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Manitoba introduces reduced solvency funding and greater flexibility for unlocking pension funds

An in-depth look at this and other subjects in the current issue of the Morneau Shepell News & Views

TORONTO, Dec. 30, 2019 /CNW/ - Morneau Shepell has released the December 2019 issue of its monthly newsletter, News & Views, in which the company looks at the following topics: 

  • Ontario introduces deemed consent for electronic pension communications – Bill 132, which was passed by the Ontario legislature on December 10, 2019, amends the Pension Benefits Act to permit pension plan administrators to provide documents electronically to current and former members based on deemed consent.
  • Canadian retirement security protections take effect – Changes to bankruptcy and insolvency law and federal corporate law that were proposed in the 2019 federal budget are now in effect. Bill C-97 adds a "duty of good faith" to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The BIA was also amended to make corporate directors liable for certain prohibited payments made to directors, management and officers within a year prior to a bankruptcy, while the CCAA now permits courts to order disclosure of a person's economic interest in a debtor company. The bill also makes amendments to federal corporate law aimed at enhancing retirement security for employees of federally registered corporations, including by permitting directors and officers of federally regulated corporations to consider the interests of employees, retirees and pensioners, when acting with a view to the company's best interests.
  • Manitoba amends The Pension Benefits Act – On November 27, 2019, the Manitoba government introduced Bill 8, which will permit greater flexibility for both unlocking pension funds and dividing pension assets following the breakdown of a spousal or common-law relationship. Bill 8 also permits plan members employed after reaching the normal retirement age to commence receipt of their pensions without having to terminate employment. The Manitoba government also promised to introduce regulations to reduce solvency funding requirements to 85 per cent of solvency liabilities and enhance going concern funding requirements.
  • Tracking the funded status of pension plans as at November 30, 2019 – Morneau Shepell describes the funded status of pension plans over the first 11 months of 2019 based on three typical investment portfolios. A graph shows the changes in the financial position of a typical defined benefit plan since the end of 2018. A table shows the impact of past returns on plan assets and the effect of interest rate changes on solvency liabilities of a medium duration pension plan.
  • The impact of pension expense under international accounting as at November 30, 2019 – Morneau Shepell has shown the evolution of the pension expense for a typical defined benefit pension plan. Since the beginning of the year, the pension expense has increased by 32 per cent (for a contributory plan) due to the decrease in the discount rates, despite the good returns on assets (relative to the discount rate).

About Morneau Shepell
Morneau Shepell is the leading provider of technology-enabled HR services that delivers an integrated approach to well-being through our cloud-based platform. Our focus is providing everything our clients need to support the mental, physical, social and financial well-being of their people. By improving lives, we improve business. Our approach spans services in employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement and benefits consulting, actuarial and investment services. Morneau Shepell employs approximately 6,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in 162 countries. Morneau Shepell is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MSI). For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.

SOURCE Morneau Shepell Inc.

For further information: Heather MacDonald, Morneau Shepell, media@morneaushepell.com, 855-622-3327