Pension Benefits Regulations (amended)
BILL NO. 23
2nd Session, 62nd General Assembly
63 Elizabeth II, 2014
Private Member's Bill
An Act to Amend the Pension Benefits
Regulations to Relieve Financial Hardship
The Honourable Maureen MacDonald
First Reading: October 8, 2014
amends the Pension Benefits Regulations made pursuant to the Pension Benefits Act, to relieve financial hardship by
(a) deleting the application fee;
(b) adding definitions of "home insurance expense circumstance", "home repair expenses" and "home repair expense circumstance";
(c) adding home insurance and home repairs to the prescribed circumstances of financial hardship;
(d) adding an appeal process; and
(e) requiring a successful applicant for a financial hardship payment to access credit counselling.
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 Section 84 of the Pension Benefits Regulations, Nova Scotia Regulations 164/2002, made pursuant to the Pension Benefits Act, is amended by
(a) relettering clause (a) as clause (aa) and adding the following clause:
(a) "appeal" means an appeal pursuant to Section 96;
(b) adding immediately after clause (d) the following clauses:
(da) "home insurance expense circumstance" means a circumstance of financial hardship as prescribed in clause 86(1)(ab);
(db) "home repair expenses" means expenses that are for structural, electrical or plumbing repairs certified by a housing inspector as necessary to allow habitation of a principal residence by the owner;
(dc) "home repair expense circumstance" means a circumstance of financial hardship as prescribed in clause 86(1)(ac);
(c) deleting "and the application fee" in clause (h).
2 Subsection 86(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding immediately after clause (a) the following clauses:
(ab) the owner or the owner's spouse or common-law partner has received a written demand in respect of a default on an insurance payment for home insurance coverage on the owner's principal residence, and the owner's home insurance will be cancelled if the debt remains unpaid;
(ac) the owner or the owner's spouse or common-law partner has incurred or will incur home repair expenses;
3 Section 87 of the Regulations is repealed.
4 Subsection 88(1) of the Regulations is amended by
(a) adding "and" at the end of clause (a);
(b) striking out the semicolon at the end of clause (b) and substituting a period; and
(c) striking out clause (c).
5 Section 96 of the Regulations is repealed and the following Sections substituted:
96 (1) The Minister may appoint a Financial Hardship Appeal Committee composed of not more than six voting members for such term or terms as the Minister deems appropriate and may appoint one of such persons to be the Chair.
(2) The Chair shall be paid the sum of $100.00 per day for each day the Chair is engaged in the activities of the Committee and all members of the Committee shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in performing the duties of members.
(3) The Committee shall receive appeals from owners who are dissatisfied with a decision of the Superintendent.
96A (1) The Superintendent's decision may be appealed to the Financial Hardship Appeal Committee.
(2) The Committee may confirm, overturn or revise the decision.
6 The Regulations are further amended by adding immediately after Section 97 the following Section:
98 Upon receipt of the Superintendent's written consent, an owner shall attend credit counselling.
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