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Returns and interest rates credited

The money in the pension fund is invested by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) in compliance with the investment policy. The CDPQ calculates the rates of return according to the market value of the funds – that is, the value that would be obtained if all of the funds were sold on a given date.

The rates of return for the three accounts (general, complementary, retirees) for the last five years, taking account of investment-management fees, are the following:

Year General account Complementary account Retirees’ account
2016 6.2% 6.1% 6.2%
2015 8.2% 7.9% 8.0%
2014 12.0% 11.9% 11.9%
2013 8.8% 8.7% 8.8%
2012 8.3% 7.8% 8.2%

When a participant retires or dies, the value of his or her complementary account must be calculated on the date of retirement or death. The returns obtained by the CDPQ are used to credit interest to the complementary account of each employee. So that the value of the employee’s complementary account can be calculated with the most recent information, this interest is calculated on a monthly basis. Therefore, a different interest rate is given for each month of the year. However, the return obtained by the CDPQ for a given month is known only a few weeks after the end of that month. Given this constraint, the monthly returns obtained are credited with a three-month delay. For example, for the complementary account, the return of 1.99% obtained for December 2015 was known during February 2016 and credited in March 2016.

Returns obtained and interest rates credited to the complementary account

Returns obtained             Month      Interest rate credited
1.10%             October 2015 1.97%
  0.58%             November 2015 -1.74%
  1.99%             December 2015 -1.08%
Annual return obtained for 2016: 6.1%  -0.99%             January 2016 1.10% Interest rate credited for 2016: 9.76%
 -0.92%             February 2016 0.58%
 1.79%             March 2016 1.99%
 -0.16%             April 2016 -0.99%
 1.71%             May 2016 -0.92%
 1.36%             June 2016 1.79%
 1.94%             July 2016 -0.16%
 0.51%             August 2016 1.71%
 0.50%             September 2016 1.36%
 0.00%             October 2016 1.94%
 -0.86%             November 2016 0.51%
 1.14%             December 2016 0.50%

The returns obtained from January to December 2016 give an annual return of 6.1% for the complementary account. Because of the delay, the interest rate credited to the contributions accumulated in the complementary account is 9.76%.

The interest rates used in the sections “Your contributions to the general account” and “Your contributions to the complementary account” of the annual pension statement are those taking account of the three-month delay.

Interest rates credited to the complementary account in 2017

Month  Interest rate credited
January 2017 0,00 %

Cumulative interest rate from January 1 to the end of the last known month: 4.22%

February 2017 -0,86 %
March 2017 1,14 %
April 2017  -0,47 %
May 2017 1,50 %
June 2017  1,18 %
July 2017 2,03 %
August 2017 0,97 %
September 2017   -0,67 %
October 2017 -1,62 %
November 2017 1,01 %
December 2017

For more information, you may also consult the history of annual interest rates credited to the complementary account.