The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is seeking public and sector input on two guidance documents to ensure pension plan financial safety, fairness and choice for consumers and members during this time of rapid change and disruption.

FSRA said it is seeking feedback on Principles and Practices Regarding Missing Members, which provides practices for pension plans, advisors and plan members to remain in contact or reconnect with their plans to ensure members receive their benefits.

Waiver of Biennial Statements one of two guidance documents

The second guidance document, Waiver of Biennial Statements for Missing Former and Retired Members, outlines FSRA's process to apply to waive the requirement to issue a biennial statement under the Pension Benefits Act.

The draft documents have been given input from a technical advisory committee, which included sector participants, who shared diverse perspectives.

Although the committee completed its work pre-COVID, the start of the consulation was delayed to allow FSRA to focus on the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Invites comments

FSRA is now inviting comments until the middle of September.

FSRA will begin collecting data on missing members from plan administrators as part of the regular data collection process, to inform future initiatives and to evaluate the effectiveness of these new guidance documents.

These datapoints are not intended to create an additional administrative burden. FSRA will begin collecting information about missing members later this summer on a voluntary basis, to ease the transition and allow the sector to become familiar with the process.