Securities Impact on Pension plans

ISSUE

The Securities Sub-committee of the ACPM’s Advocacy and Government Relations Committee (AGRC) has been monitoring and commenting on developments in securities law and regulation. It has followed two major paths:

- Securities regulation that has a direct impact on pension plans
- Developments in securities regulation, which we see as analogous to the regulation of pension plans, particularly in relation to multi-jurisdictional regulation, uniformity and harmonization. Each of these paths is described in more detail below.

ACTION TO DATE

Direct Impact of Securities LawsMany pension plans are subject to securities regulation due to their investment activities. The most significant securities law developments reviewed to date are the following:

- The proposed securities law exemptions for Capital Accumulation Plans (CSA Notice 81-405). The proposed exemptions are intended to dovetail with the CAP Guidelines. The Securities Sub-committee has commented on the proposal. It will review and react to the next action by the Canadian Securities Administrators ("CSA" - the securities regulation equivalent of CAPSA).

- The Joint Forum’s Investment Rules Harmonization Industry Task Force, which deals with harmonizing the investment rules for pension funds, retail mutual funds and individual variable insurance contracts (insurance company segregated funds). The mandate of this group is to identify specific problems with the various investment rules and make recommendation(s) to try to alleviate some or all of the problems.

- The first meeting of the Joint Forum/industry working group was held in November 2004 and ACPM is participating in the discussions.

- Continuous Disclosure for investment funds (Proposed National Instrument 81-106). ACPM has commented on two proposals to expand the reporting obligations of mutual funds and pooled funds and continues to monitor.

- Principles and Practices for the Sale of Products and Services in the Financial Sector (CSA Notice 33-402). ACPM commented on this proposal, distinguishing the pension regulatory environment from the retail securities regulatory environment.

- Analogous Effect of Securities LawsACPM’s interest in this area has been to identify developments in securities regulation that we feel can be applied to the regulation of pension plans. The focus has been on streamlined regulation and harmonization of rules across jurisdictions.

- Securities regulation faces many of the same issues as pension regulation; although a securities regulatory model is not completely appropriate for registered pension plans. The most significant examples are the following.Uniform Securities Act. The CSA published a proposed uniform statute. This securities regulation proposal is further advanced than the Model Pension Law published by CAPSA. ACPM commented on the Uniform Securities Act and urged CAPSA to emulate it.

- "Passport" system proposed by the provincial ministers of finance, under which a capital markets participant could qualify in one jurisdiction and carry on its activities in any other jurisdiction without re-qualifying. ACPM commented on various regulatory models, and urged CAPSA to consider this proposal in its uniformity initiatives.
Various proposals for a single national regulator.

FUTURE ACTION

The AGRC will continue to monitor securities law developments and remain vigilant to ensure that capital accumulation plans are exempt from proposed regulations when appropriate.

 

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