Pension forms

A series of forms required by the Nova Scotia Finance and Treasury Board to ensure that transactions related to provincially-regulated pensions and benefits are made in accordance with Nova Scotia law and regulations.

Task -- to reorganize and rewrite forms to make them easy to read, understand, and complete. The purpose of the forms is to ensure that all transactions regarding pensions regulated by the Province of Nova Scotia are done according to Nova Scotia's laws and regulations and that all parties involved have a clear understanding of their rights and obligations.

Target audience -- There are 2 distinct target audiences for the forms. One is a specialist audience (pension administrators, financial officers, and lawyers). The other is a lay audience (members of pension plans, owners of locked-in retirement plans (LIRAs) and life income funds (LIFs) and their spouses). Most of the forms require completion by members of the lay audience. Some of the forms involve the waiving of rights. Therefore it is important that those completing the forms understand clearly the effect the forms will have on their finances and rights.

Scope -- There are 19 forms in total: 16 of them are "prescribed" forms meaning that they MUST be used for particular actions. 3 of the forms are optional, meaning that financial institutions can use their own forms instead of the one provided by the Finance and Treasury Board if they choose. Of the 16 prescribed forms, 6 must be completed by a specialist. The remaining 10 need to be completed by a member of the lay audience. The forms allow parties to waive their rights, withdraw or transfer funds, and seek the appropriate consent from interested parties such as spouses before conducting any of these transactions.

Resources -- I was provided with original versions of each form as well as a draft model for reorganization and rewriting. I was also given access to a subject matter expert who was able to answer questions and provide feedback as the forms were being completed. The forms, themselves, informed each other. As we strived for consistency across forms we were able to apply lessons learned from earlier forms to later forms.

You can see all 16 prescribed forms at http://www.novascotia.ca/finance/en/home/pensions/forms/default.aspx

 

 

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