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:
Please 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 information on accessing pension funds, click here for the “Accessing Pension Funds" guide.
March 31, 2017
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.
Draft Interpretive Guideline IG-12
March 28, 2017
This Interpretive Guideline was initially posted in November 2015, revised in July 2016; and an updated version has been released which incorporates Plan Assessments as of March 28, 2017. Please provide your comments regarding the following draft Interpretive Guideline by June 30, 2017:
- IG-12 - Governance, Investment and Funding Policies and Plan Assessments
- See information on Further Extension for Completion of Governance Policy (posted 12/20/16)
- See information on Extension for Completion of Governance Policy and Extension for Completion of Initial and Triennial (3-year) Plan Assessments (posted 07/29/16)
Draft Interpretive Guideline IG-05
March 1, 2017
Please provide your comments regarding the following draft Interpretive Guideline by June 1, 2017.
A number of documents on this website have been updated to reflect the 2017 YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings) of $55,300. These include:
- Interest Rate Tables
- Accessing Pension Funds
- Financial Hardship Unlocking FAQs – General Program and Process and Reasons to Unlock
- Application to Unlock Alberta Funds Due to Financial Hardship (Form 23) (fillable version) - effective January 1, 2017
- If your browser doesn't automatically display this form when you click on the link above, or you get an error message, right-click on the link, select "Save Target As"; or "Save Link As", save the form to your computer, and open it with Acrobat Reader. Alternatively, click here for the non-fillable version, which you may print and complete by hand.
Pension plans administrators were to have a governance policy in place by December 31, 2016. Based on stakeholder feedback and in order to have the governance and associated polices better align with the triennial plan assessment review, the Superintendent of Pensions has further extended the deadline for having a governance policy to December 31, 2017.
In addition, the Superintendent of Pension’s Office will be making substantive changes to Interpretive Guideline #12 – Governance, Investment and Funding Policies. The revised Guideline will be released by March 31, 2017 and will contain more information on how the governance policy will need to be constructed and processes that can be used to make the triennial plan assessment review more effective and efficient for plan administrators.
Please note that the governance policy is not to be filed with the Superintendent.
EPPA Update 16-01 - Filing Fee for Pension Plans
- effective October 1, 2016
In EPPA Update 16-01, the Superintendent of Pensions provides information on the filing fee for pension plans.
Extension for Completion of Governance Policy and
Extension for Completion of Initial and Triennial (3-year) Plan Assessments
- posted July 29, 2016
Pension plans administrators were to have a governance policy in place by December 31, 2015. The Superintendent of Pensions has extended the deadline for having a governance policy to December 31, 2016. This extension will provide plan administrators with more time to develop a governance policy and have it better aligned with the plan assessment process. Please note that the governance policy is not to be filed with the Superintendent.
Pension plans administrators are required to complete a plan assessment within one year after the end of the second fiscal year of the plan following the effective date of the new legislation which was September 1, 2014. In recognition that Alberta and British Columbia have a highly harmonized pension regulatory environment and to align with British Columbia’s completion dates, the Superintendent of Pensions has extended the timeline for the completion of the first plan assessment by one year.
For example, for plans with a December 31 fiscal year end, the first assessment must be completed by December 31, 2017. Subsequent assessments are to be done every three years. In this example, the next triennial assessment must be completed by December 31, 2020.
Please note that the plan assessment is not to be filed with the Superintendent.
The following Interpretive Guidelines have been updated to reflect the above changes.
- IG-1 - The Plan Administrator
- IG-12 - Governance, Investment and Funding Policies
(replaced by the new draft IG-12 effective March 28, 2017 - see note above).
The Superintendent’s office will be releasing information in the next few months that will provide plan administrators with more information on the Superintendent’s expectation of what should be included in the governance policy and on the plan assessment process.
Interpretive Guideline IG-15 released: Disclosure to Members and those Entitled to Benefits under a Pension Plan - June 23, 2016
Following the 60-day consultation period, the following Interpretive Guideline has been released, and is available on the Interpretive Guidelines page:
Following the 60-day consultation period, the following Interpretive Guidelines have been released:
- IG-10 - Non-Collectively Bargained Multi-Employer Plans
- IG-16 - Records Management
- IG-17 - Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LIRAs)
- IG-18 - Life Income Funds (LIFs)
- IG-20 - Use of Actuarial Excess and Surplus
Also, please note that the following Interpretive Guideline has been revised: IG-14 - Missing Members.
More guidelines are available on the Interpretive Guidelines page.
Fort McMurray Forest Fires - Filing Deadline Extension
May 17, 2016
Given the mandatory evacuation of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas, the Office of the Superintendent of Pensions has extended the deadline for filing Annual Information Returns and Audited Financial Statements from June 30, 2016 to August 31, 2016 for those pension plans who are located in Fort McMurray.
Canada Revenue Agency has also informed us that they will not be levying late filing fees for Annual Information Returns for organizations from Fort McMurray.
The deadline for providing annual member statements to plan members who are located in Fort McMurray has also been extended to August 31, 2016.
For pension plans which may be affected by the wildfires but that are administered outside of Fort McMurray, please contact the Office of the Superintendent of Pensions to request additional time beyond June 30, 2016.
Finally, if an extension to August 31, 2016 does not provide sufficient time, please contact our office to arrange for a further extension.
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