Pension plans are subject to provincial and federal pension standards legislation. The purpose of that legislation is to safeguard the pension benefits promised to employees.
Provincial legislation applies to members of pension plans who report to work within that province (see notice). Federal pension standards legislation applies to members of pension plans who work in federally regulated industries. Such industries include banks, interprovincial communications, and interprovincial transportation. All pension plans are subject to the Income Tax Act.
Employees of the provincial government, teachers, and federal public sector employees are covered by separate acts relevant to their pension plans. Information for members of the Nova Scotia provincial government and teachers pension plans is available on the Nova Scotia Pension Agency website.
Employers must register their pension plan in the province in which the majority of the plan members report to work. For example, a large company in Nova Scotia might have a pension plan with members employed in New Brunswick. If the majority of the members are employed in Nova Scotia, then the plan is registered here. Nova Scotia must ensure that the plan applies Nova Scotia law to Nova Scotia members, and New Brunswick law to New Brunswick members.
If you work in one province and your pension plan is registered in another, you are still subject to the pension legislation of the province in which you work. For example, if you work in Nova Scotia but your pension plan is registered in Ontario, you are subject to the rules under the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act.
When you transfer funds out of a pension plan, the pension laws still apply to those funds. This is true even if you leave the province. For example, if you terminate work in Nova Scotia you may transfer your pension funds to a locked-in retirement account. Those funds are still subject to the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act. Even if you move to Quebec and transfer your funds to a financial institution in that province, the rules for locked-in retirement accounts under the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act continue to apply.
Notice: Information on this web site applies to pension plan members who are subject to the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act.