Canada’s Pension Regulators Release New Measures in Response to COVID-19
April 24, 2020
This post provides a round-up of recent measures taken by Canada’s federal and provincial pension regulators in response to COVID-19.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has released an updated Q&A in respect of its decision to temporarily prohibit portability transfers and buy-out annuity purchases in order to protect pension fund solvency. The Q&A clarifies many aspects of these measures, such as what portability restrictions apply to members of multi-jurisdictional pension plans.
Canada has also announced a moratorium on solvency payment requirements for defined benefit pension plans until the end of 2020.
Our summary of earlier federal measures can be found here.
Retraite Quebec has released a statement outlining its pandemic response measures, which include a three month deadline extension for filing certain documents, as well as a requirement for plan administrators to consider the plan’s degree of solvency before making any transfers or refunds between April 17, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan has issued a Notice which temporarily prohibits transfers or payments from defined benefit pension plans, with limited exceptions. Plan administrators may seek the Superintendent’s consent to a transfer or payment.
The Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCSC) has updated its earlier extensions for Annual Information Returns, Annual Written Statements, Actuarial Valuation Reports (AVR) and Cost Certificates. The FCSC has also issued a reminder that plan administrators shall not carry out commuted value transfers in circumstances where the transfer ratio or termination value funded ratio of the plan has shrunk by more than 10% overall since the review date of the most recently filed AVR.
Plan administrators can make a written request to the Newfoundland Superintendent of Pensions for an extension on their Annual Information Return filing deadline. The Superintendent will grant an extension if reasonable grounds exist to do so.
Our April 3 blog post summarizes the most recent measures taken by regulators in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.
Authored by Adriana Zichy, Articling Student
Pension and Benefits