This page provides links to consultation papers and proposed legislation primarily related to the regulation of Ontario pension plans under the Pension Benefits Act and related legislation. Links to the consultation papers and proposed legislation of other jurisdictions are provided for your convenience.
In addition to the consultation papers and proposed legislation noted here, a number of FSCO consultation papers
, along with information on making submissions, are provided on the website. All stakeholders are encouraged to review these documents and submit their comments. The latest FSCO consultation was posted on May 6, 2013
Proposed Amendment to Regulation 909 - Exemption for U.S. government securities from the "10 per cent rule"
On February 5, 2014, the Ontario government proposed a regulatory amendment that would modify one of the quantitative investment limits that apply to registered pension plans in Ontario, which promotes diversification by restricting a plan administrator from investing more than 10 per cent of a pension plan's assets in a single entity, or two or more associated entities or affiliated companies. The proposed amendment
would remove this restriction for investments in securities issued and fully guaranteed by the government of the United States of America. Comments on the proposal can be submitted to the Ministry of Finance
on or before February 18, 2014.
Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP)
Letters of Credit - Public Sector Single Employer Pension Plans
On October 29, 2013, the Ontario government posted for comments, details of a draft regulatory amendment
to extend the letter of credit (LOC) provisions to employer sponsors of SEPPs in the public sector that meet certain criteria. Comments may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance no later than December 31, 2013.
Consultation on Pension Asset Transfers
On July 2, 2013, the Ontario government posted for public consultation a draft regulation
which would allow for the transfer of pension assets between pension plans that have been affected by a corporate restructuring, including the sale of a business, in either the public or private sector, while protecting benefit security for plan members and pensioners. Comments may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance
no later than September 9, 2013.
Consultation on Pension Transfers – Public Sector Pension Plans
On February 21, 2013, the Ontario government posted for public consultation a draft regulation
which would allow eligible members, former members and retired members of certain public sector pension plans to consolidate their pension benefits as a result of past government-initiated restructurings. Comments may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance
no later than April 15, 2013.
Facilitating Pooled Asset Management for Ontario’s Public-Sector Institutions
On November 16, 2012, the Ministry of Finance released “Facilitating Pooled Asset Management for Ontario’s Public-Sector Institutions “, a report to the Minister of Finance from William Morneau, Pension Investment Advisor. This report follows an extended period of consultation and research, and contains a discussion of investment issues and recommendations for Ontario public sector pension plans.
Financial Hardship Unlocking
On November 13, 2012, the Ontario government released for consultation a proposed restructuring of the financial hardship unlocking program , which is intended to create a simpler and more efficient procedure for applicants requesting a withdrawal from their locked-in account based on financial hardship. Comments may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance no later than January 7, 2013.
Alberta government introduced the Employment Pension Plans Act
Consultation on Proposed Regulation Respecting Letters of Credit
On July 30, 2012, the Ontario government posted for public consultation details of a draft regulatory amendment
relating to letters of credit. Comments may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance no later than August 31, 2012.
Consultation on the Pooling of Pension Fund Assets of Broader Public Sector (BPS) Pension Plans
As announced in the 2012 budget, the Ontario government intends to introduce a legislative framework in Fall 2012 that would facilitate the pooling of pension fund assets in the BPS. Mr. Bill Morneau has been appointed as a special Pension Investment Advisor to lead the implementation process. The views of individual plans, affected stakeholders and other individuals and groups are being sought on a number of questions
. Comments can be submitted to the Ministry of Finance on or before June 30, 2012.
Consultation on draft regulatory amendment - Public sector pension plans
On May 16, 2012, the Ontario government posted for consultation a draft regulatory amendment
relating to filing extension for certain pension plans in the public sector and broader public sector for public comment. Comments for the draft amendment may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance no later than June 11, 2012.
Consultation on draft regulatory amendments under the Pension Benefits Act
On April 30, 2012, the Ontario government posted for consultation draft regulatory amendments
relating to retired member, immediate vesting, surplus provisions and other changes. Also posted is an outline of the regulations
required to implement sections of 74 and 74.1 of the Pension Benefits Act (grow-in) and a clarification of the circumstances under which the Superintendent may order the wind up of a pension plan.
Comments for any of these postings may be submitted to the Ministry of Finance no later than June 1, 2012. The announcement relating to these can be accessed via the ontariocanada.ca
Consultation on New legislative framework for jointly sponsored public sector pension plans
On April 25, 2012, the Ontario government released for consultation a new legislative framework for jointly sponsored public sector pension plans .
Nova Scotia government announced a new Pension Benefits Act
The Nova Scotia government announced on November 15, 2011 a new Pension Benefits Act (the “Act”) to modernize the Act, and to harmonize with the legislation of other jurisdictions. For more information, see the Labour and Advanced Education website of Nova Scotia .
CAPSA Guidelines on Pension Plan Prudent Investment Practices, Self-Assessment Questionnaire on Prudent Investment Practices, and Pension Plan Funding Policy
On November 15, 2011, CAPSA released:
The prudent investment practices guideline and companion questionnaire are intended to provide guidance to plan administrators on how to demonstrate the application of prudence to the investment of pension plan assets. The funding policy is intended to provide guidance on the development and adoption of funding policies. Additional information is available on the CAPSA website www.capsa-acor.org .
Consultation on Transfer Agreements under s. 80.1 of the Pension Benefits Act (PBA)
On July 5, 2011, the Ontario Government posted the intended content of the regulations pursuant to section 80.1 of the Pension Benefits Act that will allow certain public sector pension plans to negotiate agreements that will give eligible employees an opportunity to consolidate their pension benefits from past government-initiated restructurings. Comments on these proposals
can be made until August 19, 2011.
Bill 33 - amendments to the Pension Benefits Act of Manitoba
The Manitoba government has introduced Bill 33
that would amend the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) of Manitoba to allow the province’s superintendent of pensions to register a lien against all property of an employer, including real estate, for failure to pay into a plan. Section 4 of the Bill amends section 11(3) of the Manitoba PBA relating to multi-jurisdictional pension plans.
Bill 173 - Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act, 2011
On May 5, 2011, the Ontario Government ordered for third reading of Bill 173 . Schedule 35 of the bill contains several proposed amendments to the Pension Benefits Act. One of these proposed amendments permits a pension plan to provide a provision within its plan terms that allows a former member to transfer the commuted value of his or her deferred pension towards the purchase a life annuity. Note: this provision would change the earlier amendment proposed in Bill 135 which would have seen this option disappear in June 2011.
Risk-Based Regulation Framework
This consultation paper solicits pension stakeholders’ comments and feedback on FSCO’s proposed broad-based framework for the risk-based regulation of pension plans in Ontario. The purpose of introducing this framework is to improve FSCO’s overall effectiveness in its monitoring of key pension risks, and to ensure appropriate regulatory response is taken by FSCO to address risk situations, thereby better protecting the interests of pension plan beneficiaries.
Bill 133, Family Statute Law Amendment Act, 2009
On March 3, 2011, the Ontario Government released draft regulations and consultation paper (PDF) in support of the previously enacted amendments to the Pension Benefits Act related to family law matters. The draft regulations provide the details related to the valuation, division and settlement of pension assets on the breakdown of a spousal relationship. The consulation paper outlines the contents of the draft regulations that are currently under consideration. Comments on these documents can be made until April 18, 2011.
CAPSA Guideline on Fund Holder Arrangements
On March 1, 2011, CAPSA released a Guideline on Fund Holder Arrangements (Guideline No. 5). The guideline highlights the governance principles related to fund holder arrangements, identifies the types of fund holder arrangements permitted, discusses roles and responsibilities of key players and provides information on what the regulator looks for when examining fund holder arrangements. A copy of the Guideline , Guideline Table and Letter to stakeholders are available on the CAPSA website (www.capsa-acor.org ).
CAPSA Consultation - Draft Guideline and Self-Assessment Questionnaire on Pension Plan Prudent Investment Practices, and Draft Guideline on Pension Plan Funding Policy
On March 1, 2011, CAPSA released a draft Guideline and Self Assessment Questionnaire on Pension Plan Prudent Investment Practices and a draft Guideline on Pension Plan Funding Policy for stakeholders’ review and comment. A copy of the draft guideline (Prudent Investment Practices , Funding Policy ), draft self assessment questionnaire and letter to stakeholders are available on the CAPSA website (www.capsa-acor.org ). The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2010.
Proposed Amendment to Regulation 909
The Ontario Government , on February 10, 2011 released two proposed regulations (Temporary Funding Relief & Filing Extension ) with respect to funding relief for certain single employer, defined benefit or hybrid plans within the broader public sector, including Ontario university pension plans. In an exchange for the relief, plan sponsors would be expected to adopt plan changes that would make their plans more sustainable in the long term. Details of the relief measures would be outlined in an amendment to the regulations, which is expected to come into effect by mid-May 2011. Comments on the proposal can be made until March 28, 2011.
Prince Edward Island government tables bill
to protect private sector pension plans
Prince Edward Island introduced the new Pension Benefits Act for first reading on December 2, 2010. An extensive consultation with stakeholders will take place throughout the upcoming months before being brought forth for second reading.
Bill 135 - Helping Ontario Families and Managing Responsibly Act, 2010
On November 18, 2010, the Ontario government introduced for first reading Bill 135 . Schedule 8 of the bill contains an amendment to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) Act, 1997 which allows the Superintendent to delegate to FSCO employees the exercise of powers and performance of duties that are delegated to the Superintendent in an agreement under section 100 of the Pension Benefits Act (PBA). Section 100 deals with the new multi lateral pension plan agreement.
Schedule 15 of the bill contains a proposed amendment to the PBA to repeal clause 42(1)(c), which enables a former member of a pension plan to transfer the commuted value of his or her deferred pension for the purchase of a life annuity on June 30, 2011. A related amendment to section 42 of the PBA provides that if the commuted value of the former member’s deferred pension is greater than the amount that the Income Tax Act permits to be used to purchase the former member’s life annuity, the excess amount is payable to the former member.
Bill 120 - Securing Pension Benefits Now and in the Future Act, 2010
On October 19, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 120 and gave it first reading. This Bill implements changes announced by the minister on August 24, 2010. The changes to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act include changes to types of benefits and pension plans, funding requirements, entitlement to surplus, Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund, administration of pension plans, regulatory oversight and enforcement, other technical and complementary amendments and a review of the PBA and regulations.
Ontario Government news release - Further Strengthening Pensions
On August 24, 2010 the Ontario Government issued a news release and a technical backgrounder providing further information about the additional steps being taken to strengthen Ontario’s pension system. The documents include information about the broad package of reforms that Ontario will propose this fall.
CAPSA Consultation Update– Draft guideline on Fund Holder Arrangements
In response to stakeholder requests, CAPSA has extended the comment period for the draft guideline on Fund Holder Arrangements to September 15, 2010 . Stakeholders are encouraged to participate in this consultation process. A copy of the draft guideline , guideline table and letter to stakeholders are available on the CAPSA website (www.capsa-acor.org ).
Federal Government released draft regulations
On May 3, 2010, the federal government released draft regulations , which propose changes to the defined benefit plan funding provisions and the federal investment rules. The proposed changes will affect pension plans that are registered under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
Please note: Ontario has adopted the federal investment rules as they read on December 31, 1999 for the investment of pension fund assets. The draft regulations propose the removal of the quantitative limits which previously applied to the real estate and resource property investments. For the proposed changes to be effective for pension plans registered in Ontario they would have to be specifically adopted by the Ontario government.
CAPSA Consultation - Draft guideline on Fund Holder Arrangements
On May 4, 2010, CAPSA released a draft Guideline on Fund Holder Arrangements for stakeholders’ review and comment. A copy of the Guideline , Guideline Table and Letter to stakeholders are available for download or printing on the CAPSA website (www.capsa-acor.org ). The deadline for submissions is July 30, 2010.
Amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA)
On March 29, 2010, the federal Government tabled Bill C-9 , An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 and other measures. Part 9 of the Bill contains most of the proposed changes to the PBSA announced by the Government on October 27, 2009.
Manitoba News Release - Province Overhauls Pension Benefits Act
On March 26, 2010, Manitoba released changes to its Pension Benefits Act and regulations that would strengthen and update the legislation.
Changes to the Pension Benefits Act, R.S.O. 1990 (PBA)
On March 25, 2010, Bill 16 passed first reading. The Bill implements the 2010 budget measures and enacts or amends various Acts including the PBA.
2010 Ontario Budget Delivered
On March 25, 2010, the Ontario Budget was delivered. The budget proposes changes to Ontario’s tax and pension systems. For pension related matters, see chapter III of the budget (or pages 151, 167-174 in PDF format).
Alberta Starts Pension Consultation
Alberta has launched a public consultation on how to strengthen the province’s retirement income system and how to expand pension coverage for those not covered by a workplace pension. The deadline for feedback is April 16, 2010.
The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Workforce Development released a discussion paper on March 5, 2010 to gather more input from employers, employees, unions and industry about private-sector pension-plan management. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2010.
British Columbia Consultation - Ways to strengthen the pension system and expand pension coverage
On February 2, 2010, the British Columbia government released an online consultation to seek public input on ways to strengthen the pension system and expand pension coverage. The deadline for submission is April 1, 2010.
CAPSA Consultation Update– Prudence Standard in Pension Plan Funding and Investment
The comment period for the consultation paper The Prudence Standard and the Roles of the Plan Sponsor and Plan Administrator in Pension Plan Funding and Investment has been extended to April 30, 2010 to provide stakeholders with more opportunity to participate in the consultation process. The consultation paper is available for download or printing on the CAPSA website (www.capsa-acor.org ).
Changes to the Pension Benefits Act, R.S.O. 1990
On December 9, 2009, Bill 236 - Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2009 passed first reading. The Bill amends the Pension Benefits Act in connection with several matters, including: benefits for members and others who are entitled to payments out of pension plans; asset transfers between pension plans; partial wind ups of pension plans; surplus-sharing agreements; the administration of pension plans; the powers of the Superintendent; and certain terminology used in the Act. Further information is available from the Ministry of Finance .
CAPSA Consultation – Prudence Standard in Pension Plan Funding and Investment
The Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) released a consultation paper The Prudence Standard and the Roles of the Plan Sponsor and Plan Administrator in Pension Plan Funding and Investment on November 30, 2009.
CAPSA is interested in receiving feedback on the paper, and has included specific questions in the paper to guide comments. The deadline for submissions has been extended to April 30, 2010. The consultation paper is available for download or printing on the CAPSA website (www.capsa-acor.org ).
Federal Pension Proposals Released
On October 27, 2009, the federal government released pension reform proposals aimed at improving the federal private pension legislative and regulatory framework. Other technical amendments are also proposed.
Manitoba releases Proposed Pension Regulations
Manitoba has released proposed amendments to the regulations that result from 2005 changes to its Pension Benefits Act. Comments on the proposed regulations may be submitted until August 15, 2009.
Call for Retirement Summit
An August 6, 2009 news release includes a call from the premiers for a national summit on retirement income.
Ontario Budget 2009 Delivered
On March 26, 2009, the Ontario budget was delivered. The budget proposes changes to Ontario's tax and pension systems.
Nova Scotia Pension Review Panel releases Final Report
On January 27, 2009, the Nova Scotia Pension Review Panel released its final report .
Law Commission of Ontario's final report on division of pensions upon marriage breakdown
The Law Commission of Ontario has released its final report on the division of pensions upon marriage breakdown.
Consultation on Pension Plans Regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)
January 9, 2009 - The Financial Division of the Department of Finance has released a discussion paper - Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Private Pension Plans Subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) .
The consultation includes, in part, a request for comments on ways to improve the regulatory framework governing pension investment. Ontario has, by reference in the Pension Benefits Act (PBA), adopted the federal investment rules, and this portion of the consultation may be of special interest to pension plans which are subject to the PBA. Comments are to be provided by interested parties by March 16, 2009.