Quebec has published new draft regulations aimed at helping the administrators of supplemental pension plans to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposed regulations would allow plan members to maintain their active membership in a supplemental plan even if they’re experiencing a temporary suspension in accruing benefits, as long as that suspension began in 2020 and doesn’t last longer than 12 months from the date accrual stopped. As well, noted the regulations, the suspension would apply only to the accrual of benefits as of July 15, 2020, when the draft regulations were published.
The measure would apply to all supplemental pension plans and simplified pension plans but not to voluntary retirement savings plans. Plan administrators can apply to Retraite Quebec to take advantage of the option but must also file an actuarial valuation that reflects the amendments.
The regulations would also eliminate the need for pension plans with funding levels under 90 per cent as of Dec. 31, 2019 to file an actuarial valuation as of Dec. 31, 2020. However, these plans would have to file an actuarial valuation by Dec. 31, 2021.
The draft also includes other temporary relief measures previously announced by Retraite Quebec. Supplemental and defined benefit plans would have a three-month extension for providing certain documents to the regulator and to members and beneficiaries of supplemental pension plans, retroactively in effect as of March 13. As well, the regulations would introduce the solvency-related requirement that all payments — either transfers or refunds — made between April 17 and Dec. 31, 2020 must take into account a degree of solvency that reflects the plan’s current financial situation, retroactively to April 17.