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Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (R.S.C., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.))

Act current to 2022-05-02 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

General Requirements (continued)

Marriage or Common-law Partnership

Marginal note:New relationship not to terminate pension benefit

 A pension benefit payable to the spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner of a member or former member or to the survivor of a deceased member or former member shall not terminate by reason only that the spouse, former spouse, former common-law partner or survivor marries or enters into a common-law partnership.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 24
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 258

Divorce, Annulment, Separation or Breakdown of Common-law Partnership

Definition of provincial property law

  •  (1) In this section, provincial property law means the law of a province relating to the distribution, pursuant to court order or agreement between them,

    • (a) of the property of spouses on divorce, annulment or separation; or

    • (b) of the property of former common-law partners on the breakdown of their common-law partnership.

  • Marginal note:Application of provincial property law

    (2) Subject to subsections (4), (7) and (8), pension benefits, pension benefit credits and any other benefits under a pension plan are, on divorce, annulment, separation or breakdown of common-law partnership, subject to the applicable provincial property law.

  • Marginal note:Non-application of this Act

    (3) A pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit under a pension plan that is subject to provincial property law pursuant to this section is not subject to the provisions of this Act relating to the valuation or distribution of pension benefits, pension benefit credits or other benefits under a pension plan, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Power to assign to spouse, etc.

    (4) A member or former member of a pension plan may assign all or part of their pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit under the plan to their spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner, effective as of divorce, annulment, separation, or breakdown of the common-law partnership, as the case may be. The assignee is, in respect of the assigned portion of the pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit, deemed for the purposes of this Act, except section 21,

    • (a) to have been a member of that pension plan; and

    • (b) to have ceased to be a member of that pension plan as of the effective date of the assignment.

    However, a subsequent spouse or common-law partner of the assignee is not entitled to any pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit under the pension plan in respect of that assigned portion.

  • Marginal note:Duty of administrator

    (5) On divorce, annulment, separation or breakdown of a common-law partnership, if a court order or an agreement between the parties provides for the distribution of property between a member or former member and their spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner, the administrator shall determine and administer any pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit of a pension plan of the member or former member in the prescribed manner and in accordance with the court order or agreement on receipt of

    • (a) a written request from either the member or former member or their spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner that all or part of the pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit, as the case may be, be distributed or administered in accordance with the court order or the agreement; and

    • (b) a copy of the court order or agreement.

    However, in the case of a court order, the administrator shall not administer the pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit in accordance with the court order until all appeals from that order have been finally determined or the time for appealing has expired.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (6) On receipt of a request referred to in subsection (5), the administrator shall notify the non-requesting spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner of the request and shall provide that person with a copy of the court order or agreement submitted in support of the request, but this requirement does not apply in respect of a request or an agreement received by the administrator in a form or manner that indicates that it was jointly submitted.

  • Marginal note:Splitting of joint and survivor pension benefit

    (7) A pension plan may provide that, where, pursuant to this section, all or part of a pension benefit of a member or former member is required to be distributed to that person’s spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner under a court order or agreement, a joint and survivor pension benefit may be adjusted so that it becomes payable as two separate pensions, one to the member or former member and the other to that person’s spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner, if the aggregate of the actuarial present values of the two pensions is not less than the actuarial present value of the joint and survivor pension benefit.

  • Marginal note:Adjustment of joint and survivor pension benefit

    (7.1) A pension plan may provide that, if no part of the pension benefit of a member or former member is required to be distributed to that person’s spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner under a court order or agreement referred to in subsection (5), a joint and survivor pension benefit may be adjusted so that it becomes payable in the normal form of the pension benefit as defined in subsection 22(1).

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (8) The aggregate of the following amounts shall not be greater than the actuarial present value of the pension benefit or other benefit, as the case may be, that would have been payable to the member or former member had the divorce, annulment, separation or breakdown not occurred:

    • (a) the actuarial present value of the pension benefit or other benefit paid to the member or former member, and

    • (b) the actuarial present value of the pension benefit or other benefit paid to the spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner of the member or former member.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 25
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 259
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 73(F)
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1811

Portability of Pension Benefit Credits and Purchase of Life Annuities

Marginal note:If member not yet eligible to retire

  •  (1) If a member, before becoming eligible to receive an immediate pension benefit pursuant to subsection 16(2), ceases to be a member of a pension plan or dies, the member or the survivor, as the case may be, is entitled

    • (a) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to another pension plan, if that other plan permits,

    • (b) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to a retirement savings plan of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be, or

    • (c) to use the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be,

    if the member or the survivor notifies the administrator of that desire, in prescribed form and within ninety days after the cessation of membership or the member’s death, as the case may be (or, where the Superintendent allows a longer period under paragraph 28(1)(d), within sixty days after the administrator has given the written statement pursuant to that paragraph), and the administrator shall forthwith take the necessary action to give effect to any such notification.

  • Marginal note:Where member eligible to retire

    (2) Where a member, after becoming eligible to retire pursuant to subsection 16(2) but before the commencement of payment of a pension benefit, ceases to be a member of the pension plan or dies, the plan may permit the member or the survivor, as the case may be,

    • (a) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to another pension plan, if that other plan permits;

    • (b) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to a retirement savings plan of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be; or

    • (c) to use the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (2.1) The transfer of pension benefit credit, referred to in paragraph (2)(b), may be made by a member only if the member’s spouse or common-law partner notifies the administrator, in the prescribed form, of their consent to the transfer.

  • Marginal note:Other optional provisions of plan

    (3) Where, at any time, a member ceases to be a member of the pension plan or dies, the plan may provide

    • (a) [Repealed, 2010, c. 25, s. 192]

    • (b) that, if part of the pension benefit payable results from the excess described in subsection 21(1), the member or the survivor, as the case may be, must choose one of the following options in respect of that excess:

      • (i) transfer it to another pension plan, if that other plan permits,

      • (ii) transfer it to a retirement savings plan of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be, or

      • (iii) use it to purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity for the member or survivor, as the case may be.

  • (4) [Repealed, 2010, c. 12, s. 1813]

  • Marginal note:Pension plans include

    (5) For the purposes of this section, pension plans to which pension benefits may be transferred include

    • (a) pension plans that are under provincial jurisdiction;

    • (b) pension plans that are organized and administered to provide pension benefits to employees employed in excepted employment; and

    • (c) a pooled registered pension plan, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 26
  • 1995, c. 17, s. 61
  • 1998, c. 12, s. 16
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 175(F)
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 264
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 74(F)
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1813, c. 25, s. 192
  • 2012, c. 16, s. 88

Marginal note:If transfer or purchase impairs solvency

 The administrator of a pension plan must obtain the consent of the Superintendent to transfer moneys out of the pension fund under section 26 or purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity if, in the Superintendent’s opinion, the transfer or purchase would impair the solvency of the pension fund. The Superintendent may consent to the transfer or purchase or may direct the administrator to carry out the transfer or purchase.

  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1814

Sex Discrimination Prohibited

Marginal note:Sex discrimination prohibited

  •  (1) The sex of a member or former member or of their spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner may not be taken into account in determining

    • (a) the amount of any contribution required to be paid by the member under a pension plan after December 31, 1986; or

    • (b) the amount of any benefit to which any of those persons becomes entitled under the plan after December 31, 1986.

  • Marginal note:Compliance

    (2) In order to comply with subsection (1), a pension plan may

    • (a) use annuity factors that do not differentiate as to sex;

    • (b) provide for employer contributions that vary according to the sex of the employee; or

    • (c) use any other method approved by the Superintendent.

  • Marginal note:Transfer under section 26

    (3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), amounts transferred pursuant to section 26 may vary according to the sex of the member if the variation is such that the pension benefit payable at pensionable age, based on the amount so transferred, does not vary materially according to the sex of the member.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 27
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 260

Rights to Information

Marginal note:Provisions respecting information to member and spouse or common-law partner

  •  (1) A pension plan shall provide

    • (a) that each member of the plan and each employee who is eligible to join the plan, and that person’s spouse or common-law partner, will be given, in the prescribed circumstances and in the prescribed manner,

      • (i) a written explanation of the provisions of the plan and of any applicable amendments to the plan, within 60 days after the establishment of the plan or after the making of the amendment, as the case may be, and

      • (ii) such other information as is prescribed;

    • (b) that each member of the plan and the member’s spouse or common-law partner will be given, in the prescribed circumstances and manner and within six months — or any longer period permitted by the Superintendent — after the end of each year of operation of the plan, a written statement showing

      • (i) in the case of a defined benefit plan, the pension benefits to which the member is entitled under the plan at the end of that year,

      • (ii) the value of accumulated contributions made under the plan by the member (or, in the case of a defined contribution provision, by or in respect of the member) since the member became a member, expressed in prescribed manner,

      • (iii) the prescribed ratio of the plan or, if there is no prescribed ratio, the funded ratio, if applicable, and

      • (iv) such other information as is prescribed;

    • (b.1) that each former member of the plan and the former member’s spouse or common-law partner will be given, in the prescribed circumstances and manner and within six months — or any longer period permitted by the Superintendent — after the end of each year of operation of the plan, a written statement showing

      • (i) the prescribed ratio of the plan or, if there is no prescribed ratio, the funded ratio, if applicable, and

      • (ii) any other prescribed information;

    • (c) that each member and former member of the plan, every other person entitled to pension benefits under the plan and their spouses or common-law partners may, once in each year of operation of the plan, either personally or by an agent or mandatary authorized in writing for that purpose,

      • (i) examine copies of the documents or information filed with the Superintendent under subsection 9.01(5), 10(1) or 10.1(1), section 12 or subsection 29.03(4) or any regulations made under paragraph 39(1)(i), the reports provided under subsection 9.01(6), the letters of credit referred to in subsection 9.11(1), the documents submitted under subsection 29.3(3), and of any other prescribed documents, at the Canadian head office of the administrator or at any other place that is agreed to by the administrator and the person requesting to examine the documents, and

      • (ii) order, in writing, a copy of any of those documents;

    • (d) that, if a member of the plan retires or ceases to be a member of the plan for any reason other than the termination of the whole of the plan, the administrator shall give to that member and to the member’s spouse or common-law partner a written statement, in the prescribed form, of the member’s pension benefits and other benefits payable under the plan, within 30 days after the date of the retirement or cessation of membership, or any longer period permitted by the Superintendent; and

    • (e) that, if a member of the plan dies, the administrator shall give the written statement referred to in paragraph (d) in the prescribed form within 30 days after the date of the death — or any longer period permitted by the Superintendent — to the survivor, if there is one, to the member’s designated beneficiary, if the administrator has been notified of the designation and there is no survivor, or, in every other case, to the executor, administrator or liquidator of the member’s estate or succession.

  • Meaning of funded ratio

    (2) In subparagraph (1)(b)(iii), funded ratio means the ratio of the assets of a pension plan to the liabilities of the pension plan on a going-concern basis, as reported in the latest actuarial report respecting the pension plan filed with the Superintendent.

  • Marginal note:Information on plan termination

    (2.1) A pension plan shall provide that if the whole of the plan is terminated, the administrator shall give to each member and former member and to the spouse or common-law partner of each member and former member, a written statement, in the prescribed form, informing them of

    • (a) the termination of the plan within 30 days or any longer period permitted by the Superintendent; and

    • (b) the member’s pension benefits and other benefits payable under the plan within 120 days after the termination or any longer period that the Superintendent may allow.

  • Marginal note:Administrator’s duty

    (3) The administrator shall forthwith

    • (a) permit any examination of documents that is requested under subparagraph (1)(c)(i); and

    • (b) comply, on condition of payment of such reasonable fee as the administrator may fix, with any written order for a photocopy placed under subparagraph (1)(c)(ii).

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 28
  • 1998, c. 12, s. 17
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 263
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 75
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1815, c. 25, s. 193
 
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