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UPP achieves growth milestones, maintains healthy funded and liquidity status in 2022

2022 annual report details organizational build and investment performance amid challenging economic conditions.

Toronto, ON – University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP) today released its 2022 Annual Report outlining performance and development from its first full operational year. Amid historically challenging conditions and the Plan’s transitional portfolio state, the fund posted a -9.1% one-year rate of return in 2022, outperforming median defined benefit pension returns in Canada by 3.3%1. Despite these headwinds, the Plan maintained a healthy funding position, staying well-equipped to pay members’ pensions today and over the long term.

“In a period of soaring inflation, economic volatility, and increased geopolitical risk, we achieved significant milestones, helping create resilient value for more members. As we implement our long-term strategy, we’re keeping a careful eye on our evolving landscape while never losing sight of our top priority: providing secure and predictable pension income for our members, today and for generations to come,” said Barbara Zvan, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“2022 presented one of most volatile economic environments in recent memory, particularly for a newly formed fund. Our experienced investment team maintained a resolute focus on transitioning and integrating our incoming pension assets into a cohesive portfolio and implementing a long-term strategy designed for resiliency, performance, and value creation in a wide array of economic environments,” said Aaron Bennett, UPP’s Chief Investment Officer. “We remain well-positioned to meet the needs of members today and in the years ahead and agile to opportunities brought forth by market changes.”

2022 HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Plan is 103.3% funded with a $ 0.4 billion surplus2
  • Welcomed four new participants to the Plan, for a total of 16 participating organizations and over 39,000 members.
  • Assumed management for all $10.8 billion in portfolio assets and began transitioning towards a resilient, long-term target asset mix to protect and enhance value, balance investment risk, and manage short-term volatility.
  • Further developed in-house investment capabilities, including execution of first infrastructure deal
  • Provided pensioners, survivors, and dependents in pay with an inflation protection increase of 4.75% to the post-conversion portion of their pensions, effective January 1, 2023. Pre-conversion inflation protection is based on the prior plan’s indexing formula, which varies by each plan joining UPP.
  • Made progress against Climate Action Plan, UPP’s road map to achieving net-zero by 2040, or sooner, including reductions in portfolio carbon footprint.
  • Maintained stable member and employer contribution rates.
  • Approved and began implementation of three-year organizational strategy for the period 2022 to 2025.


Additional information about UPP’s 2022 results, including financial statements, is available in the 2022 annual report.

About UPP:

University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP) is a jointly sponsored defined benefit pension plan for Ontario’s university sector. UPP manages over $10 billion in pension assets and proudly serves over 39,000 working and retired members across 16 participating universities and sector organizations.

For more information, visit MyUPP.ca and follow us on LinkedIn.

1 Based on a sampling of public sources, the annual average net return among Canadian DB pension plans in 2022 was -12.4% (RBC Investor & Treasury Services, January 2023, reporting -10.3%; Northern Trust Pension Universe Data, January 2023, reporting -12.8%; Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Quarterly Update on Estimated Solvency Funded Status of Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Ontario, December 2022, reporting -14.1% for plans subject to solvency funding).

2 On a smoothed asset basis

Media Contact

Kelly Conlon
Managing Director, Strategic Communications and External Relations
media@universitypensionplan.ca

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