Solvency Funding Relief for Federally Regulated Pension Plans Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Bennett Jones LLPOn April 15, 2020, the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau announced that the government will provide immediate, temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated defined benefit (DB) pension plans. This relief will be in the form of a moratorium, through the remainder of 2020, on solvency payment requirements for federally regulated DB plans. 

This relief measure is intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on the economy. Some pension plan sponsors are facing significant financial constraints, causing short-term liquidity issues and, in some cases, threatening the long-term viability of their businesses. A moratorium on remaining 2020 solvency payment requirements for federally regulated DB pension plans could assist sponsoring employers with managing financial resources that are needed to maintain their operations and to ultimately protect the retirement security of their workers and retirees.

The federal government's announcement further provides that the impacts of the global pandemic on DB pension plan assets and liabilities could also significantly affect solvency funding obligations in 2021. The government intends to consult with stakeholders of federally regulated DB pension plans over the coming months on options to provide relief from 2021 funding obligations.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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