Legislative Updates (CAN)

Has Your Pension Plan Filed U.S. Form W-8BEN-E?

That’s right, there is now another filing for Canadian pension plan sponsors, this time having to do with American tax rules.

American citizens, unlike citizens of most other countries, are required to pay taxes on all income worldwide, regardless of where it is earned and regardless of where the citizen was living at the time. To track and enforce compliance, Uncle Sam passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as of July 1, 2014, which requires financial institutions worldwide to report on investment income credited to any of their clients who are US citizens.

As an aside, many financial institutions in Europe and elsewhere find this requirement so onerous that they have actually closed the accounts of US customers. Fortunately, registered pension plans in Canada are exempt from the requirement, but they are NOT exempt from filing exemption forms with EACH financial institution holding pension fund assets, where that institution is itself a “foreign financial institution” under FATCA.

Pension plan administrators must file Form W-8BEN-E with each such financial institution, including financial institutions located outside of Canada (such as investment managers based in France, for example). In addition, if any of the filing information changes, the plan administrator must notify all financial institutions where it has filed Form W-8BEN-E of any such changes within 30 days.

Because the pension plan administrator is certifying required information, we strongly advise that pension plan sponsors confer with their counsel to ensure they have met the requirements of FATCA. Contact Penad for more information on how to ensure you are in compliance with this requirement.

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Ontario Legislation to Create Provincial Pension Plan in 2017

The Ontario government has taken steps to help the more than three million people who do not have any kind of workplace pension scheme. A bill was passed on April 29 that mandates all employees to contribute 1.9 percent of their pay to the newly formed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, to a maximum of $1,643 per year. Employers will be required to match contributions.

Ontario has lobbied the federal government to enhance the Canada Pension Plan to mandate increased contributions (and eventual pensions) for workers who do not belong to workplace pension plans, but the federal government has refused to do so.

The new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan will be structured to be very similar to the Canada Pension Plan, as the Ontario government still hopes that the Ontario plan can eventually be assimilated into the federal plan.

Until that happens, provincial workers now have the comfort of knowing that their retirement will be a little bit more secure thanks to this new plan. Opponents of the ORPP see the employer pension contributions as a payroll tax and claim it will kills jobs and damage businesses.

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2015 YMPE Announced

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced the 2015 limit for yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).

  • For 2015 the YMPE has been set at $53,600 up from $52,500 in 2014.
  • RRSP Maximum limits were also increased for 2015 to $24,930 compared to the 2014 limit of $24,270.

 

For more rates  check out our rates section

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Federal Consultations for Target Benefit Plans

On April 24 the Canadian Federal government announced that it would be seeking consultations with respect to creating a federal framework for Target Benefit Plans. According to the Government, target benefit plans would be a new, voluntary, sustainable and flexible pension option available to federally regulated private sector and Crown corporation plan sponsors, employees and retirees.

The idea of TBP’s has been gaining traction as “Traditional DB pension plans have difficulty adapting to people living longer and to a fragile global economic environment with relatively low interest rates. And DC plans are exposed to financial market volatility,” according to Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson.

Along with the announcement the Federal government has released a consultation paper with requests for comment and consultations with respect to the various target benefit plan elements such as, administration and governance, funding policy, contributions, benefit structure, funding deficit recovery plan, funding surplus utilization plan, disclosure and communications, conversion of pension plans to Target Benefit Plans, portability and locking-in rules, individual termination, plan termination and windup, and application to multi-employer plans.

To see the full release please visit http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-061-eng.asp

 

 

Penad Pension Services Limited provides third party pension plan administration services, actuarial and pension consulting services. Penad also provides world class pension plan administration software systems for DB, DC, hybrid plans, social security, and civil servant employee pension plans.

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2014 YMPE Announced

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced the 2014 limit for yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).

  • For 2014 the YMPE has been set at $52,500 up from $51,100 in 2013.
  • RRSP Maximum limits were also increased for 2014 to $24,270 compared to the 2013 limit of $23,820.

 

For more rates  check out our rates section

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Alberta Extends Filling Deadline for Alberta Pension Plans

In light of recent flooding events in Alberta the Government has provided and extension for all Alberta registered pension plans whose filling deadline was June 29, 2013.

The new filling deadline is July 31, 2013  for the following submissions:

  • Annual Information Return,
  • Annual Member Statements,
  • Actuarial Valuation and Cost Certificate,
  • Audited Financial Statements.

For further information please contact Penad

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2013 YMPE Announced

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced the 2013 limit for yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).

  • For 2013 the YMPE has been set at $51,100 up from $50,100 in 2012.
  • RRSP Maximum limits were also increased for 2013 to $23,820 compared to the 2012 limit of $22,970.
  • The basic exemption amount  will remain the same as the 2012 limit for 2013 ($3,500).

 

For more rates  check out our rates section

 

 

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Canadian Government Pre-Publishes Second and Final Tranche of PRPP REGULATIONS

The Canadian Government has pre-pubslished, for public comment the second and final tranche of regulatory proposals to address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (Bill C-25).  Minister of State (Finance), Ted Menzies was quoted as saying that “As soon as this last package of regulations is finalized, the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (PRPP Act) and regulations will be brought into force,”

The proposed regulations will address provisions of the PRPP Act respecting:

  • General requirements with respect to providing information;
  • The circumstances in which a member may withdraw funds from their PRPP account;
  • The circumstances in which a member may receive variable payments from the funds in their account;
  • The transfer options available to members and the conditions on the vehicles to which a member’s funds may be transferred;
  • The use of electronic means to satisfy requirements under the Act for communications with plan members; and
  • Other technical rules related to the implementation of the framework

A detailed review of the changes can be found here

 

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Alberta Temporary Funding Relief

The Alberta Treasury and Finance Board issued EPPA Update 12-01 “Defined Benefit Funding Relief Provisions”.    The amendment is meant to introduce short term funding relief provisions to assist plan sponsors with the financial pressures associated with funding a defined benefit pension plan.  It is important to note that this relief option is only applicable to pension plans which are not specified multi-employer pension plans (SMEPPs).

The amendment permits plan administrators, on written application to the Superintendent of Pensions, to consolidate all existing pension plan solvency deficiencies into one new solvency deficiency. The regulation amendment then further allows for that solvency deficiency to be amortized over a period not exceeding a maximum of 10 years (rather than the usual 5 year amortization).

Plan administrators are permitted to make only one application for the consolidation of solvency deficiencies and extension of the amortization period. The application may be made in respect of any actuarial valuation report that has a review date between December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2012, inclusive.  To view the full EPPA Update click here

The amendment no doubt comes as welcome news to plan sponsors who continue to battle an investment environment of low interest rates and volatile investment returns which affects the overall funding ratios for a vast majority of defined benefit plan sponsors.

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Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) Regulations

The Government of Canada has pre-published regulatory proposals to address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (Bill C-25), according to Minister of State (Finance) Ted Menzies.

The proposed regulations will address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act respecting:

  • the licensing conditions for a potential administrator of a Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP);
  • the management and investment of funds in members’ accounts;
  • details with respect to the investment options offered to members;
  • criteria against which the requirement to provide low-cost PRPPs can be assessed;
  • conditions under which a PRPP member is allowed to set his or her contribution rate to 0%; and
  • information that plan administrators must disclose to plan members, employers and the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

The proposed regulations will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette on August 11 for a 30-day public comment period, prior to final consideration by the Government. A second package of regulations under the PRPP Act will follow at the earliest opportunity.

PRPPs will be available across Canada once federal tax legislation is passed and the provinces implement their PRPP legislation.

To see the full proposed regulations go to click here

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