New Brunswick regulator seeks input on revised proposed rule under Unclaimed Property Act
On May 20, 2021, the New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services Commission (“FCNB”) released a revised version of one of its proposed rules (“Revised Rule”) under the Unclaimed Property Act (“the Act”). As detailed in our previous client update, the Act aims to reconnect New Brunswickers with their forgotten or lost assets, and to release holders of lost assets from any liability with respect to those assets, by allowing lost assets to be transferred to the Director of Unclaimed Property. The Act received Royal Assent in March 2020 and will come into force once the associated rules are finalized.¹
FCNB first published draft rules for comment in September 2020, and received 14 comments from businesses and other organizations. The Revised Rule was prepared by FCNB in response to those comments, and includes the following significant changes:
Changes to the categories of property that are excluded from application of the Act
- Property held in a safe deposit box by a provincially regulated credit union, trust company, caisse populaire or federal financial institution, was clarified to include all property held in safekeeping by any of the foregoing institutions (s. 3(1)(c)).
- Property that is an insurance policy and is deemed non-payable due to an exclusion permitted by the Insurance Act, and property that is held by a federal institution as defined in the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (Canada) were added as new categories of excluded property (s. 3(f) and (g)).
Distinguishing between registered accounts and non-registered accounts
- The time periods for property to be considered unclaimed set out in Section 5 of the Revised Rule now treat property held in a registered plan and property held outside of registered plans as distinct categories (s. 5(1)-(2)). A period of three years remains the general rule, however the Revised Rule clarifies when that period starts.
Increasing the fair market value of property that is not required to be reported or delivered
- The Revised Rule increases the baseline amount for when holders of unclaimed property do not need to submit an unclaimed property report or deliver the associated unclaimed property to the Director of the new program to $1,000. Now, under s. 6(1), a holder may not have to submit a report or deliver the unclaimed property if:
- the total fair market value of the property from the previous five years is less than $1,000; and
- each individual property has a fair market value of less than $50.
Amendments adding registered disability savings plans and tax-free savings accounts
- Other registered accounts, such as tax free savings accounts and registered disability savings plans, were added to the Revised Rule (s. 5(2)).
With respect to registered pension plans, the Revised Rule continues to provide that the Act only applies to a wound-up pension plan but not an ongoing pension plan. FCNB said they may consider measures for ongoing pension plans at a later date. The Revised Rule also continues to exclude benefits from an ongoing accident, disability or sickness insurance policy.
FCNB has invited stakeholders to submit their comments on the Revised Rule during a 30-day period, ending on June 19, 2021. Written submissions may be sent to:
Financial and Consumer Services Commission
85 Charlotte Street, Suite 300
Saint John, N.B. E2L 2J2
Toll Free: 866‐933‐2222
This article is provided for general information only. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Pensions & Benefits Group.
Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership.
¹ See this note published by the FCNB regarding unclaimed property.
By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Hilary Newman and Daniel Roth Introduction As we reported on November 30, 2023, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains…Read More
By Richard Niedermayer, K.C., TEP & Rackelle Awad New trust disclosure rules originally announced on February 27, 2018, are now in force, and trusts with taxation years ending on or after December 31, 2023 are…Read More
By David Wedlake and Andrew Paul In late December 2023, the Federal Government issued draft Criminal Interest Rate Regulations under the Criminal Code. These proposed regulations follow the Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1 which…Read More
By Brendan Sheridan and Tiegan Scott The Government of Canada recently announced further changes to the international student program that not only limits the number of new study permit applicants per year, but also increases…Read More
By Tauna Staniland, K.C., ICD.D, Joe Thorne, and Nadine Otten What can you do when your corporation wants to complete a complex transaction requiring significant corporate restructuring that cannot be easily completed under the corporation’s…Read More
By Perlene Morrison, K.C., Hilary Newman & Curtis Doyle Once again, the time has come to review the year that was and to chart the course for the year ahead. For municipalities and planning professionals…Read More
By Dave Randell, John Samms & Jayna Green A recent Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (“GNL”) announcement affirms the Province’s swift and ambitious approach to offshore wind development. While it may come as a shock…Read More