On November 19, 2013, the Province of New Brunswick introduced for First Reading, An Act Respecting Pensions under the Public Service Superannuation Act (the Act). Under the Act, the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) will be repealed and the pension plan under the PSSA will be converted to a shared risk plan in accordance with… Continue Reading
Reform of Canada’s public sector pension plans is no longer limited to active employees – increasingly governments are willing to address expensive components of retiree pensions as a part of their reform initiatives. Most recently, Prince Edward Island announced that, beginning in 2017, it would only grant cost of living adjustments (COLA) to its public… Continue Reading
On July 2, 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Finance released for public comment draft regulations that would give life to the new pension asset transfer provisions in Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act (PBA) that were inserted in the PBA three years ago – on May 18, 2010 (through Bill 236) – but have yet to be proclaimed… Continue Reading
To address concerns about pension coverage in Canada, the federal government introduced the concept of the pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) in late 2011 through Bill C-25, the Pooled Registered Pension Plan Act (PRPP Act). The PRPP is intended to provide a “low cost” and accessible retirement savings vehicle for Canadians who do not currently… Continue Reading
In today’s budget, the Ontario government announced that it is continuing with its pension reform agenda, but it is not all “old news”. Perhaps of most interest to employers and plan administrators will be the government’s intention to review the implications of the recent Carrigan case and its expanded interest in alternative plan designs.
Back in the fall of 2011, an expert committee chaired by Alban D’Amours was mandated by the Quebec government to analyze the state of the Quebec retirement income system and to make recommendations on how to improve it in light of the new economic and demographic realities. The Committee released a voluminous report on April… Continue Reading
Last month, the Quebec government posted its budget for 2012-2013, which included a number of pension-related items. Expert Committee: The committee tasked with studying Québec’s retirement system, chaired by Alban D’Amours, is expected to table its report in early 2013. The recommendations of the Expert Committee will likely lead to a round of pension reform… Continue Reading
Effective January 1, 2013, certain Ontario employers will be able to use letters of credit to fund their pension plans’ solvency deficiencies. Provisions permitting letters of credit were added to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA) in late 2010 when Bill 120 was passed, but they did not come into force pending the publication… Continue Reading
Almost four years after the Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards (JEPPS) submitted its final report with recommendations to fundamentally reform Alberta and British Columbia’s pension systems, the Alberta government has introduced Bill 10, Employment Pension Plans Act. Similar to B.C.’s Bill 38, which was passed earlier this year, Bill 10, if passed, will replace… Continue Reading
As of July 1, 2012, a number of amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) and related amendments to the general regulation under the PBA were proclaimed in force. Employers and plan administrators should carefully review their plans and their administrative practices to ensure that they continue to be compliant with the PBA, and… Continue Reading
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has posted information for jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs) and multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) which are planning to opt out of the new grow-in benefit regime. Of particular note, these plans may file notice of their election with the Superintendent of Financial Services before July 1, 2012, though… Continue Reading
Late last week, the Ontario government released another round of draft regulations. This time the focus is on disclosure of plan related documents to plan members, former members, retired members, and their spouses, as well as other specified persons. They include amendments with respect to the following: plan records to be made available on request… Continue Reading
On April 30, 2012, British Columbia introduced Bill 38, Pension Benefits Standards Act, for first reading. If passed, the current British Columbia Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA) would be repealed and replaced in its entirety by Bill 38. Bill 38 marks the first significant amendments to British Columbia’s pension regime since the Joint Expert Panel… Continue Reading
Almost two years after passing its initial amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA) in Bill 236 and Bill 120, the Ontario government has released the first round of regulations required to implement its pension reform agenda. The regulations, which are in draft form and subject to public consultation, address a number of… Continue Reading
On March 27, 2012, the Ontario government introduced Bill 55, Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012, for first reading. Schedule 53 of Bill 55 sets out a number of amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) which relate to previous amendments that have not yet come into force, including amendments: clarifying entitlement… Continue Reading
The Ontario government’s 2012 Budget, released yesterday, includes a number of announcements which will be of interest to administrators of both private and public sector pension plans. Some Good News for Private Sector Employers The government recognized that as a result of ongoing market volatility and low interest rates many private sector defined benefit plans… Continue Reading
Over the past two years we have seen a number of amendments to federal pension legislation with respect to the funding of defined benefit (DB) plans (see April 1, 2010 and December 17, 2010 posts). These reforms include amendments permitting plan sponsors to use letters of credit in lieu of making solvency payments to a… Continue Reading
On November 15, 2011 Nova Scotia introduced Bill 96, An Act Respecting Pension Benefits, for first reading. If passed, the current Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act would be repealed and replaced in its entirety by Bill 96.
Back in 2009, the Quebec government adopted measures to alleviate the effects of the 2008 financial crisis on the funding of defined benefit (DB) plans. These measures allowed an employer to instruct a plan’s pension committee to implement one or more of the following measures for the first complete actuarial valuation dated after December 30,… Continue Reading
In response to Ontario’s new regime for dividing pensions on marriage breakdown, which permits the former spouse of a plan member to receive an immediate payment of his or her share of the member’s pension and requires plan administrators to calculate the value of the pension, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has released… Continue Reading
Over the last couple of years, Canadian federal and provincial governments have expressed concern over declining pension coverage. They have responded by appointing expert commissions to study the matter, and by proposing possible solutions such as pooled registered pension plans and modest enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan. These concerns regarding declining pension coverage appear… Continue Reading
The New Brunswick Task Force on Protecting Pensions has released a briefing note, outlining its plan to examine the pension risk management practices and regulatory structures being adopted by other jurisdictions, and to review written submissions “that promote and protect pension coverage”. As I discussed in an earlier blog post, New Brunswick was the fifth… Continue Reading
On June 24, 2011, the Ontario government published final regulations governing the division of pensions on marriage breakdown. With the publication of these regulations, which come into force on January 1, 2012, long-awaited reform of the family law provisions of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act appears to be coming to a close.
The federal government followed up on its promise in this year’s budget to implement pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) “as soon as possible”, with the release of a consultation paper (the Paper) that considers the potential tax rules for PRPPs. The Paper seeks feedback on a number of issues, many of which arise as a… Continue Reading