Human Resources

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Queen's Pension Plan Exempt from Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund Coverage as of March 1, 2020

April 24, 2020

To: Members, Former Members, Retired Members and other persons entitled to benefits and Trade Unions that represent Members

Re: Notice of Exemption from the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund for the Revised Pension Plan of Queen’s University, registration number: 0344929


This notice is being provided by Queen’s University as the administrator of the Revised Pension Plan of Queen’s University (the “QPP”).  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic formal notice will be provided at a later date.

Background

Late last year the University filed an application with the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (the “CEO”) for consent to the conversion of the QPP to the University Pension Plan Ontario (“UPP”).  The UPP is a jointly sponsored pension plan (“JSPP”) which is a type of defined benefit pension plan that is jointly sponsored, governed, and funded by the employers and plan members.  The UPP was established on January 1, 2020, with the appointment of a 14 member Board of Trustees.

Subject to the consent of the CEO, the assets and liabilities of the QPP will be transferred to the UPP effective July 1, 2021 (referred to as the “Conversion Date”).  On and after the Conversion Date members will accrue benefits under the provisions of the UPP.

As explained in the notices about the proposed conversion of the QPP to the UPP that were sent to individuals with entitlements under the QPP on September 30, 2018, the pension benefits of JSPPs, including the UPP, are not guaranteed by the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (“PBGF”) regardless of whether the benefits are earned before or after the Conversion Date. 

QPP Exempt from PBGF Coverage as of March 1, 2020

Regulation 32/20 under the Pension Benefits Act (the “PBA”) exempted the QPP from the PBGF effective March 1, 2020, based on its proposed conversion to the UPP.  The exemption means that, unless the proposed conversion of the QPP to the UPP does not occur, benefits provided under the QPP are no longer guaranteed by the PBGF. The Regulation also exempts the University from paying assessments to the PBGF for the period starting on March 1, 2020.

This exemption also applies to the single-employer pension plans sponsored by the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph which are also proposed to be converted to the UPP.

Amounts that the three universities were estimated to save in PBGF assessments are required to be used toward the start-up costs of the UPP incurred on and after March 1, 2020.

Questions

Please direct any questions about this notice to Bob Weisnagel, Director, Pension Services: bob.weisnagel@queensu.ca

About the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF)

The Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) provides protection, subject to specific maximums and exclusions, to members and beneficiaries of most single-employer defined benefit pension plans in the event of the insolvency of the sponsoring employer.  The Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) is governed by the Pensions Benefits Act (PBA), is administered by the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CEO) and is funded by the employers who sponsor the defined benefit pension plans that qualify for coverage.