Vol. 147, No. 14 — July 3, 2013
SOR/2013-131 June 12, 2013
CANADA DISABILITY SAVINGS ACT
Regulations Amending the Canada Disability Savings Regulations
P.C. 2013-797 June 12, 2013
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, pursuant to section 17 of the Canada Disability Savings Act (see footnote a), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Canada Disability Savings Regulations.
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CANADA DISABILITY SAVINGS REGULATIONS
1. Paragraph 2(b) of the Canada Disability Savings Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:
- (b) the issuer submits, at the request of the holder of the RDSP, an application for the grant to the Minister;
2. Paragraph 3(c) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
- (c) the issuer submits an application for the bond to the Minister;
3. Section 8 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
8. For the purposes of section 11 of the Act, the Minister may waive the requirement in subparagraph 6(2)(a)(i) or 7(2)(a)(i) or (b)(i) of the Act that the individual be at least 18 years of age on December 31 of the year preceding the particular year if the beneficiary is not a qualified dependant of an eligible individual.
COMING INTO FORCE
4. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Issues and objectives
The Canada Disability Savings Regulations (Regulations) permit the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development to deposit a grant or bond into a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) if the issuer of the plan has submitted the grant application within 180 days after a contribution is made to the plan, or within 180 days after the request for a bond is submitted to the issuer (180-day requirement).
This 180-day requirement causes a delay in the deposit of some grants and bonds into RDSPs which creates a potential hardship for some beneficiaries. Also, based on the Department’s experience, the 180-day requirement is not necessary since the vast majority of grant and bond applications are submitted on time.
The objective of the regulatory amendments is to ensure that all RDSP beneficiaries receive timely grant and bond payments by removing the 180-day requirement from the Regulations.
Description and rationale
The Regulations apply to all Canadians who open and/or benefit from an RDSP and to financial institutions which choose to offer RDSPs.
Sections 2 and 3 of the Regulations are being amended to remove the 180-day requirement, which currently appears in the following two pre-conditions before the Minister is able to pay a grant or a bond into an RDSP:
- (i) the requirement that the issuer of the RDSP submit, to the Minister, an application for a grant no later than 180 days after a contribution is made to a plan; and
- (ii) the requirement that the issuer of the RDSP submit an application for a bond no later than 180 days after the day on which the request for a bond is made to the issuer.
In addition, paragraph 8(b) of the Regulations, which allows the Minister to waive the 180-day requirement in certain circumstances (the waiver provision), is being removed because it will no longer be needed.
As of December 31, 2011, 551 309 financial transactions of all types had been successfully processed by the department’s automated system since RDSPs first became available to Canadians in December 2008. The vast majority of these transactions were promptly submitted.
The 180-day requirement took effect on July 1, 2010. Between that date and December 31, 2011, 304 110 grant and bond requests were successfully processed by the automated system. However, during the same time period, 6 893 grant and bond requests were rejected by the system due to the 180-day requirement. Ninety-one percent of those 6 893 grant and bond requests (that is, 6 312 transactions) had in fact been submitted within 180 days but were not initially accepted and processed by the system due to an inability to validate social insurance numbers or confirm disability tax credit eligibility. When the requests were resubmitted by the issuer, the 180 days had been exceeded. These types of transactions are considered to have met the 180-day requirement because they are initially submitted on time. Accordingly, issuers ultimately received grants or bonds for deposit into beneficiaries’ plans. However, these transactions had to be processed by government officials on a case-by-case basis which delayed the payment of grants and bonds.
A total of just 581 grant or bond applications (out of the 6 893 requests rejected by the system) were first submitted after the 180-day period had expired. Ultimately all of these applications were reviewed and accepted — although it took from three to six months to resolve the issues. This was done using the waiver provision in the Regulations.
Each month, approximately 40 hours of government officials’ time has been required to manually process applications rejected by the automated system. Payment of grants and bonds has been delayed. As a result, RDSP beneficiaries have lost interest and, potentially, other investment opportunities. In addition, it may not always be possible to apply the waiver provision in the Regulations to accept late applications since its use is restricted to technical malfunctions or events beyond the reasonable control of the issuer or the Minister.
Thus, the removal of the 180-day requirement will benefit a small number of RDSP beneficiaries who have been experiencing delays in receiving grants and bonds, or who will not otherwise be eligible for a grant or bond because their financial institution had failed to submit a complete application within 180 days. These RDSP beneficiaries will earn more interest in their RDSPs or have more grants or bonds deposited into their plans than would have occurred without any amendment to the Regulations.
This regulatory proposal will have little or no impact on local and regional economies. Only a small amount of money is involved. As well, RDSPs are long-term savings vehicles intended to generate disability assistance payments over a number of years. However, there may be savings to government of $20,000 per annum in salary and benefits paid to officials involved in processing applications.
The vast majority of grant and bond applications are promptly submitted by financial institutions. However, if it becomes necessary to reintroduce a time requirement, there are alternatives to regulations. For example, an appropriate provision might be included in the “issuer agreements” between Canada and participating financial institutions.
After the 180-day requirement came into force in July 2010, some financial institutions questioned the need for it. One concern was that an oversight by an employee could potentially result in a client being denied a government grant or bond and, in turn, possibly result in the financial institution losing that client.
During the week of March 7, 2011, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) conducted a formal consultation with the nine financial institutions at that time offering RDSPs. A description of the regulatory proposal was first sent to them. This was followed by a teleconference call between HRSDC and the financial institutions to discuss the proposal. No concerns were raised during the consultation and, subsequently, seven of those financial institutions sent emails confirming their support.
Several months later, the Government launched a review of RDSPs to determine if the plans were fulfilling the needs of Canadians. At a meeting in November 2011, between HRSDC officials and representatives of the financial institutions, the latter repeated their concerns about the 180-day requirement.
Since the removal of the 180-day requirement will benefit RDSP beneficiaries by ensuring that they receive timely grant and bond payments, it is anticipated that RDSP beneficiaries will support these amendments. No consultations with RDSP beneficiaries were undertaken.
The “One-for-One” Rule applies to these amendments which are considered to be an “OUT” under the Rule.
The removal of the 180-day requirement will benefit financial institutions that issue RDSPs by decreasing their administrative burden. The annualized decrease in administrative burden for all affected financial institutions is estimated to be $377,036. The average annualized administrative burden decrease per business would be $31,419. However, since the financial institutions differ substantially in size and in the number of RDSPs in their portfolios, the actual administrative savings realized will differ between financial institutions.
This calculation is based on the amount of time spent by staff to prepare requests for exceptions from the 180-day rule (including additional interactions with clients and government officials) as reported by three financial institutions consulted by government officials. It is assumed that other financial institutions would spend an equivalent amount of time on each request.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to these amendments, as there are no costs on small business.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
After the amendments come into force, financial institutions will be informed, the automated system used to pay grants and bonds will be modified to remove the 180-day requirement, and the “Interface Transaction Standards” will be updated.
Office for Disability Issues
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
105 De l’Hôtel-de-Ville Street, 1st Floor