How the board makes investment decisions
Your pension is protected by legislation and key investment policies. Learn how they work together.
The board monitors investment performance in two ways:
- Comparing results to a market benchmark and an investment return target
- Tracking investment performance through regular actuarial valuations
A benchmark is a standard used to measure the performance of an investment or a portfolio. The plan uses benchmarks for total investment returns over 1-year, 5-year and 10-year periods. It also sets benchmarks for specific types of asset classes, such as real estate.
The Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures, or SIPP, identifies the benchmarks. These include broad markets such as Canadian and U.S. equities that trade on stock exchanges like the TSX, NYSE, NASDAQ and Dow.
The board knows changing market conditions from year to year can affect investment returns. Some years are higher; some are lower. That’s why the board looks not only at quarterly and annual returns but also at long-term performance.
While annual investment returns vary, our targets are used to measure the plan’s ability to meet its pension obligations over the long term.
The board uses actuarial valuations to measure the plan’s long-term financial health and ability to pay pensions. At least once every three years, an actuary performs a valuation. The valuation determines:
- The financial position of the plan
- The future contribution rates needed to maintain long-term funding
- How much money the plan needs to pay pension benefits by making assumptions about future investment returns, future inflation rates, future increases in salaries, retirement ages, life expectancy and other factors
As part of each valuation, the actuary determines an assumed long-term rate of investment return for the plan. Valuation reports are available under About Us > Reports.
Before each actuarial valuation, the board reviews the funding policy. This policy provides guidelines for managing the financial position of the plan.
BCI provides regular reports and updates to the board on the plan’s portfolio performance. It also publishes on its website its Climate Action Plan, ESG annual report, and corporate annual report.
The plan publishes Report to Members for active members each September with the release of the annual Member’s Benefit Statement. Report to Members summarizes the plan’s financial performance as well as any plan rule changes and initiatives.
The plan’s Annual Report is published each November. The report includes priority work, governance and membership updates, investment performance analysis and the audited financial statements.