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Pension Indices: May 2021

Pension Indices: May 2021

May 31, 2021

The Pension Indices by LifeWorks, released monthly, condense the journey that pension plans have experienced during the year into a few key statistics. More importantly, they also provide an early indicator of the challenges and opportunities that are yet to come for plan sponsors and administrators to help with the monitoring and management of their pension plans.


  • The funded position for an average pension plan improved slightly over the month of May, on both a solvency and accounting basis.
  • Asset returns for an average plan were slightly above 1% in May and year to date.
  • Canadian equity markets had a good month with a return for the TSX of 3.4% in May.
  • Real return bond yields decreased by 0.19% in May, while non-indexed long term Government of Canada bond yields decreased by only 0.05%, implying an increase in market expectations of inflation in the long term.
  • The accounting pension expense index continues to indicate a significant fall in pension expense compared to the start of the year.