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

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-06-23. Previous Versions

Interpretation (continued)

Marginal note:Pension plans may exceed minimum requirements

 The requirements of this Act and the regulations shall not be construed as preventing the registration or operation of a pension plan containing provisions that are more advantageous to members of the plan, former members or potential members or their spouses, common-law partners, designated beneficiaries, estates or successions.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 3
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 255
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1787

Application of Act

Marginal note:Application of Act

  •  (1) This Act applies in respect of pension plans.

  • Definition of pension plan

    (2) In this Act, pension plan means a superannuation or other plan organized and administered to provide pension benefits to employees employed in included employment (and former employees) and to which the employer is required under or in accordance with the plan to contribute, whether or not provision is also made for other benefits or for benefits to other persons, and includes a supplemental pension plan, whether or not the employer is required to make contributions under or in accordance with the supplemental pension plan, but does not include

    • (a) an employees’ profit sharing plan or a deferred profit sharing plan as defined in sections 144 and 147, respectively, of the Income Tax Act;

    • (b) an arrangement to provide a retiring allowance as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act;

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

    • (c) any other prescribed arrangement.

  • Definition of supplemental pension plan

    (3) In subsection (2), supplemental pension plan means a pension plan for employees whose membership in another pension plan is a condition precedent to membership in the supplemental pension plan and that is an integral part of that other plan.

  • Definition of included employment

    (4) In this Act, included employment means employment, other than excepted employment, on or in connection with the operation of any work, undertaking or business that is within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing,

    • (a) any work, undertaking or business operated or carried on for or in connection with navigation and shipping, whether inland or maritime, including the operation of a ship and transportation by ship anywhere in Canada;

    • (b) any railway, canal, telegraph or other work or undertaking connecting a province with another province or extending beyond the limits of a province;

    • (c) any line of steam or other ships connecting a province with another province or extending beyond the limits of a province;

    • (d) any ferry between a province and another province or between a province and a country other than Canada;

    • (e) any aerodrome, aircraft or line of air transportation;

    • (f) any radio broadcasting station;

    • (g) any bank or authorized foreign bank within the meaning of section 2 of the Bank Act;

    • (h) any work, undertaking or business that, although wholly situated within a province, is before or after its execution declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general advantage of Canada or for the advantage of two or more provinces; and

    • (i) any work, undertaking or business outside the exclusive legislative authority of provincial legislatures, and any work, undertaking or business of a local or private nature in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

  • Definition of excepted employment

    (5) In this Act, excepted employment means

    • (a) employment by Her Majesty in right of Canada; and

    • (b) any employment that is excepted from included employment by any regulation made under subsection (6).

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (6) The Governor in Council may make regulations excepting from included employment

    • (a) employment by an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada; and

    • (b) any other employment if the Governor in Council, on a report of the Minister, is satisfied that

      • (i) provision has been made for the coverage of employees employed in that employment under the terms of a pension plan that is organized and administered for the benefit primarily of employees employed in other than included employment and that is required to be registered under the law of a designated province, or

      • (ii) in any other case, the exception of that employment is warranted having regard to the existence of other arrangements for the safeguarding of any benefits that are or may become available to employees or other persons in respect of that employment, or having regard to such other circumstances as the Governor in Council deems relevant.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 4
  • 1993, c. 28, s. 78
  • 1999, c. 28, s. 172, c. 31, s. 244(F)
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 226
  • 2012, c. 16, s. 84

Powers of Superintendent

Marginal note:Powers of Superintendent

  •  (1) The Superintendent, under the direction of the Minister, has the control and supervision of the administration of this Act and has the powers conferred by this Act.

  • Marginal note:Information and studies

    (2) The Superintendent may

    • (a) collect information to determine the extent to which inflation adjustments and other adjustments to pension benefits are provided;

    • (b) conduct studies, surveys and research programs and compile statistical and other information relating to pension plans and their operation;

    • (c) disclose information gathered under paragraph (a) or (b) or subsection 9.01(6) or filed under subsection 9.01(5) or section 10, 10.1 or 12 to any government agency or regulatory body; and

    • (d) collect information from a pension supervisory authority of a designated province and disclose information to that authority for the purposes of implementing a federal-provincial agreement.

  • Marginal note:Terms and conditions

    (3) Any approval, authorization, consent or permission of the Superintendent given under this Act may be subject to terms and conditions.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 5
  • 1998, c. 12, s. 3
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1788, c. 25, s. 180
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 202

Agreements

 [Repealed, 2016, c. 7, s. 203]

Marginal note:One or more designated provinces

  •  (1) The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with one or more designated provinces respecting any matter relating to pension plans that are subject to the pension legislation of at least one designated province that is a party to the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Content of agreement

    (2) A federal-provincial agreement may, among other things,

    • (a) limit the application of the pension legislation of a designated province that is a party to the agreement to a pension plan and adapt that legislation to that pension plan;

    • (b) limit the application of this Act and the regulations to a pension plan and adapt them to that pension plan;

    • (c) exempt a pension plan from the application of this Act and the regulations or the pension legislation of a designated province that is a party to the agreement;

    • (c.1) make applicable, with respect to a pension plan, the pension legislation of a designated province that is a party to the agreement;

    • (d) provide for the administration and enforcement of this Act, the regulations and the pension legislation of a designated province that is a party to the agreement;

    • (e) authorize a pension supervisory authority of a designated province that is a party to the agreement or the association referred to in section 6.4 to exercise any of the Superintendent’s powers under this Act;

    • (f) authorize the Superintendent to exercise any powers of a pension supervisory authority of a designated province that is a party to the agreement or the association referred to in section 6.4;

    • (g) establish requirements — in addition to any other requirements under this Act, the regulations and the pension legislation of a designated province that is a party to the agreement — with respect to a pension plan, administrator or employer; and

    • (h) confer powers on the Superintendent.

  • Marginal note:Tabling in Parliament

    (3) The Minister must cause every federal-provincial agreement to be tabled in each House of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Publication — Canada Gazette

    (4) The Minister must cause to be published in the Canada Gazette

    • (a) every federal-provincial agreement and a notice of the date on which the agreement comes into effect with respect to pension plans;

    • (b) every amendment to a federal-provincial agreement and a notice of the date on which the amendment comes into effect with respect to pension plans; and

    • (c) a notice of the effective date of the Government of Canada’s withdrawal from the federal-provincial agreement or of the effective date of termination of that agreement, whichever comes first.

  • Marginal note:Publication — other

    (5) In addition to the publishing requirements under subsection (4), the Minister must ensure that every federal-provincial agreement and every amendment to a federal-provincial agreement is accessible to the public through the Internet or by any other means that the Minister considers appropriate.

  • 2010, c. 25, s. 181
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 204

Marginal note:Force of law

  •  (1) The provisions of a federal-provincial agreement, other than those exempted from the application of this subsection by regulation, have the force of law during the period that the agreement is in effect with respect to pension plans and are enforceable during that period as if those provisions formed part of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Inconsistency with agreement

    (2) The provisions of a federal-provincial agreement that have the force of law prevail over any provision of this Act and the regulations to the extent of any inconsistency or conflict between them.

  • 2010, c. 25, s. 181
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 205

Marginal note:Review by Federal Court

  •  (1) A decision of a pension supervisory authority of a designated province that is made under the authority of a federal-provincial agreement and that relates to the application of this Act or the regulations is deemed to be a decision of a federal board, commission or other tribunal, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Federal Courts Act, and is subject to judicial review under that Act.

  • Marginal note:No review by Federal Court

    (2) A decision of the Superintendent that is made under the authority of a federal-provincial agreement and that relates to the application of the pension legislation of a designated province is deemed to be a decision of the pension supervisory authority of that province and is not subject to judicial review under the Federal Courts Act.

  • 2010, c. 25, s. 181
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 205

Marginal note:Association of pension supervisory authorities

 The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with one or more designated provinces respecting the establishment and operation in Canada of an association of pension supervisory authorities.

  • 2010, c. 25, s. 181
  • 2016, c. 7, s. 205

Administration of Pension Plans

Marginal note:Administrator

  •  (1) The administrator of a pension plan shall be

    • (a) in the case of a multi-employer pension plan established under one or more collective agreements, a board of trustees or other similar body constituted in accordance with the terms of the plan or the collective agreement or agreements to manage the affairs of the plan;

    • (b) in the case of a multi-employer pension plan not described in paragraph (a), a pension committee constituted in accordance with the terms of the plan, subject to section 7.1, to manage the affairs of the plan; or

    • (c) in the case of a pension plan other than a multi-employer pension plan,

      • (i) the employer, or

      • (ii) if the plan is established under one or more collective agreements and the terms of the plan or the collective agreement or agreements to manage the affairs of the plan provide for the constitution of a board of trustees or other similar body, that body.

  • (2) [Repealed, 2012, c. 16, s. 85]

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 7
  • 1998, c. 12, s. 5
  • 2012, c. 16, s. 85

Marginal note:Representative of members

 A pension committee must

  • (a) if a majority of the pension plan members so requests, include a representative of the plan members; and

  • (b) if the pension plan has fifty or more retired members and a majority of the retired members so requests, include a representative of the retired members.

  • 1998, c. 12, s. 5

Marginal note:Pension council

  •  (1) An employer who is the administrator of a pension plan may establish a pension council but, if the pension plan has fifty or more members and a majority of the members so requests, the employer shall establish a pension council.

  • Marginal note:Representative of members

    (2) A pension council must include a representative of the pension plan members and, if the plan has fifty or more retired members and a majority of the retired members so requests, the council must include a representative of the retired members.

  • Marginal note:Functions of pension council

    (3) The functions of a pension council are the following:

    • (a) to promote awareness and understanding of the pension plan among members and potential members;

    • (b) to review, at least once every year, the financial, actuarial and administrative aspects of the plan;

    • (c) to perform the prescribed administrative functions; and

    • (d) to perform any other functions that are specified by the pension plan or the employer.

  • Marginal note:Information

    (4) The employer shall provide a pension council with any information that is necessary to enable it to carry out its functions.

  • 1998, c. 12, s. 5

Marginal note:Choosing representatives

 Pension plan members and retired members shall choose their representatives for the purposes of section 7.1 and subsection 7.2(2), directly or indirectly, in the prescribed manner.

  • 1998, c. 12, s. 5
 
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