CARP sets out wish list for DB pension protections in 2020 budget submission

CARP is highlighting the need for further protections for defined benefit pensions in its 2020 Ontario budget priorities.

The submission noted CARP, formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, supports the steps taken by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario and the provincial government to bolster innovation in DB plan design, as well as reducing red tape in the sector.

However, the association said it only supports the reduction of regulatory burdens if the remaining regulations are enhanced to further protect pensions.

Read: FSRA releases approach to monitoring DB pension plans

CARP requested the government make pension protection a high-impact priority from both regulatory and government perspectives.

It also asked the government to acknowledge that the long-term viability of the pension benefit guarantee fund will require action to reduce the risk of pensions failing, which in turn necessitates that the pension sector maintains healthy pension solvency levels.

Further, the submission said the government should identify specific legislative and regulatory changes that would help bolster its ability to prevent pension defaults. These could include abolishing pension funding relief, except in cases of true hardship; forbidding a company to be sold unless its pension is fully funded; and stopping executive bonuses or the issuance of dividends if a company falls below set solvency funding levels.

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