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McGill International Portfolio Challenge –– Leading the Future of Pension Investing

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Why Pensions?
In Canada and many other countries, life expectancy has climbed to 80 years. While this is great news for all of us, this simple increase in life expectancy has caused pension liabilities to soar and required savings to spike for those on defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans, respectively. Other demographic catalysts have further compounded this problem. Worldwide fertility rates have dropped, magnifying fears of a fall in the active labor force. Interest rates have also dropped, making it more expensive for individuals to save.

Though each of these factors alone may seem innocuous, together they can bring down an economy. At its current pace, the World Economic Forum predicts that the retirement-savings shortfall will reach $400 trillion in 30 years. To put this into perspective, the Gross World Product was only $75 trillion in 2016.

The current state of pension underfunding falls into what is termed a wicked problem. It is a dilemma that has many layers and complex variables, which also affects diverse stakeholders such as companies, retirees, active workers, unions, and more. Many defined-benefit pension plans across the globe are closing their doors to new entrants, cutting benefits to retirees, or even transitioning to defined-contribution schemes as a way to shift the risk from the employer to the employee. The brewing pension crisis poses a large economic burden and has no clear right answer.

MIPC 2018
“Welcome to the MIPC 2018 competition! This challenge creates the rare opportunity for students with a demonstrated interest in investment management to engage some of the most influential leaders in the pension industry. Together, we are working toward finding effective and creative solutions that address a critical social problem — how to make certain that once we retire, we have a pension plan that will support us financially through our elder years. We invite you to compete and propose investment strategies that will contribute to the goal of a healthy and well-funded pension system.”
–– Professor Sebastien Betermier, Faculty Director of MIPC.

Presented in partnership with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and more of the McGill International Portfolio Challenge globe’s premier institutional investors, MIPC has the ability to offer C$50,000 in annual cash prizes — a figure that makes this one of the most prestigious and attractive university competitions in the world.

When and where will MIPC be held?

The competition will have two rounds. The first round is open to schools from around the globe, it is online, and it lasts from September 7th to early October. The top 25 teams will be invited to the final round at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University held on the 9th and 10th of November 2018. For a more detailed itinerary, click here.

When will Registrations open?
Early Bird registration is open until May 31st. Standard registration is open from June 1st to September 6th. Please register here. To learn more about the McGill International Portfolio Challenge you can visit