The Pension Commission of Manitoba has reviewed the province’s pension laws in an initiative to update and strengthen the existing pension system.
“We know how important it is for Manitobans to have secure income and certainty in their retirement,” said Finance Minister Cameron Friesen. “We look forward to receiving feedback on the proposed reforms, with a view toward improving pension benefits and building a stronger financial future for Manitobans.”
The Pension Commission is required to complete a statutory review of The Pension Benefits Act (PBA) every five years, and report its findings and recommendations to the minister. The latest review focused on new plan designs, solvency deficiency funding rules, locking-in provisions and access to locked-in pension funds, compulsory pension plan membership, division of pensions on relationship breakdown, clarification and legislative gaps.
Highlights of the commission’s recommendations include:
- introducing a target benefit or shared risk plan framework for defined benefit pension plans as another option to encourage defined benefit pension plans;
- introducing a new funding regime based on enhanced going concern funding and a lower solvency funding threshold of 85 per cent; and
- allowing greater flexibility for individuals to access locked-in pension funds due to financial hardship.
An online public consultation on the recommendations in the commission’s report will occur over a six-week period, the minister said. For more information on the review and consultation visit gov.mb.ca.
Electronic submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written submissions can be sent to: The Office of the Superintendent – Pension Commission, Room 1004 – 401 York Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3C 0P8. The closing date for submissions is Feb. 21.
The minister noted the consultation will be followed by proposed legislation to reform and strengthen the province’s pension system and secure stable retirement income for Manitobans.
The Manitoba government appoints members of the Pension Commission and the commission comprises not fewer than five and not more than nine members representing the views of organized labour, plan sponsors, the pension consulting industry and pensioners.