Industry Association Calls For Immediate “Synchronization” of Federal and Provincial Pension Reform to Benefit All Canadian Investors

Newly Named Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) Advocates Transparent Taxes and Removal of Geographic Limits Inhibiting Retirement and Pension Investing

PMAC’s 140 Member Companies Meet at 2010 AGM Representing More than $750 Billion in Assets for Over One Million Institutional and Private Clients

(TORONTO, November 10, 2010) –  The Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) (, the financial industry Association with members that span private clients, pensions, insurance, foundations and endowments, today called on federal and provincial  governments to “synchronize” their individual pension reform efforts, so they do not work at cross-purposes that negatively impact Canadian investors.

“In light of the looming demographic reality of an aging population, and the economic events in the last decade that have detrimentally impacted the funding status of many pension plans and the asset base of retirement savings generally, it is incumbent upon government to ensure that new government policies do not diminish or curtail future saving,” said Katie Walmsley, President of the newly named association of 140 portfolio management companies that represent significant portion of the $2.4 trillion Canadian investment management sector. “The HST is a prime example of how a consumption tax is at odds with wealth accumulation and retirement savings.  It hinders and negates the purpose of saving, particularly when an investor seeks external advice to diversify holdings to optimize investment returns.”

In addition to advocating against additional taxation on savings, PMAC is actively promoting and encouraging an expansion in the retirement savings regime for many Canadians who are self employed or working in an industry without a formal pension plan.   PMAC is also supportive of a national solution to this issue, necessitating a synchronized approach by federal and provincial governments to the critical issues that face the clients of the investment management industry over the coming years. “Retirement savings is one of those critical issues that are a priority for us,” said Walmsley.

As an association advocating industry standards, PMAC is optimistic the provinces and the federal government can work together to stop the  current patchwork approach that is at cross- purposes with the shared goals of pension reform. We are, however, concerned that the focus is on reforming pension specific regulation and income tax laws that inadvertently impact retirement savings and pension plans are being  overlooked.  PMAC continues to call for a roll back on HST as it relates to investment management fees.

Understanding the complexities of the issue is imperative to a resolution, adds Walmsley.  “Several provincial governments want input  on how to handle the huge need for retirement savings, but many of the Acts, including the Pension Benefits Standards Act and the Income Tax Act are the domain of federal jurisdiction.  We understand there are a lot of departments, parties and stakeholders that have a vested interest in this issue and we are simply – and strongly – advocating for the left hand to know what the right hand is doing.”

In addition to PMAC’s primary mandate to advocate for high standards of practice within portfolio management firms, PMAC is also  actively involved in encouraging constructive regulatory policies in the interests of the underlying investors and their savings.   This includes highlighting tax policies that work at odds with wealth accumulation, whether for pension plan participants, private clients, foundations or endowments.

About PMAC:

Formerly the Investment Counsel Association of Canada (ICAC), Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC) represents an influential membership of 140 portfolio management companies that manage more  than $750 billion in assets for over one million institutional and high net worth clients.  Members span private clients, pensions, insurance, foundations and endowments.  As one of the largest financial industry Associations in Canada, PMAC carries on the rich 50-year tradition of  ICAC’s work, and operates coast-to-coast in English- and French-language markets.

PMAC employs a collaborative information-sharing business model and advocates on behalf of its members to securities regulators and government agencies.  The Association increases the awareness of investment counseling benefits, provides a forum for member networking and keeps members up-to-date on regulatory and compliancy issues.  From institutional pension plans to charitable, endowment and high net worth client accounts, PMAC members work to facilitate investment opportunities for millions of Canadians. PMAC membership has steadily grown in recent years.

PMAC represents investment management firms registered to do business in Canada as Portfolio Managers. The Association’s mission is to advocate the highest standards of unbiased portfolio management in the interest of investors served by members.  For further information on PMAC, visit



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