Final Location Approach for Benefit Entitlement
When determining a member’s benefit if that member had service in included employment and in at least one other jurisdiction, OSFI interprets the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) as supporting the use of the final locationFootnote 1 approach (rather than the checkerboard approachFootnote 2) by plan administrators.
Under the PBSA, a member/survivor’s entitlement to a pension benefit arises upon the occurrence of a triggering event - cessation of membership, retirement/attaining pensionable age or death. Subject to the terms of a pension plan, if an active member changes jurisdiction without ceasing membership (i.e. no triggering event), the rights in accordance with the pension legislation applicable to that member at the time of the first triggering event should apply to that person's entire accrued benefit.
(In some circumstances, in respect of a spouse or common law partner, marriage breakdown can also be considered a triggering event. In this case, the spouse at the date of the breakdown will be entitled to the splitting allowed under the legislation that is applicable at the date of the marriage breakdown.)
Published in PBSA Update No. 28 December 2007.
- Footnote 1
The legislation of the jurisdiction applicable when the member terminates, retires or dies is applied to the entire benefit provided under the plan.
- Footnote 2
The legislation applied to the service corresponds to the jurisdiction relating to the period of accrual.