In Ontario, pension plans are required to be administered according to the filed pension plan text. Plan texts are legal documents that define the benefits and administration rules of a registered pension plan and are filed with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

To change the plan text, pension plan administrators must file amendments to their pension plans in accordance with the Pension Benefits Act (PBA).

The filing must include a detailed description of the amendments and, if applicable, certification from the plan’s actuary confirming that the changes comply with legislative requirements and do not adversely affect the plan's financial health. Ensuring timely and accurate filings helps maintain regulatory compliance and protects the interests of plan members.

FSRA released its final revised Pension Plan Amendments Guidance in June 2024. The Guidance promotes the good management of pension plans and protects the rights of beneficiaries. Plan administrators must handle amendments in line with their fiduciary duties under the Pension Benefits Act (PBA).

The guidance aims to inform stakeholders of how FSRA interprets and administers PBA provisions related to certain pension plan amendments. Retroactive amendments that could have a negative impact on plan members or beneficiaries, such as changes in contribution rates, will generally not be permitted by FSRA. This is subject to limited exceptions.

The guidance addresses:

  • retroactive amendments, including those to correct drafting errors
  • amendments replacing a variable indexation formula with a fixed rate for already accrued benefits
  • notice requirements for certain adverse amendments, including a technical amendment




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