Further to the 28 October 2020 Pension Regulatory Bulletin regarding amendments to the General Regulation under the Pension Benefits Act, pension plans are now required to establish, adopt and follow a written governance policy. Plan administrators must also ensure that the pension plan is administered in accordance with the governance policy.
Subsection 55.1(1) of the General Regulation specifies the governance policy must:
- set out the structures and processes for overseeing, managing and administering the plan;
- explain what those structures and processes are intended to achieve;
- identify all participants who have authority to make decisions in respect of those structures and processes, and describe the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of those participants;
- set performance measures and establish a process for monitoring, against those performance measures, the performance of each of the participants identified in paragraph (c);
- establish procedures to ensure that the administrator and, if applicable, any other participants in those structures and processes have access to relevant, timely and accurate information;
- establish a code of conduct for the administrator and a procedure to disclose and address conflicts of interest of the administrator;
- establish an ongoing process to identify the educational requirements and skills necessary for the administrator to perform the administrator’s duties in relation to the plan;
- identify the material risks that apply to the plan and establish internal controls to manage those risks; and
- establish a process for the resolution of disputes involving members of the plan or other persons who are entitled to benefits under the plan.
Subsection 55.1(1) came into effect on 22 October 2020. Although you are not required to file your governance policy with the Superintendent, you must submit it to the Superintendent upon request. Recognizing that pension plan administrators need time to prepare their governance policies, the Superintendent is not making requests to see your governance policies before 31 December 2021.