CPP assets up $11B

A spring stock market surge helped push assets of the Canada Pension Plan up $11.1 billion in the first quarter.

A spring stock market surge helped push assets of the Canada Pension Plan up $11.1 billion in the first quarter.

The fund ended the first quarter of fiscal 2010 on June 30, 2009, at $116.6 billion compared with $105.5 billion at fiscal year end on March 31, 2009.

Investment income made up $7.6 billion of the gain, with the remainder consisting of $3.5 billion in CPP contributions not needed to pay current benefits, the plan said Wednesday. The investment gains represent a 7.1 per cent increase.

"We are pleased with the $11.1 billion increase in the fund and the positive 7.1 per cent return for the first quarter," CPP president David Denison said. "At the same time, the negative returns of our past fiscal year and the positive results of this first quarter both need to be viewed within the context of our long-term strategy. We continue to focus on delivering solid returns over the span of multiple years and indeed decades."

The fund is sufficiently funded to pay benefits without needing to use current income for the next 11 years, and it anticipates $28 billion of additional cash flow between now and 2019, the fund said in a release.

"We will maintain the strategic asset weightings for the portfolio," Denison said. "We will also continue to emphasize our strengths as a large, long-term investor to capitalize on investment opportunities we see in current market conditions."

In the 10 years since the CPP Investment Board began investing in April 1999, the fund has generated $31.8 billion in investment income. That's an annualized rate of return of 4.9 per cent. 

The CPP is the government-sponsored pension plan for 17 million Canadian contributors and beneficiaries.