OSFI revises private pension plan directives related to portability

OSFI has revised the Directives of the Superintendent pursuant to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (the Directives) to provide the Superintendent’s automatic consent to portability transfers to locked-in vehicles for members who are eligible for early retirement subject to specific conditions. Please refer to question 4 in the FAQs for more information on the changes that were made. Administrators may still request the Superintendent’s consent for other transfers or annuity purchases based on plan-specific or special circumstances.

The revisions to the Directives provide some easing of the portability freeze that has been in place since March 27, 2020, while maintaining prudent restrictions on portability transfers and annuity purchases from defined benefit pension plans. OSFI will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on pension plans and may adjust the Directives further as warranted.

OSFI has added several questions and responses to this FAQ series and has expanded responses to some existing questions. New and updated questions are flagged to allow the reader to easily identify them.