An Act to Amend the Pension Benefits Act received Royal Assent on 17 December 2021. Some of the amendments were proclaimed on Royal Assent while others require amendments to the General Regulation under the Pension Benefits Act before they can be proclaimed.
The amendments modernize the Pension Benefits Act by:
- enhancing communication with members
- exempting compulsory membership for religious beliefs (see below)
- allowing for the statutory discharge of annuity buy-outs
- allowing for reserve accounts
- providing the authority to address overpayment errors
- granting rule-making authority to the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB), which provides it the agility to respond to changing technology and industry needs.
The resulting draft amendments to the General Regulation under the Pension Benefits Act were posted for public comment until 30 June 2022. Further updates regarding the proclamation of the remaining sections of the Pension Benefits Act and the amendments to the General Regulation under the Pension Benefits Act will be provided soon.
Form Exempting Compulsory Membership for Religious Reasons
Many pension plans registered in New Brunswick have compulsory membership, posing a problem for people whose religious beliefs conflict with being a member of a pension plan. As mentioned above, an exemption has been added to the Pension Benefits Act for religious beliefs and the form provided by the Superintendent (Form 11) can be found here.
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