Investments and Returns

Investments and Returns

The money accumulated in the construction industry pension fund is invested in a long-term perspective, in different types of instruments (for example, Canadian, American, or foreign shares, bonds, real estate). The investment policy specifies that the funds be distributed in different types of investment. Find out more about the investment policy.

The pension fund ended 2018 with net assets of $23.2 billion, compared to $22.3 billion at the end of 2017, an increase of $0.9 billion. You can see the details of the results obtained on the page “Returns and interest rates credited.”

Investment policy

An investment committee formed of representatives of the CCQ’s union and employer associations analyzes the returns obtained on the investments. The committee makes recommendations to the CCQ’s board of directors, which amends the investment policy if it deems it necessary.

In December 2018, 48% of the money in the pension fund was invested in bonds and 23% in stocks; other investments represented 29% of the portfolio. The table below shows how the funds were distributed.

Distribution of funds at December 31, 2018
Quality government bonds 11.5%
Long-term bonds 12.0%
Performance-generating bonds 23.9%
Stocks 23.2%
Short-term securities 0.4%
Real estate 12.2%
Private and other investments 16.8%

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
2019 9.9% 9.8% 9.8%
2018 3.6% 3.5% 3.5%
2017 7.9% 7.8% 7.8%
2016 6.2% 6.1% 6.2%
2015 8.2% 7.9% 8.0%

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 0.93% obtained for December 2018 was known during February 2019 and credited in March 2019.

Returns obtained and interest rates credited to the complementary account

Returns obtained Month Interest rate credited
-1.55% October 2018 0.11%
1.64% November 2018 0.24%
0.93% December 2018 -0.57%
Annual return obtained for 2019: 9.8% 1.09% January 2019 -1.55% Interest rate credited for 2019: 8.59%
0.95% February 2019 1.64%
2.12% March 2019 0.93%
1.07% April 2019 1.09%
-0.25% May 2019 0.95%
1.29% June 2019 2.12%
0.33% July 2019 1.07%
0.32% August 2019 -0.25%
0.38% September 2019 1.29%
0.42% October 2019 0.33%
1.31% November 2019 0.32%
0.37% December 2019 -0.38%

The returns obtained from January to December 2019 give an annual return of 9.8% for the complementary account. Because of the delay, the interest rate credited to the contributions accumulated in the complementary account is 8.59%.

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 2020

Month Interest rate credited
January 2020 0.42% Cumulative interest rate from January 1 to the end of the last known month:-4.65%
February 2020 1.31%
March 2020 0.37%
April 2020 1.41%
May 2020 -1.50%
June 2020 -6.52%
July 2020  
August 2020  
September 2020  
October 2020  
November 2020  
December 2020  
  • History of interest rates credited

    The table below shows the annual interest rates credited to the complementary account.

    2019  8.59%
    2018 6.45%
    2017 4.08%
    2016 9.76%
    2015 7.69%
    2014 12.53%
    2013 7.25%
    2012 9.22%
    2011 7.12%
    2010 11.39%
    2009 -8.27%
    2008 -4.63%
    2007 10.82%
    2006 10.60%
    2005 16.23%
    2004 12.38%
    2003 9.10%
    2002 -10.37%
    2001 -5.66%
    2000 5.10%
    1999 18.52%
    1998 10.68%
    1997 11.40%
    1996 14.06%
    1995 17.50%
    1994 -0.99%
    1993 15.30%
    1992 5.86%
    1991 16.28%
    1990 5.24%
    1989 12.49%
    1988 10.02%
    1987 5.60%
    1986 10.41%
    1985 15.24%
    1984 13.81%
    1983 10.34%
    1982 17.89%
    5-year average
    (2015-2019)
    7.30%
    10-year average
    (2010-2019)
    8.38%
    15-year average
    (2005-2019)
    7.07%
    20-year average
    (2000-2019)
    5.71%
    25-year average
    (1995-2019)
    7.40%
    35-year average
    (1985-2019)
    7.97%
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