Manitoba offers moratorium on special payments
On December 17, 2020, the province of Manitoba introduced a moratorium on special payments for defined benefit pension plans through 2021.
Under Regulation 142/2020, the sponsor of a Manitoba-regulated defined benefit pension plan may file an election with the plan administrator to be exempted from the requirement to any special payments during the 13-month period starting from December 2020 and continuing through the 2021 calendar year.
If an administrator has suspended special payments, the plan cannot be amended to increase benefits or decrease contributions as long as the election remains in effect.
Special payments must continue to be made in the event of a plan wind-up. During the moratorium period, annual statements must include a statement to the effect that, should the plan be terminated or wound up in whole or in part, special payments will be made to make the plan meet the applicable solvency requirements.
In order to access the moratorium, within 30 days of the election, the plan administrator must provide the following information to members, beneficiaries and unions:
- An explanation of the effect of the election;
- A statement confirming that, should the plan be terminated or wound up in whole or in part, special payments will be made to make the plan meet the legislative solvency requirements; and
- A statement that any comments or questions in relation to the election may be directed to the plan administrator.
Within 60 days of the election, the administrator must file with the Superintendent a statement confirming that the election has been made and a statement confirming that the aforementioned information required to be provided was sent.
The Manitoba Office of the Superintendent – Pension Commission has published Update #20-02: Special Payments Moratorium Regulation, in respect of the measures.