Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, OSFI has made adjustments to its policies to protect the interests of pension plan members and beneficiaries and to allow administrators of federally regulated private pension plans to focus their efforts on addressing the many challenges posed by this crisis, including its impact on financial markets.
OSFI has revised the Directives of the Superintendent pursuant to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 effective March 27, 2020 to implement a full freeze on portability transfers and annuity purchases relating to defined benefit provisions of pension plans. Transfers and annuity purchases are being prohibited at this time to protect the benefits of plan members and beneficiaries, given that current financial market conditions have negatively affected the funded status of pension plans. The payment of pensions to retirees and other beneficiaries is not impacted by the freeze on portability transfers and annuity purchases. We will review this temporary measure in the coming months as we continue to monitor the impact of this crisis on defined benefit pension plans. During the temporary freeze period, administrators may request the Superintendent's consent to a transfer or annuity purchase based on plan-specific or special circumstances.
OSFI is extending the deadlines for certain actions and annual filing requirements under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) and the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (PRPPA), as detailed in the following table.
Applicable only to actions or required filings listed hereunder for plans with a year-end between September 30, 2019 and March 31, 2020.
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An updated instruction guide for filing this return will be made available on OSFI's website on March 31. The revised deadline provided in this table supersedes the filing due date found in the updated instruction guide for plans with a year-end between September 30, 2019 and March 31, 2020.
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OSFI has suspended a number of consultation initiatives and policy development work related to new or revised guidance until conditions stabilize. The pension-related documents affected by this measure are listed below.
Plan administrators should be proactive in informing their OSFI Relationship Manager of any financial or operational challenges they encounter. We continue to actively monitor the financial environment. If OSFI decides to further modify its supervisory or reporting requirements, plan administrators will be notified in a timely manner.
For more details please see OSFI's March 13, 2020 release.
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