Canadian private defined benefit plans were 75% funded at the end of June, up 14 percentage points from the end of February and two percentage points greater than the beginning of 2009, according to a Watson Wyatt Worldwide study.
Strong asset returns in recent months offset negative returns from early 2009, according to a news release on the study. Liabilities, however, increased on a percentage basis almost as much as assets over the first half of 2009.
“There have been many high-profile announcements in the United States and the United Kingdom of companies freezing their DB plans or closing them to new hires,” Ian Markham, director of pension innovation for Watson Wyatt in Canada, said in the news release. “The pace of change from DB to defined contribution among publicly traded companies in Canada appears to be somewhat slower than the U.S. and U.K. to date, but Watson Wyatt's 2009 Pension Risk Survey indicates that 30% of publicly traded Canadian companies are considering such changes sometime in the future.”