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BCFSA regulates pension plans registered in British Columbia under the Pension Benefits Standards Act (the “PBSA”). British Columbia members of pension plans registered in other provinces in Canada are also protected by the PBSA.
The Superintendent´s role is to ensure that pension plans are administered in a manner that complies with the PBSA. In addition, where a member has transferred the value of their benefits to a locked-in retirement account or a life income fund, the Superintendent works to ensure these vehicles are administered in accordance with the legislation.
The Superintendent of Pensions promotes the security of pension plan benefits and rights provided to pension plan members by the PBSA. The PBSA is designed to protect the interests of pension plan members by setting minimum standards for British Columbia pension plans.
BCFSA reviews matters that are related to non-compliance of the provisions of the Pension Benefits Standards Act.
- We are unable to assist you in civil, contractual, and legal issues or matters relating to the quality of service including response time and decisions made by the financial institution that holds your pension fund.
- The PBSA does not have jurisdiction over pension plans covering federal public sector employees, or private sector employees working in federally regulated industries such as banks, airlines, broadcasting and telecommunications or jurisdictions such as Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
Before filing a complaint with BCFSA, you should first try to resolve it with the administrator of your pension plan or the financial institution that holds your pension fund. Here are the steps you can take to resolve the issue:
- Contact the administrator of your pension plan or the financial institution that holds your pensions plan. Most financial institutions have dispute resolution processes in place and make that information available to accountholders; or
- Contact the financial institution’s internal ombudservice or the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investment if your complaint is regarding decisions made by the financial institution that holds your pension fund.
If your concern involves any legal matter you should consider obtaining legal advice. If you wish to consult a lawyer, you can contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the BC branch of the Canadian Bar Association at (604) 687-3221 or toll free at (800) 663-1919.
Please submit your complaint by email with relevant details.
Include copies of all related documentation with your complaint. This includes copies of correspondence to and from the financial institution or plan administrator.
In order to address your complaint, some or all of the details may be sent to the financial institution or administrator of your pension plan. This allows the administrator of your pension plan or financial institution the opportunity to provide a complete response to the issue for our review. We may consult with you on what information is shared.Allegations of any sort of misconduct should be accompanied by any available evidence to allow us to begin an inquiry. If such evidence cannot be provided, our ability to conduct any type of review of the matter may be limited.
Please note that the Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Information Act applies to BCFSA records and information.
We do not generally get involved in individual disputes about business decisions, service quality, legal, civil and/or contractual matters. However, we do track complaints by subject matter, pension plan and financial institution to determine whether review of a pension plan or financial institution’s procedures or market conduct is warranted.
If a complaint involves an issue about a pension plan or financial institution which BCFSA regulates, but is a matter which does not generally fall within our authority, you can still submit it (these complaints will not be provided to the financial institution at that time).
You will receive correspondence acknowledging we have received it, but no inquiry will be conducted.
The complaint will be logged and kept in our file on the pension plan or financial institution. As these complaints are kept in our files, they help to identify trends which we may bring to the attention of the financial institution, pension plan or industry involved in order to rectify problems voluntarily. If BCFSA considers it appropriate, orders and penalties may also be considered.