Policies deal with missing beneficiaries

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has issued two policies related to missing beneficiaries, says a Morneau Shepell ‘News & Views.’ Policy A300‑900: Searching for Plan Beneficiaries says prudent administrators should establish processes and procedures to update member records in order to provide information and notifications required under the PBA and Regulations. A number of methods may be used, individually or in combination, to search for current addresses or other contact information, but administrators should choose search methods in the context of their particular pension plan. As well, it says termination and retirement packages should include a statement about the importance of keeping the administrator informed of any future changes to their contact information and administrators should follow up immediately when mail is returned. Policy A300-901 sets out FSCO’s requirements for granting a waiver from the requirement to provide statements to missing former members and retired members. The Pension Benefits Act and Regulations require that the biennial statements be sent to the last known address of a former member or retired member, unless FSCO provides a waiver of this requirement. Before submitting a waiver application, the administrator must ensure an individual-directed search has been undertaken for all individuals who are part of the waiver application. These policies provide a comprehensive scheme by which administrators can exempt themselves from the requirement to provide biennial statements to the last known address of missing former and retired members, says Morneau Shepell. Additionally, the search policy provides good general guidance for administrators in searching for missing former and retired members and keeping current contact information for such persons. (End of article)

Source: Benefits and Pension Monitor News