Media Mentions

Incoming monetary penalties for Ontario pensions put spotlight on plan governance – Benefits Canada

Oct 31, 2017 2 MIN READ

A recent Benefits Canada article looks at the administrative monetary penalty regime that will come into force under Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act on January 1, 2018. According to the article, the regime will change the risk profile for plan sponsors and administrators and require a review of governance and compliance policies. Author Julius Melnitzer talks to Anna Zalewski, a lawyer in Osler’s Pensions and Benefits Practice Group, to gain insight on the new regime, which will come during the launch of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). The FSRA will take over from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) in 2018.

“The FSRA will have more resources than FSCO does. The combined effect signals a change in the way the new regulator could approach compliance,” says Anna, who explains the need for the new regime.

“The changes underscore the need for clarity in the roles and responsibilities involved in plan administration, as well as adequate reporting and monitoring where functions are delegated,” says Anna. “And while that is a bit of motherhood, it’s surprisingly lacking in some cases.”

Anna also comments on general and summary penalties, which the new rules contemplate. Summary penalties target minor breaches and will carry penalties of $100 to $200 daily. The article notes that these types of penalties will apply to missed deadlines for amendments to plans or a statement of investment policies and procedures, annual returns and financial statements.

“The focus here is on timeliness, meaning that administrators should now be taking steps to ensure that statutory deadlines will be met,” says Anna.

For more of Anna’s insight on the new administrative monetary penalty regime, read Julius Melnitzer’s full article “Incoming monetary penalties for Ontario pensions put spotlight on plan governance.”