Obligations of the plan administrator with respect to untraceable members and beneficiaries
One of the plan administrator's tasks is to pay benefits and refunds to which members and beneficiaries are entitled. The plan administrator must take all the necessary steps to do so, even if he or she has not been informed of a change of address or does not have the beneficiary's contact information.
The plan administrator must adopt measures to ensure the accuracy of members' and beneficiaries' contact information.
If correspondence to a member or beneficiary is returned because he or she has moved, the administrator must be informed, since he or she is obligated to trace the person.
Similarly, if a cheque made out to a member or beneficiary is returned or remains uncashed, it is important that the plan administrator be notified as soon as possible so that the necessary steps can be taken.
Searching for untraceable members and beneficiaries
When members or beneficiaries are untraceable, the administrator must search for them.
The plan administrator must carry out a search with Retraite Québec. When an untraceable Québec member or beneficiary is entitled to a refund, or to the payment of pension benefits or other amounts due to him or her, the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (CQLR, c. R-15.1) provides that the plan administrator must submit a
request to find untraceable members or beneficiaries to Retraite Québec.
If Retraite Québec is able, with the information at its disposal, to locate the member or beneficiary, it will contact the person directly to notify him or her that he or she may be entitled to benefits under a pension plan and request that he or she contact the plan administrator at the address indicated. This way of operating is intended to preserve the confidential nature of the information Retraite Québec has about its clients.
If the person is deceased, Retraite Québec will contact and notify the plan administrator of the person's death, as well as the heirs of the estate, if applicable.
The plan administrator may also seek the assistance of a tracing firm. However, if the firm is unsuccessful, the administrator must request that Retraite Québec do a search.
Remitting unclaimed property to Revenu Québec
The plan administrator must remit to Revenu Québec,
within 3 years following the due date of the amounts in question, the value of the benefits payable to members and beneficiaries who remain untraceable. The due date is either:
- 31 December of the year in which the member turns 71 years of age
- the date as of which a member can require the refund of the
value of his or her benefits if it is less than 20% of the MPE, following a decision made by the administrator to force the refund
- the date of the member's death. However, where a plan administrator is notified of a death that occurred more than 3 years prior, the unclaimed property must be remitted in the first quarter following the end of the plan's fiscal year during which the administrator obtained confirmation of the death.
Similarly, upon termination of the pension plan, where the only benefits payable are those of untraceable members and beneficiaries, these amounts must be remitted to Revenu Québec. However, as long as the Supplemental Pension Plans Act does not allow the plan administrator to pay the benefits of other members and beneficiaries, the amounts that are due to untraceable persons cannot be remitted. However, once the Act allows the plan administrator to pay the benefits of other members and beneficiaries, he or she no longer needs to wait 3 years to pay the benefits.
For more information, consult the
Unclaimed property section on Revenu Québec's website.
Interest on late remittances
The plan administrator must remit the value of unclaimed benefits to Revenu Québec once a year, no later than 3 months following the end of the plan's fiscal year during which those benefits became unclaimed for at least 3 years.
If these amounts are not paid to Revenu Québec within the time allotted, interest will apply.
Exceptional incentive measure for the remittance of unclaimed property
Revenu Québec has implemented relief measures concerning the remittance of unclaimed financial assets, including amounts payable under a supplemental pension plan. The exceptional measure allows plan administrators that should have remitted amounts to Revenu Québec in accordance with the applicable legislation to remit them and benefit from having penalties that would otherwise be imposed, softened. Therefore,
until 30 November 2023, Revenu Québec will waive the interest, no legal proceedings will be instituted against late payers and no fines will be charged.
For more information and to find out the eligibility requirements,
see Revenu Québec's New Incentive for the Remittance of Unclaimed Financial Assets .