UPP is pleased to share our 2022 Annual Report, marking our first full operational year as your pension provider. The Plan maintained a healthy funding position, staying well-equipped to pay members’ pensions today and over the long term.
I am pleased to share our second annual report, with reflections and highlights from UPP’s first full operating year. As we continue to establish UPP as a trusted plan for Ontario’s university sector, our utmost priority is, as always, ensuring our members have a sustainable and predictable pension to rely on. Our annual report provides an important opportunity to share progress against our short- and long-term objectives and transparency into our decisions as we deliver on our promise of pension security for members today and tomorrow.
UPP’s portfolio posted a 9.1% net loss in 2022, outperforming median defined benefit pension returns in Canada by 3.3%*. The performance primarily reflects UPP’s transitional portfolio state amid the strained macroeconomic environment.
While we never want to incur negative returns, our focus is sustainable long-term performance and a well-funded Plan that delivers benefit and contribution rate stability through time. Despite last year’s market challenges, the Plan maintained a healthy funding and liquidity position, staying well-equipped to pay members’ pensions over the long term and agile to investment opportunities as markets evolve.
In 2022, we maintained a strong focus on completing the foundation of our investment approach, putting the building blocks in place to ensure our portfolio meets the needs of members today and in the years ahead.
*On a smoothed asset basis
While the recent economic conditions are challenging, there is no impact to your pension, or the security of your pension. Under a defined benefit pension plan, your pension is based on a formula, not annual investment returns.
Our commitment is to deliver retirement peace of mind to our members—and we remain in an excellent position to do just that.
To that end, member and employer contribution rates were unchanged in 2022, and retired members, survivors, and dependents in pay received an inflation protection increase to the post-conversion portion of their pensions of 4.75% at January 1, 2023, helping them keep pace with rising prices. Together, these measures of stability reinforce the strength of a defined benefit pension in both certain and uncertain times.
Building a progressive, member-driven service model
A modern, digitally enabled Pension Administration Solution (PAS) is a cornerstone of our commitment to provide proactive, personalized service to members and participating organizations.
To deliver best-in-class service and build the right solutions, we first needed to understand what excellence meant to members. Following a two-part member engagement series throughout 2021 and 2022 to better understand the expectations, values, and priorities of our members, we selected Vitech as our partner in creating a secure, digitally enabled PAS with state-of-the-art systems, tools, and self-service features.
The design and implementation of UPP’s PAS will roll out in multiple phases over the coming years, led by a dedicated project team.
At UPP, we firmly believe in the power of stewardship as a lever for value creation, risk management, and improved corporate practices.
Our stewardship involves direct and collaborative engagement with investee companies and external investment managers, supporting sound public company governance through proxy voting, and advocating for sustainable public policy and market standards.
In UPP’s inaugural voting year of
2022, we voted on:
GHG emissions by
2022 carbon footprint
To track our progress, we annually calculate and report our portfolio carbon footprint, which is an analysis of the emissions associated with our investments*.
Much like investment returns, carbon footprints are driven by a number of factors that can drive short-term fluctuations. That’s why we keep a dual focus on decarbonizing both our portfolio and the real economy, with strong transparency along the way.
reduction in carbon footprint since base year (2021)*
Each person at UPP contributes their experiences, knowledge, and skills to our vision, working together to help bring retirement peace of mind to members today, and those to come.
We believe that supporting people to do their best work benefits everyone and are creating an intentional culture where all employees feel embraced, rewarded, and empowered to perform at their peak.
To help us shape our employee experience and workplace culture, we launched our inaugural employee engagement and culture surveys in 2022. Our Intentional Culture Survey assessed the core values and behaviours of our organization today and those we believe are important for future success. Our Employee Engagement Survey provided a forum where employees shared their experiences and insights about working at UPP.
Together, we at UPP are shaping an inclusive workplace built on collaboration and respect for one another and the world around us.
Our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Reconciliation (EDI & Reconciliation) program and three-year roadmap are the blueprints for our inclusive, respectful working environment and our way of honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #92.
Our roadmap is rooted in our belief that diverse teams, perspectives, and lived experiences spark better decisions and outcomes, new thinking, and a thriving work environment—all essential foundations to strong performance.
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