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Alert: FSRA Publishes Final Guidance on Pension Plan Amendments

June 6, 2024

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has published its final Guidance on Pension Plan Amendments effective June 4, 2024 (Amendment Guidance). The Amendment Guidance describes FSRA’s approach to the following:

  • Pension plan amendments that are considered “Retroactive Adverse Amendments” (as that term is defined in the Amendment Guidance), which are generally not permissible
  • The limited circumstances in which FSRA may exercise its discretion to register Retroactive Adverse Amendments and the nature of the submission that a plan administrator should make to FSRA in support of such amendments
  • Retroactive amendments purporting to correct a drafting error in the plan text
  • Amendments purporting to replace a variable indexation formula with a fixed indexation rate for accrued benefits
  • Notice requirements for prospective adverse amendments
  • FSRA’s authority to issue a notice of intended decision to refuse registration of a plan amendment
  • Possible monetary penalties for an administrator that does not comply with the applicable plan amendment requirements under the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario)
  • Summary of FSRA’s stated statutory interpretation relating to Retroactive Adverse Amendments

This guidance is particularly important for any plan administrator considering a plan amendment with an effective date earlier than the date such amendment is filed with FSRA.

If you have questions, please reach out to any member of our Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group or your usual Blakes contact.