: Pension and Retirement Income System Reform



Proposed Framework for Target Benefit Multi-Employer Pension Plans

June 29, 2017

Ontario is taking further steps to strengthen and modernize workplace pension plans as part of its commitment to workers’ retirement security. A new permanent and comprehensive framework for target benefit multi-employer pension plans is being developed to replace the time-limited funding regulations currently in place for specified Ontario multi-employer pension plans (SOMEPPs). The new funding rules for target benefit multi-employer pension plans would make permanent the exemption from solvency funding requirements and also include:

  • Requiring the funding of a reserve to assist plans in overcoming adverse events;
  • Extending the amortization period for plans to fund going concern deficits from 12 years to 15 years;
  • Providing a new basis for calculating benefits paid when a member leaves the plan or when a plan is wound up.

As an interim step, the government is extending the temporary solvency funding exemption currently in place for SOMEPPs by one year.

Read more about the new framework for target benefit multi-employer pension plans.

Target Benefit Multi-Employer Pension Plan Framework

A New Funding Framework for Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Ontario

May 19, 2017

The government is moving forward with changes that will help ensure workers’ retirement benefits are protected and maintained, while enabling business to grow and be more competitive. This new funding regime will be based on an enhanced going concern framework while requiring funding on a solvency basis if a plan’s funded status falls below 85 per cent

Read more about the new funding rules for defined benefit pension plans.

Solvency Funding Review

July 26, 2016

Ontario has released a consultation paper seeking feedback on the review of the funding framework for defined benefit pension plans in Ontario.

The 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review announced the government’s intention to review the current solvency funding framework.  Feedback should be submitted to the Pension Initiatives Unit in the Pension Policy Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Finance by September 30, 2016.

Read more about the Solvency Funding Review

Read the Consultation Paper


The Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund Final Report


The Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) provides protection to Ontario members and beneficiaries of privately sponsored single-employer defined benefit pension plans in the event of plan sponsor insolvency. It is the only fund of its kind in Canada and is administered by the Superintendent of Financial Services for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). The PBGF is intended to be self financing through annual premiums based on per-member and partially risk-related fees. Participation in the PBGF is mandatory for most defined benefit pension plans registered in Ontario.

Read the Full report

Roundtables on Retirement Income

The Honourable Dwight Duncan, Ontario Minister of Finance, is hosting discussions on the retirement income system with individuals, organizations, associations and other stakeholders as part of the Ontario’s review of options for improving retirement income security for tomorrow’s seniors. 

The objectives of this retirement income system dialogue are:

  1. To hear Ontarian’s thoughts on today’s retirement income system;
  2. To obtain suggestions on how to improve Canada’s retirement income system;
  3. To solicit comments on the options proposed;
  4. To encourage discussion of trade-offs and costs; and
  5. To identify areas of common ground or compromise among stakeholders.

The focus of the discussion will be around the following three questions:

  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Canada’s retirement income system?  What research or evidence demonstrates that people are not saving enough for retirement?  How would you define “enough”, and how much weight should be placed on personal choice?
  2. What are some of the possible options government should consider in strengthening Canada’s retirement income system for tomorrow’s seniors?
  3. How would your options or proposal be implemented? Please provide details of how your proposal would work, what you think it might cost, how costs would be allocated (among employees, employers, tax payers, etc), and how other stakeholders may be affected.

Research Study on the Canadian Retirement Income System

In preparation for the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Financial Minister’s Meeting in Whitehorse, the Ontario government commissioned Bob Baldwin, a recognized expert on pension policy, to prepare a report on the capacity of Canada’s retirement income system (RIS) to provide retirement incomes in the future. 

Bob Baldwin was an Expert Advisor for the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions and former Director of Social and Economic Policy for the Canadian Labour Congress.

Ontario has been working together with stakeholders including pensioners, unions, plan members and sponsors, as well as with the federal government and other provinces and territories, to examine how Canada’s retirement income system can be strengthened for future retirees. The federal government produced its own report, written by tax expert Jack Mintz.

Expert Commission on Pensions

In fall 2006, the government established an Expert Commission on Pensions (the Commission) to conduct an independent review of the Pension Benefits Act and regulations as they pertain to the funding of defined benefit pension plans and related issues. 

The Commission released its final report, A Fine Balance: Safe Pensions, Affordable Plans, Fair Rules, in November 2008 and the following comment period provided the government with focused feedback from interested Ontarians. 

The Ministry of Finance received numerous submissions on the Report of the Expert Commission on Pensions.

The government is currently reviewing the comments received.


Final Report of the Commission: A Fine Balance - Safe Pensions - Affordable Plans - Fair Rules
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