Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
The purpose of this instruction guide (the Guide) is to assist administrators of pension plans registered or filed for registration under the
Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) in completing the:
These returns are required to be filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).
The Guide does not supersede the requirements of the PBSA, the
Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 (PBSR), the
Directives Of The Superintendent Pursuant To The Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (the Directives), or any Guidelines that OSFI has issued or may issue regarding the administration of pension plans subject to the PBSA.
The administrator of a pension plan registered or filed for registration under the PBSA, or its agent, must file the OSFI 49, the OSFI 49A, and the PPACC.
The OSFI 49, OSFI 49A, and PPACC must be filed within six months after the end of the plan year to which they relateFootnote 1 while there are assets remaining in the pension fund.
The administrator of a pension plan must file the OSFI 49, OSFI 49A, and PPACC using the
Regulatory Reporting System (RRS)Footnote 2.
The OSFI 49 and OSFI 49A can be submitted via a file upload or by entering the information directly into the on-line web form in RRSFootnote 3. All values reported in the OSFI 49 and OSFI 49A must be expressed in dollars, not thousands of dollars. The required information for the PPACC must be entered directly into the on-line web form in RRS.
For further information on how to file using RRS, please consult the
Manage Financial Returns User Guide for Insurance Companies and Private Pension Plansand
other RRS training material available on the
OSFI website. RRS training material can also be found in RRS in the Documents folder under Training and Support.
Several fields in the returns cannot be edited by the filer; such fields are either auto-calculated based on data previously entered in the return or are pre-filled based on data entered in previous years’ returns. Pre-filled fields based on data collected in previous years’ returns can only be changed by resubmitting the historical return with accurate data. Instructions for resubmitting an accepted return can be found on page 51 of the
Manage Financial Returns User Guide for Insurance Companies and Private Pension Plans.
Plan administrators are expected to keep a copy of the OSFI 49 and OSFI 49A in their records. This copy is to be signed by the plan administrator and be available for examination by the plan members or other partiesFootnote 4.
Information in the OSFI 49A is shared with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) only after the OSFI 49, OSFI 49A, and PPACC returns are submitted and accepted in RRS. As such, plans may be subject to CRA late filing penalties as per the
Income Tax Act and Regulations if the filing process is incomplete.
Lines 002 and 003 Select “Yes” or “No” to indicate the response to each question.
A member of a pension plan is a person who has become a member of the pension plan and has neither ceased membership in the pension plan nor retired. Inactive members are considered members.
Line 004 – Members at the end of previous reporting period RRS will automatically prefill this line with the number of members reported at plan year end on line 010 in the prior year’s filed AIR.
Line 005 – Employees who have joined the plan Enter the number of members who have joined the pension plan during the period covered by the AIR, including those who transferred from another pension plan.
Line 006 – Subtotal (lines 004 + 005) Auto-calculated using information entered on lines 004 and 005.
Line 007 – Members who have retired or died
Enter the number of members who have retired (early, normal, postponed, disability, or special) or died during the period covered by the AIR.
Line 008 – Members who have ceased membership Enter the number of members who have terminated membership during the period covered by the AIR, including those who terminated employment or transferred to another pension plan.
Line 009 – Subtotal (lines 007 + 008) Auto-calculated using information entered on lines 007 and 008.Line 010 – Members at the end of reporting period (line 006 – 009) Auto-calculated using information entered on lines 006 and 009.
Line 011 – Number of inactive members included in line 010 Enter the number of members from line 010 who are not accruing benefits and for whom no contributions are being made to the pension plan as at the plan year end. This could include members who are temporarily laid-off, suspended, disabled or on leave of absence but does not include retirees, survivors or others who have ceased membership in the pension plan but did not transfer their benefits out of the pension plan (deferred vested members).
Lines 012 to 025 – Membership by location at the end of the plan year Enter the membership by province of employment:
Included employmentFootnote 6 is employment in connection with any work, undertaking or business that is subject to the legislative authority of the Government of Canada.
Line 026 – Total Male / Female / Included Employment Auto-calculated using information entered on lines 012 to 025. The sum of columns 1 and 2 of line 026 should equal line 010.
Line 027 – Defined Contribution only
Line 028 – Defined Benefit only
Line 029 – Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution
Line 030 – Total Columns 1, 2, and 3 are auto-calculated using the information entered in lines 027, 028, and 029. The information in column 1 on line 030 must equal the sum of columns 1 and 2 of line 026. Information in column 3 on line 030 must be greater than or equal to the information in column 3 of line 026.
The sum of columns 1 and 2 on line 030 will be used to determine the pension plan's assessmentFootnote 8.
The contribution base is the base to which the contribution rate is applied to determine the employer current service contributions for each class of plan members. The contribution base is frequently the total payroll of each class of plan members.
A contribution class is an identifiable group of members who contribute to the pension plan at a rate based on the plan documents. A pension plan may have several contribution classes, each with different contribution rates.
Information for up to eight contribution classes may be entered in this section. Use only as many lines as are applicable to your pension plan. You may leave all other lines blank.
Lines 031 to 038
Line 039 – Were any regular or ad-hoc increases provided to pensions in pay during the reporting period? Select either “Yes” or “No”.
Line 040 – Reason for adjustments If “Yes” is entered on line 039, use the drop-down menu to select the reason for the adjustment (Regular inflation adjustment of benefits as required by the plan documents, Pursuant to a collective agreement, Voluntarily by the employer, Other (specify)). If answer is not included in the drop-down menu, please specify the reason for adjustment in the space provided beside “Other (specify)”.
Line 041 – Basis for adjustments If applicable, use the drop-down menu to select the basis for adjustment (Full consumer price index, Partial consumer price index, Excess interest formula (adjustments based on excess earnings in the pension fund), Percentage increase (not based on CPI, specify) Flat dollar amount ($ annually, specify) Other (specify)). If answer selected includes “specify”, please provide additional information in the space provided beside “Specify”.
Line 042 Please provide any notes, comments, or explanations for any answers or information provided in the return.
Note: For further information on this schedule, contact the
CRA Registered Plans Directorate.
Line 001 – Canada Revenue Agency Registration Number Enter the CRA registration number for the pension plan.
Line 002 – Payments of benefits Enter the total amount of benefits paid for the plan year.
Line 003 – Transfers of benefits to other plans
Enter the total amount transferred to other plans including Registered Pension Plans (RPPs), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), and Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).
Line 004 – Amounts transferred in from other plans during the year Enter the total amount transferred from other RPPs, Deferred Profit Sharing Plans (DPSPs), and RRSPs.
Line 005 – Did the pension plan terminate or become inactive before or in this plan year? Select “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether the plan terminated or became inactive before or in this plan year.
An inactive plan is one that has been terminated by the plan sponsor but the assets have not all been disbursed yet. Examples of inactive plans are those that
Line 006 – If yes, enter effective date (DD/MM/YYYY) If “Yes” has been selected under line 010, enter the date that the plan terminated or became inactive.
After line 006:
Line 007 – How many members were persons connected with the employer? Enter the number of plan members who were persons connected with the employer, as defined by the
Income Tax RegulationsFootnote 9 (ITR), at the end of the plan year. A plan member is an employee who accrues benefits in a defined benefit plan, or who makes contributions, or on whose behalf the employer makes contributions to a money purchase plan.
Line 008 – How many employers participated in the plan at the end of the year? Enter the number of employers who participated in the plan at the end of the plan year.
After line 008:
Lines 009 to 011 Select “Yes” or “No” to indicate the response to each question.
Line 012 – During this plan year, has a person or group acquired control of the corporation that is sponsoring the pension plan?
After Line 012:
Lines 013– Were any plan members provided with post-1989 past service benefits in this plan year? Select “Yes” or “No” to indicate the response to this question.
Line 014 – Have any plan members who are connected persons been provided with pre-1992 past service benefits in this plan year? Select “Yes” or “No” to indicate the response to this question.
The PPACC certifies that the Organization Profile has been reviewed and that roles and contact information in RRS is complete and up-to-date. Roles and contact information can be updated in RRS by creating and submitting a return for each role for which information is to be added or updated. Please refer to page 44 of the Manage Corporate Returns User Guide for additional information on creating and submitting corporate returns to update roles and contact information in RRS.
While OSFI expects plans to review and update their Organization Profile, Appendix A outlines the primary information related to the ongoing administration and filing of regulatory returns for a pension plan.
If there is any information that needs to be added, removed or updated in the plan’s Organizational Profile, the following steps should be followed to update the information:
If names or contact information need to be updated for more than one plan role, there is the option of creating one return and entering all the updates in the single return or creating a separate return for each update.
Once the necessary returns have been created, they will appear in the Draft Returns section, the same location where all other returns are stored until completed and submitted.
As with other returns in the Draft Returns section, these returns can be saved in draft form until they are fully completed and ready to submit.
A plan’s Organization Profile can be updated by submitting a corporate return through RRS at any time during the year. Updates should be made as soon as changes occur. This will expedite the completion of the PPACC at year end.
Once information in the plan’s Organizational Profile is complete and up-to-date, it can be certified by completing and submitting the PPACC.
Actuarial Firm – the organization contracted by the Plan Administrator to prepare the actuarial valuation report for the pension plan.
External Actuary – the primary contact person for the Actuarial Firm, i.e. the professional who is responsible for calculating the liabilities and costs of pension plan benefits, and recommending funding requirements subject to applicable legislation. Under the PBSA, all actuarial reports must be prepared by a person who is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
Individual Trustee – in this role, include a member of the board of trustees, pension committee or similar body administering the pension plan or an individual trustee of a pension plan as defined in the
Income Tax Act.
Participating Employer – an organization that contributes to a pension plan for which they are not the plan sponsor.
Pension Fund Custodian – the organization that receives and holds the pension fund assets as well as reconciles the portfolio and reports to the Plan Administrator.
Pension Fund Custodian Contact – the primary contact person for the Pension Fund Custodian with regard to the pension plan.
Plan Administrator – the primary contact person regarding the overall administration of the pension plan, including the pension fund.
Plan Sponsor – the organization responsible for designing the pension plan, setting the benefit structure and contributions for various classes of plan members, and for establishing, maintaining, amending or terminating the pension plan.
Third-Party Company – the organization contracted by the Plan Administrator to carry out, on its behalf, certain administrative duties required in the operation of the pension plan.
Third-Party AdministratorContact – the primary contact person for the Third Party Administrator with regard to the pension plan.
For further information, please visit the
OSFI website or contact us at:
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions 255 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H2 Telephone: (613) 991-0609 E-mail: ReturnsAdmin@osfi-bsif.gc.ca
Business mailing address
Plan contact email address
Funding vehicle type
Note: The first time the plan’s Organization Profile is completed, the requested information in all of the relevant fields must be entered. This information does not need to be provided annually. Rather, the information in RRS will need to be reviewed and any necessary updates will need to be made as required. The Pension Plan Annual Corporate Certification is filed annually.
Subsection 12(4) of the PBSA.
Return to footnote 1
Returns are not considered received at OSFI until the filing process is complete and the returns have been accepted in RRS. If the plan is not registered to file returns using RRS, it should do so immediately. Pension plan administrators must contact the Bank of Canada, as host of the RRS system, to register for access to the Bank of Canada secure site and the RRS system. For assistance in registering, please contact RRS Support at the Bank of Canada by phone at 1-855-865-8636, or by e-mail at
Return to footnote 2
The acceptable file formats for uploading data to conventional returns in RRS include .xml and .osfi file formats. PDFs are not an acceptable file format for uploading.
Return to footnote 3
Subsection 28(1) of the PBSA.
Return to footnote 4
A plan year end may be changed by plan amendment or resolution, which must be filed with OSFI.
Return to footnote 5
See subsection 4(4) of the PBSA for more information.
Return to footnote 6
excludes any person for whom the plan administrator has purchased an annuity as part of the wind-up of a terminated plan.
Return to footnote 7
Pension plans registered or filed for registration under the PBSA must pay an assessment on plan registration and annually thereafter. The amount of the assessment is determined by multiplying the plan assessment base by the basic rate that is in effect for the fiscal year in which the assessment is due to be paid. OSFI’s
website includes additional information on assessments.
Return to footnote 8
See subsection 8500(3) of the ITR for more information.
Return to footnote 9
See section 8510 of the ITR for more information.
Return to footnote 10
See subsection 8500(1) of the ITR for more information.
Return to footnote 11