Ontario pension law has always permitted active members,
deferred vested members and retired members of a pension plan to
establish an "advisory committee." They were toothless
committees. Ontario pension reforms has changed the rules regarding
the membership and administrative burden of advisory committees.
Advisory committees will continue to have no real power to direct
the administration of pension plans.
Retired members have always been permitted to participate in
advisory committees; however the pension reforms have guaranteed
retired member participation in these committees.
The reforms also empower advisory committees to (i) charge their
costs to pension funds; (ii) force pension plan administrators to
meet with them; and (iii) force administrators to provide the
committee with wide array of information. The regulations detailing
these new financial and documentary powers have not been released
by the Ontario government.
We will keep an eye out for the creation of broad rights that
may give advisory committees the right to ask for an employer's
sensitive financial or legal documents under the guise of
monitoring the pension plan.
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