On December 8, 2014, the Ontario government introduced Bill 56, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2014 (“ORPP” or the “Act”). The Act, if passed, would require the government to establish the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan by no later than January 1, 2017. The Bill is currently at Second Reading before the legislature.
The ORPP sets out a general framework for the introduction of future legislation that will establish the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, as well as an administrative authority to oversee the plan’s operation. The ORPP defers to the future legislation much of the specifics of the plan’s operation; however Bill 56 provides for the following basic requirements:
- Mandatory participation for eligible employees (those who work in eligible employment in Ontario between 18 and 70 years of age) and eligible employers in Ontario;
- Will apply to employees who do not participate in a “comparable” workplace pension plan;
- Combined employer/employee contribution rate of 3.8% of earnings;
- Contribution rate will be applied to an employee’s salary or wages that fall between the minimum threshold and the maximum threshold of $90,000. The minimum salary threshold has not yet been determined.
On December 17, 2014, the Ontario government released a consultation paper entitled, “Ontario Retirement Pension Plan: Key Design Questions” and solicited public comments on key design questions related to the ORPP, including:
- A clear definition of what constitutes a “comparable” workplace pension plan to clarify membership in the ORPP;
- Minimum earnings threshold below which contributions would not be required; and
- Support for self-employed individuals, who are exempt from participation in the ORPP.
The government invited interested stakeholders to provide comments in response to the consultation paper by February 13, 2015.
A copy of Emond Harnden’s written comments and submissions, prepared by our Pension Counsel Mark Newton and filed with the Ministry of Finance, can be found on the firm’s website (ORRP – Submissions 2015).
We will keep readers posted on the progress of Bill 56 and the development of the ORPP.