On September 17, 2013, after holding special consultations in
June and August 2013,1 the Committee on Public Finance
published its conclusions and recommendations on the report of the
Expert Committee regarding the future of the Quebec Retirement
System (the "D'Amours Report"). This
Expert Committee was formed in December 2011 by the Régie
des rentes du Québec2 (the
"Régie") with the goal of
improving the Quebec Retirement System and making it more viable
and more efficient, while also taking into account new economic and
The D'Amours Report
The D'Amours Report, which is more than 200 pages long, was
released in April 2013. In the report, the Expert Committee begins
by identifying a certain number of pressures and loopholes which
have the effect of weakening the Quebec Retirement System. The
Expert Committee goes on to make 21 recommendations which would
facilitate the implementation of a new system. Among these
recommendations, the Expert Committee proposes, among other things,
the creation of a "longevity pension" which would be
administered by the Régie and which would provide all
workers with a defined benefit ("DB")
pension beginning at age 75. This pension would be funded by
contributions made by both employers and employees.3
With respect to the other recommendations made by the Expert
Committee in the D'Amours Report, suffice it to say that the
majority of them seek to ensure the sustainability of DB pension
plans registered with the Régie. The Expert Committee
proposes measures such as the adoption of a single method for
assessing the funding of all DB plans4 and the
establishment of a 5-year period during which the parties can agree
on certain modifications which should be made to the plan in order
to ensure its sustainability. Finally, the Expert Committee also
recommends the rapid implementation of the Voluntary Retirement
Savings Plans (VRSP) provided for in Bill 39 (for more information
on the recommendations made by the Expert Committee, we refer you
to the D'Amours Report, which you can access by clicking here).
The Report of the Committee on Public Finance
In its nine-page report, the CPF essentially concludes that a
number of the measures proposed in the D'Amours Report will
require either more extensive studies or that further steps be
taken in cooperation with the federal government or the governments
of the other provinces. The CPF recommends that further studies be
conducted with respect to such measures as the "longevity
pension" and the funding of DB plans. However, no timetable
has been set in this regard. The CPF also indicates that a number
of stakeholders adopted positions regarding the restructuring of DB
plans which were diametrically opposed to one another. The CPF
therefore recommends that the government focus greater attention on
this problem. Finally, the CPF recommends that the necessary
assessments and steps be taken in order to facilitate the rapid
implementation of the VRSP's as well as three more technical
recommendations made with respect to DB plans.5 (for
more information on the CPF's recommendations, we refer you to
its report, which you can access by clicking
In sum, even if everyone seems to agree that the current
Retirement System in Quebec is flawed and that we need to find
solutions to improve it, there is little unanimity regarding the
best way to achieve this goal. The D'Amours Report returned the
very important issue of the future of pension plans to the
forefront and in so doing, created an opportunity that should
certainly be seized upon. Hopefully, concrete steps will be taken
in this respect within a reasonable time following the release of
the CPF's recommendations and that at the end of this process,
we will all be left with something show for it!
1 During which the Committee heard representatives of
groups, organizations, associations, businesses, cities, and
2 At the request of the Minister of Employment and Social
3 The cost of this pension is assessed by the Expert Committee at
3.3% of salary, up to the maximum of eligible earnings (which have
been fixed to $51,100 in 2013), to be shared equally between
employers and employees.
4 Such a method would more closely mirror actual costs.
5 The method for calculating commuted values, the purchase of
annuities with an insurer and the possibility of dividing the
pension fund into two accounts.
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