Private Sector Pensions - Information for Individuals

The documents included below are intended to help average Albertans understand their pension plan or locked-in account and the law that applies to it. The first section deals with unlocking options that apply to these funds. The second section deals with other issue-specific topics relating to pensions and locked-in accounts.

Unlocking Pension Funds

When you cease membership in a registered pension plan, you are given the option of transferring your funds from the pension plan into a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA). The Employment Pension Plans Act and Regulation prescribe five unlocking provisions that can provide owners with access to these funds.


Effective September 1, 2014, the Financial Hardship Unlocking (FHU) program was changed. Any Application to Unlock Alberta Funds Due to Financial Hardship must be submitted to the Financial Institution that holds your locked-in account. Your Financial Institution will review your application based on the rules established by the Act and Regulation. The Government of Alberta no longer administers the program.

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Additional Topic-Specific Information

  • If you believe that you have lost money because of an error, disagreement or the possible misconduct of your representative or financial company, you may also be interested in Seeking Compensation - A Guide for Consumers, produced by the Joint Forum of Financial Market Regulators.

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Page last updated:  December 15, 2017