Solvency Funding Consultation

Defined benefit pensions are important to many individuals as a stable source of retirement income. The B.C. government wants to encourage employers to continue to offer defined benefit pension plans to their employees.

The public is invited to comment on the full range of potential reform options for solvency funding rules for defined benefit pension plans registered in B.C. The purpose of the consultation is to determine whether changes exist that would better support both the protection of members’ benefits and the long-term sustainability of these plans.

The Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA) sets out minimum requirements for pension plans registered in B.C. Under the PBSA, employers that sponsor defined benefit pension plans must fund the plan according to certain tests and timelines. The Province is consulting on a broad range of technical reforms to improve predictability for sponsoring employers so that they can fund plans on an ongoing basis to a level sufficient to pay all benefits to members.

Feedback from stakeholders on the consultation paper will help guide government as it considers whether to make changes to the solvency funding rules under the PBSA. Please note that the options set out in the paper do not represent government policy and are intended to elicit discussion.
In addition, consultations with stakeholders will be conducted in a variety of ways:  
  • A Stakeholder Advisory Committee has been established to provide input to ministry staff on how potential reforms might balance the divergent stakeholder interests involved in defined benefit pension plans. These exist in the private sector, and, to some extent, in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Focused consultation meetings will be scheduled for separate stakeholder groups involved in defined benefit pension plans, to offer each group a forum to explore how the issues raised in the consultation affect that particular group.
  • Feedback on specialized issues will be solicited from sources identified by ministry staff as having the relevant expertise.
After consultation and analysis, ministry staff will prepare specific policy proposals for the consideration of government. Ultimately, any changes to the legislation or regulation that might be recommended would be subject to consideration and approval by the Minister of Finance and Cabinet, and, in the case of legislative changes, approval of the Legislature of British Columbia.

Read the consultation paper (PDF).

The deadline of December 14, 2018 for comments on the consultation paper has been extended. 

Comments on the consultation paper may be made until the end of the day January 31, 2019.

Please direct your comments in electronic format to:

If you wish to send comments in paper format, please direct them to:

Financial and Corporate Sector Policy Branch
Ministry of Finance
PO Box 9418 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9V1

Public Nature of Consultation Process

The Ministry of Finance will share comments it receives with the Office of the Superintendent of Pensions, and others involved in this review. The information received may also be summarized and disclosed in a manner that does not disclose the source. Even if confidentiality is specifically requested, freedom of information legislation may require that records containing comments be made available to members of the public who request access.