Danger: Pension risks imperil employers

Workers won’t like it, but DB plans are too risky to maintain, expert says
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/20/2004

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anada’s pension system has become a dangerous place for plan sponsors, and rather than waiting for governments to reduce that danger, employers should act immediately to protect their organizations, said a leading Canadian pension expert in a headline-grabbing speech last month.

The double-digit market returns enjoyed during last decade’s stock market boom are likely gone for good. On top of that, the pension system has matured, which means there are more pensioners than ever. Further, benefits have been improved and assets and liabilities in some cases have outgrown the enterprise supporting them, said Malcolm Hamilton, a principal of Mercer Human Resource Consulting.