May 11, 2020

Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Reforms are in effect

Nova Scotia has made changes to the Pension Benefits Act and Regulations. These came into force on April 1, 2020.

A few key changes apply to Defined Contribution (DC) and Ancillary Contribution (AC) plans.

Sun Life is adjusting for the changes

Sun Life has stayed up-to-date on the reforms. We are making any changes to meet the regulatory changes. If any material changes affect your plan or employees, we will send you more information.

Key changes that apply to DC and AC plans

Incorporating federally permitted investment rules

  • The Regulations will now reference the federal investment rules.
  • This change means pension plans registered in Nova Scotia cannot invest in company stock. Plans have until July 1, 2021, to comply.
  • Previously plans could not invest more than 10% of the plan’s book value in a single entity. This is changing to 10% of the plan’s market value. This will only apply when there’s a new purchase.

Revising the need for written Statements of Investment Policies and Procedures

  • Prior to April 1, 2020, the plan administrator needed to establish a written statement of investment policies and procedures (SIPP) for plans investing in segregated funds before the day plan is registered.
  • Effective April 1, 2020, a SIPP must only be adopted for plans where the employer makes some or all of the investment directions. (The SIPP does not include any investments relating to those where the employee chooses the investment.)
  • A SIPP is not required at all if the employee chooses investments for all contributions.


Please contact your Sun Life Group Retirement Services representative.