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“Point in Time” Act Content

PENSION BENEFITS STANDARDS ACT

[SBC 2012] CHAPTER 30

NOTE: Links below go to act content as it was prior to the changes made on the effective date. (PIT covers changes made from September 6, 2000 to "current to" date of the act.)
SECTIONEFFECTIVE DATE
1May 4, 2016
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
3.1June 4, 2019
4June 4, 2019
 June 4, 2019
7June 4, 2019
 June 4, 2019
 June 4, 2019
 November 1, 2019
29March 30, 2023
 November 8, 2023
 November 8, 2023
31March 30, 2023
32March 30, 2023
35March 30, 2023
50March 30, 2023
56March 30, 2023
57March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 November 8, 2023
 November 8, 2023
 November 8, 2023
64March 30, 2023
65March 30, 2023
 November 8, 2023
66March 30, 2023
68March 30, 2023
 November 8, 2023
69March 30, 2023
70July 17, 2023
 July 17, 2023
 July 17, 2023
74March 30, 2023
75November 8, 2023
76March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
79March 30, 2023
 November 8, 2023
 November 8, 2023
80March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 November 8, 2023
81November 8, 2023
82March 30, 2023
83March 30, 2023
84March 30, 2023
85March 30, 2023
89November 8, 2023
91March 30, 2023
95March 30, 2023
108March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
114March 30, 2023
 March 30, 2023
116November 8, 2023
118November 8, 2023
133March 25, 2021
 November 8, 2023
 November 8, 2023

  Section 1 (1) definition of "pension plan" BEFORE amended by 2014-17-24, effective May 4, 2016 (BC Reg 101/2016).

"pension plan" means a plan, scheme or arrangement organized and administered to provide pensions to members, but does not include a prescribed plan, scheme or arrangement;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "active member" BEFORE amended by 2023-10-794(a), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

"active member", in relation to a pension plan, means an individual who is employed in employment covered by the plan if

(a) he or she is, with respect to that employment,

(i) accruing benefits under the plan, or

(ii) contributing to the plan or having contributions made to the plan on his or her behalf,

(b) he or she is not, with respect to that employment, accruing benefits under the plan, contributing to the plan or having contributions made to the plan on his or her behalf because

(i) he or she has elected to suspend his or her membership under section 31, or

(ii) the plan is one under which benefits have ceased to accrue and that is continued with the consent of the superintendent under section 95 (1), or

(c) he or she is on a temporary absence from that employment;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "deferred member", paragraph (c) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-794(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(c) has not reached his or her pension commencement date;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "optional ancillary benefits", paragraph (a) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-794(c), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(a) selected by a member or his or her surviving spouse, and

  Section 1 (1) definition of "retired member" BEFORE amended by 2023-10-794(d), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

"retired member", in relation to a pension plan, means an individual who has reached his or her pension commencement date;

  Section 1 (1) definition of "termination of active membership", paragraphs (a) and (c) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-794(e), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(a) in relation to an active member of a collectively bargained multi-employer plan that has not terminated, the end of any period of 2 consecutive fiscal years of the plan in which period the member has not completed a total of 350 hours of employment in respect of which contributions are required to be remitted to the plan on his or her behalf,

(c) subject to subsection (6), in relation to an active member of any other pension plan that has not terminated, the cessation by the member of the employment in respect of which, under the plan, benefits are accrued or contributions are required to be remitted to the plan on his or her behalf, and

  Section 1 (7) and (8) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-795, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(7) Subject to subsection (8), for the purposes of this Act, a person is deemed to be employed in the province where his or her employer's establishment is located and to which the person is required to report for work.

(8) A person who is not required to report for work at his or her employer's establishment or is required to report to establishments in different provinces is deemed to be employed in the province where the employer's establishment is located and from which the person's remuneration is paid.

  Section 3.1 was enacted by 2019-14-55, effective June 4, 2019 (BC Reg 116/2019).

  Section 4 (1) BEFORE amended by 2019-14-56(a), effective June 4, 2019 (BC Reg 116/2019).

(1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint as Superintendent of Pensions a person appointed under the Public Service Act.

  Section 4 (3) BEFORE repealed by 2019-14-56(b), effective June 4, 2019 (BC Reg 116/2019).

(3) The superintendent may designate a person who, in the absence of the superintendent, exercises the powers and performs the duties of the superintendent.

  Section 7 (1) (b) BEFORE amended by 2019-14-57(a), effective June 4, 2019 (BC Reg 116/2019).

(b) a person designated under section 4 (3) or under paragraph (b) of the definition of "authorized person";

  Section 7 (2) (part) BEFORE amended by 2019-14-57(b), effective June 4, 2019 (BC Reg 116/2019).

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, no legal proceeding for damages lies or may be commenced or maintained against a protected individual because of anything done or omitted

  Section 7 (4) BEFORE amended by 2019-14-57(c), effective June 4, 2019 (BC Reg 116/2019).

(4) Subsection (2) does not absolve the government from vicarious liability arising out of anything done or omitted by a protected individual for which the government would be vicariously liable if this section were not in force.

  Section 7 (4) BEFORE amended by 2019-14-58, effective November 1, 2019 (BC Reg 197/2019).

(4) Subsection (2) does not absolve the government or the Authority from vicarious liability arising out of anything done or omitted by a protected individual for which the government or the Authority would be vicariously liable if this section were not in force.

  Section 29 (3) and (4) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-796, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(3) If an employee is eligible to join 2 or more of his or her employer's pension plans, the plan text documents of one or more of the plans may limit the employee's eligibility for membership to only one of those plans.

(4) Except in a situation described in the prescribed rules referred to in section 90, a person must not be required, as part of the terms and conditions of his or her employment or prospective employment, to transfer to any pension plan any of the commuted value of a benefit under another plan.

  Section 29 (1) (c) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-4(a), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(c) in the case of a collectively bargained multi-employer plan,

(i) 2 years have elapsed since the employee was first employed with a participating employer, and

(ii) the employee has earned from employment with one or more participating employers, in each of 2 consecutive calendar years, not less than 35% of the Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings.

  Section 29 (2) (b) (i) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-4(b), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(i) receives prescribed notice, and

  Section 31 BEFORE amended by 2023-10-797, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

Suspension of membership

31   (1) The plan text document of a pension plan may provide that an active member may suspend his or her membership in the plan while continuing to do work, or to provide a service, in an employment covered by the plan.

(2) If the plan text document of a pension plan allows an active member to suspend his or her membership,

(a) it may provide that there will be no accrual of benefits during the suspension, and

(b) it must provide that the suspended member has the right to lift the suspension at any of the times prescribed.

(3) If a person suspends his or her membership in a pension plan,

(a) the suspended member is not entitled to receive or transfer any benefits from the plan until the plan, or his or her membership in the plan, is terminated, and

(b) the suspension of membership does not constitute a termination of active membership.

  Section 32 (1) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-798, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(1) If a member's termination of active membership in a pension plan occurs while the member is employed in British Columbia in employment other than federally regulated employment, there immediately vests in the member, despite any other enactment or any provision of the plan documents, an entitlement to receive a pension in respect of the entire period during which he or she was an active member of the plan, whether or not the member was employed in British Columbia during all of that period.

  Section 35 (4) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-799, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(4) The administrator of a pension plan, or, if the administrator is a board of trustees, a member of that board, must not, while acting in the capacity of administrator, knowingly allow his or her interests to conflict with the administrator's powers and duties in respect of the plan.

  Section 50 (1) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-800, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(1) In this section, "significant shareholder", in relation to a participating employer that is a corporation, means an individual who, alone or in combination with his or her parent, brother, sister, spouse or child, owns or has, directly or indirectly, a beneficial interest in shares that represent 10% or more of the voting entitlement attached to all the shares of the participating employer.

  Section 56 (3) (c) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-801, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(c) setting out any other information necessary to allow the superintendent to exercise his or her powers or perform his or her duties under this Act.

  Section 57 (2) sandwich text BEFORE amended by 2023-10-802(a), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

exceeds 1/2 of the commuted value of that portion of the member's benefit that relates to his or her membership in the plan during the period in which the member was required to make contributions on and after the initial legislation date, the excess must be allocated or distributed if and in the manner required under subsection (4).

  Section 57 (5) (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-802(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(5) If the plan text document of a pension plan contains a benefit formula provision, the plan text document may provide, in relation to deferred members to whom the excess referred to in subsection (2) is to be allocated or distributed under subsection (4), that if such a member's pension commencement date does not immediately follow the termination of his or her active membership or the conversion of the benefit formula provision to a defined contribution provision, the excess

  Section 57 (6) (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-802(c), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(6) If a member to whom the excess referred to in subsection (2) is to be allocated or distributed dies before reaching his or her pension commencement date, the excess must be allocated or distributed as follows:

  Section 57 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-6(a), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) Subject to subsections (3), (5), (6) and (7), if the total of

(a) the contributions made by a member of a pension plan on and after the initial legislation date, and

(b) the interest that has accrued on those contributions

exceeds 1/2 of the commuted value of that portion of the member's benefit that relates to the member's membership in the plan during the period in which the member was required to make contributions on and after the initial legislation date, the excess must be allocated or distributed if and in the manner required under subsection (4).

  Section 57 (4) (d) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-6(b), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(d) transferred to an insurance company to purchase a deferred pension;

  Section 57 (7) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-6(c), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(7) If the plan text document of a pension plan contains a target benefit provision and a member of the plan who is eligible under section 85 to elect a transfer under Division 7 of Part 8 transfers an amount under section 86 (b), the lump-sum payment to which the member is entitled under subsection (4) of this section must be reduced in the prescribed manner.

  Section 64 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-803, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) The plan text document of a pension plan must require an active member or a deferred member to start receiving his or her pension no later than the last date on which a person is allowed under the Income Tax Act (Canada) to start receiving a pension from a registered pension plan.

  Section 65 (1) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-804, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(1) A plan text document of a pension plan must allow a member to start receiving his or her pension on a reduced basis at any time within 10 years before he or she reaches the plan's pension eligibility date.

  Section 65 BEFORE amended by 2023-34-7, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

Pension may start before pension eligibility date

65   (1) A plan text document of a pension plan must allow a member to start receiving the member's pension on a reduced basis at any time within 10 years before the member reaches the plan's pension eligibility date.

(2) A pension that starts before the pension plan's pension eligibility date may be reduced in comparison with what would have been payable had the pension started at the plan's pension eligibility date, but only if the actuarial present value of the reduced pension is at least equal to the aggregate of

(a) the actuarial present value of the pension that would have been payable had the pension started at the plan's pension eligibility date, and

(b) the actuarial present value of any other benefit to which the member would have been entitled had the member terminated active membership and elected to start to receive the pension at the plan's pension eligibility date.

  Section 66 (1) and (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-805, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(1) Subject to section 73, the plan text document of a pension plan must provide that a member who has reached the plan's pension eligibility date may, for so long as he or she remains in an employment covered by the plan, continue to accrue benefits under the plan in the same manner and to the same extent as he or she could have done in that employment before reaching that date.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the plan text document may provide one or more of the following in relation to a member referred to in subsection (1):

(a) that the member may, if he or she so elects in writing, cease accruing benefits and start receiving a pension;

(b) that the member may, if he or she so elects in writing, cease accruing benefits and delay receiving a pension until a later age, in which case the pension must be actuarially increased to reflect the delay;

(c) if and to the extent allowed by the Income Tax Act (Canada), that the member may, if he or she so elects in writing, start receiving a pension and continue to accrue benefits.

  Section 68 (1) (a) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-803, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(a) a member must not withdraw, surrender or receive any or all of that portion of the commuted value of his or her benefits that relates to his or her membership in the pension plan on and after the initial legislation date, and

  Section 68 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-8, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) Subsection (1) applies to a spouse or former spouse in respect of a share of the pension received by the spouse under Part 6 of the Family Relations Act or under Part 6 of the Family Law Act.

  Section 69 (5) (a) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-806, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(a) states that the spouse is aware of his or her entitlements under the pension plan,

  Section 70 (4) BEFORE amended by 2023-1-1(a), effective July 17, 2023 (BC Reg 190/2023).

(4) Despite subsection (1), the following may be attached by a notice of attachment under section 15 of the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, an order of garnishment under section 18 (2) of that Act or an attachment order under section 24 of that Act:

(a) any payment in the series of payments that constitutes a pension;

(b) any payment under section 76;

(c) any payment that forms part of a phased retirement benefit within the meaning of section 83 (1);

(d) a payment under section 57 (4) (a) or (6) (b);

(e) a return of a contribution under section 59;

(f) a withdrawal, a payment or any payments in a series of payments under section 69 (1), (2), (3) or (4).

  Section 70 (4.1) was added by 2023-1-1(b), effective July 17, 2023 (BC Reg 190/2023).

  Section 70 (5) (c) BEFORE amended by 2023-1-1(c), (d) and (e), effective July 17, 2023 (BC Reg 190/2023).

(c) the execution, seizure or attachment is by

(i) a notice of attachment, order of garnishment or attachment order referred to in subsection (4), or

(ii) any other process to enforce a maintenance order as defined in the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, or

  Section 74 (1) (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-803, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(1) The plan text document of a pension plan may provide that a member may elect to have his or her pension payments increased for a period by an amount determined by reference to any amounts payable under the CPP Act or the QPP Act or both, as the case may be, if

  Section 75 (b) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-11, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(b) accords with the regulations.

  Section 76 (1) (b) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-807(a), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(b) who has not reached his or her pension commencement date, and

  Section 76 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-807(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) When a member referred to in subsection (1) reaches his or her pension commencement date, the amount of the pension to which he or she is entitled must be adjusted in accordance with the regulations.

  Section 79 (1) (part), (2), (3) and (4) (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-808, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(1) If a member dies before reaching his or her pension commencement date,

(2) If optional ancillary contributions were made by a member and the member dies before reaching his or her pension commencement date and leaves a surviving spouse, the amount of those contributions may, at the option of the spouse, be applied, in the manner specified by the plan text document of the pension plan, to the optional ancillary benefits selected by the spouse to increase the benefits to which the spouse is entitled under the plan up to the maximum amount allowed by the Income Tax Act (Canada) or the regulations under that Act.

(3) The plan text document of a pension plan may provide that, if a member dies before reaching his or her pension commencement date, a surviving spouse of the member must make the applicable transfer referred to in Division 7.

(4) If a spouse who is entitled to a benefit under subsection (1) (a) dies before his or her pension commencement date, the total of the commuted value of the pension referred to in subsection (1) (a) (i) and the value of the benefits referred to in subsection (1) (a) (ii) is payable by way of a lump-sum payment to

  Section 79 (1) (b) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-13(a), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(b) if there is a surviving spouse and that spouse has provided to the administrator a statement in the prescribed form that waives the spousal entitlement referred to in paragraph (a), the total of the commuted value of the pension referred to in paragraph (a) (i) and the value of the benefits referred to in paragraph (a) (ii) is payable by way of a lump-sum payment

(i) to the designated beneficiary, or

(ii) if there is no living designated beneficiary, to the personal representative of the member's estate,

but in no case is the surviving spouse entitled to receive any benefit by way of a lump-sum payment as designated beneficiary under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, or

  Section 79 (1.1) was added by 2023-34-13(b), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

  Section 80 (3) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-809(a), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(3) The actuarial present value of a joint and survivor pension must not be less than the actuarial present value of the pension that would have been payable to the member if he or she had no spouse.

  Section 80 (4) (a) (i) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-809(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(i) states that the spouse is aware of his or her entitlement to a joint and survivor pension under subsection (1),

  Section 80 (6) (a) (i) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-809(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(i) states that the spouse is aware of his or her entitlement under subsection (5),

  Section 80 (8) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-809(c), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(8) A waiver under subsection (4) (a) or (6) (a) of an entitlement to a benefit is void if the member dies before reaching his or her pension commencement date.

  Section 80 (5) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-15, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(5) A spouse who has validly signed a statement under subsection (4) (a) is deemed to be the sole designated beneficiary of the member despite any actual designation of beneficiary and any other law relating to such an actual designation.

  Section 81 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-16, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) If a member's spouse has validly signed a waiver statement referred to in section 80 (4) (a) to allow the member to elect a joint and survivor pension other than the joint and survivor pension referred to in section 80 (2), the spouse's entitlement to the payment of the joint and survivor pension does not, despite any provision to the contrary in the plan documents, cease merely because that person ceases to be the spouse of the member at any subsequent date.

  Section 82 (1) (e) (iii) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-810, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(iii) enhancements to the pension of a member who continues in employment after reaching the plan's pension eligibility date to the extent that those enhancements increase the pension that would otherwise be payable to him or her, and

  Section 83 (1) definition of "eligible person's pension" BEFORE amended by 2023-10-811, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

"eligible person's pension", in respect of an eligible person, means the pension that is payable to the eligible person on his or her reaching the plan's pension eligibility date;

  Section 84 (2) (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-812, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) The plan text document must provide that one or both of the following are refundable to a member as a lump sum on his or her termination of active membership:

  Section 85 (2) (part) and (3) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-813, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) The plan text document of a collectively bargained multi-employer plan may provide that a member is not eligible to elect a transfer under this Division, after his or her termination of active membership, if

(3) A member of a pension plan who is entitled to a pension under a benefit formula provision is not eligible to elect a transfer under this Division if he or she has reached his or her pension commencement date.

  Section 89 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-20, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) Despite this Division, the plan text document of a pension plan containing a benefit formula provision may provide that

(a) on a member's termination of active membership, the member, or

(b) the surviving spouse of a deceased active or deferred member

must, if the commuted value of the benefit to which the member or the surviving spouse is entitled on that termination does not exceed the prescribed amount, elect a transfer of that commuted value under this Division.

  Section 91 (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-812, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

91   If a member of a pension plan has his or her membership transferred to another pension plan in the circumstances set out in section 90 and

  Section 95 (4) and (6) (part) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-814, effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(4) The superintendent may withdraw his or her consent given under subsection (1) and direct the administrator to terminate the pension plan, in which case Divisions 3 to 5 of Part 10 apply.

(6) If the superintendent withdraws his or her consent under subsection (4) and directs that the plan be terminated, the effective date of the termination of the plan is,

  Section 108 (1) (a) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-815(a), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(a) the administrator cannot be located, is insolvent or is unable or unwilling to perform his or her duties under this Act or the plan documents, or

  Section 108 (2) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-815(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(2) The superintendent may appoint himself or herself as administrator for the purposes of subsection (1) instead of appointing another person.

  Section 108 (3) (b) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-815(c), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(b) subject to this Act and the regulations, and if he or she provides written notice to the other party to the contract, assumes, in relation to any contract that had been entered into by any person contracting on behalf of the plan, the rights and duties of that person under the contract.

  Section 114 (2) (a) (i) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-816(a), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(i) the administrator cannot be located, is insolvent or is unable or unwilling to perform his or her duties under this Act or the plan documents;

  Section 114 (4) BEFORE amended by 2023-10-816(b), effective March 30, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(4) The superintendent may appoint himself or herself as the temporary administrator under subsection (2) instead of appointing another person.

  Section 116 (1) (d) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-22, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(d) contravened this Act by failing to provide to an authorized person, within the period required by the regulations for that provision, information or a record requested by the authorized person,

  Section 118 (1) (a) BEFORE amended by 2023-34-23, effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(a) takes an action under section 113 (1), (2) or (3), or

  Section 133 (2) (1.2) was renumbered as (l.2) by 2021-3-22, effective March 25, 2021 (Royal Assent).

  Section 133 (4) BEFORE repealed by 2023-34-25(a), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).

(4) [Not in force.]

  Section 133 (4.1) was added by 2023-34-25(b), effective November 8, 2023 (Royal Assent).