top of page

           CAPSA Guidelines  (Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities) 

There is limited federal or provincial legislation regarding Capital Accumulation Plans (DC plans, RRSP, PRPP, LIRAs, RRIFs).

The Canadian Association Pension  Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) however has issued a number of guidelines for the administration of (CAPs)  to assist plan sponsors and administrators. The guidelines are applicable in all jurisdictions in Canada and are considered 'best practices - they would be cited in legal actions.


CAP sponsors must be aware of the Guidelines and adhere to them as much as possible. Reviewing the Guidelines should also be part of a CAP governance process. To minimize legal risk, CAP sponsors should adhere to the CAPSA Guidelines. 

Definition of a capital accumulation plan (CAP or plan) any tax-assisted investment or savings plan that permits the members of the CAP to make investment decisions among two or more options offered within the plan

The Links to each of the Guidelines are shown below. 

#1 Link to CAPSA Guidelines 

#1 Link to CAPSA Guidelines 

CAPSA Guidelines are intended to support the continuous development and improvement of industry practices. Canadian pension regulators generally expect that registered pension plans will operate in accordance with CAPSA Guidelines. However, individual provincial pension regulators may communicate their own specific expectations and registered pension plans in those jurisdictions should operate accordingly.

Guideline No.     Guideline Name     Publication Date     Purpose

#1  Flexible Pension Plans  April 30, 1999

Summarizes the recommendations of the Task Force on Flexible Pension Plans in order to address various issues related to flexible pension plans.


#2  Electronic Communication in the Pension Industry   May 8, 2019
Provides a framework to apply the provisions of e-commerce legislation and applicable pension legislation to pension communications sent electronically from a pension plan administrator and/or pension plan sponsor that is required under pension legislation.

#3  Capital Accumulation Plans  May 28, 2004

Reflects the expectations of regulators regarding the operation of a capital accumulation plan, regardless of the regulatory regime applicable to the plan.

#4 elf Assessment Questionnaire Self-Assessment Questionnaire  -FAQs  - January 17, 2018  and December 2016
To assist pension plan administrators in fulfilling their governance responsibilities by achieving and maintaining good governance practices.


#5  Fund Holder Arrangements  Letter to Stakeholders March 1, 2011

Highlights good governance practices related to fund holder arrangements of the pension plan and pension fund.


#6  Prudence Standard  Letter to Stakeholders - Self-Assessment Questionnaire
November, 2011Provides guidance to plan administrators on how to demonstrate the application of prudence to the investment of pension plan assets.

#7  Pension Plan Funding Policy  Letter to Stakeholders   May 7, 2021

This Guideline is intended to provide guidance on the development and adoption of funding policies for pension plans that provide defined benefits or target benefits.

#8  Defined Contribution Pension Plans Guideline - Reference Document February 7, 2019 + March 28, 2014

Developed as part of CAPSA's strategic initiative to review current approaches to regulating and supervising defined contribution (DC) pension plans.

#9  Searching for Un-locatable Members of a Pension Plan   February 7, 2019
Outlines best practices and options with respect to searching for un-locatable members.

Communique - Review of Leverage Use within Pension Plans  February 2019

Key findings regarding leverage use within pension plans.


Recommendations: Funding of Benefits for Plans Other than Defined Contribution Plans February 14, 2019

Recommends options that policymakers and governments should consider in order to promote new, consistent funding rules, to the extent possible.


Guidance: Solvency or hypothetical wind-up liabilities based on actual life insurance company annuity quotation      May 8, 2019
Outlines expectations regarding situations where an actuary wants to use an insurance company quotation to determine the solvency liabilities of the portion of the pension plan that is assumed to be settled by the purchase of annuities.

bottom of page