Ottawa, January 9, 2009
2009-005

Archived - Minister of Finance Releases Discussion Paper on Private Pensions

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released a discussion paper on improving the framework for federally regulated private pension plans.

"The Government acted in the Economic and Fiscal Statement to provide temporary solvency relief to federally regulated pension plans that have been affected by the substantial declines in equity markets," said Minister Flaherty. "The purpose of this paper is to get the views of Canadians on issues related to the legislative framework for federally regulated defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans with the objective of making permanent changes in 2009."

The federal Government regulates private pension plans that are subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. These plans cover areas of employment under federal jurisdiction, including banking, telecommunications and inter-provincial transportation.

These plans currently represent 7 per cent of all private pension plans in Canada, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of pension assets.

The discussion paper, titled Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Private Pension Plans Subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, can be viewed on the Department of Finance website at www.fin.gc.ca. The department welcomes the views of Canadians on this issue. On-line submissions can be addressed to pensions@fin.gc.ca and will be accepted until midnight, March 16, 2009.

In addition, a series of national consultation meetings will begin in March, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Minister Flaherty said the Government will also consult with provinces and territories, which also regulate pension plans. To this end, a federal-provincial working group of senior officials has been established to discuss pension issues, which will provide opportunities for information sharing.

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For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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