Torstar Corp. has entered into an agreement to merge its eight registered defined benefit pension plans with the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan.

The merger will take effect Oct. 1, 2018, subject to closing conditions and approvals, including the consent of Torstar plan members and the approval of Ontario’s superintendent of financial services. If members approve the move, they’ll begin accruing benefits under CAAT’s new DBplus provisions. CAAT launched DBplus earlier this month as an option for employers seeking to join under separate provisions from its existing plan.

Read: CAAT to introduce new DB plan

“We look forward to working with the various constituents to obtain approval for this proposed merger,” said Lorenzo DeMarchi, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Torstar, in a news release. “We believe this will be a positive development for our registered defined benefit pension plan members and for Torstar overall.”

Once approved by the province’s regulator, CAAT will take over responsibility for payment of all pension benefits to Torstar members, along with all liabilities for past accruals under the plans and all relevant assets. The parties don’t anticipate any additional funding from Torstar related to the transfer of liabilities, according to the release.

“We’re excited about the possibility of the merger with the Torstar pension plans,” said Derek Dobson, chief executive officer and plan manager at CAAT. “With the signing of the agreement, the approval process is now in the hands of about 3,000 Torstar plan members. Our focus will remain on educating members to ensure they are informed before voting on joining DBplus.”

The Torstar plan is the latest to merge with CAAT. It follows similar moves by the Royal Ontario Museum in January 2016 and the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa more recently.

Read: Youth Services Bureau pension members vote to join CAAT plan

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

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