Companies seek pension relief: paper

Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:54am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian companies are warning the government they could go bankrupt without relief from federal pension funding standards, that are harder to meet due to the recent market sell-off, the Globe and Mail newspaper said Wednesday.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which oversees about 1,400 federally regulated pension plans, confirmed that it has met with companies which are concerned the market turmoil will make it difficult to meet their pension funding requirements, the Globe and Mail reported.

Pension industry consultants and corporate executives are currently lobbying the Finance Department for a temporary reprieve from the pension funding obligations, including Nav Canada, which operates Canada's air-navigation system, the Globe and Mail reported.

Some Canadian companies have said they are facing possible financial devastation if they are required to immediately make enormous contributions to their pension plans to fund shortfalls, the newspaper reported.

(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)