2019

April 15, 2019

Waiver of Biennial Statements for Former and Retired Members

IMPORTANT! Action may be required:  This update contains information you need to know about legislative changes that affect pension plans subject to Ontario legislation.

Further to our communication released in May 2018, the Government of Ontario amended the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) by adding a new subsection to permit the Superintendent to waive the requirement to send biennial statements to missing former and retired members (MFRM).

Sun Life identifies a MFRM as an individual who is known to have an incorrect address on file (i.e. Sun Life has received returned mail or a cheque has become stale dated). For a MFRM, Sun Life currently suppresses the mailing of the statement to avoid a potential breach of the missing former or retired member’s privacy rights. An electronic version of the statement remains available to MFRMs on Sun Life’s secure member website, mySunLife.ca, and the MFRM is notified via email (if available) that a statement is available for viewing.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) recently released Pension Policy No. A300-901, Waiver of Biennial Statements for Missing Former and Retired Members. Sun Life confirmed with FSCO that while the issuance of biennial statements is mandatory, the waiver is not mandatory if a plan administrator feels that their “missing former or retired member” process along with Sun Life’s process for locating missing former and retired members are sufficient.    

When must plan administrators provide statements to these former and retired members?
For most plans, biennial statements were mailed and email notifications were sent to former and retired members at the beginning of 2017. For these plans, the next biennial statement is scheduled to be sent in early 2019 (for plan years 2017 and 2018) and it is this biennial statement requirement for which a waiver may be applied for by July 1, 2019 should the administrator wish to do so. Note: Some plans may have biennial statement requirements on a different timeline, in accordance with the PBA.

Subsequent former and retired member statements must be provided every two years thereafter, and no later than six months after the plan’s year-end.

Which former and retired members do the biennial statements and waiver apply to?

If plan is registered in

And members report to work in Ontario

Then the Biennial statements and waiver apply?

Ontario

 

 

Yes

Yes

No, however members work in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan (signed MJPPA)

Yes

No, however members work in Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or the federal jurisdiction (did not sign MJPPA)

No

Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick or the federal jurisdiction (did not sign the MJPPA)

 

Yes

Yes

No

N/A

British Columbia, Nova Scotia,  Quebec or Saskatchewan (signed the MJPPA)

Yes

No

No

N/A

NOTE: The above chart is based on where the plan is registered and/or if the jurisdiction has signed the 2016 Agreement Respecting Multi-Jurisdictional Pension Plans (MJPPA). In addition, although the PBA only requires biennial statements for former and retired Ontario members as outlined above, Sun Life currently issues annual statements for all members (active, former and retired) who have assets in their account.

How does Sun Life help plan administrators identify plan members who cannot be located?
On a quarterly basis, Sun Life provides plan administrators with a list of members with invalid information (i.e. missing or invalid address, invalid date of birth or invalid SIN). Although it is ultimately up to plan administrators to locate missing members, Sun Life also has rigorous processes in place to try to locate missing members. A link to the “Summary of Sun Life’s process for locating missing former and retired members” is provided with this communication.

Consideration for plan administrators
Although not mandatory, Administrators may apply to the Superintendent to receive a waiver of the requirement to provide a biennial statement to former and retired members who cannot be located in accordance with Pension Policy No. A300-901. This would guarantee compliance if approved. 

To assist administrators with applying for the waiver, Sun Life has created a new “self serve” process, which includes all documentation required to file the “Waiver of Biennial statements for Missing Former and Retired Members application” and will be included in the next 2019 quarterly report. The report has been updated to easily identify the impacted members.

If you, the plan administrator, prefer to request Sun Life, as record keeper of your plan, to prepare the waiver, Sun Life will do so using our standard process of preparing and filing the waiver for an ad hoc fee of $250. NOTE: FSCO does not charge a fee for filing the application and the above-mentioned fee is a Sun Life fee.

Questions?
If you have any questions regarding this communication, please contact your Sun Life Financial Group Retirement Services representative.