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Risk-based pension regulation: fancy name, but what does it mean?


The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is proposing a risk-based system of regulating pension plans:

To improve FSCO’s overall effectiveness in its monitoring of key pension risks, and to ensure appropriate regulatory response is taken by FSCO to address risk situations, thereby better protecting the interests of pension plan beneficiaries.

Essentially, this means improving risk assessment and monitoring, following five principles:

  1. Taking proactive measures to promote compliance and to reduce risks to plan beneficiaries
  2. Focusing attention on those plans posing the most serious risks to the security of plan beneficiaries’ benefits
  3. Ensuring the regulatory response is proportionate to the risks identified, with due regard to the probability and impact of risk, and intervening on a specific basis only when necessary
  4. Applying our approach consistently and in a way that minimizes uncertainty about our likely response
  5. Assessing the risk and regulatory response based on the evidence gathered from appropriate sources

The approach will apply to all pension plans that are registered in Ontario. Although the system is not finalized yet, organizations that offer such pension plans should begin reviewing the new program alongside their own existing pension plans.

Read all about the Risk-Based Regulation Framework in this FSCO consultation paper. The date for responses has passed, but the information remains important.

Adam Gorley
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Adam Gorley

Editor at First Reference
Adam Gorley, B.A. (Phil.), is a researcher, content provider and editor. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks and Internal Control blogs, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications. His areas of focus include broad human resources issues, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and government policies, information technology and labour market trends.Read more
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