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Les déficits des caisses de retraite | Un défi de taille pour les C.A.

17 octobre 2013

La responsabilité du conseil d’administration en matière de supervision des politiques générales des fonds de pension de leur entreprise devient de plus en plus importante et demande davantage de temps et d’expertise de la part des membres du conseil.

Voici un article de Barbara Shecter paru dans le Financial Post du 20 août 2013 qui décrit une situation qui préoccupe de plus en plus les banques d’investissement et les investisseurs institutionnels.

J’ai reproduit, ci-après, un extrait qui donne les grandes lignes de cet article. Bonne lecture.

Growing pension liabilities are forcing some company executives and boards to spend an increasing amount of time and energy managing their obligations to future retirees — potentially at the expense of the actual business.

As a result, the issue of managing pension risk has moved onto the agenda in discussions with investment bankers, who have traditionally focused on allocating capital to things such as debt repayments, dividends and acquisitions.

The explanation for this trend, according to those in the banking and advisory business, is that pension obligations have become an “outsized” issue for many companies. Historically low interest rates combined with choppy and unpredictable equity markets have made funding future pension obligations more challenging.

Seasoned investment bankers say discussions about how to manage these obligations, including potentially paying now to get the risk of future pension obligations off a company’s books, flow naturally out of conversations about how to manage capital.

Pension liabilities an ‘outsized’ issue soaking up more corporate time and energy

Torstar Corp. is one of the companies around which analysts have begun to discuss pension funding when they talk about other corporate issues affecting stock price. Above, President and CEO David Holland addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Toronto in 2010.

Colin O’Connor for National PostTorstar Corp. is one of the companies around which analysts have begun to discuss pension funding when they talk about other corporate issues affecting stock price. Above, President and CEO David Holland addresses shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto in 2010.

“When we talk with clients about how best to use capital to boost their company’s share price or valuation, we’ve traditionally focused on debt repayments, share repurchases, dividend increases, special dividends or acquisitions,” says Don Fox, managing director and head of the financial institutions investment banking at CIBC World Markets. “Over the past couple of years, however, there has been interest from some clients in allocating capital to pension obligations,” he says.

The awareness of potential challenges arising from pension obligations has spread and is no longer confined to the rarified air of pension consultancies, equity analysts have noted, and that means investors are becoming aware of how their investments could be affected.

Torstar Corp. is one of the companies around which analysts have begun to discuss pension funding when they talk about other corporate issues affecting stock price.

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