Proposed rules under the New Brunswick Unclaimed Property Act to affect wound up pension plans
On September 22, 2020, the New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) published proposed rules to govern its Unclaimed Property Program, which will be established pursuant to the New Brunswick Unclaimed Property Act (the Act) that received royal assent in March. The program will potentially affect wound-up pension plans where entitlements remain with the plan for three years after the wind up report has been approved by the Superintendent of Pensions.
The FCNB will administer the Unclaimed Property Program and maintain an online registry of unclaimed property, which will be searchable free of charge.
A holder of unclaimed property will be required to give written notice to the apparent owner of the property between October 1 and December 31 of the year the property is presumed “unclaimed” under the proposed rules. It will then be required to submit a report along with the property itself to the director of the Unclaimed Property Program within 90 days following the end of said year.
Under the proposed rule, pension benefits resulting from the wind-up of a pension plan are presumed to be “unclaimed” three years after the approval of the wind-up report, at which point administrators of pension plans that have been wound up would be able to transfer liabilities associated with any missing members to the Unclaimed Property Program.
Administrators of ongoing plans will not be able to transfer liabilities held in respect of missing members to the Unclaimed Property Program.
The proposed rules will enable plan administrators of wound up pension plans with un-located former members to transfer the missing members’ liabilities to the Unclaimed Property Program. The rules will also impose a duty to report and deliver unclaimed property within prescribed timelines, at the risk of being subject to late fees and interest. Any comments on the proposed rules must be provided to the FCNB in writing by no later than November 23, 2020.