The updated Pension Benefits Act will come into effect June 1, to increase transparency and access to information for plan members and pensioners.
“This will modernize Nova Scotia’s pension plan regulatory framework, with the new regulations giving full effect to new forms of pension plans, such as jointly sponsored pension plans,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Diana Whalen.
“The regulations have been updated to harmonize with requirements in other jurisdictions across Canada.”
The new Pension Benefits Act and regulations will:
— increase transparency and access to information for plan members and pensioners
— update benefit standards to correspond with requirements in other jurisdictions
— enhance regulatory oversight
— improve plan administration
— introduce flexibility to allow for new plan design
— clarify funding rules
The Pension Benefits Act was passed in December 2011, but had not been brought into effect, as new regulations needed to be developed. The regulations, along with the act, will streamline the pension-plan structure.
Public consultation took place in 2012 and 2013, leading to a number of amendments to address issues raised. This included a pension review panel report that advised on needed reforms, as well as feedback from a discussion paper on legislative and regulatory proposals in March 2010.
Changes in Ontario and other provinces were reviewed to help draft the 2011 act and the new regulations.
Before 2011, the last overhaul of the Pension Benefits Act was in 1988, with a number of funding changes made since then.