If you have a pension plan, your plan administrator is your first point of contact for information about how it works and what benefits you’re entitled to. For most pension plans, your employer is your plan administrator.

FSRA’s role as regulator is to ensure pension plans meet the legal standards in the Pension Benefits Act. We can also help you if you can’t get the information you need from your plan administrator or want to file a complaint about your pension plan.

Pensions

Events that may affect your pension

A life change could impact your pension. To help you make an informed decision, ask your plan administrator for details. You can also find information here.

Common questions

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I need money. Can I get it from my pension?

The money in your pension plan can only be used for retirement income, with some exceptions. See Dealing with financial hardship.

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My employer might be going bankrupt. Is my pension safe?

Your pension plan is required to have a pension fund that is separate from your employer’s business assets. The pension fund can only be used to pay the pensions provided by the plan. If your employer goes bankrupt and the pension fund does not have enough money to pay all the pensions, the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) may protect some of your benefits if you were employed in Ontario.

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My marriage is ending. What should I do about my pension?

If you’re ending your relationship, you and your former spouse will need to decide whether to divide your pension assets. See Pensions and marriage breakdown – a guide for members and their spouses.

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Is my pension enough to retire on?

Your pension may be a significant financial asset for your retirement. However, each person’s circumstances are different. You should consult your own financial advisor to make this determination.

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How do I learn more about my pension?

If you have questions about the specific terms of your pension and what you are entitled to, you should contact your plan administrator. If you are not sure who that is, use our Pension Plan Information database.

can do

What FSRA can do

  1. Explain, generally, how pension plans or pension legislation work
  2. Help you to obtain documents related to your pension plan
  3. Provide you with forms to unlock your pension or split your pension with your separated spouse
  4. Monitor pension plans through filings and reports
  5. Enforce the requirements of the Pension Benefits Act and Regulation
  6. Review and respond to complaints
cannot do

What FSRA can’t do

  1. Determine the benefits you are entitled to
  2. Give you information about a pension plan other than the plan you’re in, or about other members of your pension plan
  3. Provide advice on taxes, family law, investment decisions or what to do with your pension when you leave your employer 
  4. Answer questions about the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan or other government programs or pensions that are not registered with FSRA

When to contact your plan administrator

If you have questions or concerns about the terms of your pension plan or what benefits you’re entitled to, contact your plan administrator.

How to handle concerns about your pension plan

If you have questions or concerns about your pension plan, your first point of contact should be your plan administrator. If you can’t resolve the issue with your plan administrator or prefer to come to FSRA directly, you can reach out to us.

  1. How to contact your plan administrator about a pension concern
  2. How to request official documents about your pension plan

If you’ve gone through these steps and the issue isn’t resolved, you may wish to file a complaint with FSRA.

Enforcement and monitoring

We take our responsibilities to protect you from misconduct or non-compliance very seriously. View our most recent enforcement and monitoring information for this sector.

Engagement and consultation

We work with a Consumer Advisory Panel that provides a consumer perspective on proposed FSRA policy changes. View our engagement and consultation information.

Useful resources

Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA)
CAPSA member guide for defined contribution pension plans.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
A pension plan administered by the federal government.

Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
A pension plan administered by the Quebec government.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
A federal benefit you may be eligible for if you are an Old Age Security recipient with low income.

Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)
A provincial benefit you may be eligible for if you’re an Ontario low-income senior.

Old Age Security (OAS)
A federal benefit you can receive if you are 65 years or older and have lived in Canada for at least 10 years.

Canada Revenue Agency
Tax information for savings and pension plans.