OSFI lifting freeze on DB pension portability transfers, annuity purchases

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is lifting the temporary freeze on portability transfers for private pension plans.

The move reverses the OSFI’s response in March to market volatility caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which froze portability transfers and annuity purchases from defined benefit pension plans. The restrictions are no longer needed, it noted in a release, as markets have sufficiently stabilized.

Read: OSFI temporarily freezes portability transfers, annuity purchases due to coronavirus

“The changes announced today result from our ongoing effort to ensure that our regulatory measures continue to be appropriate for this unprecedented situation while remaining risk-focused and forward-looking,” said Jeremy Rudin, superintendent of the OSFI, in the release.

The OSFI noted private pension plans have demonstrated resilience during the tumult of the past five months, adding it remains ready to take further action if needed, given the remaining risks to the financial sector as the pandemic continues.