Q1. Why would a member’s pension benefits and related assets be transferred from one pension plan to another?
A1. A member’s pension benefits and related assets may be transferred from one pension plan to another as a result of a sale of the company or other type of business rearrangement, a merger of two or more pension plans, or a splitting of one pension plan into two or more pension plans. The pension plan from which the benefits and assets are being transferred is called the original plan. The pension plan that the benefits and assets are going into is called the successor plan. –5/14
Q2. Are there different rules depending on whether the asset transfer is between defined benefit pension plans or between defined contribution pension plans?
A2. Yes, the rules for defined benefit plan asset transfers and defined contribution plan asset transfers are different. –5/14
Q3. How do I know if I am affected by an asset transfer?
A3. You will receive notices from the plan administrator providing you with information about the asset transfer. –5/14
Q4. There is an asset transfer happening in my pension plan but I have not received a notice. What should I do?
A4. If you think you might be affected by an asset transfer, contact your plan administrator for more information. –5/14
Q5. I received a notice that the pension plan assets are being transferred. How do I object to the asset transfer application?
A5. If you wish to object to the asset transfer application, you may send a letter to the plan administrator outlining your reasons for objections. You should also send a copy of your letter to the Superintendent of Financial Services. Make sure that the name and registration number of the pension plan, and proof of your membership in the plan (such as a copy of a benefit statement), are included with your letter. Your objection will be reviewed and taken into account during the review of the application to transfer the assets. –5/14
Q6. Do I have a choice on whether my pension benefits are transferred to the successor plan?
A6. The Pension Benefits Act does not require that you be given the choice of whether or not to transfer your pension benefits to the successor plan. However, your plan administrator may decide to give members the option of consenting to the transfer of their benefits and related assets. –5/14
Q7. I have been given a consent form by the plan administrator to transfer my benefits to the successor plan. How do I consent to the transfer?
A7. If the plan administrator has given you the option to consent to the transfer, you must complete the transfer election form provided to you by the plan administrator. You must return it along with any other documents that the plan administrator may require by the deadline specified in the notice. You will have at least 90 days after the date on which the plan administrator sent out the asset transfer notice to return your election. –5/14
Q8. What happens if I do not consent?
A8. If you do not consent to the asset transfer, your pension benefits accrued up to the effective date of the transfer will remain in the original pension plan. –5/14
Q9. I am represented by a union. Can they consent to the transfer on my behalf?
A9. If you have an option to consent to the asset transfer, the union cannot consent on your behalf. You are required to provide your own consent. –5/14
Q10. How can I get copies of the assets transfer documents?
A10. The notice you receive will tell you how you can inspect and copy the documents at the office of your employer. Alternatively, you can see the documents at FSCO’s office, and obtain copies of the documents from FSCO. –5/14
Q11. How do I contact FSCO to see and/or obtain copies of the asset transfer documents?
A11. You can make an appointment to view the documents at FSCO’s office. To make an appointment, you must send a written request (by letter or email) to FSCO. You can also send a written request to obtain copies of the documents. FSCO's "A Guide to Understanding Your Pension Plan", provides additional information on the appointment process and how to obtain copies of documents. –5/14
Q12. I am a plan member affected by a public service divestment. Do these new rules apply to me?
A12. Section 80.1 of the PBA and O. Reg. 308/13, which come into force on January 1, 2014, provide a framework for combining the pension benefits of certain prescribed public sector pension plans where a member of one of these plans subsequently becomes a member of another pension plan as a result of a transfer of employment before January 1, 2014. The public sector plans are:
- Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
- OMERS Primary Pension Plan
- Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Pension Plan (OPSEU)
- Public Service Pension Plan
- VON Canada Pension Plan
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Employees’ Pension Plan
If you are a member of one of these plans, contact your plan administrator for more information on how the new rules affect your specific situation. - 12/13
Q13. I am a plan member affected by a public service divestment from the Ontario government to the federal government. Do these new rules apply to me?
A13. No. These transfers would fall under section 80.3 of the Pension Benefits Act, which addresses divestitures from the Ontario government to the federal government, and this section has not yet come into force. –5/14
Q14. I am an Ontario member of a pension plan registered in another province and am affected by a transfer of the assets of my plan into another plan. Do these new rules apply to me?
A14. Yes, the new rules apply to Ontario members of all pension plans that are subject to the Pension Benefits Act (PBA). Therefore, the notices you receive, and the calculation of your benefits to be transferred, must comply with the new rules. –5/14
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