Ontario update: expansion of superintendent powers and creation of FSRA
Ontario Bill 127, which includes several pension measures, has received royal assent. Bill 127 was discussed as part of our summary of the 2017 Ontario Budget (see our News & Views of May 2017).
As a result of the passage of Bill 127, the following provisions are now in force:
- the Superintendent of Financial Services (the “Superintendent”) may order the administrator of a pension plan and others involved in plan administration to participate in meetings with the Superintendent and anyone else named by the Superintendent,
- the Superintendent may order the plan administrator to provide specified information to members and others with an entitlement from the pension fund, and
- the Superintendent may waive the requirement to provide statements to former and retired members if there are reasonable grounds to believe the members are missing.
The powers of the Superintendent will be exercised by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario for now and soon by the new Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). Legislation establishing the FSRA is now partly in force (see our News & Views of December 2016) and the first board of directors has been appointed. The government expects to introduce legislative amendments regarding FSRA’s mandate and governance structure, as well as the structure and powers of the Financial Services Tribunal, by the end of 2017.
Update on variable benefit accounts
Bill 127 also includes measures relating to variable benefit accounts in defined contribution pension plans, but these measures will come into force upon proclamation. Additional regulations will be required to implement variable benefit accounts.