New Draft Information Security Guideline Released for Pension Plans

On July 8th, the B.C. Financial Services Authority ("FSA") released a new draft Information Security Guideline, and opened a consultation period set to close on September 6th, 2024.  The new draft Guideline will apply exclusively to pension plan administrators (“PPA”)

As you may recall:

  • In January 2021, B.C. FSA released a draft Information Security Guideline which applied to each of the institutions for which B.C. FSA has oversight responsibilities (credit unions, insurance companies, mortgage brokers and pension plans);
  • Pension plan administrators expressed some concern that the guidance was too prescriptive for PPAs in light of their circumstances, mandate and resources, when compared with these other industries;
  • B.C. FSA’s response was to revise the Information Security Guideline to leave the more prescriptive rules in place for the other three regulated industries and adopt a more principles based approach for PPAs. 

Since that time, B.C. FSA worked with a Task Force drawn from pension plan administrators to develop the new, pension specific draft Information Security Guideline. 

While a pension specific Information Security Guideline is welcome, PPAs should be aware that the draft Guideline contains more prescriptive expectations for PPAs than are set out in the current Information Security Guideline.  For example:

  • The draft Guideline provides that PPAs are expected to inform plan beneficiaries and members about “material” incidents that have an impact on benefits, financial or personal interests, which is not an express expectation in the current Guideline;
  • The draft Guideline provides greater clarity about what B.C. FSA will view as a “material” incident;
  • The draft Guideline is more prescriptive about a PPA’s reporting obligation to the B.C. FSA in the event of a material incident. 

We encourage you to review the Guideline prior to the close of the consultation period (September 6th, 2024) to determine if you wish to make a submission and in any event to consider whether and how to ensure that your plan will be able to comply with the new Guideline.

Please reach out to any member of our Pension and Employee Benefits Group for more information or if you would like us to assist in the preparation of a submission.


About Us

Lawson Lundell's Pension and Employee Benefits Law Blog provides updates on the most recent legal developments impacting pension and employee benefit plans. We cover a range of topics, including recent case law and changes to relevant provincial and federal legislation.

Legal Disclaimer: The information made available on this webpage is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as such. Please contact our firm if you need legal advice or have questions about the content of this webpage. 




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