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. He or she 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.

Control measures

The plan administrator must adopt measures to ensure the accuracy of members' and beneficiaries' contact information.

If correspondence to a member is returned because he or she has moved, the administrator must be informed, since he or she is obliged to trace the member.

Similarly, if a cheque issued 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 he or she can take the necessary steps.

Locating untraceable members and beneficiaries

When members or beneficiaries are untraceable, the administrator must locate them.

The plan administrator must contact Retraite Québec with a request to locate the person in question. When an untraceable member or beneficiary domiciled in Québec 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 process is intended to maintain the confidentiality of Retraite Québec's information about its clients.

If the person is deceased, Retraite Québec will inform the plan administrator and notify 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 take the necessary steps to locate the person in question.

Remitting unclaimed property to Revenu Québec

The plan administrator must remit to Revenu Québec the value of the benefits payable to untraceable members and beneficiaries within three years following the due date of the amounts in question. The due date is either:

  • December 31 of the year in which the member turns 71 years of age;
  • the date of death of the member. However, when a plan administrator is notified of the date of death three years after the fact, such benefits must be remitted in the first quarter following the end of the plan's fiscal year during which confirmation of death was obtained;
  • the date as of which a member can demand a 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.

Similarly, upon termination of the pension plan, if the only benefits payable are those of untraceable members and beneficiaries, these amounts must be remitted to Revenu Québec. In this case, the amounts cannot be remitted until the plan administrator is authorized under the Supplemental Pension Plans Act to pay benefits to other members and beneficiaries. Once the plan administrator is authorized to do so, it is no longer necessary to wait three years to pay the benefits.

For more information, consult the section entitled Unclaimed property This link will open in a new window. on the Revenu Québec website.

Interest on late payments

The plan administrator must remit the value of unclaimed benefits to Revenu Québec once a year, no later than three months following the end of the plan's fiscal year during which they became unclaimed for at least three years.

If these amounts are not remitted to Revenu Québec within the time allotted, interest will be applied.

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