Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
The purpose of this instruction guide (the Guide) is to assist administrators of pension plans registered or having filed an application for registration under the
Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) in completing the Auditor's Report Filing Confirmation (ARFC) that is required to be filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). The Guide also assists plan administrators with submitting, if required, an Auditor's Report.
Please note that a separate guide exists for
completing the OSFI 60 - Certified Financial Statements.
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 or any Guidelines that OSFI has issued or may issue regarding the administration of pension plans subject to the PBSA.
A glossary of some of the terms used in this guide is provided in Appendix A.
The administrator of a pension plan registered or having filed an application for registration under the PBSA, or its agent, must file the ARFC and, if required, an Auditor's Report.
The ARFC and, if required, an Auditor's Report 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 submit the ARFC and, if required, an Auditor's Report using the
Regulatory Reporting System (RRS)Footnote 2.
The administrator must submit the ARFC by entering the information directly into the on-line web form in RRS. If required, the Auditor's Report must be submitted by uploading a copy of the document 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 Plans and
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.
To determine whether or not an Auditor's Report is required to be filed, the filer must complete the ARFC by answering the four questions below:
Are all assets of the pension fund held by one insurance company in any type of account?
Are all assets of the pension fund held in the pooled funds of one trust company?
Are all assets of the pension fund held by one trust company but not in its pooled funds, and the fair market value of the total assets of the pension fund is less than $5,000,000?
Is the plan a fully insured plan (i.e. all benefits are paid by means of an annuity or insurance contract)?
Please answer questions 1 to 4 directly in the ARFC web form.
If the answer is yes to any of the questions 1 to 4, then an Auditor's Report is not required to be submitted with the ARFC. You may submit the ARFC with no files uploaded.
All other plans, including plans funded through a Pension Fund Society, are required to submit an Auditor's Report by uploading it within the ARFC. If you try to submit the ARFC with no files uploaded, you will get an error message.
The following types of Auditor's Reports may be filed with OSFI:
An Auditor's Report filed on the pension fund – OSFI will accept a statement in the Auditor's Report indicating that the financial statements have been prepared for filing with the regulator and are not appropriate for any other purpose.
An Auditor's Report filed on the financial statements of the pension plan – OSFI will accept an Auditor's Report on the financial statements of the pension plan that is prepared in accordance with Section 4600 of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada Handbook – Accounting (the Handbook). Section 4600 of the Handbook is the primary accounting standard for pension plans.
When required, please follow the steps below to upload the Auditor's Report:
Click the "Browse" button provided in the ARFC to find the Auditor's Report you would like to upload;
Find the Auditor's Report within your computer and select it;
Click "Upload" once the file is selected; and
Follow the remaining instructions to upload the Auditor's Report into RRS.
The ARFC can be submitted once the Auditor's Report, if required, has been uploaded to the ARFC.
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
Auditor's Report – also known as the auditor's opinion, is the opinion of the auditor with respect to the financial statements that have been prepared for the pension plan.
Insured plan – is a pension plan for which all benefits are paid by means of an annuity or insurance contract issued by an organization authorized to carry on a life insurance business in Canada and under which the organization is obligated to pay all the benefits set out in the plan.
Mutual fund or Pooled fundFootnote 3 – is a fund that includes several securities or categories of securities (shares, bonds, mortgages, etc.) established by a corporation that is duly authorized to operate a fund in which moneys from two or more depositors are accepted for investment and where units allocated to each depositor serve to establish at any time the proportionate interest of each depositor in the assets of the fund.
Pension fund – in relation to a pension plan, means a fund maintained to provide benefits under or related to the pension plan.
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 use RRS, it should do so immediately. Pension plan administrators must contact the Bank of Canada, as host of the RRS, to register for access to the Bank of Canada secure site and RRS. 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
Amendments to the PBSR replaced references to "Mutual Fund" and "Pooled Fund" with "Investment Fund".
Return to footnote 3