News

Pension Benefits Act slated for fall session

Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson (right) was in Courtenay recently to announce federal funding for the city’s centennial celebrations next year, along with Mayor Larry Jangula. - Scott Stanfield
Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson (right) was in Courtenay recently to announce federal funding for the city’s centennial celebrations next year, along with Mayor Larry Jangula.
— image credit: Scott Stanfield

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

A modernized Pension Benefits Standards Act (Bill 38) is up for Cabinet approval in the fall when the B.C. Legislature reconvenes.

Hardship clauses for seniors and pensioners are included in the rules and regulations of the modernized act, which authorizes the possibility of unlocking funds transferred from pension plans.

“There has to be extenuating circumstances,” federal Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson said during a tour of the Comox Valley. “The trouble is, pension plans are put in place so that they have security and a dignified retirement in the long-term. When you take access of a pension fund, it can cause grief.”

While seniors are living longer, Sorenson said pension funds are not stretching as far as people might wish. Caution is exercised with early access of funds, but he said it can be done.

He notes many pensions are provincially regulated, though about 1,200 fall under federal jurisdiction, including Crown corporations.

“Those we’re watching,” Sorenson said, noting pensions have taken a hit in the wake of a global economic downturn. “There’s lots of issues around pensions right now, but our government is looking for ways to help retirees have a more dignified retirement. That’s why we brought forward the tax-free savings account, that’s why we’ve brought forward new ideas like the Pooled-Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) — looking for ways that Canadians can help save earlier and longer, and have more in their retirement years.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

THINGS TO DO: Make a list, check it twice, then check out some artisan gifts
 
Divers and other volunteers pick litter from water, shoreline
 
SPOTLIGHT: Teachers honoured by prime minister
Stay back from raging Chilliwack-Vedder river system
 
Edmonds lights up for Christmas
 
Deer Lake Craft Festival returns this weekend
Sugar, spice and doing something nice
 
South Surrey pilot flying high after aviation honour
 
Senior Happenings: The Games, as seen by two armchair Olympians