Canada: Expert Committee Pressing For Pension Reform In Quebec

Back in the fall of 2011, an expert committee chaired by Alban D'Amours was mandated by the Quebec government to analyze the state of the Quebec retirement income system and to make recommendations on how to improve it in light of the new economic and demographic realities.

The Committee released a voluminous report on April 17, 2013 entitled Innovating for a Sustainable Retirement System – A Social Contract to Strengthen the Financial Security of All Québec Workers. The 220-page report was published in French only, but a summary of the report is available in English.

Some key recommendations of the Committee include:

1. Creation of a new public plan to provide "longevity pensions"

  • The most ambitious proposal of the Committee is certainly the creation of a new public plan, alongside the Quebec Pension Plan, that would provide a defined benefit (DB) to retired Quebec workers once they attain age 75.
  • Québec workers between the ages of 18 and 74 and their employers would be required to contribute to the plan. The Committee recommends an initial contribution rate of 3.3% of earnings (up to the maximum pensionable earnings) to be shared equally between workers and employers (i.e., 1.65% each).
  • The plan would essentially be a career average earnings DB plan. The annual amount of the longevity pension would be equal to 0.5% of earnings of the worker in each contributory year (up to the maximum pensionable earnings). Earnings used to calculate the pension would be indexed until age 75.
  • Longevity pensions would be payable from a fund administered by the Régie des rentes du Québec, and the assets would be managed by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

2. Measures to improve the viability of registered DB pension plans.

  • The Committee recommends using a single valuation method for calculating ongoing DB plan funding. The preferred method, called "enhanced funding" method, would be somewhat less stringent than the current solvency approach. In particular, the discount rate would be determined by reference to market yields on high quality corporate bonds. The Committee proposes that a deficit be amortized over 15 years, but also suggests that the amortization period be eventually reduced to 10 years.
  • Contribution holidays would only be permissible if the plan is fully funded on an "enhanced funding" basis and a solvency basis, and there is a provision for adverse deviation. Additionally, there would be a cap on the amount of any contribution holidays.
  • The Committee recommends a series of measures to enhance plan governance, including the mandatory adoption of a funding policy and the performance of risk assessment analyses at regular intervals.
  • The Committee is of the view that the Supplemental Pension Plans Act should be amended to allow members to make contributions in respect of deficits and to allow employers to recover an amount of surplus equal to the special payments made to fund a deficit.
  • The Committee proposes a 5-year "restructuring period" during which plan sponsors could negotiate reductions of vested ancillary benefits (e.g., indexing, enhanced early retirement benefits). In other words, there would be a temporary exemption to the "void amendment" rule where the parties can reach an agreement on such a reduction. Unions would negotiate on behalf of unionized employees while non-unionized employees and retirees would be deemed to accept a reduction if less than 30% of them object to the proposal following a consultation.

3. Measures to help Quebec workers save more for their retirement and provide them with more flexibility with their retirement savings

  • The Committee is endorsing the concept of voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSP), and urges the government to move ahead with the existing proposal without delay (subject to some minor adjustments).
  • The Committee also suggests amending the current legislative framework so as to make the withdrawal of retirement savings more flexible.

The Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Agnès Maltais, took advantage of the release of the report to announce that a public consultation on the future of the retirement income system would likely take place in the fall of 2013.

She also announced that the Quebec government would take steps within the coming months to: (i) extend the solvency funding relief measures, which are set to expire on December 31, 2013; and (ii) table a bill to implement its new VRSP.

We will continue our analysis of the Committee's recommendations in the coming weeks and will write further posts as Quebec's pension reform continues to progress.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.