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Ontario Municipal Employees posts 10.3% return for 2016

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(updated with correction)

Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, Toronto, returned a net 10.3% on its investments in 2016, helping boost its total assets to C$85.2 billion ($63 billion).

The return surpassed the pension fund’s custom benchmark 7.9% return and the 6.7% overall investment return reported in 2015, OMERS said in a news release Friday.

OMERS’ funding ratio improved to 93.4%, from 91.5% 12 months earlier.

Assets as of Dec. 31 were up 10.6% from the end of 2015.

Private equity was the top-performing asset class for the pension fund in 2016, with a 12.6% return, followed by real estate with 12.4%. Infrastructure returned 11%, while public investments returned 9.5%.

OMERS’ asset allocation as of Dec. 31 was 54.9% public investments, 17% infrastructure, 14.6% real estate and the remainder in private equity. At the end of 2015, the allocation was 52% public investments, 16.9% real estate, 16.4% infrastructure and 14.7% private equity.

Jonathan Simmons, the pension fund’s chief financial officer, said in the release that 2016 was the fourth consecutive year that OMERS’ funded status improved.

Neil Hrab, OMERS spokesman, was not immediately available for further details.