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The proposed changes to the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act (PBA) have been postponed.

The provincial government was defeated on a confidence vote, which has forced an election to be held on June 9. As a result it is unclear when or if the proposed changes to the PBA will be implemented.

The proposed amendments include:

Solvency relief: A revision of the PBA regulations to provide temporary funding relief to defined benefit plan sponsors would temporarily extend the current time limit to 10 years for plans that report an underfunding between Dec. 30, 2008 and Jan. 2, 2011.

Phased retirement: These amendments would allow an employee to receive up to 60% of their accumulated pension while continuing to work. This would provide employers and employees with the flexibility to develop arrangements that would allow employees to work in a part-time capacity and collect a pension to supplement their wages.

The recommended solvency relief amendments only require changes to the PBA regulations. Once the new regulations are drafted, the changes can be enacted through an Order in Council. However, this is unlikely to occur before the June 9 election.

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Caisse defends accounting principles

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has launched a pre-emptive salvo against allegations in an upcoming book that the fund manager’s accounting practices are not up to par.

Mario Pelletier’s forthcoming book, “La Caisse dans tous ses états,” suggests that the Caisse’s financial statements have been subject to accounting manipulation and that a number of assets, notably Vidéotron, were considerably depreciated at the end of 2002 in order to improve results in subsequent years.

The Caisse insists that its financial statements are correct and that its investments are evaluated through a rigorous audited process.

According to the pension fund, all financial statements are prepared according to Canada’s generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and that the cumulative annual financial statements and the annual statements for specialized portfolios and depositors’ funds are audited by the auditor general of Quebec.

As well, when calculating returns, the Caisse complies with the Global Investment Performance Standards and obtains a report from an independent auditor.

The Caisse has informed Quebec’s auditor general of these allegations and has pointed out that in February 2006, La Presse published a retraction after making similar allegations.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com