Pensions in Alberta - Overview

There are several types of pensions for people in the province of Alberta.  Most pension plans fall into one of four categories:

  1. Private sector employment pensions - pension plans established by private sector employers (or groups of employers or unions) for their employees;

  2. 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)
website.
See more information, or visit the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board (ATRF) website.
  1. 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

  2. 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:

Quick Facts - Programs and Services for Seniors (pdf)
from the Alberta Seniors and Housing website.

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.

Back to Top

Pensions News and E-Update Service

Superintendent's List updated
November 1, 2016

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.

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

Governance Policy

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.

Plan Assessment

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.

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:

Interpretive Guidelines released:
IG-10, IG-16, IG-17, IG-18 and IG-20
- June 15, 2016

Following the 60-day consultation period, the following Interpretive Guidelines have been released:

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.

New Superintendent of Pensions
January 11, 2016

Effective January 11, 2016, Mark Prefontaine will be taking a one year secondment within Alberta Treasury Board and Finance as Senior Assistant Deputy Minister. Mark will be working closely with the Deputy Minister and will be responsible for  key organizational strategies and will oversee and manage special projects and priorities spanning across government, the department and multiple divisions of Treasury Board and Finance.

Please be advised that Nilam Jetha (see bio) will be Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Financial Sector Regulation and Policy (FSRP), and also the Superintendent of Pensions, Insurance, and Financial Institutions. Nilam has been with FSRP for the past two years in a project management capacity, and brings over 25 years of Government of Alberta leadership experience to the role.

Changes Reflecting the 2016 YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings)
January 1, 2016

A number of documents on this website have been updated to reflect the 2016 YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings) of $54,900. These include:

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.

Back to Top


Page last updated:  November 17, 2016