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Ontario permits exemptions for asset transfer rules and individual pension plans

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Pension/Retirement / Canada

Ontario permits exemptions for asset transfer rules and individual pension plans

An in-depth look at this and other subjects are covered in the current issue of the Morneau Shepell News & Views

Morneau Shepell released the January 2021 issue of its monthly newsletter, News & Views, in which the company looks at the following topics:

  • Ontario permits exemptions for asset transfers and individual pension plans – Ontario has passed Bill 213, which permits the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) to provide for exceptions to rules pertaining to asset transfers between pension plans. Bill 213 also permits certain individual pension plans and designated plans to be exempted from the Ontario Pension Benefits Act.
  • Alberta permits electronic beneficiary designations for pension and retirement plans – Alberta has amended the Wills and Succession Act to permit beneficiaries to be designated electronically for pension plans, registered retirement savings plans, tax free savings accounts and other retirement savings plans. The amendment permits Albertans to make electronic beneficiary designations in either electronic or written format.
  • Manitoba offers moratorium on special payments – Manitoba has introduced a moratorium on special payments for defined benefit pension plans through 2021. Employers may elect an exemption from the requirement to make special payments during the 13-month period starting from December 2020 and continuing through 2021, subject to certain requirements.
  • Quebec modifies funding rules for multi-jurisdictional defined benefit plans – Quebec has passed a regulatory amendment to remove the requirement for solvency funding for defined benefit pension plans that are registered with Retraite Québec and that are governed by the legislation of both Quebec and other pension legislation in Canada.
  • Tracking the funded status of pension plans as at December 31, 2020 – Morneau Shepell describes the funded status of pension plans at the end of 2020 based on three typical investment portfolios. A graph shows the changes in the financial position of a typical defined benefit plan since the end of 2019. A table shows the impact of past returns on plan assets and the effect of interest rate changes on solvency liabilities of a medium duration pension plan.
  • The impact of pension expense under international accounting as at December 31, 2020 – Morneau Shepell has shown the evolution of the pension expense for a typical defined benefit pension plan. Since the beginning of the year, the pension expense increased by 15 per cent (for a contributory plan) mainly due to the decrease in the discount rates.

About Morneau Shepell

Morneau Shepell is a leading provider of technology-enabled HR services that deliver an integrated approach to employee wellbeing through our cloud-based platform. Our focus is providing world-class solutions to our clients to support the mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing of their people. By improving lives, we improve business. Our approach spans services in employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement consulting, actuarial and investment services. Morneau Shepell employs approximately 6,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in 162 countries. Morneau Shepell is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit


Heather MacDonald
Morneau Shepell

Source: Morneau Shepell