Pensions: follow the money

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January 2, 2015 | God at work in the World | Number 1
Will Braun, Senior writer

In “Do not store up treasures in pensions” Will Braun expresses unease with the fact that Mennonite Church Canada’s “core option” pension funds include investments in the fossil-fuel sector. Here is more information.

There are 932 active participants in the pension plans offered under the Mennonite Church Canada umbrella. Of those, 85 percent choose the “core option,” which is called the Socially Responsible Asset Allocation Fund (SRAA). For a profile of the SRAA click here .

The SRAA (“core option”) fund is made up of six sub-funds. Below are some of the companies and other entities included in each sub-fund. (These investments change over time, so there may have been some changes since these lists are from June and September 2014.)

1.  Socially Responsible Bond Fund (35% of the overall “core option”) includes:

  • Corporate debentures
  • Government of Canada bonds
  • Government of Ontario bonds
  • Government of Quebec bonds
  • Others

2.  Mortgage Fund (20% of the overall “core option”) includes:

  • Commercial mortgage- 63.5%
  • Bonds- 22.1%
  • Residential mortgages- 12.9%
  • Cash equivalents- 1.5%

3.  Socially Responsible Canadian Equity Fund, which is the same as the Meritas Jantzi Social Index Fund (15% of the “core option”) includes:

  • Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.
  • Agrium Inc.
  • ARC Resources Ltd.
  • Bank of Montreal
  • BCE, Inc.
  • BlackBerry Limited 
  • Bombardier, Inc.
  • Calfrac Well Services Ltd.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Canadian National Railway Company
  • Canadian Oil Sands Limited
  • Canadian Pacific Railway Limited
  • Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd.
  • Canfor Corp.
  • Celestica Inc.
  • Cenovus Energy Inc.
  • Corus Entertainment Inc.
  • Detour Gold Corporation
  • Dominion Diamond Corporation
  • Encana Corporation
  • Enerplus Corporation
  • Ensign Energy Services Inc.
  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
  • Gibson Energy Inc.
  • Gildan Activewear Inc.
  • IAMGOLD Corp.
  • Imperial Oil Ltd.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corporation
  • Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Lundin Mining Corporation
  • Manitoba Telecom Services, Inc.
  • MEG Energy Corp.
  • Methanex Corp.
  • National Bank of Canada
  • New Gold, Inc.
  • Pembina Pipeline Corporation
  • Penn West Petroleum Ltd.
  • Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc.
  • Precision Drilling Corporation
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • ShawCor Ltd.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart Corp.
  • Stantec Inc.
  • Sun Life Financial Inc.
  • Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Talisman Energy Inc.
  • Teck Resources Limited
  • Telus Corporation
  • The Bank Of Nova Scotia
  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank
  • Thomson Reuters Corporation
  • Tim Hortons Inc.
  • Toromont Industries Ltd.
  • TransAlta Corp.
  • Transcontinental Inc.
  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
  • Westport Innovations Inc.
  • Yamana Gold, Inc.

4.  Real Estate Fund (10% of the overall "core option") includes:

  • Office real estate- 57.3%
  • Industrial- 17.7%
  • Residential- 15.6%
  • Retail- 8.4%
  • Other- 1%

5.  Socially Responsible International Equity Fund (10% of the overall “core option”) includes:

  • Cash
  • Toyota
  • Experian
  • Novartis
  • Novo Nordisk
  • ING Group
  • Kingfisher PLC
  • Actavis PLC
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC
  • AON PLC
  • Compass Group PLC
  • Canadian National Railway Company
  • BT Group PLC
  • Roche Holding AG
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
  • Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argenta
  • Air Liquide SA
  • Liberty Global PLC
  • Akzo Nobel
  • Michelin
  • Nielsen Holdings NC
  • Publicis Groupe
  • Persimmon PLC
  • Amadeus IT Holding SA
  • Adidas Ag

6.  Socially Responsible U.S. Equity Fund (10% of the overall core option) includes:
Cash

  • The Travelers Cos INC
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Cisco Systems In
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc
  • PPG Industries
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co
  • Microsoft Corp
  • UPS
  • Pepsico Inc
  • 3M
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Comcast Corp Special
  • EMC Corp
  • Intl Business Machines
  • Nextera Energy Inc
  • Automatic Data Processing
  • Waste Management Inc
  • Schlumberger Ltd
  • Qualcomm Inc
  • Target Corp
  • Emerson Electric Company
  • General Mills

OceanRock on Suncor and bitumen sands

In response to questions from investors, OceanRock produced this two-page info sheet on Suncor, a major player in the Alberta bitumen sands. While much of the document looks like it could have been written by the Suncor PR folks and focusses largely on a tiny aspect of its operations (tailings ponds), OceanRock CEO Gary Hawton assured me that he engages Suncor on a wide range of issues and that climate change is an important consideration for OceanRock, even though it is not referenced in the info sheet.

—Posted Jan. 2, 2015

See also:

Part 2: Holy recklessness

Pensions and recklessness (online supplement)

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