Income Tax Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp.))

Act current to 2015-03-31 and last amended on 2015-01-02. Previous Versions

Registered Pension Plans

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) In this section and sections 147.2 and 147.3,

    “actuary”

    « actuaire »

    “actuary” means a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries;

    “administrator”

    « administrateur »

    “administrator” of a pension plan means the person or body of persons that has ultimate responsibility for the administration of the plan;

    “average wage”

    « salaire moyen »

    “average wage” for a calendar year means the amount that is obtained by dividing by 12 the total of all amounts each of which is the wage measure for a month in the 12 month period ending on June 30 of the immediately preceding calendar year;

    “compensation”

    « rétribution »

    “compensation” of an individual from an employer for a calendar year means the total of all amounts each of which is

    • (a) an amount in respect of

      • (i) the individual’s employment with the employer, or

      • (ii) an office in respect of which the individual is remunerated by the employer

      that is required (or that would be required but for paragraph 81(1)(a) as it applies with respect to the Indian Act or the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act) by section 5 or 6 to be included in computing the individual’s income for the year, except such portion of the amount as

      • (iii) may reasonably be considered to relate to a period throughout which the individual was not resident in Canada, and

      • (iv) is not attributable to the performance of the duties of the office or employment in Canada or is exempt from income tax in Canada by reason of a provision contained in a tax convention or agreement with another country that has the force of law in Canada,

    • (b) a prescribed amount, or

    • (c) an amount acceptable to the Minister in respect of remuneration received by the individual from any employer for a period in the year throughout which the individual was not resident in Canada, to the extent that the amount is not otherwise included in the total;

    “defined benefit provision”

    « disposition à prestations déterminées »

    “defined benefit provision” of a pension plan means terms of the plan under which benefits in respect of each member are determined in any way other than that described in the definition “money purchase provision” in this subsection;

    “former limit”

    « ancien plafond »

    “former limit” for each calendar year after 2005 and before 2010 means the greater of

    • (a) the product (rounded to the nearest multiple of $10, or, if that product is equidistant from two such consecutive multiples, to the higher multiple) of

      • (i) $18,000, and

      • (ii) the quotient obtained when the average wage for the year is divided by the average wage for 2005, and

    • (b ) for 2006, $18,000, and for any other of those calendar years, the former limit for the preceding calendar year;

    “member”

    « participant »

    “member” of a pension plan means an individual who has a right, either immediate or in the future and either absolute or contingent, to receive benefits under the plan, other than an individual who has such a right only by reason of the participation of another individual in the plan;

    “money purchase limit”

    « plafond des cotisations déterminées »

    “money purchase limit” for a calendar year means

    • (a) for years before 1990, nil,

    • (b) for 1990, $11,500,

    • (c) for 1991 and 1992, $12,500,

    • (d) for 1993, $13,500,

    • (e) for 1994, $14,500,

    • (f) for 1995, $15,500,

    • (g) for years after 1995 and before 2003, $13,500,

    • (h) for 2003, $15,500,

    • (i) for 2004, $16,500,

    • (j) for 2005, $18,000,

    • (k) for 2006, the greater of $19,000 and the former limit for the year,

    • (l) for 2007, the greater of $20,000 and the former limit for the year,

    • (m) for 2008, the greater of $21,000 and the former limit for the year,

    • (n) for 2009, the greater of $22,000 and the former limit for the year, and

    • (o) for each year after 2009, the greater of

      • (i) the product (rounded to the nearest multiple of $10, or, if that product is equidistant from two such consecutive multiples, to the higher multiple) of

        • (A) the money purchase limit for 2009, and

        • (B) the quotient obtained when the average wage for the year is divided by the average wage for 2009, and

      • (ii) the money purchase limit for the preceding year;

    “money purchase provision”

    « disposition à cotisations déterminées »

    “money purchase provision” of a pension plan means terms of the plan

    • (a) which provide for a separate account to be maintained in respect of each member, to which are credited contributions made to the plan by, or in respect of, the member and any other amounts allocated to the member, and to which are charged payments made in respect of the member, and

    • (b) under which the only benefits in respect of a member are benefits determined solely with reference to, and provided by, the amount in the member’s account;

    “multi-employer plan”

    « régime interentreprises »

    “multi-employer plan” in a calendar year has the meaning assigned by regulation;

    “participating employer”

    « employeur participant »

    “participating employer”, in relation to a pension plan, means an employer who has made, or is required to make, contributions to the plan in respect of the employer’s employees or former employees, or payments under the plan to the employer’s employees or former employees, and includes a prescribed employer;

    “past service event”

    « fait lié aux services passés »

    “past service event” has the meaning assigned by regulation;

    “single amount”

    « montant unique »

    “single amount” means an amount that is not part of a series of periodic payments;

    “specified multi-employer plan”

    « régime interentreprises déterminé »

    “specified multi-employer plan” in a calendar year has the meaning assigned by regulation;

    “spouse”

    “spouse”[Repealed, 1994, c. 7, Sch. VIII, s. 85(2)]

    “wage measure”

    « mesure des gains »

    “wage measure” for a month means the average weekly wages and salaries of

    • (a) the Industrial Aggregate in Canada for the month as published by Statistics Canada under the Statistics Act, or

    • (b) in the event that the Industrial Aggregate ceases to be published, such other measure for the month as is prescribed by regulation under the Canada Pension Plan for the purposes of paragraph 18(5)(b) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Registration of plan

    (2) The following rules apply with respect to the registration of pension plans:

    • (a) the Minister shall not register a pension plan unless

      • (i) application for registration is made in prescribed manner by the plan administrator,

      • (ii) the plan complies with prescribed conditions for registration, and

      • (iii) where the plan is required to be registered under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 or a similar law of a province, application for such registration has been made;

    • (b) where a pension plan that was submitted for registration before 1992 is registered by the Minister, the registration is effective from the day specified in writing by the Minister; and

    • (c) where a pension plan that is submitted for registration after 1991 is registered by the Minister, the registration is effective from the later of

      • (i) January 1 of the calendar year in which application for registration is made in prescribed manner by the plan administrator, and

      • (ii) the day the plan began.

  • Marginal note:Deemed registration

    (3) Where application is made to the Minister for registration of a pension plan for the purposes of this Act and, where the manner for making the application has been prescribed, the application is made in that manner by the administrator,

    • (a) subject to paragraph 147.1(3)(b), the plan is, for the purposes of this Act other than paragraphs 60(j) and 60(j.2) and sections 147.3 and 147.4, deemed to be a registered pension plan throughout the period that begins on the latest of

      • (i) January 1 of the calendar year in which the application is made,

      • (ii) the day of commencement of the plan, and

      • (iii) January 1, 1989

      and ending on the day on which a final determination is made with respect to the application; and

    • (b) where the final determination made with respect to the application is a refusal to register the plan, this Act shall, after the day of the final determination, apply as if the plan had never been deemed, under paragraph 147.1(3)(a), to be a registered pension plan, except that

      • (i) any information return otherwise required to be filed under subsection 207.7(3) before the particular day that is 90 days after the day of the final determination is not required to be filed until the particular day, and

      • (ii) subsections 227(8) and 227(8.2) are not applicable with respect to contributions made to the plan on or before the day of the final determination.

  • Marginal note:Acceptance of amendments

    (4) The Minister shall not accept an amendment to a registered pension plan unless

    • (a) application for the acceptance is made in prescribed manner by the plan administrator;

    • (b) the plan as amended complies with prescribed conditions for registration; and

    • (c) the amendment complies with prescribed conditions.

  • Marginal note:Additional conditions

    (5) The Minister may, at any time, impose reasonable conditions applicable with respect to registered pension plans, a class of such plans or a particular registered pension plan.

  • Marginal note:Administrator

    (6) There shall, for each registered pension plan, be a person or a body of persons that has ultimate responsibility for the administration of the plan and, except as otherwise permitted in writing by the Minister, the person or a majority of the persons who constitute the body shall be a person or persons resident in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Obligations of administrator

    (7) The administrator of a registered pension plan shall

    • (a) administer the plan in accordance with the terms of the plan as registered except that, where the plan fails to comply with the prescribed conditions for registration or any other requirement of this Act or the regulations, the administrator may administer the plan as if it were amended to so comply;

    • (b) before July, 1990, in the case of a person or body that is the administrator on January 1, 1989 or becomes the administrator before June, 1990, and, in any other case, within 30 days after becoming the administrator, inform the Minister in writing

      • (i) of the name and address of the person who is the administrator, or

      • (ii) of the names and addresses of the persons who constitute the body that is the administrator; and

    • (c) where there is any change in the information provided to the Minister in accordance with this paragraph or paragraph 147.1(7)(b), inform the Minister in writing, within 60 days after the change, of the new information.

  • Marginal note:Pension adjustment limits

    (8) Except as otherwise provided by regulation, a registered pension plan (other than a multi-employer plan) becomes, at the end of a calendar year after 1990, a revocable plan where

    • (a) the pension adjustment for the year of a member of the plan in respect of a participating employer exceeds the lesser of

      • (i) the money purchase limit for the year, and

      • (ii) 18% of the member’s compensation from the employer for the year; or

    • (b) the total of

      • (i) the pension adjustment for the year of a member of the plan in respect of a participating employer, and

      • (ii) the total of all amounts each of which is the member’s pension adjustment for the year in respect of an employer who, at any time in the year, does not deal at arm’s length with the employer referred to in subparagraph 147.1(8)(b)(i)

      exceeds the money purchase limit for the year.

  • Marginal note:Idem — multi-employer plans

    (9) Except as otherwise provided by regulation, a registered pension plan that is a multi-employer plan (other than a specified multi-employer plan) in a calendar year after 1990 becomes, at the end of the year, a revocable plan where

    • (a) for a member and an employer, the total of all amounts each of which is the member’s pension credit (as prescribed by regulation) for the year in respect of the employer under a defined benefit or money purchase provision of the plan exceeds the lesser of

      • (i) the money purchase limit for the year, and

      • (ii) 18% of the member’s compensation from the employer for the year; or

    • (b) for a member, the total of all amounts each of which is the member’s pension credit (as prescribed by regulation) for the year in respect of an employer under a defined benefit or money purchase provision of the plan exceeds the money purchase limit for the year.

  • Marginal note:Past service benefits

    (10) With respect to each past service event that is relevant to the determination of benefits in respect of a member under a defined benefit provision of a registered pension plan, such benefits as are in respect of periods after 1989 and before the calendar year in which the event occurred shall be determined, for the purpose of a payment to be made from the plan or a contribution to be made to the plan at a particular time, with regard to the event only if

    • (a) where the member is alive at the particular time and except as otherwise provided by regulation, the Minister has certified in writing, before the particular time, that prescribed conditions are satisfied,

    • (b) where the member died before the particular time and the event occurred before the death of the member,

      • (i) this subsection did not require that the event be disregarded in determining benefits that were payable to the member immediately before the member’s death (or that would have been so payable had the member been entitled to receive benefits under the provision immediately before the member’s death), or

      • (ii) the event, as it affects the benefits provided to each individual who is entitled to benefits as a consequence of the death of the member, is acceptable to the Minister,

    • (c) where the member died before the particular time and the event occurred after the death of the member, the event, as it affects the benefits provided to each individual who is entitled to benefits as a consequence of the death of the member, is acceptable to the Minister, and

    • (d) no past service event that occurred before the event is required by reason of the application of this subsection to be disregarded at the particular time in determining benefits in respect of the member,

    and, for the purposes of this subsection as it applies with respect to contributions that may be made to a registered pension plan, where application has been made for a certification referred to in paragraph 147.1(10)(a) and the Minister has not refused to issue the certification, the Minister shall be deemed to have issued the certification.

  • Marginal note:Revocation of registration — notice of intention

    (11) Where, at any time after a pension plan has been registered by the Minister,

    • (a) the plan does not comply with the prescribed conditions for registration,

    • (b) the plan is not administered in accordance with the terms of the plan as registered,

    • (c) the plan becomes a revocable plan,

    • (d) a condition imposed by the Minister in writing and applicable with respect to the plan (including a condition applicable generally to registered pension plans or a class of such plans and a condition first imposed before 1989) is not complied with,

    • (e) a requirement under subsection 147.1(6) or 147.1(7) is not complied with,

    • (f) a benefit is paid by the plan, or a contribution is made to the plan, contrary to subsection 147.1(10),

    • (g) the administrator of the plan fails to file an information return or actuarial report relating to the plan or to a member of the plan as and when required by regulation,

    • (h) a participating employer fails to file an information return relating to the plan or to a member of the plan as and when required by regulation, or

    • (i) registration of the plan under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 or a similar law of a province is refused or revoked,

    the Minister may give notice (in this subsection and subsection 147.1(12) referred to as a “notice of intent”) by registered mail to the plan administrator that the Minister proposes to revoke the registration of the plan as of a date specified in the notice of intent, which date shall not be earlier than the date as of which,

    • (j) where paragraph 147.1(11)(a) applies, the plan failed to so comply,

    • (k) where paragraph 147.1(11)(b) applies, the plan was not administered in accordance with its terms as registered,

    • (l) where paragraph 147.1(11)(c) applies, the plan became a revocable plan,

    • (m) where paragraph 147.1(11)(d) or 147.1(11)(e) applies, the condition or requirement was not complied with,

    • (n) where paragraph 147.1(11)(f) applies, the benefit was paid or the contribution was made,

    • (o) where paragraph 147.1(11)(g) or 147.1(11)(h) applies, the information return or actuarial report was required to be filed, and

    • (p) where paragraph 147.1(11)(i) applies, the registration referred to in that paragraph was refused or revoked.

  • Marginal note:Notice of revocation

    (12) Where the Minister gives a notice of intent to the administrator of a registered pension plan, or the plan administrator applies to the Minister in writing for the revocation of the plan’s registration, the Minister may,

    • (a) where the plan administrator has applied to the Minister in writing for the revocation of the plan’s registration, at any time after receiving the administrator’s application, and

    • (b) in any other case, after 30 days after the day of mailing of the notice of intent,

    give notice (in this subsection and subsection 147.1(13) referred to as a “notice of revocation”) by registered mail to the plan administrator that the registration of the plan is revoked as of the date specified in the notice of revocation, which date may not be earlier than the date specified in the notice of intent or the administrator’s application, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Revocation of registration

    (13) Where the Minister gives a notice of revocation to the administrator of a registered pension plan, the registration of the plan is revoked as of the date specified in the notice of revocation, unless the Federal Court of Appeal or a judge thereof, on application made at any time before the determination of an appeal pursuant to subsection 172(3), orders otherwise.

  • Marginal note:Anti-avoidance — multi-employer plans

    (14) Where at any time the Minister gives written notice to the administrators of two or more registered pension plans, each of which is a multi-employer plan, that this subsection is applicable in relation to those plans with respect to a calendar year,

    • (a) each of those plans that is a specified multi-employer plan in the year shall, for the purposes of subsection 147.1(9) (other than for the purpose of determining the pension credits referred to in paragraphs 147.1(9)(a) and 147.1(9)(b)), be deemed to be a multi-employer plan that is not a specified multi-employer plan; and

    • (b) the totals determined for the year under paragraphs 147.1(9)(a) and 147.1(9)(b) shall be the amounts that would be determined if all the plans were a single plan.

  • Marginal note:Plan as registered

    (15) Any reference in this Act and the regulations to a pension plan as registered means the terms of the plan on the basis of which the Minister has registered the plan for the purposes of this Act and as amended by

    • (a) each amendment that has been accepted by the Minister, and

    • (b) each amendment that has been submitted to the Minister for acceptance and that the Minister has neither accepted nor refused to accept, if it is reasonable to expect the Minister to accept the amendment,

    and includes all terms that are not contained in the documents constituting the plan but that are terms of the plan by reason of the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 or a similar law of a province.

  • Marginal note:Separate liability for obligations

    (16) Every person who is a member of a body that is the administrator of a registered pension plan is subject to all obligations imposed on administrators by this Act or a regulation as if the person were the administrator of the plan.

  • Marginal note:Superintendent of Financial Institutions

    (17) The Minister may, for the purposes of this Act, obtain the advice of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions with respect to any matter relating to pension plans.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (18) The Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) prescribing conditions for the registration of pension plans and enabling the Minister to impose additional conditions or waive any conditions that are prescribed;

    • (b) prescribing circumstances under which a registered pension plan becomes a revocable plan;

    • (c) specifying the manner of determining, or enabling the Minister to determine, the portion of a member’s benefits under a registered pension plan that is in respect of any period;

    • (d) requiring administrators of registered pension plans to make determinations in connection with the computation of pension adjustments, past service pension adjustments, total pension adjustment reversals or any other related amounts (all such amounts referred to in this subsection as “specified amounts”);

    • (e) requiring that the method used to determine a specified amount be acceptable to the Minister, where more than one method would otherwise comply with the regulations;

    • (f) enabling the Minister to permit or require a specified amount to be determined in a manner different from that set out in the regulations;

    • (g) requiring that any person who has information required by another person in order to determine a specified amount provide the other person with that information;

    • (h) enabling the Minister to require any person to provide the Minister with information relating to the method used to determine a specified amount;

    • (i) enabling the Minister to require any person to provide the Minister with information relevant to a claim that paragraph 147.1(10)(a) is not applicable by reason of an exemption provided by regulation;

    • (j) respecting applications for certifications for the purposes of subsection 147.1(10);

    • (k) enabling the Minister to waive the requirement for a certification for the purposes of subsection 147.1(10);

    • (l) prescribing rules for the purposes of subsection 147.1(10), so that that subsection applies or does not apply with respect to benefits provided as a consequence of particular transactions, events or circumstances;

    • (m) requiring any person to provide the Minister or the administrator of a registered pension plan with information in connection with an application for certification for the purposes of subsection 147.1(10);

    • (n) requiring any person who obtains a certification for the purposes of subsection 147.1(10) to provide the individual in respect of whom the certification was obtained with an information return;

    • (o) requiring administrators of registered pension plans to file information with respect to amendments to such plans and to the arrangements for funding benefits thereunder;

    • (p) requiring administrators of registered pension plans to file information returns respecting such plans;

    • (q) enabling the Minister to require any person to provide the Minister with information for the purpose of determining whether the registration of a pension plan may be revoked;

    • (r) requiring administrators of registered pension plans to submit reports to the Minister, prescribing the class of persons by whom the reports shall be prepared and prescribing information to be contained in those reports;

    • (s) enabling the Minister to impose any requirement that may be imposed by regulation made under paragraph 147.1(18)(r);

    • (t) defining, for the purposes of this Act, the expressions “multi-employer plan”, “past service event”, “past service pension adjustment”, “pension adjustment”, “specified multi-employer plan” and “total pension adjustment reversal”; and

    • (u) generally to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Act relating to registered pension plans and the determination and reporting of specified amounts.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable error

    (19) The administrator of a registered pension plan may make a payment (other than a payment made to avoid the revocation of the registration of the plan) that is a return of all or a portion of a contribution made by a member of the plan, or an employer who participates in the plan, if

    • (a) the contribution was made to the plan as a consequence of a reasonable error;

    • (b) the payment is made to the member or employer, as the case may be, who made the contribution; and

    • (c) the payment is made no later than December 31 of the year following the year in which the contribution was made.

  • NOTE: Application provisions are not included in the consolidated text;
  • see relevant amending Acts. R.S., 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp.), s. 147.1;
  • 1994, c. 7, Sch. II, s. 120(F), Sch. VIII, s. 85;
  • 1996, c. 21, s. 36;
  • 1997, c. 25, s. 44;
  • 1998, c. 19, ss. 39, 173;
  • 2003, c. 15, s. 84;
  • 2005, c. 30, s. 11;
  • 2013, c. 34, s. 302, c. 40, s. 64.