Independent auditor’s reports for pension plan financial statements
The Order’s Working group on pension plans reminds pension plan administrators governed by Quebec’s Supplemental Pension Plans Act (the “SPP Act”) that they must have a financial report prepared in accordance with section 161 of the SPP Act. Retraite Québec1 allows the following 2 options for preparing this information:
- Have pension plan financial statements prepared in accordance with the Canadian accounting standards for pension plans in Part IV of the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting;
- Have a pension plan financial report prepared in accordance with the accounting framework for the preparation of a financial report under section 161 of the SPP Act mentioned in the Guide to the Annual Information Return (the “AIR Guide”) (i.e. an accounting framework that excludes pension obligations). This accounting framework is described in Appendix 3(a) of the AIR Guide.
Under section 161 of the SPP Act, pension plan administrators also entrust auditors with the mandate to complete lines 387 to 389 of the AIR. In these circumstances, auditors will prepare a report in accordance with Canadian Standard on Related Services (CSRS) 4460. Penalties may apply if reports are not properly used.
The working group reminds preparers that, in keeping with the rights of eligible employees, plan members and beneficiaries, to consult annual reports (s. 114 of the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (Quebec) and s. 60 of the regulation related thereto), distribution of the auditor’s report on the annual financial report should not be restricted to Retraite Québec and plan administrators alone.
For pension plans that are not governed by the SPP Act, the analysis of available financial reporting frameworks and their impact on the auditor’s report must be based on the applicable legislative and regulatory framework.
Lastly, the working group reminds members that the independent auditor’s report to be filed with Retraite Québec should always include the financial statements or the financial report covered in the opinion.
The working group has developed sample reports applicable to different situations that auditors are likely to encounter in practice. View the reports >
The Quebec CPA Order’s Working group on pension plans