Regulation of Pension Plans

people watching a presentation in a meeting room

Employment pension plans covering British Columbia employees are regulated by the Pension Benefits Standards Act (the “PBSA”) and the Pension Benefits Standards Regulation.

Order of Lieutenant Governor in Council 505 (Target Benefit PfAD Reform)
Order of Lieutenant Governor in Council 649 (Target Benefit PfAD Amendment).
Concordance: Alberta and BC Act
Concordance: Alberta and BC Regulation
Order of Lieutenant Governor in Council 649 (PBSR 2019 Funding Amendment)
Order of Lieutenant Governor in Council 704 (PBSR Section 31)

The objective of the Superintendent of Pensions is to enhance the retirement income security of British Columbians by

  • promoting the security of pension plan benefits and rights provided to British Columbia pension plan members by the PBSA,
  • ensuring that British Columbia pension plans comply with the PBSA, and meet the minimum standards of financial health required by the PBSA,
  • assessing the ongoing effectiveness of the legislation and recommending improvements to the PBSA,
  • working toward administrative harmonization with other provinces and the federal government,
  • keeping the regulatory burden on pension plans, and the cost of pension plan supervision to a minimum,
  • providing effective and efficient service through participation of both clients and staff in setting service standards and objectives,
  • educating members and their representatives regarding their rights and obligations

There are approximately 636 employment pension plans registered in British Columbia, including public sector plans. These plans cover approximately 1.2 million members who are employed and accruing benefits or continue to have benefit entitlements under the plans or are already receiving retirement benefits.

British Columbia members of pension plans registered in other provinces in Canada are also protected by the PBSA.

The PBSA does not have jurisdiction over pension plans covering federal public sector employees, or private sector employees working in federally regulated industries such as banks, airlines, broadcasting and telecommunications or jurisdictions such as Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon.