In response to the federal government’s consultation on draft amendments to pension legislation pertaining to the transfer of unclaimed benefits for missing plan members, the Association of Canadian Pension Management is suggesting the legislation include a condition to allow the transfer of assets in the case of an ongoing pension plan in addition to closed plans.
“We expect that [the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions] would issue more guidance to clarify the steps to be taken before a member is officially declared ‘unable to be located’ and to establish a period of time after this declaration to allow a plan administrator to transfer the assets to the designated entity for an ongoing pension plan,” said the letter to the Department of Finance.
The response also suggested the government explicitly designate a federal entity to receive the asset transfers in order to avoid any confusion with provincial entities that are allowing asset transfers from pension plans for unlocated members. For example, it recommended the Bank of Canada as a federal entity to apply to all members in a federally registered pension plan regardless of the members’ province of residence, since the bank already has a process in place for unclaimed properties.
The draft amendments, which were launched at the end of June, specify who qualifies as a missing member or beneficiary, as well as the information plan administrators must provide to the designated entity regarding unclaimed pension balances. As well, the amendments clarify the information the designated entity must publish to assist individuals in identifying the pension balances they’re owed.