Private employers in Alberta should find it easier to offer affordable and practical pension plans with the provincial government’s Bill 10, the Employment Pension Plans Act.
Just one in six private sector workers in Alberta belong to a pension plan, a figure the province hopes to turn around.
“The private sector has been asking for solutions that help them deal with some of the challenges associated with an employer’s ability to offer pension plans,” said Minister of Finance Doug Horner. “At the end of the day, we’ve been striving for more options to help Albertans be better prepared for a financially secure retirement, and this legislation is another step in that direction.”
The Act will increase the flexibility in pension standards and allow employers to share risk to make it easier to have “affordable, workable pension plans”, the provincial government said.
With this legislation, private sector pension plans will be easier to start up and operate more effectively. It also tailors the province’s regulatory system to the variety of private sector pension plans that currently exist, and sets provisions in place around disclosure, making sure that plan sponsors and members understand the terms, risk and health of their plan, said the government.
The proposed act is the result of work started when the governments of Alberta and British Columbia appointed an expert panel to look into ways to harmonize and modernize the two provinces’ private sector pension legislation.
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