FSRA Announces Changes to Regulatory Requirements due to COVID-19
TORONTO March 27, 2020 – As an ‘essential workplace’, FSRA continues to carry out its regulatory duties while activating our business continuity plan. To protect the health and safety of its employees and the public, FSRA is working remotely wherever practicable. We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and have taken steps to prioritize our core functions during this period of disruption.
Certain financial services such as credit unions, insurance and pension services are considered ‘essential workplaces’. Please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplacesto determine whether your activities constitute an essential workplace and may remain open during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Even if yours is an essential workplace, please take all appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of your employees, customers and the public.
The following is a summary of important updates that we are providing to our sectors:
- Until further notice, FSRA is deferring the issuance of the following invoices for F2020-21:
- Fee assessments payable under FSRA’s Fee Rule 2019-01
- Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund (DIRF) premiums payable under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994
- The invoices already issued to insurance brokers for F2020-21 fees are withdrawn. Sectors will be advised 15 days prior to F2020-21 invoices being issued. Until such invoices are issued, FSRA will be deferring collection of any F2020-21 fee assessments or DIRF premiums.
- Employers experiencing challenges filing their Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) assessment certificate or paying their PBGF assessment due to disruption from COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their Pension Officer as soon as possible to discuss their individual circumstances and relief that can be provided.
Licence Renewals: Deadline for completing renewal applications will be extended from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020, provided renewal applications have been initiated by March 31, 2020. Please note that your current licence will expire on March 31, 2020. If you require an extension to complete your licence renewal, immediate action is required. Details on how to renew your licence are available here.
- 2019 Annual Information Return (AIR): FSRA will continue to accept completed AIRs past the deadline of March 31, 2020 until June 30, 2020. Details are available here.
- Completion of Approved Continuing Education Courses: Deadline for completion is extended from March 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020.
Health Service Providers
- 2019 Annual Information Return (AIR): Deadline for the AIR filing is extended from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Details are available here.
- Licences: Health Service Provider licences do not expire as long as they are kept in good standing. The delayed filing of the AIR and payment of fees will not affect the good standing status of a licence through the extension.
- Licence Renewals: Deadline for renewal applications will be extended by 60 days. FSRA will be providing additional information once arrangements have been finalized. Details will be available here.
Ontario-Incorporated Insurance Companies
- FSRA has provided Information Guidance on how Ontario-incorporated insurance companies may use telephonic, digital or other electronic forms for holding virtual annual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Sector Engagement: FSRA continues to protect the deposits of Ontario credit union members and ensure that the system remains strong, while working in partnership with credit unions as they consider alternate ways to serve their members’ needs in the current environment.
- We are providing a number of regulatory easing measures to support credit unions as they continue to serve their members in the current environment. More details are available here.
- Annual Meetings of Members: FSRA has provided Information Guidance on how credit unions may use telephonic, digital or other electronic forms for holding virtual annual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted in the Guidance, given current public health advice, credit unions should report to members on their completed financial year without in-person meetings. Credit unions should contact their FSRA Relationship Manager if they require FSRA to authorize a time extension for holding their virtual annual meetings.
- Relationship Managers: FSRA’s Relationship Managers are in active contact with credit unions and are responding to inquiries. We will continue to be responsive to any questions you may have.
- Regulatory filings: Plan administrators or their authorized agents who are registered on FSRA’s Pension Services Portal (PSP) may submit filing extension requests of up to 60 days via the PSP. If the filing extension request is for a period beyond 60 days, we ask you to submit your request by email to your assigned Pension Officer.
- Member disclosure: If a plan administrator or their agents are facing challenges in complying with the prescribed timelines, we ask that you let your assigned Pension Officer know via email as soon as possible. While FSRA does not have discretionary powers to extend the prescribed timelines as they relate to member disclosures, effective immediately, provided you have advised us of the challenges you are experiencing and a reasonable proposed plan of action, summary administrative monetary penalties will not be levied with respect to non-compliance in this area until further notice.
- Additional pension specific information provided by FSRA on March 20, 2020 is available here.
Our Contact Centre and staff are now working remotely. We recommend you use email to contact us and we will get back to you within two business days.
Keeping You Informed
We commit to keeping you informed and we will continue to provide you with updates via email and on our website. To view all of FSRA’s COVID-19 updates, including Guidance, please visit www.FSRAO.ca.
For Media Inquiries:
Senior Communications Officer, Corporate Communications
Financial Services Regulatory Authority