OSPC - FAQS - Overview of Manitoba Pension Laws

Getting Plan Information


The main objective of The Pension Benefits Act (the act) is to protect employees' rights to the benefits that are promised under private pension plans.  The following are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Manitoba's pension laws.  You should refer to the act for further information on Manitoba's pension laws.  To find out the details of your particular pension plan (the terms of your plan may be more generous than required by the act), you should contact the plan administrator.

NOTE: Descriptions of the various pension plan options and terms discussed in these answers can be found at the bottom of the page.

Who is entitled to receive information about a pension plan?

You are entitled to receive specific information about a pension plan, if you are:

  • a member/owner of a plan or the beneficiary of a member/owner
  • the spouse or common-law partner of member/owner
  • an employer or person required to make contributions on an employer's behalf
  • a bargaining agent or association that represents members or other beneficiaries
  • an authorized agent of any of the above

What kind of information may I ask for?

The information you are entitled to, includes:

  • the content of the pension plan
  • information on how the plan and its funds are administered
  • extracts from the most recent actuarial report
  • a copy of the most recent annual financial statement

How do I request this information?

You must ask the plan administrator, in writing, for this additional information about the pension plan. The administrator is allowed to charge a reasonable fee to provide it to you.

When does the administrator have to provide this information?

The plan administrator must provide this information within 30 days after receiving your written request and is only required to provide this information once a year.

How will I find out if my plan has changed?

All members or other beneficiaries and bargaining agents must be given written notification about any changes or amendments, within 60 days after the change or amendment is made.

When will I receive current financial information about my plan?

You are entitled to an annual statement of your contributions, benefits, personal data, pension benefit or the contributions your employer made on your behalf (depending on what type of plan you belong to). It must be given to you within six months of the end of the plan's fiscal year.

If you are a member of a defined benefit plan, you are entitled to know whether or not the plan has sufficient funds to pay all the benefits earned by the members.

What information must a plan administrator give members or people required to become members?

When you are eligible to join your company pension plan, you are entitled of a summary of what your plan provides, including:

  • information to identify the plan
  • a description of the plan and the rights, benefits and obligations of the members under the plan
  • if you are a member of a defined benefit pension plan, information describing any optional ancillary benefits and the rules that apply to them

What are the rules for providing information if my employment ends?

Your plan administrator has 60 days (or 60 days after the administrator becomes aware your employment has ended) to provide a statement of your benefits.

What are the rules for providing information on my retirement?

Your plan administrator must provide you with a statement of your pension benefits within:

  • 60 days after the administrator has your completed application to allow you to begin receiving pension benefits and
  • 60 days before your normal retirement date (stated in the plan) unless you took early retirement

What are the rules for providing information if I die before retirement?

Your plan administrator must provide a pre-retirement death statement within 60 days of receiving proper written notification of your death. This statement will outline the benefits payable and any options available.

If I can't get information about my benefits or rights under my pension plan, who do I talk to?

If you do not get the information you are entitled to under the act, contact the Office of the Superintendent - Pension Commission who will investigate on your behalf.

For information on your pension plan, contact your plan administrator.

If you have more questions about the act or regulations, contact the Office of Superintendent - Pension Commission at (204) 945-2740 in Winnipeg; 1-800-282-8069, extension 2740 toll free; or go to www.gov.mb.ca/labour/pension.

Definitions:

Defined benefit pension plan is a plan in which you, as a member, earn a pension based on service and earnings. These plans can be contributory (employees must make contributions) or non-contributory (only the company makes contributions).

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