May 2020 Pension Update to Pionairs

Because these are unprecedented times, your Committee thought it would be a good idea to update you on the status of the Air Canada pension plans.

In April, Air Canada held its regular quarterly update on the Air Canada pension plans.  This meeting included representatives from all the unions, retired non-unionized employees and the Pension Sub-Committee of the Pionairs.

The presentation was made by Vincent Morin, President and Chief Investment Officer, Trans Canada Capital.  Trans-Canada Capital (TCC) is a newly created investment management firm and a subsidiary of Air Canada.  TCC was created in 2019 from the Air Canada Pension Investment Division to manage the pension fund, among other activities, on behalf of Air Canada.  Air Canada remains fully responsible for the pensions.

In summary, Mr. Morin advised the meeting participants that the Air Canada Pension Master Trust Fund still had a surplus of over $2B.  This was supported by the Q1 financial statements which stated that as at April 1, 2020 the aggregate solvency surplus in the registered plan was $2.7 billion. This same surplus was mentioned by Michael Rousseau (Air Canada’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer) during a live Wolfe Industrials and Transportation webinar conference on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. 

Air Canada has advised that it implemented an investment strategy to help reduce the risk it was facing with its pension plans.  They advised that pension plan investments have been regularly rebalanced and recently the total fixed income allocation was 87.2%.

In addition, Air Canada has disclosed that the company’s liquidity at March 31, 2020 was $6.5 billion plus an additional $829M financing done in April 2020.

When we do get news from Air Canada, rest assured we will update you.

Pionairs Pension Sub-Committee