Issued May 15, 2020
In presenting its 1Q2020 results on May 7, 2020, BCE noted that the solvency ratio for the Bell DB pension plan declined from approximately 101% at the end of 2019 to approximately 100% at the end of March, 2020. In other words, the Bell pension remains fully funded. BCE did not comment on the status of its other pension plans.
A note from Denis Marquis, BPG President:
Issued Apr 6, 2020
Over the last few weeks, our lives have been totally turned upside down by this uninvited
coronavirus, more commonly known as COVID-19, even more so for us, humble pensioners,
who are now considered in the “high risk” category of people. And from what we hear in the
daily press conferences, it will probably remain so for a while!
Although our Bell Pensioners’ Group (BPG) is not considered as an essential activity these days,
we must try to continue operating through this sanitary turmoil. Already, our Board has
abandoned the plan to hold its semi-annual meeting in Montreal at the end of April, to rely on
the best technological tools to perform our Board of Directors’ tasks; but even more, we have
just decided that our Annual General Meetings currently planned for May and June will be
postponed to the fall. As you know, these meetings are a unique opportunity for BPG to share
information with large groups of members, even enriched this year with some celebrations of
our 25 th Anniversary.
But now, we need to set our priorities right! At this time, your BPG is respectfully asking you to
fully abide by every single instruction issued by all levels of government, including the need to
stay home as much as possible. But if you ever need to go out for some essential needs, like
replenishing your grocery or medication reserves, please ensure the appropriate social
distancing (you know the two meters apart, or six feet if you prefer). And finally, all the best
hygienic rules are vital.
We remain confident about the current status of our Bell-sponsored pension plans, but there is
no doubt that to some extent, they will be impacted, at least temporarily, by the decline of the
stock markets. However, we trust that Bell will take the appropriate measures to ensure a
proper and timely recovery. Rest assured that your BPG will play a key role in this process,
especially in regard of the current Canadian pension legislation and regulations, which will likely
be under attack by other corporations experiencing major financial difficulties once the crisis is
Stay safe and looking forward to meeting you in a better environment.
Issued Mar 30, 2020
In recent weeks, we have been inundated with news about COVID-19 and the impacts it (together with an
oil price war) is having on financial markets around the world. You may also have seen media reports
about the effects that falling markets and lower interest rates have on pension plans.
Should BPG members be worried about their Bell pensions under these circumstances? The answer is no
– fortunately, that is one less thing we need to worry about during these unsettling times! Here’s why:
In recent years, Bell has taken measures to “de-risk” the pension funds. In other words, Bell has taken a number of steps to enable the funds to better weather financial downturns. We have not seen updated numbers from Bell that reflect the recent market changes. However, based our ongoing discussions with the Company, we anticipate that the pension funds’ losses will be smaller than the equity market losses, thanks to these de-risking measures. As usual, any shortfall in plan funding will be assumed by Bell Canada.
The bottom line… one of the benefits of a Defined Benefit Pension Plan is that the plan sponsor (in our case, Bell) bears the risks associated with market volatility. With a strong plan sponsor like Bell, we can rest assured that our pensions can be counted on, regardless of wild swings in the market, like those we have been witnessing recently.