About Registered Pension Plans (RPPs)

A registered pension plan (RPP) is an arrangement by an employer or a union to provide pensions to retired employees in the form of periodic payments. The Income Tax Act provides deductions in respect of both employee and employer contributions. Contributions and investment earnings are tax-exempt until such time as benefits commence to be paid.

The Registered Plans Directorate publishes extensive guidance to assist plan administrators and their advisors in ensuring that their plans comply with the Income Tax Act. In addition, the Directorate has established a Pensions Advisory Committee to advise the Directorate on policy and administrative issues.

Many RPPs are also subject to federal and/or provincial benefits standards legislation. This legislation basically defines the minimum standard of benefits that must be provided by a RPP to the plan members. Information on how to contact the federal and provincial supervisory authorities can be found at Other useful links.


Project to Assess Compliance of Defined Benefit Pension Plans

The Registered Plans Directorate (RPD) is conducting a project to validate our risk criteria for registered pension plans and to help us determine what type of plan reviews will be most effective.

As you may know, since we re-engineered our processes in 2005, we have been reviewing our risk indicators from time to time. Most recently, we conducted a small project to assess some money purchase plans in 2012.

Over the next few months, we will fully review the documents for a sample of defined benefit pension plans to see if they comply with the requirements of the Income Tax Act and Regulations and to determine what types of non-compliance are most common. If the plan documents do not comply, we will work with the administrator to find the best way to bring the plan into compliance.

If you have any questions or comments about this project, please write to RPD, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0L5 or contact one of the following managers from the Registration Division directly:

Chantal Paquette, Director: 613 954-5622

Ottawa Office:

Katherine McKinley: 613 941-6324

Allan Robusky: 613 941-6326

Claire Thivierge: 613 954-0975

Elisabeth Van Vliet: 613 952-8378

Oshawa Office:

Susan McIntyre: 905 721-5057

We value your feedback. We will contact you again when we have results from this project.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Godwin

Director General