Significant changes have recently been made to the pension
standards legislation in Alberta and BC. The new Alberta
Employment Pension Plans Act ("EPPA") and
related regulations came into force effective September 1, 2014 and
the new British Columbia Pension Benefits Standards Act
("PBSA") and related regulations came into force
effective September 30, 2015. The changes impact plans registered
in BC or Alberta as well as plans registered in other Canadian
jurisdictions that have members employed in BC or Alberta.
Plan administrators are required to administer (and should have
been administering) their plans in accordance with the EPPA and
PBSA as of the respective effective dates of the amendments. The
deadline for formally amending a plan and filing the required
amendments with the respective regulators is December 31, 2015. In
addition, for plans registered in either BC or Alberta, there are a
number of policies that, for most plans, must be drafted by the end
of the year.
The changes imposed under the new legislation include: the
introduction of immediate vesting, changes in the small benefit
unlocking rules and the expansion of the disclosure obligations
imposed on plan administrators. All plans registered in Alberta
will also now be required to have a governance policy and all
defined benefit or target benefit plans, a funding policy. The same
policies will also now be required of plans registered in BC but in
addition, a records retention policy will be required.
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.
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