On October 21, 2015, the Financial Services Commission of
Ontario (FSCO) released its investment guidance note on environmental,
social and governance (ESG) factors (Guidance Note) in final form.
A draft version of the Guidance Note was previously released for
public consultation on June 29, 2015.
The stated purpose of the Guidance Note is to provide
information and guidelines to administrators of Ontario registered
pension plans with respect to ESG factors in order to assist
administrators in meeting the requirements of section 78(3) of
Regulation 909 (Regulation) under the Pension Benefits Act
(Ontario) relating to statements of investment policies and
procedures (SIPPs). Effective January 1, 2016, these requirements
include disclosure in the SIPP as to whether ESG factors are
incorporated into the plan's investment policies and procedures
and, if so, how such factors are incorporated.
In order to comply with the new SIPP requirements relating to
ESG factors, administrators must make a decision as to whether or
not to incorporate ESG factors into their investment policies and
procedures and document this position in the plan's SIPP by
January 1, 2016.
In addition, administrators will need to file their SIPPs and
any amendments to their SIPPs with FSCO in accordance with the
Pension plans registered before
January 1, 2016: the SIPP must be filed by March 1, 2016
New pension plans registered on and
after January 1, 2016: the SIPP must be filed within 60 days after
Amendments to a SIPP must be filed
within 60 days after the date of the amendment
We will be discussing the ESG requirements for SIPPs and other
current issues in pensions and employee benefits law at our seminar
on November 19, 2015.
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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