Manitoba Pension changes in force on October 1, 2021

If you’re a plan administrator of a group retirement plan registered in Manitoba, Bill 8 The Pension Benefits Amendment Act, and the Amended Pension Benefits Regulation will affect your responsibilities. Here are key highlights and where you can find more information:

Filing of Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP) with the Superintendent

  • Within 180 days after the end of each fiscal year of a plan, the plan administrator must file a copy of the plan's latest SIPP with the Superintendent (See section 9 of the Amended Regulation).

Financial statements information

  • The financial statements must disclose each investment of the pension fund that has a market value greater than 2% of the market value of all the investments of the pension fund, itemized into specific categories (section 11 of the Amended Regulation).

Plan amendment submissions

Pension benefit division on relationship breakdown

  • The mandatory 50-50 credit split is replaced by not more than 50%. (sections 61(1) through (4) of the Amended Regulation)
  • The statement for division of pension to be provided by the administrator must include additional information (section 64 of the Amended Regulation).
  • The Regulation provides for the split formula to be used for pension plans, Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LIRA) and Life Income Funds (LIF). You can find more information on these rules in Policy Bulletin #5.

Rules for the pension committee

  • What to do if a pension committee doesn’t have a voting member elected or appointed by the plan's non-active members and other beneficiaries for the election is set out in section 3.13(4) of the Regulation (section 8(2) of the Amended Regulation)

Small pension commutation clarification

  • The Act and the Regulation have been amended to clarify that the small pension commutation rule applies to a pension division on relationship breakdown (section 54(1) of the Amended Regulation).

Survivor benefits

  • A separated spouse or common-law partner may now be named as a beneficiary for the purpose of survivor benefits.

Extension of deadline

  • On the request of an administrator, the superintendent may extend a deadline – other than a deadline by which an employer must fund or pay into the plan — if the superintendent is satisfied that the extension is justified by exceptional circumstances.

Other changes

Changes to unlocking provisions for LIRAs and LIFs also come into force on October 1, 2021. These include:

  • Full unlocking (100%) of LIRAs and LIFs on or after reaching age 65
  • Unlocking all or part of the amount for financial hardship (at any age)
  • Making a one-time 50% transfer from a LIRA to a prescribed registered retirement income fund after reaching age 55.