The Contributory Pension Plan of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. Ontario Registration Number

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1 The Contributory Pension Plan of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission Ontario Registration Number Public Sector Pension Plan Solvency Relief Application

2 The Contributory Pension Plan of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission Solvency Relief Application A. Introduction A.I Application The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (the "Commission") wishes to apply to participate in the two-stage solvency relief measures applicable to pension plans in the broader public sector, to be implemented through an amendment to R.R.O 1990, Reg. O/T 909 of the Pension Benefits Act, R. S. O. 1990, C. P.8. for the Contributory Pension Plan of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (the " Plan") (Registration No ). The Stage 1 Valuation Date for the Plan is January 1, The effective date of the prior actuarial valuation filed with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario was January 1, A.2 Overview of the Plan The Plan is a contributory defined benefit (DB) plan, covering about 1,024 active members who are currently accruing benefits and 1,208 pensioners and beneficiaries who are currently receiving pension income. The Plan specifies that members contribute a percentage of their earnings each year toward funding the benefit. The Commission is required to provide any additional funding, based on actuarial valuations. The Plan provides and annual pension at normal retirement (age 65) equal to: i. 2% of the average of the member's highest 48 consecutive months of earnings minus ii. 0.5% of the member's highest CPP earnings times iii. pensionable service (maximum 35 years) Members may retire early with an unreduced pension if: the member is age 55 or older and the sum of their age and service totals 85, or the members is age 60 and has completed 20 years of service, or the member has completed 35 years of service Otherwise, the pension is reduced by 3% per year of each year that early retirement precedes the normal retirement date. Members contribute 4.20% of earnings between the YBE and the YMPE as defined under the Canada Pension Plan, and 6.00% on all other earnings. Page 1 of 7 DRAFT

3 Pensions are a key component of the total compensation for employees at the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. For a sustainable pension plan to deliver on its pension promise, the Commission's focus is a reconfiguration of the cost/risk structure that is manageable for the Commission and for Plan members. A.3 The Commission's Funding Challenge: The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission is the sponsor for the pension plan that covers its employees. The Commission is facing solvency liquidity payment requirements at a time when most of its major lines of business are facing substantial declines resulting in a history of operating losses and cash flows from operations that, without the support of the Government of Ontario, would be negative. Actuarial valuation results prepared for the Plan at January 1, 2011 disclose a solvency deficit of $94.6 million and a going concern deficit of $18.3 million. The solvency deficit represents almost 70% of the Commission s operating expenses and 220% of its combined operating and capital reimbursements. With current provincial funding requirements there is 5 years to pay down this deficit an estimated current cash requirement of $21.6 million annually. This would be in addition to $5.6 million in annual estimated employer normal costs for the Plan. The requirement to fund this deficit during the current fiscal period has exacerbated what had already become an extremely tight and difficult to manage cash situation which, if unchecked, will lead to deterioration in the Commission s ability to continue to provide services in Northern Ontario. This situation has arisen due to a combination of factors: Fund asset values declined by approximately $87 million during the period covering the financial crisis of 2008 valuations dated 2007 and This decline occurred despite attaining performance benchmarks. There was a slight rebound in 2011 which reduced this decline to $63 million but this was insufficient to offset further declines in long term interest rates. Decline in long term interest rates; it has been actuarially estimated that the decline since 2001 has increased solvency liabilities by $222.5 million or 70%. It has been disclosed in the most recent valuation that a 1% move in long term interest rates would change solvency liabilities by $71.4 million. Plan design and demographics employee contribution levels and benefits are at odds with the current low interest rate environment. The volatility experienced in investment markets has not offset this experience. Total normal costs for the Plan have increased to 286% of employee contributions. Solvency liabilities for retired members and beneficiaries have averaged approximately 60% of total solvency liabilities over the last two valuations. On a go forward basis, this portion of solvency liabilities will only be impacted by changes in interest rates or mortality rates. The solvency situation contrasts with the going concern position of the Plan. Going concern deficits have declined from $38.6 million in the 2010 valuation to $18.3 million in the most recent [2011] valuation. While these remain deficits and present funding challenges for the Commission, they are at levels that are more manageable than those presented by the solvency deficit. Page 2 of 7 DRAFT

4 B: The Plan: B.l Recent History: The Plan's financial condition has declined significantly over the past several years primarily due to the market conditions and Plan design components such as those noted in section A.3. The chart below shows the solvency and going concern funded ratios for the last four valuations. While both ratios have declined significantly (17% and 20% for Going Concern and Solvency respectively), the solvency ratio clearly presents the most immediate fiscal challenge. The going concern decline points to longer term structural issues that are the result of investment returns, lower future investment return expectations, and longevity. The risk of going concern deficits will increase if these trends continue meaning greater contribution requirements to maintain a balanced going concern position. Ontario Northland Transportation Commission Retirement Plan Going Concern and Solvency Ratios At Valuation Date 140% 120% 100% 80% 113% 103% 117% 106% 92% 80% 96% 83% 60% 40% 20% 0% Jan. 1, 2006 Jan. 1, 2007 Jan. 1, 2010 Jan. 1, 2011 Going Concern Ratio Solvency Ratio Page 3 of 7 DRAFT

5 B.2 January 1, 2011 Valuation Results: The tables below summarize the most recent valuation results for the Plan. The solvency deficit (83% solvency ratio) of $94.6 million under normal funding rules translates into a total Commission annual contribution requirement of $27.2 million for the ensuing year. With an annual budget provision (based on normal cost) of $5.6 million, the annual unfunded cash requirements of almost $21.6 million will mean a serious deterioration in the Commission's overall financial stability. The Stage 1 temporary solvency relief option, while still requiring an increase in Commission contributions, is much more feasible and will provide the time needed to make the necessary changes to the Plan to improve the longer term financial stability of both the Plan and the Commission, as measured in its ability to fund pension contributions and maintain high quality services in the province of Ontario. January 1, 2011 Valuation Results Solvency $ millions Going Concern $ millions Assets $ $ Liabilities $ $ Deficit $ 94.6 $ $18.3 Funded Ratio 83% 96% Without Stage 1 temporary solvency relief, the resulting contribution requirements for the year commencing January 1, 2011 are as follows: January 1, 2011 Valuation Results Components of Cost and Contributions Cost ($ Millions) % of Pensionable Earnings Total Normal Cost % Employee Contributions % Commission Normal Cost Payment % Amortization of Deficit: Going Concern % Amortization of Deficit: Solvency % Total Annual Commission Contributions % B.3 Temporary Solvency Relief It is currently estimated that if the Commission were to be approved for the temporary solvency relief, under Stage 1, the minimum requirements for the Plan would equal $9.6 million consisting of normal cost payment of $5.6 million and special deficit funding payments of $4.0 million. Stage 1 relief will permit the time to consult with employees and work with employee representatives to determine the appropriate structural changes to the Plan with the two-fold objective of achieving Stage 2 relief and laying the foundation for changes in both funding and Plan design to manage the funding risk for the Commission and to provide long term benefit stability for Plan members. Page 4 of 7 DRAFT

6 C: Savings Target The Savings Target is to be determined based on the funded ratio of the Plan at the Stage 1 valuation date (January 1, 2011) and at the effective date of the three previous actuarial valuations filed with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. The three prior valuation dates are as follows: January 1, 2010 January 1, 2007 January 1, 2006 The Savings Target is calculated by considering the average funded ratio on a going concern and solvency basis. The average funded ratios are as follows: ($000 s) Valuation Date Asset Value (Market) Going concern Liabilities Solvency Liabilities Going Concern Funded Ratio Solvency Funded Ratio January 1, , , , January 1, , , , January 1, , , , January 1, , , , Average The Savings Target is then determined as: Savings Target = 1 - (lesser of and ) = = or 9.24% At January 1, 2011, the estimated Present Value of Future Benefits for active members (future service only), based on the actuarial basis used to prepare the Stage 1 going concern valuation results, can be summarized as follows: Present Value of Future Benefits Active Members (000 s) Present Value of Future Member Contributions $ 26,000 Present Value of Future Commission Costs 67,200 Total $ 93,200 Applying the 9.24% Savings Target to this amount yields a Savings Target of $8.61 million (i.e. $93.2 million X 9.24%). That is, the Present Value of Future Commission Costs in respect of active members ($67.2 million) would need to be reduced by at least $8.61 million in order to meet the Savings Target. Page 5 of 7 DRAFT

7 D: Pension Plan Proposals for Change D.1 Recognizing and Communicating the Need for Change Employees were first advised of the impact of the 2008 economic downturn on the pension fund in March Pension contributions resumed for all active employees on January 1, 2010 concurrent with the effective date of the valuation. Pensioners were advised of the uncertain financial status of the Plan in 2011 when they were advised that pension increases would be suspended due to the financial position of the pension fund. Subsequent to these events, in March 2011 the Commission issued a notice to all employees and pensioners of its election of solvency relief in accordance with the initial temporary solvency relief regulations. The Commission has responsibility for the oversight of the pension plan. The Commission has a sub-committee, known as the pension committee, responsible for pension governance. The Committee has been directly involved in assessing the financial status of the Plan and reviewing approaches to address the shortfall since Additionally, the Plan also has a pension board whose responsibility is to make recommendations on Plan design to the Pension Committee. This board is comprised of union representatives and representatives of the Commission. The board has been kept apprised of the funded status of the Plan through the January 1, 2010 pension valuation and at its quarterly meetings. In recognizing the importance of the Plan to all employees an information session was held with union leaders in early December Subsequent to the meeting with union representatives a communiqué was sent to all employees confirming the status of the Plan and the Commission s intent to apply for solvency relief. A copy of this application will be made available on the Commission s internet site as well as an FAQ listing. Notice will also be provided as part of regular communications in the Commission s newsletter which is issued to employees and pensioners. D.2 Framework for Change In its discussions with employee groups and union representatives, the Commission has been and will continue to be guided by the following principles to find ways to make the Plan sustainable for the long term: a. The Commission is committed to retaining its defined benefit plan provided that changes are made to manage the Commission's funding risk; b. The Commission recognizes that a defined benefit pension plan is an important component of total compensation for eligible Commission employees; c. There will be no changes to pension benefits for existing pensioners; d. There will be no change to past service accrued benefits for active Plan members; e. Ensure the pension Plan is financially sustainable in the long term; not just meet the metrics prescribed by the Ministry of Finance for temporary solvency funding relief; f. There is an urgent need to prepare to make changes prior to the next mandated actuarial valuation in 2014 to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Commission and the pension Plan; Page 6 of 7 DRAFT

8 g. The Commission is prepared to consider changes to Pension Plan governance as part of any significant changes to the risk sharing structure ( e.g., possible creation of Jointly Sponsored Pension Plan); h. Continued communication with Plan members in order to raise awareness of the need for changes to ensure long-term sustainability of the defined benefit pension plan. Longer term, the cost of the Plan can be managed by a reconfiguration of current cost sharing with active members and through altering plan design prospectively. The Commission, through its consultations will be focused on achieving changes to the Plan provisions for active members. The following are the primary areas where changes will be discussed: Increases to member contributions, thereby reducing the Commission normal cost; Achieving a more equitable sharing of the normal cost of providing benefits between the Commission (sponsor) and members; Enhancing cost certainty and affordability through benefit adjustments to make the Plan more sustainable. Focus will be on controlling the costs of the following, particularly, as they contribute to the solvency liabilities: o o Benefit formula Early retirement provisions Review investment strategy Commitment to continued exploration of greater sharing of risk and governance through conversion to joint sponsorship for future service. E: Appendices There are three appendices attached as part of the total Plan to be filed. They are: 1. Appendix I: Employee Groups Covered by the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission Retirement Pension Plan 2. Appendix II: includes copies of funding Plan valuation reports filed since December 31, Appendix III: contains copies of Plan documentation filed since December 31, Page 7 of 7 DRAFT

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