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Pension Fund Investment Certificate

Upcoming course dates to be established

Aging workforces, changing work patterns and environments and erratic global economies are putting increased pressures on individuals and pension fund managers as they strive to provide financial security in retirement.

Governments are amending the social contract and companies are moving to limit future pension liabilities - protection and paternalism no longer seem to be in the pension playbook. Pension plan participants, pension committees and trustees are increasingly being thrust into the role and responsibility of making pension investment decisions for the future which requires a better understanding of financial markets, products and how to make appropriate investment strategy decisions.

Seminar content continually reflects industry changes and trends. The following describes subjects that may be addressed in each level.

PFIC: Pension Fund Investment Certificate

PFIC - Seminar Content

Module 1

The Operating Environment

  • investment perspective
  • review of investment choices
  • the sponsor's fund and tolerance for risk
  • the choices are blurred: trust funds, insurance contracts,
  • segregated funds, pooled funds?
    • providers & implications
    • options available and contract differences
    • limitations due to fund size
    • advantages/disadvantages
  • fiduciary responsibilities
  • regulatory restrictions and guidelines
  • decision-making and plan governance issues
  • the role of the trust company
  • the role of the trustee

This unit concentrates on understanding Registered Pension Plans; Funding Basics and the Professionals involved by looking at:

  • The Role of the Trustee
  • The Concept of RPPs
  • The Language of the Pension Business
  • The Participants and the Professionals Involved
  • The Process of Funding a Pension Plan

Module 2

Actuarial Valuation Reporting and Investment

  • the role of the SIP&G
  • developing the SIP&G
  • risk considerations and time horizons
  • the analysis required
  • understanding relationships and linkages
  • using consecutive reports to tell a story
  • the importance of asset/liability modelling
  • the investment return - required liability vs investment
  • allocating the assets
  • foreign content restrictions and options
  • what the investment manager needs to know & why

Module 3

The Investment Management Process

  • where do you start?
  • eligible common vs traditional vs not so common pension investments
  • active vs passive management
  • special techniques (immunization, securities lending [domestic & foreign], annuitization, derivatives, etc)
  • management structure – what’s needed?
    • selecting the investment manager
    • the value of professional help
    • where do you start and how is it done?
    • which style is best?
    • the value of references
  • when are multiple managers appropriate?
  • assessing the provider’s fit & track record

Module 4

Working with your Investment Manager

  • what is the mandate?
  • working effectively with your investment manager
    • staffing the pension investment committee
    • understanding investment review process
    • what to look for
    • reviewing gains and losses

Analyzing Investment Performance

  • world financial markets
  • understanding investment jargon, tools and techniques
  • the importance of monitoring
  • spotting trends (positive and negative)
  • changing investment managers

Module 5

Defined Contribution Plan Investments

  • DB vs DC plan investing – is it really different?
  • whose responsibility is it and why bother to do it
  • why educating the plan members is essential
  • what and how much is required
  • are there any guidelines in Canada?