Ontario Releases Draft Asset Transfer Regulations

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On July 2, 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Finance released for public comment draft regulations that would give life to the new pension asset transfer provisions in Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act (PBA) that were inserted in the PBA three years ago – on May 18, 2010 (through Bill 236) – but have yet to be proclaimed into force.

The stated aim of the draft regulations is to “facilitate the restructuring of pension plans affected by corporate reorganizations, while protecting benefit security for plan members and pensioners”, to allow for more efficient and timely transactions and to simplify the regulatory approval process.

The draft regulations identify the information that will have to be submitted with an asset transfer application in order to obtain the Superintendent’s consent (including detailed notice requirements found in a number of schedules to the draft regulations). In addition, these regulations impose time limits on when certain information will have to be provided to plan beneficiaries or to the Superintendent both prior to and after the Superintendent has consented to the asset transfer.

The Ministry of Finance has requested comments on the draft regulations by September 9, 2013. Hopefully the Government will be able to address the comments that are provided and finalize the regulations so that they can be in force by January 1, 2014. A more detailed post on the asset transfer regulations will follow once these regulations have been released in final form.