On June 6, 2023, the BC Financial Services Authority (BC FSA) issued a new guideline on best practices for multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs).
BC FSA advised in its Advisory 23-025 that the MEPP Best Practices Guideline is aimed at informing administrators and stakeholders of best governance practices of MEPPs registered in B.C. It also sets out BC FSA’s expectations for administrators to adopt risk management policies and procedures designed to manage the various risks faced by pension plans, and to protect the rights and benefits of their members.
The Guideline sets out the BC FSA’s expectations for administrators of MEPPs in respect of:
- Reviewing the plan’s governance policy to ensure compliance;
- Ensuring compliance with an administrator’s fiduciary duty;
- Conducting performance evaluations of governance participants (including service providers);
- Ensuring compliance with legislative requirements and plan documents;
- Establishing a training and education policy for plan administrators;
- Establishing a code of conduct policy;
- Establishing conflict of interest procedures;
- Considering and managing material risks to the plan; and
- Developing communication practices that ensure access to relevant, timely and accurate information to all stakeholders.
The Guideline is a helpful document, consolidating into one document a number of related concepts and expectations from BC FSA on governance and risk management. It serves as a useful tool for administrators of MEPPs to confirm that their practices are in accordance with the regulator’s current expectations.
The BC FSA advises that the best practices outlined in the Guideline are not exhaustive. Pension plan administrators and stakeholders should be aware that different types and sizes of plans may require different governance practices.
If you wish to discuss the Guideline and its relevance for your pension plan please contact a member of our Pensions and Employee Benefits Group for more information.
Lisa is a partner in the firm’s Pensions and Employee Benefits Group and Protection of Privacy and Freedom of Information Group.
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