Firms in trouble over pension filings

By Mark Rowbotham
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/25/2002

Employers who administer pension plans are at risk of being charged and prosecuted for breaching pension laws for simply failing to make standard filings with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

Failure to make such filings was generally not viewed as a serious and prosecutable matter by human resource professionals, compared to an egregious breach of pension laws by failing to make required contributions or by improperly withdrawing assets from a pension fund for which a company could be charged under the offence provisions of pension legislation. But within the last few months several Ontario companies have been prosecuted under Ontario pension legislation for failing to make standard filings.

Since May of this year, several companies have been charged under the Provincial Offences Act (Ontario) for failing to file financial statements, actuarial valuation reports and annual information returns, required filings under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. Financial statements and annual information returns must be filed annually, and actuarial reports are required at least triennially.