Message from ATRF CEO Rod Matheson
March 13, 2020
As the world continues to find ways to deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I want to share the steps we are taking at ATRF to ensure teachers’ pensions remain secure, and to ensure we are able to continue serving our members without interruption.
We understand how important it is to manage our investments carefully and strategically during this time of extreme market instability, and to take prudent steps to ensure pensions continue to be paid and our operations continue – regardless of how this unprecedented public health crisis progresses.
We have a remarkable team at ATRF and their safety is always of vital importance to me. We have taken steps to mitigate risks of virus transmission, including cancelling business travel outside of Canada, and being diligent about preventative public health measures.
Our management team is also taking steps across the organization to ensure we are able to continue providing core services to our members in the event of external disruptions. Our technology team is ensuring our systems will allow staff to work from home if required, and that system backups and fail safes are properly established and in place. We are also verifying that our communication tools (like our website) will continue to function in any circumstances so we will be able to provide you further updates should that be required.
We are taking precautions within our office to limit contact with the public and members, and encouraging them to contact us by phone or email, and especially to use our MyPension portal.
One of the most important tools we use to provide services and to communicate with our plan members is the MyPension portal. To ensure you continue to be able to quickly access your information and receive timely communication from ATRF, please be sure you are registered on the ATRF MyPension portal.
We have been managing teachers’ assets for several decades, and in that time we’ve learned valuable lessons about the importance of planning for, and managing through, times of uncertainty. Our skilled and experienced investment management team is working hard to ensure our assets are managed carefully and strategically as world markets experience significant turbulence.
We hold a highly diversified portfolio, which helps protect the fund in exactly these kinds of situations. We are carefully monitoring markets and considering various future scenarios in order to position the portfolio as best as we can in the short term, while not forgetting that as a pension plan, we are long-term investors.
These are only a few of the ways we are working hard to ensure we are prepared to continue serving members, so you should rest assured that we are taking this crisis very seriously – and that we also take our responsibility to our members very seriously. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and respond promptly and prudently to any challenges that may arise, and keep you informed throughout.