Ontario Pension Plan Update: Ongoing Consultations of Interest

Ontario’s Ministry of Finance (Ministry) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) have issued two separate consultations of interest to employers related to the design and governance of pension plans in Ontario. Consultations on “A Permanent Framework for Target Benefit Plans” The Ministry has published a second consultation paper regarding its proposed target benefit framework….

Ontario Introduces Temporary Funding Relief for Defined Benefit Pension Plans

Sponsors of defined benefit (DB) pension plans registered in Ontario have been given significant temporary contribution relief as part of the Ontario government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 21, 2020, Ontario Regulation 520/20 (Regulation) was filed. The Regulation amends Regulation 909 made under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) to permit temporary contribution deferral for certain eligible DB pension plans, and extend the time over which catch-up contributions following the filing of a new valuation report must be made.

Ontario Temporarily Reduces Financial Penalties for Late PBGF Assessments

On April 30, 2020, the Ontario government filed Ontario Regulation 187/20 amending Regulation 909 made under the Pension Benefits Act. This amendment allows for significantly reduced financial penalties for late payment of a Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) assessment. Normally, an employer who fails to pay a PBGF assessment by the assessment date must pay…

COVID-19 – Continuity of Pension Plan Administration and Related Regulatory Flexibility

During these uncertain times, pension plan administrators must continue to administer their pension plans and provide benefits to members, former members and retired members. Employers and pension plan administrators face a number of upcoming filing and disclosure deadlines and may have challenges in meeting those deadlines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario Superior Court Affirms that Pension Payments to a Non-Member Spouse Cease Upon Death

In Meloche v. Meloche, the Ontario Superior Court held that, following a pension division under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA), payments do not continue to the estate of a non-member spouse who predeceases the member spouse. The parties separated in 2017 after 30 years of marriage. The respondent teacher retired in 2015, and elected…

Notice of Intended Decision Considers Whether Vacation Pay Forms Part of Pensionable Earnings

The Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services (Superintendent) issued a Notice of Intended Decision (NOID) in late 2018 that considered whether vacation pay should be factored into a pension plan’s definition of pensionable earnings. The NOID indicates that, in the absence of clear exclusionary language, the Superintendent will interpret the phrase “base pay” to include vacation…

Pension Funding Reform Continues: Taking Aim at Target Benefit Multi-Employer Pension Plans

Pension plans that meet the definition of specified Ontario multi-employer pension plans (SOMEPPs) are one step closer to having the option to convert accrued defined benefits (DB) to target benefits (TB) – and one step closer to a permanent exemption from solvency funding. If your organization participates in a SOMEPP, find out what this could mean for your organization in this FTR Now.