Today in the legislature we debated Bill 13: Pooled Registered Pension Plans Amendment Act at second reading.
The purpose of pooled registered pension plans are to reduce the burden on employers and make pensions more accessible to people who work for small businesses, freelance, and so forth.
Previously, when new multilateral agreements were made the full details of that agreement needed to be published in the BC Gazette for public information. This requirement didn’t fit with other BC statutes, where they just published the date of agreements, because this legislation was hastily modeled after the federal model that requires full agreement publication.
As it is already being published online, the BC Gazette is no longer the primary source people refer to for information.
Below I reproduce the text and video of my brief speech in support of this bill.
A. Weaver: I rise to speak in favour and support of Bill 13, Pooled Registered Pension Plans Amendment Act, 2017. This is one of the rare moments in this Legislature when all members on all sides of the House can agree on the importance of moving forward with a particular bill. I can see that everyone’s happy that we can actually all agree on one issue here.
As we know, the purpose of pooled registered pension plans are to reduce the burden on employers and to make pensions more accessible to people and to people who work for, for example, small businesses, freelance operator contractors.
Previously, when new multilateral agreements were made, the full details of that agreement were needed to be published in the B.C. Gazette for public information. Now — of course the publishing is important — but that’s, in some sense, a relic of the past in this digital era that we are in today.
The requirement didn’t actually fit with other B.C. statutes as well, where they just published the date of the agreements. This initial legislation, I suspect, was rather hastily put together after the federal model that required full agreement publication and it to mirror up with federal government. It was a little bit burdensome, the process that was put in place.
It’s already published on-line. The B.C. Gazette is no longer the primary source that people go to refer to information. What this bill is doing, and why obviously we support it in its entirety, is it’s removing the requirement for full print publication of new multilateral agreements but still requires the date to be included in the Gazette.
All the multilateral agreement details will still be accessible to the public — if they so wish, on-line — but, in essence, what’s really happening is this bill is reducing publication costs, which were over $65 a page, and aligns print reporting requirements with other B.C. statutes. There are a few definitions that were previously made, and the regulations have been brought into the act since it was opened.
In conclusion, these are fairly minor changes, but their implication is very important. We believe that is a good piece of legislation, and we’re very proud to stand with our friends opposite and with government to support this legislation moving forward.