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Improving Ontario's Pension System

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Improving Ontario's Pension System

McGuinty Government's Reforms To Help Sponsors, Members And Pensioners

Ministry of Finance

Ontario is proposing to strengthen and modernize the employment pension system to help pension plans adapt to economic changes while balancing the need for benefit security.

The Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2009, introduced today, would build on the recommendations in the report by the Expert Commission of Pensions, and would:

  • Clarify the benefits of plan members affected by lay-offs and eliminate partial wind-ups.  A partial wind-up occurs when only part of a pension plan is closed
  • Facilitate the restructuring of pension plans affected by corporate reorganizations, while protecting benefit security for plan members and pensioners
  • Increase transparency and access to information for plan members and pensioners
  • Enhance regulatory oversight
  • Improve plan administration and reduce compliance costs.

Providing clear rules and modernizing pension plan administration would enable plan sponsors and plan administrators to operate more efficiently and effectively. 

The Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2009 is part of a multi-step process that represents the first pension reform of this magnitude in more than 20 years.  Another bill is planned for 2010. 

Quick Facts

  • In the 2009 Budget, the government committed to introduce pension reform legislation this fall.
  • Premier McGuinty has called for a national pension summit in 2010 to encourage a pan-Canadian discussion on retirement income; a call that has been endorsed by all other Premiers.

Background Information


“The McGuinty government is balancing the diverse interests of working Ontario families, pensioners, and businesses that employ Ontarians. Despite the wide range of views, all of these parties want to achieve the common goal of successful pension reform.”

Dwight Duncan

Minister of Finance

“I am pleased this package of much-needed changes to Ontario's pension legislation has been brought forward and that work continues on other complex issues. The government is clearly striving both to protect the public interest in the integrity of the pension system and to maintain a "fine balance" amongst the pension stakeholders.”

Harry Arthurs

Commissioner, Expert Commission on Pensions

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