribution will be $6,332.90. The maximums in 2020 were $2,898.00 and $5,796.00, respectively.

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Stewardship Grows As Approach To Sustainability

Active engagement and stewardship are increasingly important ways for money managers to approach the issue of sustainability, says Schroders’ ‘Institutional Investor Study.’ It found that 59 per cent of respondents see active company engagement and stewardship as key approaches to integrating sustainability, up from 38 per cent a year ago. The study also says that integrating environmental, social, and governance factors into the investment process remains the top way of improving sustainability, at 67 per cent up from 64 per cent last year. Focusing on best-in-class companies or investments, known as positive screening, was cited by 61 per cent of respondents as an important way of driving change, up from 44 per cent last year. Exclusion or negative screening fell in importance, to 36 per cent from 53 per cent. When it comes to measuring the success of engagement with companies, respondents said transparent reporting, tangible outcomes, and consistently voting against companies to drive change were key signs.

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Digitization Offers New Treatments

Recognizing that good mental health is an important factor in workplace productivity, plan sponsors and employers are looking for ways to enhance their mental health offerings and take a more preventative approach to employee well-being, says a TELUS Health Hub. However, the digitization of existing healthcare practices offers new diagnostic, treatment, and monitoring capabilities – empowering healthcare professionals to enhance patient care across the healthcare continuum. Virtual care platforms and tools will be an important component of the future of patient care and wellness, it says, improving employees’ access to care and having a positive impact on mental health outcomes.

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U.S. Telemedicine Solution Launched

Morneau Shepell has launched its first unified telemedicine solution in the United States. With this service, U.S. employees and their families have assured access to digital healthcare support for all their wellbeing needs. Offered in conjunction with an employee assistance program (EAP) and wellbeing services, this telemedicine solution will further support the seamless continuum of quality care Americans deserve.

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Real Estate Fund Closes

RBC Global Asset Management Inc. has announced the second closing of the RBC Canadian Core Real Estate Fund. It attracted $805 million in equity commitments from Canadian institutional and individual investors, exceeding subscription targets. This follows the initial closing of $1.25 billion completed on October 31, 2019, bringing the total assets under management for the fund to over $2 billion. The fund was created in partnership with British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and QuadReal Property Group. It provides investors with access to a large, high quality, and diversified commercial real estate portfolios with assets located in key cities across the country.

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Forsyth Joins Franklin Templeton

Andrew Forsyth is senior vice-president, institutional investments, at Franklin Templeton Canada. He joins the firm from Brandywine Global Investment Management (Canada) where he was managing director, Canada.

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RI Strategy Discussed

Alison Schneider, director, responsible investment, at Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo); Sarah Takaki, senior director, responsible investing, at the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP); and Deborah Debas, responsible investment specialist, investment solutions, at Desjardins Wealth Management; will discuss why it is prudent to have an RI strategy and provide some practical ways to address the questions, concerns, and requests coming from pension plan members at the ACPM’s ‘Responsible Investing: Practical advice for plan sponsors and administrators’ session. It takes place November 17. Information is at https://www.acpm.com/ACPM/Events/ACPM-Roundtable-Broadcast-Event-(November-17,-2020.aspx

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