In an effort to support sustainable public sector and broader public sector pension plans, Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act was changed in May 2011 to provide some pension plans with the opportunity to take advantage of temporary solvency funding relief.
In exchange for the relief, plan sponsors are expected to adopt plan changes that would make their plans more sustainable in the long term. The process could include negotiations with collective bargaining agents.
The first window for applications closed in March 2011. A second window for applications is now open until Dec. 30, 2011, so completed applications must be submitted to the Ministry of Finance by then.
The filing deadline for a pension plan with a valuation date on or after August 2, 2010, and on or before May 30, 2011, has been extended by regulation to Feb. 29, 2012.
Plan sponsors will be notified whether or not they have been accepted into Stage 1 of the solvency relief regime by mid-February 2012.
A detailed description of the framework and the savings targets, as well as information on how to apply, is posted on the regulatory registry and can be accessed here.
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