Important considerations when setting up a defined contribution or a defined benefit pension plan

This section presents only the main points to consider. The Supplemental Pension Plans Act remains the best tool in guiding your actions and decisions.

Important points to consider

Registering a plan

A certified copy of the plan text must accompany the application for registration of a pension plan. This application has useful information for registering a new plan with Retraite Québec.

A certified copy is one that bears the declaration of a qualified person that the copy is identical to the original. The copy can be a photocopy of the original, but it must have an original signature following the declaration. A seal is not necessary.

Members outside Québec

If the plan has members that work in another Canadian province, their benefits in the plan must be established according to the provisions of the law respecting pension plans in effect in the province where they are employed.

Multi-employer plans

If more than one employer participates in a plan, the names of all the employers must be indicated in the plan provisions.


A pension plan must be subject to an actuarial valuation on the date on which it becomes effective, unless it is an insured plan or the plan has only:

  • provisions for defined contributions
  • provisions for defined contributions and benefits guaranteed by an insurer.

Plan administration

A pension plan normally must be administered by a pension committee (the plan administrator) as of the date on which it is registered. However, until it is registered, the plan must be administered by the employer if the pension committee has not yet been formed.

Plans with fewer than 26 members and beneficiaries

The plan text may provide for plan administration to be transferred to the employer or a limited pension committee (their obligations are still the same as those incumbent on an administrator of a large plan).

Other points to be aware of

The Gouvernement du Québec publishes its Web pages in French. Consistent with the Charter of the French Language and to inform stakeholders outside Québec, this page is also published in English.
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