Why did the Plan move from being a statutory plan (i.e. contained in legislation), to a non-statutory plan? What is the difference?
The move from a statutory plan text to a non-statutory plan text is one of the ongoing changes being made to the PSPP as a result of pension reform. As part of pension reform, PSPP pension benefits are now governed by the recently proclaimed Public Services Pensions Act, 2019 (the Act), and the new Plan Text. Your pension benefit provisions have been incorporated into the Plan Text.
For plan members like yourself, there is no difference in benefits. The Plan Text reflects the provisions of the former Act, except for a few provisions which are still contained in legislation. It also encompasses additional provisions which reflect in greater detail how benefits are administered under the Plan.
If the plan is now a non-statutory plan, why is there still an Act?
Certain provisions related to the Plan had to be maintained in legislation, for example:
- Supplementary Pension Benefits: These are benefits that exceed the Income Tax Act maximum limits imposed upon all registered pension plans. These benefits are paid outside of the registered portion of the Plan by Government through the Consolidated Revenue Fund. As such, they are not contained in the Plan Text which only reflects the provisions of the registered portion of the Plan.
- Exemption from the Pension Benefits Act: Jointly sponsored pension plans, such as the PSPP, are not regulated under the Pension Benefits Act and the Act is required to exempt the Plan from the Pension Benefits Act.
- Authority to impose locking-in on benefits transferred outside the Plan: The Plan is exempt from the Pension Benefits Act; however, a mechanism was required to preserve locking-in requirements for benefits transferred outside of the Plan.
- The Act was required to maintain Provident10 as administrator of the Plan.
Is Government still responsible for the Plan?
As a result of pension reform, sponsorship of the Plan is the Sponsor Body’s responsibility. Government’s responsibility in respect of the Plan now consists of:
- appointing representatives to the Sponsor Body
- appointing representatives to the Provident10 Board of Directors
- making special payments as provided for under the Plan
- making required contributions as a participating employer
- equally sharing in deficits and surpluses under the Plan with all plan members
Government is also responsible to fund and administer the Supplementary Pension Benefits provided for under the Act.
How will I find out if there are future changes to the Plan Text?
Any future changes to the Plan Text will be posted to our website. Certain substantial changes may also be communicated to you directly.
What is the Sponsor Body? Who appoints its members?
The Sponsor Body is comprised of 10-14 individuals representing Government, the Unions, non-union employers, and pensioners. They are responsible for oversight of the Joint Sponsorship Agreement. Their primary responsibility is to make decisions regarding changes in plan benefits. They also approve the assumptions used in actuarial valuations and direct the level of risk appropriate for the Fund’s asset mix. Members of the Sponsor Body are appointed by Government (4-6 members), the Unions (4-6 members), and the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Sector Pensioners Association (1 member). It also includes 1 non-union representative, appointed by Government or a representative association of non-union active members.
What is the Joint Sponsorship Agreement and where can I find a copy?
Who is responsible for administering the Plan?
Provident10 is plan administrator and trustee of the PSPP. The framework under which we operate is detailed in Appendix B to the Joint Sponsorship Agreement.
Where do I find more information about the benefits under the Plan?
Click here for more information about Provident10 and the Plan.
Why is the Plan exempt from the Pension Benefits Act? Who has regulatory oversight over the administration of the Plan?
The Reform Agreement between Government and the Unions intended for the Plan to be exempt from the Pension Benefits Act (PBA). The Newfoundland and Labrador Superintendent of Pensions has no regulatory oversight over the Plan. Canada Revenue Agency has regulatory oversight of the Plan with respect to compliance with the Income Tax Act, under which it is registered.
Certain protections afforded to pension plans under the PBA, such as locking-in of pension funds and provisions dealing with marriage breakdown, have been built into the Act and the Plan Text.
What are Supplementary Pension Benefits?
Supplementary Pension Benefits are benefits that exceed the Income Tax Act maximum limits imposed upon all registered pension plans. These benefits are paid outside of the registered portion of the Plan by Government through the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Supplementary Pension Benefits are administered by Provident10 on behalf of Government.