There are several types of pensions for people in the province of Alberta. Most pension plans fall into one of four categories:
- Private sector employment pensions - pension plans established by private sector employers (or groups
of employers or unions) for their employees;
- Public sector employment pensions - pension plans for employees working in the public sector, (provincial and municipal public service, health and education);
Are you a member of one of the
public sector pension plans?
Are you a member of the Teachers' Pension Plan or Private School Teachers' Plan? See more information, or visit the Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS)
See more information, or visit the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board (ATRF) website.
- Retirement income programs administered by the federal government for Canadians - these include the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Further information on these programs is available from the federal government. The provinces are joint stewards of the Canada Pension Plan along with the federal government and help establish policy for the Canada Pension Plan; and
- Alberta Seniors Benefit Program – provides support in addition to the federal benefits received under Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Federal Allowance and the GST credit. It is based on income and provides monthly benefits to eligible seniors.
For more information on benefits and programs for seniors, see:
Note that pension plans established by companies in federally regulated industries such as banks, airlines, and telecommunications companies are governed by the federal pension standards legislation, the Pension Benefits Standards Act, (1985) (Canada). The federal government's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is the primary regulator and supervisor of federally regulated private sector pension plans. The federal government also manages the pension plans for federal public service employees.
For general information on pensions, click here for the “Time to Start a Pension” guide.
For information on accessing pension funds, click here for the “Accessing Pension Funds" guide.
Government protects private sector pension plans
December 19, 2014
Cabinet has extended a moratorium on solvency for a group of private sector pension plans, protecting the benefits of 158,000 plan members. Click on the links below for:
- News release
- EPPA Update 14-06 - Government of Alberta Amends Employment Pension Plans Regulation
- Amendment to Employment Pension Plans Regulation (will be replaced by the official version)
- Provision for Adverse Deviation (PfAD) Calculator (MS Excel)
To be finalized once December 2014 rates are available. This is to be used for illustrative purposes only.
- Forms 4 to 16 inclusive, which have been updated.
Changes Reflecting the 2015 YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings)
December 17, 2014
A number of documents on this website have been updated to reflect the 2015 YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings) of $53,600. These include:
- Table 1C
- Table 4 – Life Income Fund (LIF) Withdrawal Calculation
- Accessing Pension Funds
- Application to Unlock Alberta Funds Due to Financial Hardship (Form 23).
Please note: the previous version of this form is effective until December 31, 2014.
- Financial Hardship Unlocking FAQs – General Program and Process and Reasons to Unlock
Superintendent's Policy on Annual Filing of Valuations
The Superintendent of Pensions has changed the requirements for filing annual valuations and they are found in EPPA Update 14-05 - Requirements for Filing Annual Valuations. The trigger for filing annually has changed from being either the funded ratio or the solvency ratio being less than 0.8500, to now only the funded ratio being less than 0.8500. Some exemptions apply and are explained in the update.
December 15, 2014
November 28, 2014
The Superintendent's List of Financial Institutions offering locked-in pension products has been updated and is available on the Superintendent's Lists and Reports page.
Employment Pension Plans Act - Extension
November 19, 2014
The new Employment Pension Plans Act that became effective September 1, 2014 requires plans to be amended by December 31, 2014. Based on industry feedback, many plans will have a challenge meeting this date. As a result, we have taken the position that, upon request from the plan sponsor, or their legal, actuarial or third party service provider, we will extend the date for filing required amendments up to March 31, 2015.
Draft Interpretive Guidelines IG-06 and IG-07
November 12, 2014
Please provide your comments regarding the following draft Interpretive Guidelines by January 12, 2015. These documents are posted on the Interpretive Guidelines page.
Click here for new EPPA Update 14-04 – Audited Financial Statements, which clarifies the filing requirements regarding Audited Financial Statements.
Draft Interpretive Guideline IG-05
October 16, 2014
Please provide your comments regarding the following draft Interpretive Guideline by December 15, 2014. These documents are posted on the Interpretive Guidelines page.
As required by Section 153 of the Employment Pension Plans Regulation, we are announcing that the new annual filing fee rate in Alberta is $3.25, effective October 1, 2014. The annual filing fee payable is this rate multiplied by the total plan membership (changed from active plan membership only).
The minimum fee has risen from $200 to $250 and the maximum fee has risen from $20,000 to $75,000. This new rate and calculation will apply to all annual information returns with fiscal year-ends in the range October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.
This change is as result of a recommendation of the JEPPS (Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards) report of November 15, 2008 which states:
Direct regulatory activities are related primarily to ensuring that the “pension deal” struck by the parties is delivered, and therefore should be funded by user fees.
As a result of the Employment Pension Plans Act, and the supporting Employment Pension Plans Regulation, coming into force, the website for the Superintendent of Pensions has been updated and revised to reflect the new legislative provisions.
While continuing to refer to the documents released on July 23, 2014, the following are the major changes that have taken place on this website:
- The Private Sector Pensions page has been updated and expanded.
- The Information for Individuals page has been renamed (from “for Albertans”) and updated to recognize that the Financial Hardship Unlocking Program has changed. Financial Institutions holding the locked-in funds are now responsible for receiving and processing requests for unlocking funds under this program.
- The Forms page has been updated to include a number new forms, both prescribed and not, and all form numbers have changed. NOTE: Despite the change in the Financial Hardship Unlocking Program, changes regarding Locked-in Retirement Accounts (LIRAs) and Life Income Funds (LIFs) and the related forms, are not effective until January 1, 2015. That is why certain forms that were effective prior to September 1, 2014 will continue to be used until December 31, 2014.
- Interpretive Guidelines is a new page that introduces documents that will replace our previous Policy Bulletins (listed as a sub-page of this page). As we develop new guidelines, each will be posted for a 60-day consultation period for stakeholders to provide their comments.
Employment Pension Plans Act (2012) takes effect September 1
- Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) Updates
July 23, 2014
On July 22, 2014 the Employment Pension Plans Regulation was passed by Cabinet. The Regulation supports the new Employment Pension Plans Act, which was passed by the legislative assembly in Fall 2012 and is the culmination of the rewrite of private sector pension legislation following the establishment of the Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards in Fall 2007. Over the coming months, information available on the website of the Superintendent of Pensions will be updated and revised to reflect the new legislative provisions. In the meantime, the news release and three new EPPA Updates are available below.
- News release: Employment Pension Plans Act (2012) takes effect September 1
- EPPA Update 14-01 - New Legislation is Proclaimed
- summary of the timing / deadlines that result from the new legislation
- EPPA Update 14-02 - New Legislation – Administrative Information and Checklists
- outlines all of the required and optional plan text provisions resulting from the new legislation
- EPPA Update 14-03 - New Legislation – Summary of Changes
- broadly highlights the changes between the new Regulation and the old Regulation
Subscription Service: Subscribe to our Employment Pensions E-Update
- The purpose of our electronic update is to keep subscribers up-to-date and informed about major changes to the Employment Pensions website and the documents residing on that site (including changes to legislation and policies). More information about this subscription service.