Life / Money

OMERS retirement fund improves investment return in 2016 to 10.3 per cent

TORONTO — The OMERS pension fund for nearly half a million public sector workers in Ontario says it achieved a 10.3 per cent net investment return in 2016 — the highest in six years.

The Toronto-based fund manager says its net assets rose by $8.1 billion to $85.2 billion at the end of 2016.

It was the best year for OMERS since 2010, when its net rate of return was 11.4 per cent.

OMERS — one of Canada's biggest pension fund managers — manages investments on behalf of 470,000 members from city governments, school boards, emergency services and local agencies across Ontario.

In 2016, about $3.6 billion in benefit payments were paid to nearly 150,000 retired members of the plan.

Last year's net investment return was up substantially from the 6.7 per cent recorded in 2015 — mostly because of a higher weighting in public investments and a higher return on that category of asset.

About 55 per cent of its assets at the end of 2016 were public investments, which had a net return of 9.5 per cent. In 2015, OMERS had a net return of 0.7 per cent from public investments, which made up 52 per cent of the total portfolio.

The other 45 per cent of OMERS assets in 2016 were various types of private investments, such as shares in private companies, infrastructure and real estate, which had 12 per cent return in 2016. The category's return in 2015 was 14.5 per cent.


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