Your right to obtain information
Do you have a question or need an explanation about your
defined-benefit plan? Please contact your
Several documents can help you become an informed member and make it possible for you to exercise your right to information about your plan.
The plan summary
If you are a member or have recently become eligible for membership (you now have a job that makes you eligible to join the plan), the administrator must provide you with a summary of the pension plan within 90 days following the date on which you became eligible for plan membership. The summary will be accompanied with a brief description of the
advantages of plan membership, the benefits offered and your
rights and obligations.
The annual statement
Within 9 months following the end of the plan's fiscal year, each member and beneficiary must be sent a statement of his or her benefits and a brief summary of any amendments made to the plan during the fiscal year. In the same period, the administrator must also enclose with the annual statement information identifying all the associations that represent the plan's non-active, non-unionized members and the plan's other non-active members and beneficiaries (if the administrator has received that information).
At least once every 3 years, your statement will show the value of the benefits that you could transfer at the end of the plan's fiscal year and the last date on which you can make the transfer.
The annual statement must contain information that will allow active and non-active members as well as beneficiaries to keep up with their benefits. The statement has
2 sections: one covers your benefits and the other covers the plan's financial situation.
Be careful not to confuse your annual statement of benefits in your employer's pension plan with your
Statement of Participation under the Québec Pension Plan.
The annual statement of benefits in an employer's pension plan allows a plan member to keep up with his or her benefits under the plan. The Statement of Participation under the Québec Pension Plan allows a contributor to that plan to keep track of the employment income entered under his or her name under the Québec Pension Plan and the amounts that may be paid to the contributor or his or her family in the event of retirement, disability or death.
Prior notice of amendments to a pension plan
Whether you are an active or a non-active member, your plan administrator is required to notify you in writing of any amendments made to the plan. Except in some circumstances, the notice can be published in a daily newspaper in your region or posted in the workplace.
Statement of cessation of membership
If your active plan membership ceases, the administrator must send you a statement of your benefits within 60 days of being informed of the cessation. The statement will tell you the nature and value of the benefits to which you are entitled as well as the amount of any refund that is payable.
Other pension plan statements
In some circumstances, the plan administrator may send one of the following statements:
- Statement of benefits following conjugal breakdown
- Statement of benefits following
If you choose your investments...
The administrator must provide you with the information provided for in the Supplemental Pension Plans Act with respect to investments. The administrator should also give you the information and aid provided for in the
Guidelines for Capital Accumulation Plans of the Joint Forum of Financial Market regulators. To find out more on the application of the Guidelines to pension plans subject to the Supplemental Pension Plans Act, refer to
Guideline No. 3 of the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) .
All about your plan...
The annual meeting: Is your plan in good shape?
Within 9 months following the end of a plan's fiscal year, the administrator must call an annual meeting of the employer and all the members and beneficiaries. During the meeting, the administrator reports on the plan's administration. If the plan is administered by a pension committee, the plan members can appoint voting and in some cases, non-voting members to the pension committee.
The annual meeting provides an opportunity to obtain information on the plan's financial situation and on any amendments registered during the plan's fiscal year.
Consultation of documents related to a pension plan
At least once a year, all members, eligible workers and beneficiaries must be able, without charge, to consult the plan text and certain other documents, including the following:
- investment policy
- acts of delegation of powers
- financial reports
- actuarial valuations
- general transfer agreements
- annual information returns
- correspondence between Retraite Québec and the administrator (except correspondence concerning another person)
The administrator must allow such free consultation within 30 days following receipt of a written request. The obligation can be fulfilled by providing, without charge and within the same period, a copy of the documents to be consulted.
Consultation is carried out at the administrator's office or the employer's establishment designated by the administrator that is nearest the applicant's place of residence. The administrator can charge a fee for a second consultation in the same year or for additional copies of the documents consulted.
What if you're unable to get the information you want?
If you are not satisfied with the administrator's response to your request for information, you can inform