Review of Division of Pensions Regulation and administrative fees take centre stage at November 2019 meeting of the Pension Division Review Project Committee

29 November 2019

By Kevin Zakreski

At this month’s meeting of the BCLI Pension Division Review Project Committee the committee tackled two topics. First, it reviewed the Division of Pensions Regulation, including the forms prescribed under the regulation. Second, it examined the fees that may be charged by a pension-plan administrator to the parties in a pension-division case.

The Division of Pensions Regulation contains a significant amount of detail on how to divide pensions under part 6 of the Family Law Act. Notably, the regulation sets out requirements for notice and formulas for the division of pension benefits. The committee gave the regulation a general review, looking for problems that may have arisen in practice.

The regulation also sets out nine forms, which are a key practical element for implementing an agreement or order to divide a pension under part 6. The committee looked at ways to improve how the forms carry out this role.

Section 140 of the Family Law Act enables a pension administrator to require “a fee to be paid to offset administrative costs incurred in dividing benefits under [part 6 of the act].” This fee must not exceed the maximum amount prescribed in the regulation. The committee discussed these prescribed maximums and measures to ensure that the fees are paid.

The Pension Division Review Project benefits from having an expert project committee. The committee is working toward publishing a consultation paper, in which it will set out proposals on these and other issues. The consultation paper will allow the public to comment on the committee’s proposals to reform pension division under the Family Law Act.

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