FED - Federal Bill C-25 re Pooled Registered Pension Plans
Following up on the consultation paper it released in December of 2010, the federal government introduced Bill C-25, the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act on November 17, 2011. Bill C-25 sets out a legal framework for the establishment and administration of pooled registered pension plans - a "large-scale and low-cost" defined contribution pension plan.
ON - Revised Procedural Rules for Financial Services Tribunal
The Ontario Financial Services Tribunal has released a draft of revised Rules of Practice and Procedure for comment. Comments are due by December 15, 2011.
ON - Ontario Ministry of Finance Opens Second Window for Temporary Solvency Funding Relief
Earlier this year the Ontario government announced temporary solvency funding relief for certain public sector plans. In order to qualify, the plans were required to apply during specified "windows". The first window for applying for funding relief was open from February 10, 2011 to March 23, 2011. The second window is open from November 7, 2011 to December 30, 2011.
ON - FSCO Final Risk-Based Regulation Framework
Following up on an earlier consultation paper, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario has finalized its risk-based framework for the regulation of pension plans.
NS - Nova Scotia Bill 96 re Pension Reform
In response to the recommendations of the Nova Scotia review panel and the government's discussion paper, Nova Scotia has introduced Bill 96, An Act Respecting Pension Benefits, for first reading on November 15, 2011. The Bill is currently at second reading. If passed, the current Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act would be repealed and replaced with Bill 96.
General - CAPSA Guideline re Prudent Investments
The Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) has released Guideline No. 6 - Pension Plan Prudent Investment Practices Guideline (the Investment Guideline) in final form. In connection with the Investment Guideline, CAPSA has also developed a Self-Assessment Questionnaire for plan administrators. The Questionnaire asks plan administrators to review their plan's investment practices and consider a number of issues/activities when determining whether they are investing prudently.
General - CAPSA Guideline re Funding Policies
The Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities has released a final version of Guideline No. 7 - Pension Plan Funding Policy Guideline (the Funding Guideline). The Funding Guideline provides guidance on the development and adoption of written funding policies for defined benefit pension plans.
FED – Federal Bill C-13 re Budget Amendments
Following up on the budget released earlier this year, the federal government introduced Bill C-13 for first reading on October 4, 2011 and Bill C-13 received second reading on October 17, 2011. If passed, Bill C-13 will amend the Income Tax Act to introduce rules to limit tax deferral opportunities for individual pension plans, and change the pension-to-registered retirement savings plan transfer limits in situations where the accrued pension amount was reduced due to the insolvency of the employer and underfunding of the employer’s registered pension plan. It will also amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to repeal certain provisions that provide for mandatory retirement and the Canada Labour Code to repeal a provision that denies employees the right to severance pay for involuntary termination if they are entitled to a pension.
ON - Financial Services Commission of Ontario Proposed Family Law Forms
Under the new regime for dividing pensions on marriage breakdown, plan administrators must calculate the value of the pension and former spouses of plan members can receive an immediate payment of their share of the member’s pension benefits. Various steps in this new regime require the use of forms approved by the Superintendent of Financial Services. Recently, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario posted its proposed family law forms on its website. Accompanying the forms are instructions and questions and answers. The forms will be finalized by December 31, 2011, but until such time, the proposed forms may be amended.
ON - Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Sutherland v. Hudson’s Bay Company
In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision that pension plan assets were impressed with a trust in favour of the plan members and the members were entitled to any surplus assets in the plan on its termination and wind up.
MB - Manitoba Conversion Policy Bulletin
In response to recent pension legislation reform, the Manitoba Office of the Superintendent – Pension Commission has issued a policy providing guidance to Manitoba plan administrators wishing to convert a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.
FED - Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Registered Pension Plan Statistics
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has published a fact sheet which sets out statistics related to Canadian registered pension plans and retirement savings, including: number of members, percentage of the workforce, percentage of public vs. private sector, and type of benefits..
ON - Ontario Superior Court Allows Application for Rectification
In the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in MTD Products Limited v. Baldin, the Court allowed the plan sponsor's application for rectification. When a 1998 plan amendment failed to accurately reflect MTD's intention with respect to unreduced early retirement benefits, the plan sponsor was permitted to rectify the error, despite the opposition of certain plan members.
FED - Pension Reform Outlined in Federal Budget Implementation Act
Bill C-9, an Act to implement certain provisions of the Budget tabled on March 4, 2010, was introduced in the House of Commons on March 25, 2010. It proposes a number of changes to the Pension Benefits Standards Act including but not limited to the funding of benefits on termination and the authorization for use a letter of credit to satisfy solvency funding obligations. The Bill will also makes changes to the Income Tax Act, which will, among other things, increase the pension surplus threshold for employer contributions.
MB - PBA Amendments Take Effect
Bill 10, the Pension Benefits Amendment Act which received Royal Assent on April 19, 2005 has been proclaimed into force on March 31, 2010 (with some exceptions). In addition to the new legislation and regulations, the Manitoba Pension Commission has released a number of documents in support of these changes.
FED - OSFI Plans and Priorities
OSFI has released its Plan and Priorities for 2010-2013. OSFI will, among other things, continue to refine the process for monitoring emerging and ongoing risks facing private pension plans, with a particular focus on the risks associated with the planned implementation of legislative and regulatory amendments.