Canada: Plan Administrators, Are You Prepared for Ontario's New Regime For Pension Advisory Committees?

Many pension plan administrators will soon have new obligations regarding pension advisory committees (PAC). Ontario's new PAC regime was proposed in fall 2015 and will come into force on January 1, 2017. In particular, O. Reg 351/16 amends the General Regulation under the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) and comes into force on January 1, 2017.

This bulletin highlights what plan administrators need to know to prepare.


The PAC rules apply to all pension plans (defined benefit and defined contribution) registered in Ontario except for:

  • Jointly sponsored pension plans
  • Multi-employer pension plans established pursuant to a collective agreement
  • Pension plans administered by a pension committee or other governing body with a least one representative selected by members or a trade union acting on their behalf
  • Pension plans with fewer than 50 members and retired members (combined)


The PAC rules are triggered as soon as a notice of intent to establish a PAC is provided to the plan administrator by one or more unions representing at least 10 members or at least 10 individuals who are current or retired members of the plan (Initial Notice).


Once the plan administrator receives the Initial Notice, the plan administrator is required to help facilitate an election for the membership to vote on whether or not to establish a PAC. In doing so, the plan administrator must:

  • Within 30 days of receiving the Initial Notice, contact the individuals or union who provided the Initial Notice to discuss the election process
  • Within 90 days of receiving the Initial Notice, notify all members and retired members that a vote will be conducted on whether or not to establish a PAC, distribute the ballots and provide details on how to vote, and distribute any information prepared by the parties who submitted the Initial Notice that describes the purposes of the advisory committee (this may be distributed in a single notification package)
  • Notify all members, former members, and retired members as well as any union that provided the Initial Notice of the outcome of the vote

A vote on whether to establish a PAC must be conducted by way of secret ballot using one or more of the following methods: in person at a meeting of members and retired members; electronically, by mail; or by casting ballots at a specific location.

If a vote to establish a PAC is unsuccessful, the plan administrator is given a three-year reprieve from facilitating another vote and is required to notify all members, retired members and the union or unions who provided the Initial Notice of this fact.


If a vote to establish a PAC is successful, a PAC will be established and be comprised of at least four representatives and not more than 15 representatives. The plan administrator is required to give the individuals or unions who provided the Initial Notice information about the membership of the plan in order to facilitate appointments to the PAC.

PAC representatives must include:

  • One representative from each class of employees represented in the pension plan (or two representatives if there is only one class of employees participating in the pension plan)
  • Two representatives appointed by retired members

Former members may be appointed to the PAC but there is no requirement for them to participate.

PACs established before January 1, 2017 will have until June 30, 2017 to ensure that their current composition meets the new requirements.


Once a PAC is established and the representatives have been appointed, the plan administrator is required to:

  • Contact the PAC for purposes of holding an initial meeting
  • Discuss the administration of the pension plan and matters of interest to beneficiaries at a meeting to be held at least twice per year, or once per year if the PAC determines that more meetings are not required in that particular year
  • Arrange for the plan actuary to meet with the PAC at least once per year (for defined benefit plans)
  • Ensure the PAC has access to an individual who can report on the pension fund's investments at least once a year
  • Provide access to the records of the administrator related to the administration of the pension fund and pension plan (other than personal information of specific persons) and permit the PAC to make copies
  • Provide reasonable administrative assistance to the PAC to prepare and distribute an annual report about its activities to members, former members, retired members and other plan beneficiaries


Reasonable costs associated with the establishment of the PAC, including conducting the vote, and the operation of the PAC are payable out of the pension fund.

The right to have reasonable costs associated with the PAC payable out of the pension fund is fairly straightforward for a defined benefit plan, but for a defined contribution plan the existing plan documents (e.g., statement of investment policies and procedures) and service contracts should be reviewed to determine if any changes are required.


One of the gaps in the PAC regime is that there is no mechanism for the clear dissolution of a PAC. The dissolution of a PAC may be appropriate or necessary in situations where the PAC no longer deems itself to be necessary, a sufficient majority of plan members wish to dissolve the PAC or if meetings have not been requested or attended by PAC members for a certain period of time. This issue had been identified during the consultation process and we hope that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario will provide guidance on this point.

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.

Events from this Firm
23 Nov 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Cybersecurity, including data privacy and security obligations, has become a critical chapter in every company’s risk management playbook.

28 Nov 2018, Speaking Engagement, Toronto, Canada

Arbitration has a number of advantages and some disadvantages for the resolution of domestic and international commercial disputes.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Bennett Jones LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Bennett Jones LLP
Related Articles
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
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions