A plan beneficiary may request that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) review his/her pension issue if he/she:
- already attempted to resolve his/her issue with the pension plan administrator (administrator);
- disagrees or is unsatisfied with the administrator’s response;
- has concerns about contacting the administrator directly;
- has questions about the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) and regulations; or
- wants to report breaches of the legislation
See Who to Contact for Pension Inquiries and Complaints for more information.
When FSCO assists a plan beneficiary, its objective is to ensure that the pension plan and pension fund are administered in compliance with the PBA and the regulations, and the pension plan.
For general inquiries, a plan beneficiary may reach FSCO at the contact information below.
Pension Plans Branch
Financial Services Commission of Ontario
5160 Yonge Street
Box 85, 4th Floor
Toronto ON M2N 6L9
Telephone: (416) 226-7776
Fax: (416) 226-7777
For inquiries that deal with a specific pension plan, a plan beneficiary may contact the FSCO staff member who is assigned to the pension plan. This information may be obtained by contacting FSCO at the telephone number or e-mail address listed above, or by following these steps:
- Go to the FSCO Pension Plan Information Access web page.
- Click on "Pension Plan Information Access" link at the bottom of the page.
- Search for the pension plan by entering the plan number, plan name or plan sponsor.
- Click on the "submit" button.
- Review the search results and select the pension plan.
Once these steps have been completed, the name and telephone number of the FSCO contact person will be shown on the plan details page.
Writing to FSCO
When writing to FSCO, the plan beneficiary should ensure that the following information is included with his/her request:
- the name and registration number of the pension plan;
- the name of the employer or plan sponsor;
- reason for the request (the question or nature of the problem);
- copies of any correspondence between the plan beneficiary and administrator;
- copies of any other relevant document(s) that support the plan beneficiary’s position or request;
- a statement that authorizes FSCO staff to: a) contact the administrator on behalf of the plan beneficiary; b) discuss the beneficiary’s request with the administrator; and c) forward to the administrator copies of any correspondence that was provided to FSCO (the plan beneficiary’s consent is required under pension and privacy laws).
In order to act on a complaint or inquiry, FSCO staff often need to share documents that were provided by the plan beneficiary with the administrator. Therefore, the plan beneficiary should clearly note any documents that were provided to FSCO that they do not want shared with the administrator.
FSCO’s Review of an Inquiry or Complaint
When a plan beneficiary’s letter is received by FSCO staff, it will be acknowledged and handled as quickly as possible by FSCO’s Pension Plans Branch. The plan beneficiary will be provided with the name and telephone number of the FSCO staff member who will respond to his/her inquiry or complaint.
After the plan beneficiary’s inquiry or complaint is reviewed, and any contact with or submissions from the administrator are considered, a letter will be sent to the plan beneficiary that addresses the inquiry or complaint. If the plan beneficiary’s complaint requires a decision to be made by the Superintendent of Financial Services (Superintendent), the letter will also contain detailed explanations and reasons for the decision (i.e., a decision about whether the administrator has contravened the requirements of the PBA and regulations, or the pension plan).
If a Plan Beneficiary Disagrees with FSCO’s Conclusion
If a plan beneficiary disagrees with FSCO’s conclusion, but does not have any new information to support his/her position or request, he/she may request that the Superintendent issue an Order (a written directive that requires an administrator to take an action, or refrain from taking an action, in respect of a pension plan).
If the plan beneficiary wants an Order to be issued, the request should provide the following information:
- that the plan beneficiary is requesting the Superintendent to issue an Order under section 87 of the PBA;
- the specific sections of the PBA and regulations that have been contravened;
- the remedy that is being sought; and
- supporting reasons for the desired remedy.
The plan beneficiary may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in pension law to assist him/her with this process.
Once FSCO staff review the request for an Order, the matter will be referred to the Superintendent, who will propose to grant the Order or refuse to do so using a Notice of Proposal. Both the plan beneficiary and the administrator will be informed of the proposed Order. If the plan beneficiary, administrator or any other person(s) who are affected by the proposal disagree with the proposed Order, they may request a hearing before the Financial Services Tribunal (FST) by completing and sending Form 1 - Request for Hearing to the following address:
Financial Services Tribunal
5160 Yonge Street
Box 85, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M2N 6L9
The FST is an independent adjudicative body that reviews decisions that are made by FSCO. If the FST holds a hearing, it will post its decision with reasons on its website at www.fst.gov.on.ca.