What do OSFI’s new rules for assessing pensions mean for plan sponsors? — Benefits Canada

Jonathan Marin

Mar 19, 2019

Osler associate Jon Marin tells Benefits Canada that regulations amending the assessment of pension plans introduced by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) will impact plan sponsors on several levels. In her article, author Alethea Spiridon examines how these OSFI amendments aimed to “streamline the process and eliminate assessments for certain terminated pension plans.” Jon, an associate in Osler’s Pensions & Benefits Group, explains what these changes mean for plan sponsors.

“The recent reforms modify two aspects of these regulations — the process to pay assessments and the circumstances where assessments will no longer be required to be paid,” Jon tells Benefits Canada. “Currently, the administrator of a federally regulated pension plan is required to calculate the annual assessment themselves and to submit the payment to OSFI along with a completed pension plan assessment remittance form.

“Experience has shown this approach frequently results in calculation errors, meaning OSFI has had to devote time and resources to recalculate the assessment and issue additional invoices or reimbursements.”

Jon also says that the most extensive change is “eliminating the requirement for plan administrators to calculate the annual assessment and submit this form.”

“Instead, OSFI will determine the assessment due and invoice the plan for the amount owing,” Jon tells Benefits Canada. “This is a welcomed change as it will simplify the assessment process for plan administrators and allow internal resources to be used for other purposes.”

Jon also discusses how the changes to the regulations will include identifying circumstances where assessments will no longer will be required.

For more information, read author Alethea Spiridon’s article “What do OSFI’s new rules mean for assessing pensions mean for plan sponsors?” in Benefits Canada on March 19, 2019.