Net Investment Return - 2022
2022 was a challenging year for capital markets. The continued effects of COVID, such as supply chain issues, and the macroeconomic responses to COVID, ultimately drove inflation to higher and more persistent levels than policymakers had anticipated. In an effort to curb these high levels of inflation, most central banks raised interest rates at a pace not seen in decades. This led to a challenging environment for both equities and fixed income securities.
Although our return number for the year is well below our long-term goal, given the challenges seen in markets, we are quite pleased with how resilient our portfolio was during 2022. Our assets returned negative 0.4% net of all expenses and outperformed the Plan's benchmark by 3.8%.
Since pension plans invest for the long-term, it is important to consider our asset performance over an extended period of time. Over the last 23 years, our Plan’s assets have generated a since inception net rate of return of over 7%, outpacing our benchmark’s over that same period by just over 1.6% per annum. This represents the value-add from our bias towards active investment.
Breaking our returns down into the various sub-portfolios allows us to determine which asset classes are performing well relative to our expectations. Although it may seem appealing to invest a large portion of a portfolio in a single asset class based on historical performance, it is important to note that doing so can add undue risk and compromise long-term sustainability.
Going Concern Funded Ratio
The Plan is currently estimated to be 103% funded. The Plan's funded ratio is a measure of its financial health and is a key driver of the level of contributions that are required to go into the Plan. It is determined by dividing the Plan's assets by its liabilities. Special contributions, over and above the cost of annual benefit accruals, are being made to bring the Plan to a more sustainable position.