A person may be required to pay an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) if they fail to comply with Ontario's pension legislation.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) can impose these financial penalties if there has been a contravention of specific requirements in the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) or its regulations.

What is an administrative monetary penalty?

An AMP is a financial penalty imposed by a regulator, rather than a court, that can be levied against an individual or a business that fails to comply with a legislative requirement.

AMPs are not the same as a fine, which requires a pleading or finding of guilt in a court proceeding. AMPs are meant to promote compliance with the PBA and its regulations rather than be a punishment for wrongful activity.

AMPs can be imposed on their own or in conjunction with other regulatory measures under the PBA.

FSRA posts details of all administrative monetary penalties.

Types of AMPs

There are two types of AMPs that FSRA can impose: general and summary.

General AMP

A general AMP may be imposed when a person contravenes specific requirements of the PBA or its regulations, they fail to comply with an order imposed by FSRA or they fail to comply with an obligation assumed by way of an undertaking.

These contraventions typically come to FSRA’s attention through a complaint, a plan examination, a targeted review or a general desk review conducted by FSRA.

Summary AMP

A summary AMP may be imposed if a person is late in submitting their regulatory filings. The late filing can be identified by FSRA through its Pension Data System.

Visit Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 in FSRA’s Administrative Penalties Guideline for a complete list of general and summary AMP contraventions.

What is the penalty amount?

The size of the penalty will depend on several factors, including whether it is a general AMP or a summary AMP. FSRA has the power to impose significant penalties:

Individual Up to a maximum of $10,000 General AMPs and summary AMPs
Other (employer, administrator, etc.) Up to a maximum of $25,000 General AMPs and summary AMPs

AMPs cannot be paid from the pension plan.

How FSRA determines the penalty amount:

General AMP

There is no set penalty amount.

When determining the penalty, FSRA will consider:

  1. The degree to which the contravention or failure was intentional, reckless or negligent.
  2. The extent of the harm or potential harm to others resulting from the contravention or failure.
  3. The extent to which the person tried to mitigate any loss or to take other remedial action.
  4. The extent to which the person derived or reasonably might have expected to derive, directly or indirectly, any economic benefit from the contravention or failure.
  5. Any other contraventions of or failures to comply with a requirement established under the PBA or under the pension benefits legislation of a designated jurisdiction during the preceding five years by the person.

See Schedule 1 of the Administrative Penalties Guideline.

Summary AMP

FSRA may impose daily penalties of $100 or $200 for each day that a filing is late.

See Schedule 2 of the Administrative Penalties Guideline.


Procedures for imposing an AMP

You can review the detailed procedures in the Administrative Penalties Guideline.