The pace of pension reforms in Ontario has been fast-moving since the release of the Ontario Budget on March 28, 2018. Among other things, the Budget announced continued work on the new funding rules for defined benefit pension plans and related increases to coverage under the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, a consultation on a new funding framework for target benefit multi-employer pension plans, consultations regarding new protections for plan members affected by employer insolvencies, and continued work on the new pension and financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority.
The Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) was recently amended. In this communiqué, we briefly review those amendments.
Ontario has had new sale of business pension transfer rules (the Transfer Rules) since January 1, 2014. The Transfer Rules are found in section 80 of the Pension Benefits Act and the Asset Transfers under Sections 80 and 81 of the Act regulation. However, as with any regime which depends on a set of rules rather than the exercise of discretion, the Transfer Rules’ lack of flexibility may frustrate employment law and reasonable commercial considerations.