Nova Scotia proposes measures to bolster defined-benefit pension plans

Nova Scotia is proposing measures to help manage and protect defined-benefit pension plans.

Changes under the Pension Benefits Act would introduce reserve accounts, remove limits on the use of letters of credit and allow for the discharge of liability for annuity buyouts that would allow employees to move their pension assets to insurance companies.

Finance Minister Karen Casey says the goal is to help defined-benefit plans remain solvent by providing more flexibility and stability for employers and transparency and protection of existing benefits for employees.

Casey says the changes are the result of feedback received from employers and employees during a regulatory framework review in September 2017.

The government says about 92,000 Nova Scotians currently belong to about 132 defined-benefit pension plans registered in the province.

The changes do not apply to pension plans for teachers, civil servants, and members of the legislature whose pensions are regulated under separate pieces of legislation.