6 General Health

Unfortunately, due to the opacity of the Canadian plan, a general assessment of its health is not possible. Refusing to disclose essential aspects of the plan (such as the discount rate, number of orphans and inactives, etc.) protects the Trustees and their actuary from scrutiny. This policy does not benefit any participant of the Canadian plan.

As illustrated by the changes in the benefit multiplier, the Canadian plan has some challenges. Whether these are temporary or an onset of the pension influenza that affects the U.S. plan is impossible to say. As far as we can tell, the Canadian plan appears to be well run on many levels, although improvement is possible. It’s certainly the case that the many years of a lower benefit multiplier (22%-25% lower) would stress the Canadian plan far less than those used in the U.S. For this reason alone, we suspect that the Canadian plan may be in much better shape than the AFM-EPF.