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Benefits and pension plans continue recovery

Market losses and benefit premiums prompt rate increase

Friday, October 2, 2009

At its September meeting in Toronto the Board of Managers (BOM) of LCC’s Worker Benefits Plan received encouraging reports from the three investment firms—Foyston Gordon-Payne, TDQ, and Sky Capital—who each manage a portion of LCC’s Pension Plan assets. The investment managers reported significant gains in their portfolios, resulting in a positive return in pension plan assets of 15 percent for the period January 1– August 31, 2009. “While this is good news,” said board chair Lois Griffin, “we know we are not yet where we need to be to make up for the overall losses.”

The board also reviewed the 2010 employer rates for pensions and benefits. As anticipated, the rates for pensions had to be increased to make up for the significant market losses in 2008, despite the recent market improvements. On the benefits side, with increases in both plan usage and supplier premiums, the board reluctantly increased some of those rates as well. Full details on the 2010 rates will be mailed out shortly.

Using teleconferencing for the first time, the board provided an opportunity for one of the largest employers in the plan, Concordia University College of Alberta to participate in a portion of the meeting. “This is a very cost effective and productive way for the board to receive input from a major plan member,” reported Mrs. Griffin. “We will continue using this to help connect more closely with our members and employers.”

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