Hugh Wright
Hugh Wright, Lawyer, McInnes Cooper

On September 6, 2017, the N.S. Government distributed a discussion paper, “Pension Funding Framework Review And other issues affecting pension plans”. The paper includes questions respecting N.S.’s defined benefits pension plan funding framework and other regulatory issues affecting pension plans for which the N.S. government is seeking stakeholder input. This N.S. discussion paper follows Nova Scotia’s recent announcement of regulatory changes giving N.S. registered pension plans temporary solvency funding relief, and longer term pension funding reforms implemented in Quebec and soon to be implemented in Ontario.

The N.S. government is considering three options for a new funding framework, outlined in the discussion paper:

  1. Maintain full solvency funding, but potentially increase the funding period, establish solvency reserve accounts, or other measures to reduce volatility.
  2. Eliminate solvency funding, but enhance going concern funding, essentially an approach similar in its basic design to that of Quebec and Ontario.
  3. Reduce the solvency funding requirement to less than 100%, an approach similar to aspects of that of Ontario, and that could be combined with one of the two other options.

Other key questions of interest beyond the funding framework include target benefit plans, obtaining an annuity discharge and harmonizing the investment rules to recent federal changes.

To be considered, stakeholders must submit feedback on the N.S. discussion paper by Friday, November 10, 2017, to either: or:

Finance and Treasury Board
Pension Regulation Division
PO Box 2531
Halifax, NS B3J 3N5

To discuss this or any other legal issue, contact any member of the Pensions & Benefits Team @ McInnes Cooper. Read more McInnes Cooper Legal Publications and subscribe to receive those relevant to your business.

McInnes Cooper prepared this article for information; it is not legal advice.  Consult McInnes Cooper before acting on it. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in or any use of this article. © McInnes Cooper, 2017.  All rights reserved.

About the author:

Hugh Wright lead’s McInnes Cooper’s Pensions & Benefits practice and chairs the Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Pension Management. He regularly advises and represents pension plan sponsors, administrators, employee groups and governments in all areas of pensions and benefits, including pension standards legislation, guidelines, common law requirements, pension governance requirements, and pension issues arising from corporate transactions. You can reach Hugh at