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".
Alongside supplemental pension plans are three kinds of "transfer instruments": locked-in retirement accounts (LIRAs), life income funds (LIFs) and annuity contracts.
Under the Supplemental Pension Plans Act
The supplemental pension plans in which Québec workers participate are subject to the Supplemental Pension Plans Act. They are mainly comprised of plans sponsored by employers in the private and municipal sectors and some plans in the parapublic sector, whose activities are under provincial jurisdiction.
Some supplemental pension plans are not subject to the Act, including plans in the Québec public sector (e.g., the RREGOP) and in the federal public sector, as well as private plans in sectors under federal jurisdiction (such as federally chartered banks). Such plans are subject to a different law.
LIRAs, LIFs and annuity contracts are also subject to the Supplemental Pension Plans Act, unless the are subject to another jurisdiction.
Under the supervision of the Régie des rentes du Québec
Supplemental pension plans, LIRAs, LIFs and pension annuity contracts the subject to a Supplemental Pension Plans Act are under the supervision of the Régie. In this capacity, the Régie must:
- ensure that the plans are administered and run in accordance with the Act
- register plan texts, standard contracts for LIRAs and LIFs and any subsequent amendments
- examine the annual information returns and actuarial valuations submitted by plan administrators
- inform plan administrators, members, beneficiaries, employers and any other interested persons
- encourage the establishment and improvement of pension plans
Other supervisory agencies
If a plan has workers in Québec and in another Canadian province or territory, it my be under the supervision of another agency, whose supervisory authority is similar to that of the Régie. In such a case, the other agency must act on behalf of the Régie to ensure that the rights of the plan's Québec workers are in conformity with the Supplemental Pension Plans Act.
All the information you need on supplemental pensions plans that are subject to the Supplemental Pension Plans Act:
- advantages and characteristics
- rights and obligations of the employer and members
- types and forms of pensions offered by plans
- rules for transferring benefits
- rules of sound management for plan administration
Information presented separately for the 3 main types of plans:
Other subjects of interest
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