Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund
Public Accounts of Canada 2017 Volume I—Top of the page Navigation
Management responsibility for financial statements
Responsibility for the integrity and fairness of the financial statements of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund rests with the management of the RCMP.
The financial statements of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund have been prepared in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for pension plans. The financial statements include management's best estimates and judgments where appropriate.
To fulfill its accounting and reporting responsibilities, management has developed and maintained books, records, internal controls and management practices designed to provide reasonable assurance as to the reliability of the financial information and to ensure that transactions are in accordance with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation Act and regulations as well as the Financial Administration Act and regulations.
These financial statements have been audited by the Auditor General of Canada, the independent auditor for the Government of Canada.
Daniel G.J. Dubeau, D/Commr.
Dennis Watters, CPA, CA, CFE
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
August 29, 2017
Independent Auditor's Report - Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund
To the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Report on the financial statements - TO THE MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
I have audited the accompanying financial statements of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund, which comprise the statement of financial position as at 31 March 2017, and the statement of changes in net assets available for benefits and statement of changes in pension obligations for the year then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.
Management's responsibility for the financial statements
Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for pension plans, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
My responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on my audit. I conducted my audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that I comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.
An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor's judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity's preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity's internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.
I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my audit opinion.
In my opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund as at 31 March 2017, and the changes in its net assets available for benefits and changes in its pension obligations for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for pension plans.
Report on other legal and regulatory requirements - Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund
In my opinion, the transactions of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund that have come to my notice during my audit of the financial statements have, in all significant respects, been in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Financial Administration Act and regulations, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation Act and regulations.
Margaret Haire, CPA, CA
for the Auditor General of Canada
29 August 2017
|Pension benefits payable (Note 3)||334,983||334,446|
|Net assets available for benefits||(negative 334,983)||(negative 334,446)|
|Pension obligations (Note 4)||14,390,621||15,766,250|
|Deficit to be financed by the Government of Canada (Note 5)||(negative 14,725,604)||(negative 16,100,696)|
Daniel G.J. Dubeau, D/Commr.
Dennis Watters, CPA, CA, CFE
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
August 29, 2017
|Net assets available for benefits, beginning of year||(negative 334,446)||(negative 395,179)|
|Decrease (increase) in pension benefits payable||(negative 537)||60,733|
|Net assets available for benefits, end of year||(negative 334,983)||(negative 334,446)|
|Pension obligations, beginning of year||15,766,250||17,710,637|
|Net interest accrued on benefits||672,153||789,099|
|Past service contributions from participants||2,856||3,060|
|Changes in actuarial assumptions (Note 6)||282,283||–|
|Experience losses (gains)||289,360||(negative 161,176)|
|Survivor benefit payments and transfers to pension benefits payable||(negative 2,622,281)||(negative 2,575,370)|
|Pension obligations, end of year||14,390,621||15,766,250|
Notes to the financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2017
1. Description of the Fund
The following is a summary description of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Dependants) Pension Fund (the Fund) was established in 1934 pursuant to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and is currently operated under Part IV of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation Act (the Act) (effective 1959) and the related Regulations.
The Act provides for members of the Force, other than commissioned officers, appointed before March 1, 1949, the right to purchase certain survivorship benefits for their dependants by payment of specified contributions.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is responsible for the management of the Fund and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) provides the day-to-day administration of the Fund. The Office of the Chief Actuary (OCA) of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) performs periodic actuarial valuations of the Fund.
All monetary transactions of the Fund are made through a specified purpose account in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The Fund is accounted for using the standards applicable to a defined benefit pension plan as described in Note 2(a).
b. Funding policy
All eligible members have now retired and, as such, there are no more active members contributing to the Fund; however, retired members may continue to make instalment payments in respect of previous elections made before their retirement.
The Act directs the Minister of Finance to have an actuarial valuation for funding purposes prepared at least every five years. If the actuarial valuation discloses a surplus, the Governor in Council may, by order, increase the benefit payments. If there is an actuarial deficiency, the Governor in Council may direct that there be amounts transferred to the Fund, out of any unappropriated moneys in the CRF, as may be required to re-establish the solvency of the Fund.
c. Survivor benefit payments
The following benefits, as applicable, are payable on the death of a member who has made the scheduled contributions and has left them in the Fund.
i. Widow's pension benefit
The widow is entitled to the pension purchased by the member. In many cases the pension benefit equals approximately 1.5 per cent of the member's final pension benefit payment multiplied by his years of credited service. The pension benefit is payable for life with a guarantee that the total payments shall be no less than the member's contributions.
ii. Lump sum benefits
If a member is not survived by a widow, a lump sum payment is made to the dependants and relatives of the member who are, in the opinion of the Minister, best entitled to share the benefit.
iii. Benefit limitations
Under certain circumstances, the basic death benefits payable to a surviving widow are reduced. This can occur when a member marries after age 60; in that case, the value of the pension to the widow cannot exceed the lump sum payable if he were not survived by a widow.
d. Dividends on survivor benefit payments
The Act provides that if the Fund is substantially in excess of the amount required to make adequate provision for the prospective payments, the Governor in Council may, by order, increase the benefits provided under Part IV of the Act in such manner as may appear equitable and expedient. The authority of the Governor in Council is delegated to the Treasury Board under section 7(2) of the Financial Administration Act.
To date, most of these benefit increases have taken the form of proportionate dividends applied to all basic death benefits, both accrued and prospective.
e. Withdrawal of contributions
A retired member who did not elect to withdraw his contributions from the Fund upon retirement retains the right to do so at any time thereafter; however, all his rights under Part IV of the Act and those of his dependants shall cease upon such election. All returns of contributions are made without interest.
2. Significant accounting policies
a. Basis of presentation
These financial statements present information on the Fund as a separate financial reporting entity independent of the sponsor and Fund members, on a going concern basis. They are prepared to assist Fund members and others in reviewing the activities of the Fund for the year, but they are not meant to portray the funding requirements of the Fund.
These financial statements are prepared in Canadian dollars, the Fund's functional currency, in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for pension plans in Part IV of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada Handbook, Section 4600. Section 4600 provides specific accounting guidance on investments and pension obligations.
For accounting policies that do not relate to either investments or pension obligations, the Fund complies with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Part I of the CPA Canada Handbook. To the extent that IFRS in Part I is inconsistent with Section 4600, Section 4600 takes precedence.
The financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2017 were authorized for issue by the signatories on August 29, 2017.
b. Significant accounting policies
The significant accounting policies are as follows:
i. Survivor benefit payments
Benefits are recognized on an accrual basis as a reduction of pension obligations and net assets available for benefits upon the death of a member who has made the scheduled contributions and has left them in the Fund or upon the death of a widow.
ii. Pension obligations
The present value of pension obligations is calculated using the projected benefit method prorated on pensionable service, based on management's best estimate assumptions.
iii. Services provided without charge and related party transactions
The Fund does not record the value of administrative services it receives without charge from various government departments and agencies as they are insignificant in the context of the financial statements taken as a whole. These services include the following:
- Financial management and other support services from the RCMP;
- Actuarial valuation and other services from the OCA;
- Office of the Auditor General of Canada audit costs.
c. Sources of estimation uncertainty
In preparing these financial statements, management uses estimates and assumptions that primarily affect the reported amounts of liabilities and related disclosures.
In making estimates and using assumptions, management relies on external information and observable conditions where possible. The estimates and assumptions are based on historical experience and other factors that are considered to be relevant. Actual results may differ significantly from the estimates and assumptions.
The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognized in the period in which the estimate is revised if the revision affects only that period or in the period of the revision and future periods if the revision affects both current and future periods.
The pension obligations are the most significant item where estimates and assumptions are used. The pension obligations depend on a number of factors that are determined on an actuarial basis using a number of estimates and assumptions, such as discount rates (future interest rates used to credit the Fund), mortality rates, proportion of members married, and age of new widows. The Fund consults with external actuaries from the OCA regarding these estimates and assumptions annually. Any changes will impact the carrying amount of the pension obligations. Details of these estimates and assumptions have been disclosed in Notes to the Financial Statements - RCMP - Note 4.
3. Pension benefits payable
Pension benefits payable represent the lump sum benefits that became payable upon the death of members or widows during the year but had not yet been approved by the Minister for payment. At March 31, 2017, the pension benefits payable were $334,983 (2016 — $334,446).
4. Pension obligations
The present value of pension obligations is calculated actuarially by the OCA using the projected benefit method prorated on pensionable service and management's best estimate assumptions. Actuarial valuations for funding purposes are to be performed not more than five years apart. The most recent actuarial valuation for funding purposes was conducted as of March 31, 2016, and tabled in Parliament on January 18, 2017. The next actuarial valuation for funding purposes as of March 31, 2019 will be tabled in Parliament in 2020.
The most recent actuarial valuation for funding purposes disclosed an actuarial surplus of $1,348,000. On April 13, 2017, an Order in Council approved that a portion of this surplus be distributed by annual effective increases in the pension amount of 1.9 per cent as at April 1, 2017, 1.9 per cent as at April 1, 2018 and 1.9 per cent as at April 1, 2019 and by increases to lump sum death benefits and residual payments.
The remaining balance of the actuarial surplus is intended to be used over the remaining life of the Fund for the payment of increases in the pension benefits. At March 31, 2017, the average age of members was estimated to be 92.2 years and the average age of widows was estimated to be 89.4 years. The remaining life of the Fund was estimated at 29 years based on the statutory actuarial valuation as at March 31, 2016.
An actuarial valuation for accounting purposes is conducted annually by the CA using the projected benefit method prorated on pensionable service and management's best estimate economic and non-economic assumptions.
The non-economic assumptions include considerations such as mortality rates, proportion of members married, and age of new widows. Mortality rates for members are based on mortality rates for male Regular Members from the actuarial report on the pension plan for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as at March 31, 2015. Mortality rates for widows are based on those of the 2014 Canadian Pensioners Mortality Table (CPM2014). Mortality rates are reduced in the future with the same mortality improvement assumptions made for the Actuarial Report on the Canada Pension Plan as at the date of the actuarial valuation for funding purposes. The primary economic assumptions relate to future interest rates used to credit the Fund. The interest rate is derived from the yield on a notional long-term portfolio of 20-year Government of Canada bonds issued at prescribed interest rates and held to maturity, as at the date of the actuarial valuation for funding purposes. The assumptions used in the actuarial valuation for funding purposes are evaluated for continued relevancy and the valuation for accounting purposes is adjusted by the actuary for transactions occurring during the period, including experience gains due to changes in the Fund's member and widow population. The information in these financial statements is based on this annual valuation conducted as at March 31, 2017. At that date, the present value of pension obligations was $14,390,621 (2016 - $15,766,250).
The interest rate for the year-ended March 31, 2017, is 4.4 per cent (2016 – 4.8 per cent) per annum. The expected long-term interest rate is estimated to decline to 3.1 per cent (2016 – 4.1 per cent) per annum by the year 2031 (2016 – by the year 2024) and to rise to an ultimate level of 4.6 per cent (2016 – 5.0 per cent). Variations in any of these assumptions can result in a significantly higher, or lower, estimate of the liability.
During the year, no amendments were made to the Fund (2016 – nil).
5. Deficit to be financed by the Government of Canada
All transactions of the Fund are made through a specified purpose account in the CRF and are reported in the Public Accounts of Canada. This includes receiving contributions, recording interest earned on the Fund and paying survivor benefits.
The government has a statutory obligation to pay benefits relating to the Fund. This pension obligation is to the survivors of the participants who contributed to the Fund over the years. However, if the Fund is substantially in excess of the amount required to make adequate provision for the prospective payments, the Governor in Council may increase benefits in order to disburse the surplus to the survivors. As a result, the government has an obligation to the beneficiaries for the balance of the Fund as reported in the specified purpose account. The following table illustrates these obligations as at March 31:
(in Canadian dollars)
|Opening balance, specified purpose account||17,672,931||19,370,510|
|Receipts and other credits||741,324||877,794|
|Payments and other charges||(negative 2,622,280)||(negative 2,575,373)|
|Closing balance, specified purpose account||15,791,975||17,672,931|
|Deficit to be financed by the Government of Canada||(negative 14,725,604)||(negative 16,100,696)|
|Excess owed to beneficiaries||1,066,371||1,572,235|
6. Changes in Actuarial Assumptions
Changes in actuarial assumptions include changes to widow mortality, long term Fund yield and member mortality assumptions. At March 31, 2017, the pension obligations increased by $282,283 (2016 — nil) as a result of the changes in actuarial assumptions.
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