2020 Annual Report

Sure and Steady.

Message from our CEO​

The past year was filled with trepidation, uncertainty, and loss. Despite the instability in the market, and the evolving global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, including all staff of Provident10, united together to ensure the safety and security for all in this province.

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Message from our CEO

The past year was filled with trepidation, uncertainty, and loss.

Despite the instability in the market, and the evolving global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, including all staff of Provident10, united together to ensure safety and security for all in this province.

It was inspiring to see how much - and how deeply - we care for one another.

Our team quickly adapted during the onset of COVID-19. We made swift changes to ensure the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) remains sustainable and our service standards were met. And due to the agility of our investment team, enhancements in information security and business preparedness, and the ongoing perseverance of our staff, we can proudly announce that the PSPP remained over 100% funded for the fiscal year of 2020. We should all be proud of these accomplishments. They are a testament to the skill and resiliency of our entire team.

2020 was the last year for the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, through which we successfully delivered upon our five strategic directions:

  • To Enrich the Member Experience;
  • To Attract, Develop, and Retain Talent;
  • To Establish and Promote the Provident10 Brand;
  • To Create a Scalable Organization; and
  • To Build a Sustainable Pension Fund.

As we continue to navigate through uncertain times, we keep every member and their pension at the heart of everything we do. With this in mind, we introduced new member engagement initiatives and welcomed the appointment of Leona Barrington as Director of Stakeholder Relations.

We are proud to govern the largest public sector pension plan in Atlantic Canada and I am proud to lead our growing team who demonstrate their endless commitment to supporting our members. We know that we share our success with each of you.

The year ahead continues to bring uncertainty, but when you need assurance or answers, Provident10 will be there.

Chuck Bruce Signature and Headshot

Message from the Board

Provident10’s promise to provide an income to each member throughout their retirement was tested more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Volatile markets and instability across many sectors saw numerous organizations falter under the strain.

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Message from our Board

Provident10’s promise to provide an income to each member throughout their retirement was tested more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Volatile markets and instability across many sectors saw numerous organizations falter under the strain.

By any objective measure, the opposite can be said for Provident10. In a year of vast uncertainty, Provident10 not only weathered the COVID-19 storm, but we also rose above.

The resilience and the financial health of the Public Service Pension Plan continues to propel Provident10 to be a sustainable fund that can deliver on its promises. To this end, we are pleased to report that the PPSP Fund exceeded the 9.2% policy benchmark in 2020, earning a rate of return of 11.9%. The Fund ended the year with a funded ratio of 101%.

This is a remarkable achievement, something in which we should all take pride. Yet we did not stop there. Provident10 continues to invest resources to enrich the member experience. We also continue to develop risk management solutions and improve internal control frameworks–all while building a pension plan that will prosper well into the future.

We have seen the positive outcomes of these investments and the efforts the entire team made to move Provident10’s strategic initiatives forward. And we will continue to assess how best to execute on these and other sector-leading initiatives.

In 2020, the Board welcomed two new directors, Sharon Sparkes and Kevin Dumaresque. They each bring immense knowledge and expertise to Provident10 and we are happy to have them aboard.

We also offer our appreciation and well wishes to outgoing directors, Emilian Groch and Denise Hamilton. Their contributions played a significant role in our success, for which we owe them many thanks.

The Board’s continued collective commitment in adapting business practices during the pandemic has allowed our work to commence steadily and without disruption. Their experience and leadership were undoubtedly a key factor in our achievements in 2020.

Moving forward, the framework of a joint governance structure ensures Plan Sponsors are equally represented. This is a true partnership between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the representative unions–one that benefits all members.

The 2020 Annual Report showcases the tremendous work of the team at Provident10 and of each of you, our members. Many of you stood on the front lines of this pandemic, serving your fellow neighbours during a time of immense uncertainty. We sincerely thank each and every one of you for the success of the PSPP, and for the continued work you do for this great province.

Chair and Vice Chair of the Board Signature and Headshot

Guiding Provident10

Your Pension is Our Promise

You can rest assured today because we’re focused on your tomorrow.

What’s Important to us

Provident10 was founded on delivering best-in-class service and results based on the following core pillars:

Our Pillars

High Standards

We set the quality bar high for ourselves because we know that our members rely on us for peace of mind.


Our success comes from a team approach. We always help and support each other because we’ll get better outcomes for our members.


We are always thinking about tomorrow. Not only do we focus on success today, we strive for continued improvement to succeed tomorrow.

Customer Focused

We are responsive and responsible to our members and stakeholders, so they can always trust us.


Not only will we measure what we do, we will learn and act upon new understandings to always meet and exceed Plan member’s expected level of service.

Who We Serve

New Plan Members in 2020
Active Members
Inactive Members
Participating Employers

Supporting Our Community

Provident10 touches the lives of one in nine Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Because of that reach, supporting the community is essential. 2020 was a hard year for many and not-for-profits were particularly challenged. Provident10 matched employee support for two local charities: Single Parent Association of Newfoundland and Community Food Sharing Association.

Supporting Organizations

In coordination with Memorial University’s Faculty of Business, Provident10 welcomed the first Bachelor of Commerce (Co-operative) work-term student who worked directly with our investment team during the Fall 2020 semester.

"I believe my knowledge of the investment industry has greatly increased. Throughout the term, I learned a lot about how the industry functions as a whole, and particularly how Provident10 works within this industry."
Matthew Froude, 2020 Work-term Student

Year in Review

2020 was a year unlike any other. While focus was on COVID-19, Provident10 ensured pensions were paid, the Fund was being effectively managed, and our commitment to operational service standards did not waver.

Business operations were maintained and important programs like the internal control framework, enterprise risk management, and lifecycle education were advanced. Each of these programs was driven by Provident10’s commitment to modernize, improve and adapt processes and tools to ensure a secure and stable pension fund for its members.

Three–year strategic plan (2018-2020) completed

Met and exceeded established service standards ​

Transitioned to a remote working model, while effectively continuing all business operations ​

Processed over 825 pension applications ​

95% member ​satisfaction rating achieved ​

New life cycle education and Plan member resources introduced ​

Non-Statutory Plan Text proclaimed and implemented ​

Rollout of online forms for employers ​

Meeting the Moment

Provident10’s preparedness and decision-making related to the global health pandemic is centred on three areas: people, processes, and technology. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Provident10 focused on the health and wellbeing of its employees while continuing to pay pensioners and support members who were transitioning to retirement–all with no interruptions. Communication with our Participating Employers was provided similar priority to ensure business operations remained a focus while most of the workforce worked remotely.

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Meeting the Moment

Provident10’s preparedness and decision-making related to the global health pandemic is centered on three areas: people, processes and technology. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Provident10 focused on the health and wellbeing of its employees while continuing to pay pensioners and support members who were transitioning to retirement – all with no interruptions. Communication with our Participating Employers was provided similar priority to ensure business operations remained a focus while most of the workforce worked remotely.

The organization’s cloud-based infrastructure allowed employees to securely access systems remotely and was instrumental to continuing operations. Throughout the year, Provident10 continued to digitize processes to enable effective remote work arrangements. Additional automation opportunities continue to be reviewed and considered.

Provident10 will remain adaptable, agile, and flexible when engaging with stakeholders and is proud of the steps and actions of the entire team who have kept one strategic direction in mind: Member Experience.

Staying the Course

Our 2018–2020 Strategic Plan

In 2018, Provident10 was still early in its transition to an independent pension organization and initiated its three-year strategic plan. The Strategic Directions were established by the leadership team and Board with a joint commitment to building an organization focused on securing a sustainable future for Plan members.

The Strategic Plan’s core purpose is to enrich the member experience.

The Strategic Directions for 2018–2020 are the foundation of the Strategic Plan and complement Provident10’s Core Pillars.

The last year of the plan coincided with an unprecedented global pandemic. Despite that obvious hurdle, Provident10 remained focused on its commitments to all stakeholders through great operational performance and advancing in areas of focus.

As Provident10 continues to optimize business practices and maximize operational efficiencies, the organization will be supported by a five-year Strategic Plan. This plan is currently under development and will build on the foundation created by the 2018–2020 plan. In support of this journey, the Board and CEO have established an ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee to support the CEO throughout this process.

The purpose for the 2018–2020 strategic plan was to enrich the member’s experience. This was accomplished by the following four key commitments.

Enriching the Member Experience

Members have an abundance of decisions to make during retirement planning which can feel both daunting and exciting. With this in mind, Life Cycle Education was a strategic initiative in 2020 and beyond. An introduction to virtual programs provided the opportunity to reach and engage with more Plan members who are nearing their retirement. The new online approach that was used for the Retirement Ready Modules was well received by members and will become a permanent option going forward.

In addition to the Retirement Ready series, Provident10 broadened educational resources for all members with two new documents. Plan at a Glance, which serves as a summary, high-level introduction to the Plan and highlights the “10 things to know about the PSPP” and the Comparing Commuted Value and Deferred Pension information package.

These new resources have been posted on Provident10’s website to enhance accessibility for members. The website is updated regularly to provide ongoing support to Plan members, Participating Employers, and other internal and external stakeholders and is a key tool in member engagement.

Building a Sustainable Pension Fund

Provident10 takes great pride in having the trust of its members. To provide a secure retirement future for these members, the investment team carefully manages the PPSP Fund. The Fund is a pool of assets made up of contributions from members, matching contributions from employers, and the investment earnings from these contributions.

The objective for the total fund is to meet a benchmark portfolio return that is established every four years consistent with the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P). Despite fluctuating markets throughout 2020, Provident10 ended the year with an 11.9% return on investments.

Attracting, Developing, and Retaining Talent

There is no substitute for attracting, developing, and retaining the best people possible.

An assessment of Provident10’s recruitment strategy was completed in 2020. The project was initiated with the goal of transforming a traditional recruitment strategy into one that is modern, diverse, inclusive, and aligned with industry standards. The outcome provided strategies to promote the Provident10 brand and position the organization as an employer of choice.

A key element in recruiting and retaining the right talent is the organizational culture. Provident10 continues to promote a strong workplace culture and is continuously exploring opportunities to further enhance its offerings for employees. The organization remains committed to learning and development as a core aspect of Provident10’s workplace culture. In 2020, standardized learning modules, including the general retirement framework in Canada, operations of Canadian registered pension plans, and a focus on defined benefit plan’s benefits and tax matters were implemented in collaboration with an external partner. Provident10’s learning and development policy ensures that each employee has access to opportunities that align with corporate initiatives, operational requirements and individual development.

Establishing and Promoting the Provident10 Brand

Website enhancements, Retirement Ready Modules, and new member resources push the Provident10 brand further. In 2020 the organization saw an 11% increase in website users, which included 29,990 new visitors to provident10.com.

With 40 Participating Employers, Provident10 is focused on finding opportunities to partner on educational initiatives to enhance engagement and transfer knowledge of the PSPP. Provident10 recently launched Employer Information Sessions, called Asked & Answered. Rollout of the virtual sessions will take place throughout 2021 and offer an opportunity for both Provident10 and Participating Employers to further enhance member relations.

Creating a Scalable Organization

All successful organizations identify and act on opportunities for growth. Provident10 is focused on building partnerships that optimize business practices and maximize efficiencies.

In 2020, a new Participating Employer Onboarding Team was established, and a path developed and implemented to complete onboarding for new Participating Employers. The team provided support and welcomed two new employers in 2020.

Data security is a top priority in an increasingly digital world. Maintaining the integrity of the IT and security infrastructure is therefore critical to protecting the information of our Participating Employers, members, and our business partners. Accordingly, a multi-year Security Improvement Program has been a priority for the Systems and Quality team over the last three years. The program has improved Provident10’s security posture in the areas of threat management and education and will remain a key area of focus into the future.

Building Momentum

New Pensioners
Average Age at Retirement
Average Age of Pensioner
Average Years of Service at Retirement
Average Annual Lifetime Pension
Member Engagement

Meeting Members Where They Are

Ensuring members have the information they need to make informed decisions about their retirement is essential. In 2020, the Retirement Ready sessions were launched. These virtual education sessions provide valuable information to Plan members, especially those approaching retirement. The first session took place in the fall of 2020 and during the final months of the year over 600 members participated.

Previously, Provident10 offered in-person retirement planning sessions at employer-sponsored events, which limited reach and the opportunity for direct member engagement. To optimize member engagement and interaction with more members, the standard three-hour sessions were transitioned to three online modules. These sessions are available to any member interested in learning more about the PSPP, whether they are a retiring Plan member, a new Plan member, or a person who may be supporting a member. The virtual webinars have enhanced engagement with the Member Services team and the sessions have received encouraging feedback from members.

What members had to say:

"It gives me a better understanding of the different options that I have and allows me the time to plan for retirement armed with knowledge of how it works. Thank you!”
I now have the information I need to help me decide when to retire. Thanks so much!”

Following each module, attendees are asked to complete a survey to provide valuable feedback to Member Services. This feedback will help build future webinar content and delivery. Below are the results from the members who attended in 2020.

The virtual education program will continue to grow, as plans for new members and those who are approaching their mid-career stage will also be developed for 2021.

Measuring Service Satisfaction

Through 2020, Provident10 received over 13,000 calls. At the end of each call, members can stay on the line to complete a short three-question survey on their experience and the service they received. Close to 500 members took the time to provide their feedback on the experience with results yielding high levels of satisfaction on service and support they received during the call.

Treated in a courteous and professional manner
Inquiry was satisfactorily addressed
Average satisfaction with the service out of 5
Plan Administration

Consistent Service Standards

"Despite the changing dynamics of the pandemic and a steady increase in inquiries throughout 2020, the Pension Administration team ensured our members remained at the heart of everything we do. Their dedication never faltered and they worked diligently to ensure our operational service standards were achieved. I'm incredibly proud of the team's commitment to providing service excellence to our members, especially during a year that was full of much challenge and change."

- Jason Durdle, Director, Pension Administration

Provident10 is focused on enriching the member experience through consistent service standards across the organization. The service standards keep Provident10 on track in responding to member enquiries in a timely manner, while still ensuring members receive the quality of service and information they need. In 2020, the Pension Admin team processed over 4,000 member transactions and responded to over 35,000 inquiries.


Number of Cases in 2020

1st Retirement Pensions/Terminations/Refunds


Process Plan Member Termination Election


Survivor Benefits


Phone Call Volume


Phone Responses (Voicemail)


Written Responses


Purchase of Service




For each inquiry and process of service, Provident10 strives to uphold the following service standards:


Target (100)%


1st Retirement Pensions/Terminations/Refunds

90% within 30 days


Process Plan Member Termination Election

90% within 30 days


Purchase of Service

90% within 90 days


Survivor Benefits

95% within 30 days


Phone Answer Rate



Phone Responses

95% within 2 business days


Written Responses

95% within 5 business days


On average, in 2020, Provident10 exceeded the targeted service standards. Though Provident10 was not able to fully obtain every target for all service processes, the team continues to prioritize retirement pensions, ensuring members can transition as seamlessly as possible to retirement. 2020 brought its unique challenges, including the end of the transition period for pre-reform and post-reform pension eligibility rules. Due to this, the team saw a 24% increase in purchase of service requests which resulted in higher volume for the first quarter of 2020. Provident10 will continue to look for ways to improve its processes and reduce turnaround time on all requests.

Plan Text Update

Provident10’s planning and preparedness activities ensured readiness to manage the switch to Non-Statutory Plan Text, which was proclaimed on February 14, 2020.

The adoption of the Plan Text will help Provident10 to administer the PSPP more efficiently on members' behalf and will have little effect on Plan members. Almost all aspects of the PSPP remain the same, including contributions and benefits. As a part of the introduction of the Plan Text, a new Appeals Process and Procedure, which can be viewed online under Forms & Resources, has been established.

Along with the implementation of the Non-Statutory Plan Text, ten new policies were developed, implemented, and communicated that reflected the largest volume of transactions. Five Independent Appeal Commissioners were also appointed to a roster under the appeal policy through individual agreements.

Employer Engagement

Corporate Communications

Communicating with Participating Employers and Unions is critical for success and helps ensure Plan members are well informed.

Corporate communications, operational enhancement and engagement, and regulatory requirements or process changes are the targeted areas of focus for communications with Participating Employers and Unions.

In 2020, employer communication efforts were primarily centred on the conclusion of the pension reform transition period, process updates, non-statutory plan text implementation, lifecycle education, business continuity preparedness, new medical advisory services, and upcoming Asked and Answered webinars. As Provident10 continues to enhance the member experience, employer engagement will be a key element in the future success of the organization.

Digital Transition

We live in a digital world, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made that more obvious.

To keep up and provide exemplary service, Provident10 has transitioned to accepting virtually completed and submitted forms from our Participating Employer partners. This helps to increase efficiencies internally and time required for potential follow-up.

Provident10 has also updated two commonly used forms to better identify and monitor the processing of members who are retiring or terminating from the Plan.

The announced Asked and Answered Sessions will provide Participating Employer partners the opportunity to gain additional insight into the latest pension processes and is also a way for Provident10 to collect valuable feedback from Participating Employer and Union Partners.

Provident10 will continue to work collaboratively with Participating Employers and will invite, monitor, and reply to feedback on procedures and processes as services evolve.

Protecting Your Future

Net Investment Return for 2020
Average Pensionable Earning of Active Members
Funded Ratio
$10.9 Billion
Net Assets Available for Benefits
$367 Million
Contributions Paid
$624 Million
Benefits Paid
Sustainability of the Fund​

In consultation with the Investment Committee, the Board documents the investment policies for the Public Service Pension Plan (the Plan) Fund in the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P). The SIP&P addresses key matters including the Fund governance, investment objectives and beliefs, philosophy, asset mix policy, risk management, permitted types of investments, and the responsible investing strategy. To learn more about our investment policies and procedures, visit provident10.com/investments.

Improving the Plan’s Funded Status and working toward full funding is a key focus for the Board and a requirement of the Joint Sponsorship Agreement (JSA).

Funded Ratio Over Time

Funded Ratio over Time

While the first few months of 2020 were characterized by considerable declines for most asset classes, the remainder of the year saw an extraordinary reversal and significant returns despite the negative impact of the pandemic on global economies.

The Fund finished 2020 with approximately $10.9 billion in assets (including promissory note) versus a $10.8 billion liability. In its oversight of the Plan, Provident10 closely monitors financial markets and other factors that impact Plan funding levels. As a result of these assessments, the Fund's future return expectations is reflected in a lower discount rate of 5.85% (see PSPP Financial Statements note nine.)

Despite a $0.6 billion increase in the liability directly resulting from a change in the actuarial assumptions, the funded ratio of 101.0% has remained comparable to the previous year's101.6% ratio. Over the past ten years, the Plan has improved its financial condition and has achieved funded ratios exceeding 100% in the past two years.

Planning for the next 10 years, investment returns are expected to be moderate. Uncertainties related to the ultimate direction of interest rates, changes in inflation expectations, high overall levels of equity market valuations, and heightened global volatility may well signify periods of difficulty for the Plan’s ability to maintain its fully funded status. Moreover, Plan member demographics such as aging population combined with a decline in active participants could have a future impact on the Fund.

The Plan regularly reviews its risk and return profile and monitors global market conditions, mindful of the accrued benefits of the members. Provident10 believes the asset mix adjustments planned for 2021 and beyond offer greater overall Plan resilience and downside protection for the Fund to achieve its expected performance. Additionally, in 2020 the organization initiated a strategic undertaking to better assess the Plan’s vulnerability to unforeseen negative market events. The purpose of the project is to better understand the types of market environments that may impact the security of member benefits. The result of the analysis will help to guide discussions and decisions on the condition of the Plan.

Investment Strategy and Performance​

2020 Year in Review – Fund and Asset Classes

The Plan's portfolio is measured by two key metrics. The primary objective is to generate a long-term return on invested assets that exceeds the Funding Policy's discount rate of 6%. This is the rate established in the Funding Policy. The secondary objective is to outperform the return of the Policy benchmark. This outperformance is termed ‘added value’ and allows for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the investment strategy and its implementation at the total Fund level. Benchmarks are valuable tools Provident10 uses to measure performance of individual asset classes and the managers who invest in them on Provident10’s behalf.

Total Net of Fees CAD $ Returns

Fund level


Value Added

Total Plan




Canadian Equity




Global Equity




Private Equity20.1%16.2%3.9%

Fixed Income




Global Credit11.9%7.1%4.8%

Commercial Mortgages




Listed Infrastructure 1




Private Infrastructure




Real Estate




1.Weighted approximation return calculation.

For the year ending December 31, 2020, the Fund netted a total return of 11.9%, compared to the policy benchmark return of 9.2%, realizing 2.7% of added value. Provident10 uses a thorough and rigorous risk-controlled approach by choosing an optimized risk level within a multi-year framework and with the selection and weighting of asset classes to achieve a target return. In simple terms, the amount of acceptable risk is identified, then the mix of assets is determined to give the best chance to achieve the goal.

The Equity portfolio is made up of both Canadian and Global public and private equity asset classes. The public equities represent a large cross segment of developed and emerging markets diversified throughout multiple economic sectors. For 2020, Global Equities provided the greatest results, delivering the Plan a return of 21.4%, compared to the associated benchmark return of 14.2%, for added value of 7.2%. Canadian Equities, while providing a lower total return, nevertheless contributed 7.8% to the Fund performance, which represents 2.2% added value.

The Private Equity allocation is a combination of direct investments in private companies and funds. An allocation to Private Equity expects to provide a higher return, albeit with a lower risk level than the public Global Equity markets. Private Equity delivered a return of 20.1% and added value of 3.9%. Fixed Income and Infrastructure are asset classes intended to protect the Fund portfolio during periods of market stress. In an environment of declining rates, Fixed Income generated a return of 9.2% for the year; that is, 0.5% of value achieved over the benchmark. While the asset class is comprised of a sizable portion of Canadian government and corporate issuers, it also includes Global Credit investment. The latter provides exposure to faster growing economies operating within a different interest rate regime than Canada. Provident10’s international credit exposure provides an attractive risk-return balance for the portfolio. Over the past year, the Global Credit portion of the portfolio earned a return of almost 12%.

Infrastructure, both listed and private, provides diversification and some level of inflation protection for the Fund. The holdings consist of listed and private companies as well as infrastructure funds. The asset class achieves diversification through both geographic and industry sector coverage. Private Infrastructure produced a return of 9.2% compared to its benchmark 6.0%. Listed Infrastructure earned an approximate return of -6.2%, also performing above the benchmark.

Real Estate suffered from the pandemic more than other asset classes and difficulties persist for specific sectors including commercial offices and retail properties located throughout Canada. During the year, Provident10 focused significant attention to better understand key valuation measures and risks resulting from the pandemic. Challenges in the asset class were evident with a limited return of 0.3%.

Commercial Mortgages offer dual advantages over some other forms of fixed income instruments such as corporate bonds including illiquidity premiums and direct claims on a tangible asset. The historical sustainability of the Canadian mortgage market was further validated during the pandemic with no recorded default or impairments in holdings.

Historically, the Plan has been able to provide its members a robust rate of return over time.

Total Fund Performance

Net return as of December 31, 2020

Total Fund Performance
Asset Mix​

The most important aspect of the Provident10 investment portfolio is selecting the appropriate strategic asset mix to provide investment returns that, over time, exceed the Funding Policy's discount rate of 6%. This rate is critical to the Plan. It is the percentage used to value the current cost of future pension obligations, improve the Plan’s funded status, increase the probability of reaching full funding by 2045, and enhance downside protection.

During the past year, the strategic asset mix saw limited changes. Focus was on enhanced monitoring and scrutiny of investments in all asset classes considering COVID-19 impacts. That said, the Plan’s new strategic asset mix implementation continued to progress. A search for both a Private Debt and Hedge Fund advisor was completed, and additional investment was made in low volatility equity with the intention to provide greater downside protection to the Fund.

In 2021, Provident10 expects the investments in the new asset classes to commence and continue over several years. The implementation will emphasize higher expected return asset classes, albeit within a rigorous risk control framework.

Asset Mix
Our Investment Environment
"What a year it was. Fundamentally, it was a tale of two distinct outcomes. It began with a period of severe market declines during the first quarter to outright euphoria in some asset classes for the remainder of 2020." - Michel Malo, Chief Investment Officer

Market Index






SP TSX Composite






S&P 500 (CAD$)






MSCI AC World Index (CAD$)






FTSE Canada Bond Universe Index






Bloomberg Global Bond Aggregate Index (CAD $ Unhedged)






Following attractive 2019 results for most asset classes and a positive beginning to the new decade, the arrival of the pandemic shocked global markets with significant double-digit equity declines in the first quarter. Fixed Income functioned as a cushion and provided some much-needed positive return. In both Canada and globally, all equity sectors recorded negative returns. The most adversely impacted were the more economically sensitive sectors including Energy, Materials, and Real Estate. In addition, and as expected, Consumer Discretionary stocks around the world suffered as did commodity prices. Energy-related commodities experienced return declines over 50% from their US dollar denominated price. The Canadian dollar declined by 7.7% and 6.1% against the US dollar and the Euro respectively owing to its key exposure in both Energy and Materials.

By the end of the first quarter, many of the World’s equity markets reached bottom and began a remarkable recovery that extended throughout the remaining three quarters of the year. Both the S&P 500 and MSCI AC World Index concluded 2020 with double-digit returns. Canadian equity markets, despite being negatively impacted by a bleak energy sector and limited Information Technology exposure, achieved a return of 5.6%.

Fixed Income, in Canada and around the world, managed to earn attractive single digit returns. The best performing Canadian fixed income sectors were Municipal and Provincial bonds with a return of 10.1% and 9.9% respectively. Corporate bonds provided a return of 8.7%. Within this backdrop of increased economic optimism, the Canadian dollar recovered to achieve a modest positive return against the US dollar.

Our Investment Outlook Uncertainties

High asset valuation levels, coupled with greater uncertainty concerning the direction of interest rates, coupled with a potential resurgence of inflation will make it difficult to earn attractive rates of return.

While markets responded positively to the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the virus’s ongoing impact on the world economy is unknown and will have enduring influence on different sectors of the economy.

Geopolitical issues between major economic blocs and political factions throughout the world are raising volatilities and the overall level of uncertainty.

Impact of impressive monetary and fiscal stimulus by central banks and government.

Impact of potential protective measures by Governments on imports and exports and the level of global trade.

Leading the Way

How we operate

​Provident10 operates in a joint trustee governance structure that includes our Board of Directors, the Sponsor Body and the Executive Leadership Team. The Board has overall responsibility for pension administration, corporation management, actuarial reporting, and investment management. It acts independently of the Sponsor Body, and Executive Leadership Team and as fiduciaries, are legally bound to act in the best interests of all Plan members.

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How we operate

​Provident10 operates in a joint trustee governance structure that includes our Board of Directors, the Sponsor Body and the Executive Leadership Team. The Board has overall responsibility for pension administration, corporation management, actuarial reporting, and investment management. It acts independently of the Sponsor Body and Executive Leadership Team and as fiduciaries, are legally bound to act in the best interests of all Plan members.

There are three sub-committees comprised of Board members that play an advisory role to the Board: The Audit and Finance Committee, the Investment Committee, and the Governance and Human Resources (G&HR) Committee. The Sponsor Body is responsible for oversight of the Joint Sponsorship Agreement (JSA). Their primary responsibility is to make decisions regarding Plan benefits. They also approve the assumptions used in actuarial valuations and direct the level of risk appropriate for the Fund’s asset mix. The CEO and Executive Leadership Team are responsible for all operational matters, implementing strategic plans and policies, and the general supervision of corporate affairs.

  • Chief Executive Officer – Chuck Bruce
  • Chief Investment Officer – Michel Malo
  • Vice President, Finance – Judith Bullen
  • Vice President, Systems and Quality – Mark Stanford
  • Vice President, Human Resources and Administration – Peter Head

The Executive Leadership Team is supported by a group of talented individuals who keep Plan members at the heart of their work, because Plan members depend on the team to be focused on their tomorrow. Members can find additional information on Provident10’s governance structure online.

Our Internal Control Framework

It may not draw headlines, but strong internal governance is necessary to ensuring strong operational commitment to Provident10’s 55,000 members. The organization is building a culture of accountability where every member of the team must protect the assets under their authority, ensuring regular policy compliance, and playing a role in continuous improvement. The establishment of an Internal Control Framework (ICF) is the foundation of that culture and has been an early priority for Provident10 that will continue to shape the future.

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Our Internal Control Framework

It may not draw headlines, but strong internal governance is necessary to ensure strong operational commitment to Provident10’s 55,000 members. The organization is building a culture of accountability where every member of the team must protect the assets under their authority, ensuring regular policy compliance, and playing a role in continuous improvement. The establishment of an Internal Control Framework (ICF) is the foundation of that culture and has been an early priority for Provident10 that will continue to shape the future.

ICF enables organizations to assess its system of internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that the controls are working as intended. The ICF strengthens Provident10’s ability to ensure the risks related to the stewardship of the Plan and its resources are adequately managed.

The ICF is integral in the progression of Provident10’s Enterprise-wide Risk Management Framework (ERM), which was launched internally in 2019. ICF is helping to inform the risk exposure and risk assessment of the organization and both will remain closely linked as the organization continues to evolve.

ICF was initially applied to financial reporting and compliance. Throughout 2020, further implementation has continued across all other non-financial operations and systems, demonstrating the organization-wide prioritization of, and commitment, to the ICF.

Provident10 hired an Internal Audit Manager to oversee the ICF activities and assess internal controls. The Audit and Finance Committee approved the organization’s first annual Internal Audit Plan, which included a primary objective is to advance the ICF by conducting an independent evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls. In essence, it will show how effective these internal controls are in practice.

Experience of Board and Leadership

The Board of Directors for Provident10 consists of 14 Directors who were selected based on their background and skills. The Directors have experience in pension plan governance, asset-liability management, investment strategies and capital markets, as well as pension laws, risk management, and compliance.

The Executive Leadership Team and pension experts have over 500 years of combined experience in taking care of pensions and investments. Their backgrounds bring a unique set of ingenuity and forward thinking to the administration of the Plan and investment management.

Compensation Philosophy, Corporate Objective Achievements, and Executive Leadership Team Compensation

As per the Provident10 Board of Directors Remuneration Policy, each Director is paid an annual honourarium and a per-meeting attendance allowance. Government and Union employees are not eligible for the per-meeting attendance allowance.

Directors are also reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses. Meeting attendance and remuneration details for each Director are reported in the following table. The table includes attendance at duly constituted and ad hoc meetings. The Board Chair and Vice Chair are ex-officio, non-voting members of all committees.

Meeting Attendance and Renumeration

Board Remuneration & Meeting Attendance







Loyola Sullivan,
Board Chair*






Bert Blundon,
Board Vice Chair*






Dawn Learning,
Chair Investment Committee






Denise Hamilton,
Chair Audit & Finance Committee






Donna Brewer






Douglas Laing






Emilian Groch






Jennifer Dove






John Vivian






Louise Poirier-Landry






Mary Galway






Michelle Jewer






Randell Earle,
Chair G&HR Committee






Robert Cashin






*The Board Chair and Vice Chair are ex-officio, non-voting members of all committees.

External Investment Committee Members

The Investment Committee also includes two additional Board-appointed investment experts, Nancy-Beth Foran and Will Small.




Nancy-Beth Foran (external investment expert)



Will Small (external investment expert)



Executive Compensation Reporting

Transparency and accountability are two of Provident10’s most important principles. In maintaining these principles, compensation details for the Executive Leadership Team are reported annually. The following summary includes the actual total cash compensation amounts for each executive position.

Executive Compensation Summary​

Executive Compensation Summary




Base Salary


Total Cash Compensation

Chief Executive Officer









Chief Investment Officer









Vice President










Vice President

Systems and Quality









Vice President

HR & Administration









*Reported after September 9, 2019

Employee Total Rewards Program

Provident10 has a progressive compensation program developed in part by reviewing the compensation programs of comparable organizations. The program is compared using factors such as industry, size, assets under management, regional demographics, and the ability to attract, retain, and reward talent. We subscribe to a pay-for-performance model for each employee’s compensation (bargaining and non-bargaining). The Total Reward Program is comprised of base salary and the short-term incentive program (STIP), a group insurance program, and membership in the PSPP, and is consistently applied at all levels of the organization. Base salaries and salary scales are reviewed annually in conjunction with the performance review cycle, market data, and a merit salary increase table.

The Short-Term Incentive Program (STIP) continues to be an important element of total reward for all Provident10 employees for achieving targeted performance metrics. The STIP has been designed to promote a shared understanding of the priorities, expectations, and performance delivery for participants. It further aligns with the Strategic and Business Plan priorities and offers reward opportunity for successful achievement. The STIP program has Corporate and Individual targets assessed for 0%–150% attainment with minimum, target, and excellence performance metrics. The maximum reward is capped. The variable pay STIP is assessed and paid annually. Payments are re-earned each year through successfully achieving annually defined individual and corporate objectives.

The Total Reward Program plays a critical role in Provident10’s ability to attract and retain talent.

2020 Short-Term Incentive Plan – Corporate Objective Achievement

The 2020 short-term incentive plan included four corporate objectives. Thank you to the team for their significant contributions to the overall achievement of these objectives.

See complete table +

Corporate Objective Achievement

Corporate Objective



1A. Targeted Service Standards


Exceeds Target

1B. Purchase of Service


Between Minimum Threshold and Target

2A. Investment Performance



2B. Budget Performance


Exceeds Target

3. Risk Management


Exceeds Target

4. Internal Process, Operational Capacity, and Stakeholder Engagement


Exceeds Target



On average, in 2020 Provident10 exceeded the service standards. A 24% increase in purchase of service requests was generated by the end of the transition period and the downstream impact of the backlog resolution, which created a higher volume for Q1 2020.

In 2020, the organization successfully exceeded our target for Risk Management and successful transition to a remote working model, for most team members, while effectively continuing all business operations as part of Provident10's Business Continuity planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One objective for the total Fund is to outperform a benchmark portfolio return after investment management fees over rolling four-year periods consistent with theStatement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P). The Fund outperformance has exceeded expectations as of December 31, 2020 for the policy benchmark investment objective. The organization is held accountable to a Board-approved budget designed to support the achievement of the Annual Business Plan while being financially responsible to the pension Fund. In 2020 the business plan objectives were achieved while remaining under budget for the year. ​

In 2020, Provident10 executed a communication plan focused on Non-Statutory Plan Text implementation, life cycle education and Plan resources, member experience surveys, website enhancements, and increased process automation and digitization. The organization also continued to advance the security improvement program. ​


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