Manitoba moves to protect employees' pensions

Changes would provide for stronger enforcement
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/02/2011

The Manitoba government has introduced legislative changes that would strengthen the Pension Benefits Act by allowing the Pension Commission's Office of the Superintendent to take direct action against employers that have a pension plan in place and fail to make the required contributions to the plan.

"Manitoba is moving in the right direction with this legislation," said Robert Ziegler, chair of Manitoba's Pension Commission. "The proposed changes ensure Manitobans will get the protection they need and deserve when enforcing the strongest pension legislation in the country."

The proposed amendment would ensure compliance from employers and protect workers' pensions by:

• expanding the powers of the superintendent of pensions to issue orders for contributions a corporation has failed to pay into a pension plan

• allowing the superintendent to file orders in court so they may be enforced as if they were a court judgment

• authorizing the superintendent to register a lien against all property of an employer, including real estate, in the amount of the contributions the employer failed to pay into a plan

• holding directors of a corporation liable for contributions to a pension plan the employer has failed to pay

• permitting the superintendent to issue administrative penalties to parties that fail to comply with the act, regulation or administrative matters such as filings and filing deadlines.

Additional changes would give the government authority to negotiate agreements with other jurisdictions in Canada to ensure Manitoba workers' pensions are protected regardless of where their employer's head office is located.

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