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Global Future of Retirement Conference

Lower returns, rising cost of benefits and higher operating costs challenge pension funds

Mark J. Fuller, president and CEO of the Ontario P
Mark J. Fuller, president and CEO of the Ontario Pension Board

A trifecta of headwinds is challenging the pension management industry today, said Mark J. Fuller, president and CEO of the Ontario Pension Board, Toronto.

Speaking at the Pensions & Investments' Global Future of Retirement conference in New York, Mr. Fuller said those headwinds are lower returns; the continued rising cost of benefits; and significant upward pressure on operating costs.

To counter that, Mr. Fuller said, the OPB is focusing on being cost efficient, innovative and gaining access to scale.

The C$25 billion ($18.8 billion) is partnering with other pension funds in some areas like real estate and also is exploring asset pooling with others. To that end, the OPB is one of the original participants in the Investment Management Co. of Ontario, which will launch this year, along with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, also Toronto.