Important considerations when amending a plan
Please note that this section presents only the main points to consider. The Supplemental Pension Plans Act remains the best tool for guiding your actions and decisions.
Important points to consider
In order for an amendment to take effect, it must be registered with Retraite Québec. For that purpose, an application for registration must be filed. Some amendments require Retraite Québec's authorization or approval.
- The power to amend a plan generally rests with the employer. The plan text gives specifics regarding this question.
- The plan text must make provision for amendments to be made.
- No amendment can come into effect before the date on which it was registered with Retraite Québec, except for the situations provided for in section 19 of the Act.
- No amendment to a pension plan which cancels refunds or pension benefits, limits eligibility to them or reduces the amount or value of the benefits of members or beneficiaries can become effective if made under an ancillary deed (a collective agreement or an arbitration award or an order or decree), before the date on which the deed becomes effective and, in other cases, before the date on which written notice of the amendment is sent to plan members.
- No amendment can decrease a benefit whose payment began before the effective date of the amendment.
- Any provision of a pension plan which is incompatible with the Act is null and void.
- For a multi-employer defined contribution or defined benefit plan that is not considered as such according to plan provisions, all employers must consent to the obligations resulting from an amendment, even if it changes the obligations of only a single employer (under the Act, employers remain jointly and severally responsible for the obligations incumbent upon each of them).
Example - The employers who participate in a plan are subsidiaries of the same company; they have decided that the plan is not to be considered a multi-employer plan and that fact is indicated in the plan provisions. In such a case, even if an amendment affects only one employer (financially or otherwise), all the employers must consent to the proposed amendment.
Other points to be aware of