Cross-Canada consultations begin

Federally regulated private pension plans in the spotlight

The Canadian government has begun public consultations across Canada on the legislative and regulatory framework for federally regulated private pension plans.

"Many Canadians are concerned about the long-term viability of their pension plans," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "The government wants to hear people’s views on how we can strengthen the security of pension plan benefits and ensure that the framework is balanced and appropriate."

The government released a discussion paper seeking views from Canadians on this issue in January. The national consultations began in mid-March in Ottawa and will end mid-April in Winnipeg. They are being chaired by Ted Menzies, parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance.

“We committed to getting it up and running quickly because this issue is important to many Canadians," said Menzies.

The federal government regulates private pension plans that are subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. These plans cover areas of employment under federal jurisdiction, including banking, telecommunications and interprovincial transportation. These plans currently represent seven per cent of all private pension plans in Canada, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of pension assets.

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