Asset Transfers related to Defined Contribution Provisions of Pension Plans

Document Properties

  • Type of Publication: Guidance Note
  • Date: June 2011

Effective July 12, 2010, the PBSA was amended to remove the requirement to obtain the Superintendent’s permission to transfer assets related to defined contribution provisions. As a result, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has issued this Guidance Note to inform the pension industry of OSFI’s expectations when such a transfer occurs, including transfers from plans with members subject to provincial pension legislation.

When assets related to defined contribution provisions of a federally regulated pension plan are being transferred to another pension planFootnote1, OSFI expects plan administrators to ensure that affected members’ rights and benefits are preserved.

Specifically, prior to transferring assets related to defined contribution provisions, OSFI expects transferring plan administrators to ensure that:

  1. The value of a member’s defined contribution account balance is not reduced.

  2. All contributions due are remitted to the transferring plan for the affected members.

  3. Any outstanding interest or dividend distributions earned to the date of transfer will be deposited to the member’s account in the receiving plan.

  4. Transferring members are informed of the asset transfer and their account balance.

  5. The affected members’ records will be transferred to the receiving plan administrator.

Notification to OSFI

Following a transfer of assets OSFI expects transferring plan administrators to notify OSFI in writing identifying the receiving plan to which assets were transferred and the date and final amount transferred.

Plan’s Registration Vacated as a Result of an Asset Transfer

If all the assets of a defined contribution pension plan are being transferred to another pension plan, the transferring plan administrator must continue to file annual certified financial statements until all of the plan’s assets have been transferred. The transferring plan’s registration will be considered vacated when OSFI receives written confirmation from the transferring plan administrator that the assets have been transferred along with a year-to-date financial statement from the custodian of the transferring plan.

Plans with Members Subject to Provincial Pension Legislation

Plan administrators seeking an approval from OSFI with respect to a transfer of assets for members subject to provincial pension legislation are expected to complete the Standardized Asset Transfer Form (DOC, 214 kB) available on OSFI’s Web site. OSFI has reciprocal agreements in place with every designated provinceFootnote2 except Newfoundland and Labrador and the agreement with Quebec only covers members who are employed in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut or YukonFootnote3. As such, plans with members subject to Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador pension legislation must file a separate request to transfer assets with those jurisdictions.


Footnote 1

This does not include a portability transfer to another pension plan or a custodial change within the pension fund. In a custodial change, the new trust agreement or insurance contract must be filed with OSFI.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador are designated provinces.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

The reciprocal agreements authorize OSFI to administer the province's pension legislation on their behalf for those members subject to that province's jurisdiction.

Return to footnote 3 referrer