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Financial statements for Quebec pension plans: RRQ allows special purpose financial statements

On December 22, 2011, the Régie des rentes du Québec issued a press release in which it announced that pension plan administrators in Quebec will now have two options for producing plan financial statements after December 30, 2011. The Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (OCAQ) issued a similar press release on the same day.

The first option is to produce a special purpose financial report, accompanied by a report by an independent auditor with no disclosure restriction. The special financial report excludes the accrued benefit obligation. According to the RRQ, section 161 of the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (the "Act") constitutes a special purpose basis of accounting, since the Act does not require presentation of the obligation (as the Act already provides for such presentation by means of an actuarial valuation). The auditor therefore does not need to issue an adverse opinion on the financial report, by virtue of its special purpose basis.

The second option is to produce general purpose financial statements in which the accrued benefit obligation is presented, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These financial statements must also be accompanied by a report from an independent auditor.