AuthorAri Kaplan/Mitch Frazer
Every pension plan registere d in Ontario or covering persons employed
in Ontario is subject to the Pension Be nef‌its Act (PBA) and, is thereby,
within the jur isdiction of the Ontario pen sion regulator. This chap-
ter outlines the corporate and organi zational structure of the Ontario
pension regulator, the division of respon sibilities among its various
components, the scope of its jurisdiction to addre ss certain matters, and
its decision-making powers, pract ices, and procedures for adjudicating
pension disputes.
1) Introduction
“All persons who establish or administer a p ension plan within the mean-
ing of the Pension Benef‌its Act and al l employers or other persons on their
behalf who are required to contr ibute to any such pension plan” belong
to the “pension sector,” one of seven “regulated sectors”1 governed by
1 Financial Ser vices Regulatory Authority of O ntario Act, 2016, SO 2016, c 37, s 1(1),
“regulated s ector.” The other regulated sect ors include: (a) all credit unions,
caisses populaires, and league s to which the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires
FSRA Act).2 The FSRA Act established the Fin ancial Services Regulatory
Authority of Ontar io3 (FSRA), as a Crown agent,4 the purpose of which
is to “regulate and generally supervise the regulated sectors” and to
“contribute to public conf‌idence” in those sectors.5 The predecessor of
FSRA was the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). FSRA
assumed the responsibilities of FSCO eective 8 June 2019.
There are four bodies associated w ith FSRA that part icipate in the
regulation of pension plans i n Ontario: the FSRA board of directors (the
Board), the executive branch of government, the Chief Executive Ocer
of FSRA, and the Financia l Services Tribunal (the Tribunal). Each is
discussed below.
2) Financial Services Regulatory Authority
a) Board composition and st ructure
The FSRA Act prov ides that the Board be composed of at least th ree
and not more than eleven members.6 Appointments are made by t he
Lieutenant Governor in Council in accordance wit h the Agencies and
Appointments Directive and the procedure s of the Public Appointments
Secretariat of the Govern ment of Ontario. One member is designated as
chair by the Lieutenant Gover nor in Council on the recommendation of
the Mini ste r.7 If the chair is absent or their oce is vacant, the present
directors shall choose one of them to act in the place of the chair.8 A
majority of the members of the Board constitutes a quorum.9
Act, 1994 applies; (b) all person s engaged in the business of i nsurance and gov-
erned by the Ins urance Act; (c) all corporation s registered or incorporated u nder
the Loan and Trust Corp orations Act; and (d) all mortgage brokerages, broker s,
agents, and admi nistrators license d under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and
Administrators Act, 2006; (e) employees of the Ont ario provincial gover nment
or self-employed per sons who participate in pooled p ension plans under the
Pooled Registered Pension Pla ns Act, 2015; and will includ e (f) f‌inanc ial planners
and advisor s licensed under FinancialProfessio nals Title Protection Act, 2019,
when the Financial Profess ionals Title Protection Act comes into force .
2 SO 2016, c 37 [FSRA Act].
3 FSRA Ac t, s 2(1).
4 Ibid, s 2(3).
5 Ibid, s 3(1).
6 Ibid, s 8(2). The Board is curr ently comprised of seven member s, including the
cha ir.
7 Ibid, s 8(6).
8 Ibid, s 8(8).
9 Ibid, s 8(5).
Regulation 133
Under the FSRA Act, the Board appoints a Chief Executive Ocer
(CEO), who is “responsible for the management and administration”
of FSRA.10 Under the prior FSCO regime, thi s role was assumed by
the Superintendent of Financial Ser vices. The CEO is superv ised and
directed by the Board, but a quorum of the Board may, in writing, dele-
gate many of its powers and duties under the FSRA Act to the CEO.11
FSRA hires employees to as sist in the carry ing out of its mandate. Those
employees may be appointed as ocers if necessary.12
b) Statutory functions
In addition to its mandate to regul ate its sectors in the public interest,
FSRA has a number of specif‌ic f unctions under the FSRA Act. These
include collecting and enforcing amounts to be paid by employers to the
Pension Benef‌its Guarantee Fund;13, 14 collecting and enforcing the pay-
ment of such fees, levies, sector assessments, and other charges as may
be established by a rule of FSRA;15 preparing and publishing an annual
business plan;16 making ru les governing the fees, levie s, and other char-
ges FSRA may impose, including for f‌ilings, applications for licences or
registration, and compliance rev iews or audits made by FSRA.17 The
Board may make bylaw s with respect to the admini stration and conduct
of the regulator, the powers, functions, and duties of the cha ir, ocers,
and delegating duties of the Board to committee s or duties of an ocer
to employees.18 These bylaws are subject to approval of the Minister.19
FSRA may make rules in respect of any matter over which an Act
gives FSR A rule-mak ing authorit y.20 The Board may not delegate its
rule-making power, even to the CEO.21
10 Ibid, s 10(2).
11 Ibid, s 10(2.1).
12 Ibid, s 10(3).
13 Ibid, s 6.1. Section 82(3.1) of the Pensions Benef‌its Act, RS O 1990, c P.8, requires
non-exempt employers t hat provide def‌ined benef‌it plan s to make contributions
to the Pension Benef‌it s Guarantee Fund: see Chapte r 7
14 The FSRA Board i s required to establ ish an advisor y committee to advis e the CEO
on matters relate d to the Pension Benef‌its Guarant ee Fund: FSRA Act, s 10.1.
15 FSRA A ct, s 11(1).
16 Ibid, s 17.1. This must be provided to the Min ister of Finance and include such
content as the Min ister may require: FSCO Ac t, s 17.1(3).
17 FSR A Act, s 21(2).
18 Ibid, s 9(1).
19 Ibid, s 9(3).
20 Ibid, s 21(1).
21 Ibid, s 10 (2.2).

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