FSRA speeding up consent process for DB pension asset transfers

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Newtons cradle - investissement d'impact - concept de croissance de l'économie © Jacek Kita /123RF Stock PhotosThe Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario is changing its process for consenting to asset transfers under the Pension Benefits Act, citing the province’s current state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Effective immediately, the new process will allow the FSRA to provide consent through a letter after a 10-day notice period, during which members of the original and successor plan administrators can express any concerns.

According to a press release, the agency will monitor the new procedure and based on feedback, may amend it when the state of emergency ends.

The FSRA recently issued draft guidance that sets out how it will exercise discretion and provide consent for the purposes of an asset transfer transaction. The guidance is currently out for public consultation until Nov. 30, 2020.

Previously, the FSRA was required to issue a notice of intended decision, which gave plan members 30 days to request a hearing before the financial services tribunal. Applicants can still make a request to proceed using the original process.

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