This report updates research published by the CCPA in 2017, and compares the pension deficits of the roughly 90 companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index with defined benefit (DB) pension plans to shareholder payouts between 2011 and 2017. These company plans account for a large portion of all the country’s private DB assets.
The report finds that Canada’s largest publicly-traded companies could have eliminated their DB pension deficits five times over with the value of what they chose to pay out to shareholders instead in 2017 alone. Put another way, these companies could have easily eliminated their pension deficits and still continued shareholder payouts.
The report notes that enhancing public options for retirement security in the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement is the simplest and most comprehensive way to ensure a comfortable retirement for all Canadians.
Subsequent to the publication of this report Power Corporation of Canada provided de-consolidated accounts for their companies. That data was incorporated in November 2019.