Supplemental Pension Plans
Several terms are used in talking about supplemental pension plans: pension funds, pension plans, registered pension plans, company plans, etc.
A supplemental pension plan is a written contract by which an employer acting alone or an employer and its employees who are members of the plan are required to contribute to the plan. The contributions are intended to provide the plan's members with retirement income. The income from a pension plan tops off the income received from public plans.
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The employer and member contributions are paid into a pension fund. The fund can be thought of as the plan's "bank account."
There are three kinds of transfer instruments for supplemental pension plans:
Under the Supplemental Pension Plans Act
The supplemental pension plans in which Québec workers participate are subject to the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (SPP Act). Such plans comprise plans sponsored by employers in the private, municipal and university sectors, and some plans in the parapublic sector, which are under provincial jurisdiction.
Some supplemental pension plans are not subject to the SPP Act, including plans in the Québec public sector (such as the Government and Public Employees Retirement Plan [RREGOP]) and in the federal public sector, as well as private plans in sectors under federal jurisdiction (such as plans for banks). Such plans are subject to a different law applicable to supplemental pension plans.
The Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans, which stems from the SPP Act, governs LIRAs and LIFs whose amounts come from a plan, such as the RREGOP, that is subject to the SPP Act or another Québec law. For details, consult Applicable laws for LIRAs and LIFs.
The Regulation also governs annuity contracts whose amounts come from a pension plan subject to the SPP Act.
Under the supervision of Retraite Québec
Supplemental pension plans subject to the SPP Act along with LIRAs, LIFs and pension annuity contracts governed by the Regulation are under the supervision of Retraite Québec. In this capacity, Retraite Québec ensures that the plans are administered and operated in accordance with the SPP Act. Retraite Québec's main duties are as follows:
- register plans, standard contracts for LIRAs and LIFs and any amendments
- examine the annual information returns
- verify actuarial valuation reports and termination reports
- request additional documents and information
- inspect pension plans
- inform clients (plan administrators, members and beneficiaries, employers, etc.)
- provide training to pension committee members.
Under the supervision of another agency
If a plan has workers in Québec and in another Canadian province or territory, it may be under the supervision of another agency, whose supervisory authority is similar to that of Retraite Québec. In such a case, the other agency must act on behalf of Retraite Québec to ensure that the rights of the plan's Québec workers are in conformity with the SPP Act.