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Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015, S.O. 2015, c. 5

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Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015

S.o. 2015, chapter 5

Consolidation Period: From June 9, 2016 to the e-Laws currency date.

Note: This Act is repealed on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor. (See: 2016, c. 17, s. 94)

Last amendment: 2016, c. 17, s. 97.

Preamble

Canada and Ontario have a strong foundation of retirement benefit programs, namely the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System.  However, as outlined in Ontario’s 2014 Budget, several studies have shown that a significant portion of today’s workers are not saving enough to maintain their standard of living when they retire.  The reasons for this are varied: workplace pension coverage is low; individuals are not taking sufficient advantage of voluntary savings tools; and people are living longer than ever before.

After a lifetime of hard work, Ontarians deserve to feel financially secure in their retirement.  Strengthening the retirement income system is not only important to Ontario families, it is critical to the future prosperity of the province.

The Government of Ontario is taking a leadership role in addressing this pressing issue by proposing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, a new mandatory provincial pension plan that would enable Ontario workers to build a more secure retirement future. It would be the first of its kind in Canada and would build on key features of the Canada Pension Plan.

The Government of Ontario is committed to ensuring that the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is administered by an entity with a strong governance structure and investment strategy to ensure that the Plan is efficiently managed, accountable, transparent and fair.

The Government of Ontario is moving forward with the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan as a priority and is committed to establishing the Plan by January 1, 2017.  The Government intends to begin the process of fulfilling its commitment and set the stage for further consultations with the people of Ontario to ensure the Plan meets the needs of today’s workforce.

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Obligation to establish Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

1. (1) The Government of Ontario shall, no later than January 1, 2017 and in accordance with the parameters set out in this Act, establish the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Requirement to introduce legislation

(2) The Minister of Finance or another Member of the Executive Council shall introduce legislation that,

(a) provides for the operation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan;

(b) provides for the administration and investment management of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan through the administrative entity described in section 2; and

(c) provides for the requirements of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, including the basic requirements set out in the Schedule.

Cost-benefit analysis

(3) The Minister of Finance shall prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and shall table the report in the Legislative Assembly before December 31, 2015.

Obligation to create administrative entity

2. (1) An administrative entity shall be established for the purpose of administering the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Duties of the administrative entity

(2) The duties of the administrative entity shall include the following:

1. Enrolment: The administrative entity shall enrol eligible employees and eligible employers.

2. Collection of contributions: The administrative entity shall collect from eligible employers the contributions on behalf of the eligible employers and the eligible employees.

3. Investing contributions: The administrative entity shall be responsible for investing the collected contributions for the benefit of the members and other beneficiaries of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

4. Holding contributions: The administrative entity shall hold the contributions, and any accruals from the investments, in trust for the members and other beneficiaries of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.  The contributions and the accruals shall not form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

5. Administration of benefits: The administrative entity shall pay retirement benefits, or other benefits, to those members or other beneficiaries of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan who have qualified for those benefits.

6. Communications: The administrative entity shall provide information to employers and members and other beneficiaries about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and shall respond to inquiries.

7. Annual report: The administrative entity shall submit an annual report concerning its affairs to the Minister of Finance for the purpose of making the report available to the public.

Delegation

(3) The legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) shall contain rules that permit the administrative entity to delegate the authority to perform any of the administrative entity’s functions or to carry out any of the administrative entity’s powers.

Collection of information

3. (1) The Minister of Finance may request and collect from any employer, any public body or the federal government any information, including personal information, described in subsection (2) that the Minister considers necessary for the purpose of establishing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Information that may be requested and collected

(2) The information referred to in subsection (1) is the following:

1. Information about employees employed in Ontario and their employers, including the numbers of employees of an employer, the age and gender of employees, classes of employment, and annual salaries and wages payable to employees.

2. Information concerning Ontario’s population, labour force and economy, including demographic and economic projections.

3. Information necessary to determine whether an employer provides a pension plan or other retirement savings plan to its employees employed in Ontario and, if so, which employees participate in the plan, the nature and level of the benefits provided by the plan and the contribution rates under the plan.

4. Any other information as the Minister considers necessary for the purpose of establishing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Notice under privacy legislation

(3) Any collection by the Minister of Finance of personal information under this section is exempt from the application of subsection 39 (2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Deemed consistent purpose

(4) For the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, personal information in the custody or control of the Ministry of Finance that has not been collected under this section may be used by the Ministry for the purpose described in subsection (1), and that use shall be deemed to be for a purpose that is consistent with the purpose for which the personal information was obtained or compiled.

Disclosure to Minister of Finance

(5) Upon receipt of a request for information from the Minister of Finance under subsection (1), a public body shall disclose to the Minister the requested information from their records for the purpose set out in that subsection.

Requirement for employers to give information

(6) Upon receipt of a request for information from the Minister of Finance under subsection (1), an employer shall, within 30 days after the request, disclose to the Minister the requested information from their records for the purpose set out in that subsection.

Extension of time

(7) The Minister of Finance may extend the time limit referred to in subsection (6), before or after it has expired, if the Minister is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so.

Offence

(8) An employer who fails to comply with a requirement under this section is guilty of an offence.

False information

(9) An employer who knowingly gives false information to the Minister of Finance is guilty of an offence.

Definitions

(10) In this section,

“employer” means a person liable to pay salary, wages or other remuneration in relation to employment; (“employeur”)

“federal government” means the Government of Canada and any department, agency, board, commission, official or other body of the Government of Canada; (“gouvernement fédéral”)

“personal information” means personal information within the meaning of section 38 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; (“renseignements personnels”)

“public body” means,

(a) any ministry, agency, board, commission, official or other body of the Government of Ontario,

(b) any municipality in Ontario, or

(c) a local board, as defined in the Municipal Affairs Act, and any authority, board, commission, corporation, office or organization of persons some or all of whose members, directors or officers are appointed or chosen by or under the authority of the council of a municipality in Ontario. (“organisme public”)

4. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Act).

5. Omitted (enacts short title of this Act).

SCHEDULE
Basic requirements of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

Contributions to the Plan

1. (1) Eligible employers and eligible employees shall contribute to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

Obligation to deduct contributions

(2) Eligible employers shall deduct Ontario Retirement Pension Plan contributions from the salary and wages of their eligible employees and shall make contributions on behalf of their eligible employees.

Remittance to administrative entity

(3) The contributions made by eligible employers and eligible employees shall be remitted to the administrative entity referred to in section 2 of the Act.

Determination of contributions

(4) Contributions shall be determined by applying the applicable contribution rate to the portion of the eligible employee’s annual salary and wages between the minimum threshold and the maximum threshold, as specified under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act, subject to subsection (5).

Maximum threshold

(5) The maximum threshold for 2017 shall be the amount equal to $90,000 as adjusted in accordance with the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act to reflect the percentage increase to the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings under the Canada Pension Plan (Canada) between 2014 and 2017.

Contribution rate

(6) The contribution rate referred to in subsection (4) shall be the same for eligible employers and eligible employees and the maximum combined rate shall not exceed 3.8 per cent.

Phase-in of contribution rates

(7) The legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act shall provide transition rules concerning the phasing in of contribution rates.

Eligibility under the Plan

Eligible employee

2. (1) An eligible employee is an individual who satisfies the following criteria and any other criteria specified under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act:

1. The individual is 18 years of age or older and under 70 years of age.

2. The individual is employed in Ontario and their employment is eligible employment.

3. The individual’s annual salary and wages are above the minimum threshold referred to in subsection 1 (4) of this Schedule.

4. The individual is not in receipt of a retirement benefit from the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

5. The individual does not participate in a comparable workplace pension plan as determined under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act.

Eligible employment

(2) All employment in Ontario is eligible except employment that is exempted under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act.

Same

(3) The exemptions for employment under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act shall be similar in nature to the exemptions for employment under the Canada Pension Plan (Canada).

Eligible employer

(4) An employer of an eligible employee is an eligible employer.

Place of employment

(5) The legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act shall contain rules for determining whether an individual is employed in Ontario.

Retirement benefits

3. (1) Retirement benefits under the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan shall be paid for the life of a Plan member beginning at 65 years of age.

Earlier or later commencement of retirement benefits

(2) Despite subsection (1), retirement benefits under the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan may begin to be paid as early as 60 years of age or as late as 70 years of age, but such benefits must be actuarially adjusted as specified under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act.

Indexation

(3) Retirement benefits under the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan shall be indexed to inflation, based on the formula set out under the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act.

Survivor benefits

4. Survivor benefits shall be payable to the surviving spouse of an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan member in accordance with the legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act.

Compliance and enforcement

5. The legislation referred to in subsection 1 (2) of the Act shall contain compliance and enforcement provisions.

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