Archived - Harper Government Takes Action to Strengthen Existing Framework for Federally Regulated Private Pension Plans

September 19, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance

Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson today proposed new regulations that will, upon approval, build on improvements that the Harper Government initiated in 2009 to modernize and strengthen the framework governing federally regulated private pension plans. Since 2009, many of the improvements introduced under this initiative have already been brought into effect, including measures to enhance protections for pension plan members, reduce funding volatility for defined benefit pension plans, and make it easier for plan participants to negotiate changes to their pension arrangements. Today’s proposed amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 (PBSR) would build on these advances by improving the framework for defined contribution plans, enhancing disclosure and protection for plan members and beneficiaries, and modernizing the pension investment rules.

Private pension plans provide an important source of retirement income for employees and their families. Employers generally set up pension plans voluntarily; however, once a pension plan is established, it must be funded and administered in compliance with applicable tax and pension laws. Today’s proposed regulations apply to those private and Crown corporation pension plans that are regulated by the federal government under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985,which is applicable to the banking, telecommunications and interprovincial transportation industries. There are currently approximately 1,200 such federally regulated pension plans in Canada.

Today’s proposed amendments would:

The proposed regulations also include technical amendments to existing pension regulations to ensure consistency with corresponding provisions in the PBSR, as well as to address some inconsistencies in translations between both official languages. They will be released for public comment with official pre-publication in the Canada Gazette on September 27, 2014. Interested persons may make representations on the proposed amendments within 30 days of publication, prior to final consideration by the Government.

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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