Provincial Pension Regulators Release Statements on the Impact of COVID-19 on Pension Plans
April 3, 2020
Pension regulators across Canada have released numerous relief measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two recent Koskie Minsky blog posts on March 26 and March 30 summarize the action taken at the Federal level and in Ontario.
Here we provide a summary of the measures which have been taken by other provincial regulators across Canada.
The BC Financial Services Authority has released an information bulletin outlining several deadline extensions for pension plans registered in BC. These measures will remain in force until further notice. With the exception of multi-employer pension plans which are not collectively bargained, no action is required by a pension plan administrator to take advantage of these new relief measures.
The bulletin extends the deadlines for providing annual statements to members, as well as for providing termination of active membership statements to members who have terminated their plans. It also extends filing deadlines for annual information returns and actuarial valuation reports.
The Alberta Superintendent of Pensions has issued a statement on its COVID-19 Relief Measures. The Superintendent has extended the deadline for filing annual information returns, audited financial statements, actuarial valuation reports and cost certificates. It has also extended the timelines for issuing annual and event driven disclosure statements.
The statement also provides information on the filing requirements for administrators who elect to complete an off-cycle valuation report, guidelines for carrying out any review date amendments to plan text documents, as well as a reminder for plan administrators on the restrictions imposed on plan administrators in respect of transferring assets out of a pension fund.
Finally, the statement directs that extensions to amortization periods and/or contribution rates should be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the Superintendent’s Office.
The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) released a Covid-19 Alert announcing that it has extended filing deadlines for annual information returns, as well as annual statement disclosure deadlines. These extensions are automatic and no action is required for them to take effect. However, administrators are expected to notify plan members of these extensions.
The FCAA also announced that it has removed the $2,500 maximum credit card payment limit and that plans and others should pay fees by credit card where possible.
The Nova Scotia Finance and Treasury Board announced deadline extensions for annual information returns and actuarial valuation reports.
The New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services Commission’s COVID-19 Update also provides for deadline extensions for filing actuarial information returns and actuarial valuation reports.
Retraite Quebec advised that plan administrators must continue to apply plan provisions, as well as the provisions of the Supplemental Pension Plans Act, including those provisions in respect of plan contributions, sending benefit statements and holding the annual assembly.
Authored by Adriana Zichy, Articling Student
Pension and Benefits