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The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario has updated its guidance on the roles and responsibilities of pension plan administrators, adding three additional areas for administrators to enhance protection and stability for pension plan beneficiaries.

The guidance, which took effect earlier this month, stated an administrator is responsible for all aspects of the administration of the pension plan and the related pension fund, including providing information to plan beneficiaries, maintaining accurate records and making benefit payments to plan beneficiaries. However, it noted specific aspects of the administrator’s role and responsibilities can vary depending on the nature of the pension plan.

Read: FSRA pension plan administration guidance requires clarity, consistency, says ACPM

The FSRA also outlined that, as a part of the plan administrator’s governance activities, their role also includes responsibility for implementing processes to ensure plan risks (investment, funding, operational, legal, etc.) are understood and addressed. Especially important in the context of defined benefit pension plans are those risks that might impact the security of the promised pension benefits, such as the financial risks to the plan’s investments.

It also noted administrators should be able to demonstrate to the regulator that they have sufficiently considered the practices outlined in the guidance in their administration and investment activities for their pension plans.

Voluntary employment-based pension plans are an important component of retirement income security in Ontario and proper pension plan administration helps all stakeholders and enhances confidence in the ability of these plans to deliver their intended outcomes, said the FSRA.

Read: FSRA outlines final guidance on retroactive adverse amendments