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  • Frequently Asked Questions on Financial Hardship Unlocking - June 24, 2013
    In the 2012 Ontario Budget, the government announced that it plans to make changes to the financial hardship unlocking program, to make it easier for individuals to access the money in their locked-in accounts. For answers to frequently asked questions on the changes that were announced, refer to the questions below.
    Under the current program, individuals who qualify under specific circumstances of financial hardship may submit an application to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) for special access to the money in their locked-in accounts. Until the new rules come into effect, applications should continue to be submitted to FSCO. For more information on the application process, including forms and instructions, refer to FSCO’s web page on Applying for Financial Hardship Withdrawal. If you have additional questions, you may wish to contact us by mail, fax or telephone:
    Financial Services Commission of Ontario
    Financial Hardship Unlocking Section
    5160 Yonge Street, Suite 1600
    Toronto ON M2N 6L9
    Tel: (416) 250-7250
    Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-668-0128
    Fax: (416) 226-7880
    Q: How is the financial hardship unlocking program affected by the proposed changes contained in the consultation released on November 13, 2012?

    A: The consultation proposes that Ontario’s financial hardship unlocking program be restructured so that the consent of the Superintendent of Financial Services will no longer be required to withdraw money from locked-in accounts due to financial hardship. When the new rules come into effect, individuals will be able to request withdrawals directly from the financial institutions that hold their locked-in accounts. In addition, new financial hardship unlocking forms that are approved by the Superintendent will be made available. -11/12

    Q: Will the current rules for financial hardship unlocking still apply now that the consultation has been announced?

    A: Yes. The current rules for financial hardship unlocking continue to apply to all applications. Once the consultation has been completed, the government will determine how it will proceed and any changes to the application process and any other rules that will apply to the financial hardship unlocking. Once the information becomes available, it will be posted on FSCO’s website. -11/12
    • Q 30. Do the new transfer provisions of the Regulation apply to the pre-retirement death benefit provisions of section 48 of the Pension Benefits Act (PBA)?
    • A 30. No. The new provisions do not apply to the transfer of pre-retirement death benefits provided under section 48 of the PBA. - 09/09
    • Q5. I am turning 72 this year and must, under the ITA, begin to receive benefit payments from my individual pension plan (IPP). The ITA rules require the IPP to pay me the greater of: 1. the regular pension amount payable under the terms of the IPP; or, 2. the minimum amount that would be required to be paid from the IPP as if the IPP assets were held in a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Is the latter option possible under the PBA?
    • A5. No. The benefit payments from the IPP cannot be paid out as if the IPP assets were held in a RRIF. The IPP is a registered defined benefit pension plan under the PBA, and the IPP must comply with the provisions of the PBA. The PBA does not allow for RRIF type payments from a pension plan. However, where the RRIF provisions prevail, there may be circumstances when surplus assets, if any, under the IPP may be used to bring the pension being paid to the retired member up to the required RRIF level. For example, this could be done where the plan terms permit payment of surplus from the ongoing plan to the retired member(s) of the plan. -06/12
  • Family Law - Questions and Answers - December 14, 2012
  • Surplus Withdrawal on Wind Up - Questions and Answers - July 9, 2012
  • FAQs relating to Form 5.3 - May 1, 2012
  • Form 5.3 - Application to a Financial Institution for a one-time Withdrawal or Transfer of up to 50% of the Money in a Schedule 1 LIF or LRIF.  This form is discontinued as of May 1, 2012 but it is available upon request.  Please send your request to FSCO Contact Centre at
  • Actuarial Information Summary 2010 - This form is mandatory for pension plans registered with FSCO that contain defined benefits and must be filed in conjunction with any funding valuation reports with filing deadlines of June 30, 2010 and beyond.  This form is discontinued as of March 31, 2012 but it is available upon request.  Please send your request to FSCO Contact Centre at