Canadian Defined Benefit Pension Plans Rebound in Q1 2019: RBC Investor & Treasury Services

Toronto, Ontario – April 30, 2019 – Canadian and global equities rallied to post strong Q1 2019 returns, helping to lift quarterly returns to 7.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to the RBC Investor & Treasury Services All Plan Universe (Q4 2018 returns sat at -3.5 per cent).


  • Q1 2019 Canadian equities, led by a rebound in oil price, bounced back to post a return of 12.4 per cent compared to a loss of -10.6 per cent in Q4 2018, while the TSX Composite Index posted a Q1 2019 return of 13.3 per cent compared to Q4 2018 return of -10.1 per cent.
  • All 11 of the TSX sectors posted gains in Q1 2019.
  • Global equities followed a similar path, returning 10 per cent in Q1 2019, reversing a Q4 2018 loss of -7.8 per cent, while the MSCI World Index also returned 10 per cent in Q1 2019 compared to a Q4 2018 loss of -8.5 per cent.
  • Canadian fixed income posted positive returns of 5.6 per cent, up from 1.8 in Q4 2018. Long-term bonds had a strong Q1 2019 that helped to propel returns. The FTSE Canada Universe bond index also forged ahead in Q1 2019, posting a return of 3.9 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent in Q4 2018.


“Canadian defined benefit pension plans started 2019 in positive territory as the TSX reached an all-time high, reversing many of the 2018 losses, but asset managers will need to remain vigilant as we head toward the mid-year mark. Many of the underlying concerns, including trade wars, slowing global economic growth as well as ongoing geopolitical unrest are still very relevant and will force asset managers to re-examine their portfolios and risk exposure.”

  • David Linds, Managing Director, Head of Canadian Asset Servicing, RBC Investor & Treasury Services



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About the RBC Investor & Treasury Services All Plan Universe
For the past 30 years, RBC Investor & Treasury Services (RBC I&TS) has managed one of the industry’s largest and most comprehensive universes of Canadian pension plans. The “All Plan Universe” currently tracks the performance and asset allocation of a cross-section of assets under management across Canadian defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and is a widely-recognized performance benchmark indicator. The RBC Investor & Treasury Services “All Plan Universe” is produced by RBC I&TS’ Risk & Investment Analytics (R&IA) service. R&IA work in partnership with best-in-class technology to deliver independent and cost effective solutions designed to help institutional investor clients monitor investment decisions, optimize performance, reduce costs, mitigate risk and increase governance capability.

About RBC Investor & Treasury Services

RBC Investor & Treasury Services (RBC I&TS) is a specialist provider of asset services, custody, payments and treasury and market services for financial and other institutional investors worldwide, with over 4,500 employees in 17 countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. We deliver services which safeguard client assets, underpinned by client-centric digital solutions which continue to be enhanced and evolved in line with our clients’ changing needs. Trusted with CAD 4.1 trillion in client assets under administration as at February 22, 2019, RBC I&TS has been rated by our clients as the #1 global custodian for eight consecutive years and is a financially strong partner with among the highest credit ratings globally.

For more information, please contact:

Briana D’Archi
+1 416 955 5658