Ontario Pension Reform Announcement: The Official Statement

August 24, 2010 12:30 PM

McGuinty Government Making Ontario’s Pension System More Sustainable

Ontario will propose a broad package of reforms this fall that would help strengthen Ontarians’ pensions.

These proposed reforms are the outcome of extensive consultations and build on the first phase of reforms that passed through the Legislature unanimously on May 5, 2010.

This second set of reforms would address almost 40 recommendations from the Expert Commission on Pensions and would:

* Strengthen Ontario’s pension funding rules by requiring sustainable funding of promised benefits and tougher funding standards for benefit improvements.
* Clarify pension surplus rules and provide a dispute resolution process to allow members, retirees and sponsors to reach agreements on how surplus should be shared on wind up.
* Provide a more sustainable Ontario’s Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund by implementing a strategy to build reserves, increase revenues, limit current exposure and reduce risk to taxpayers in the future.

The province is committed to modernizing Ontario’s pension system to balance the concerns of workers, retirees, and employers. Ontario is continuing to call for a modest expansion of the Canada Pension Plan and is in discussions with other governments regarding pension innovations that could lower costs and facilitate access to defined contribution plans.

* The government’s reforms to date will have responded to about two-thirds of the 142 recommendations in the Expert Commission’s report. Remaining recommendations will be considered for inclusion in future reforms.
* Before the reforms introduced by the province in 2009, pension rules in Ontario had been largely unchanged for more than two decades.
* Ontario regulates approximately 8,350 employment pension plans, which comprise more than 40 per cent of all registered pension plans in Canada.

To read the Ontario Government technical backgrounder on the proposed reforms, please click here

Keywords: pension reform