The 5-second summary: Minor changes made to our processes to comply with Act 14, and how they will impact Quebec plans and plan members.
On May 24, the Government of Quebec passed Bill 96 –
An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec
which has since become law as Act 14. It requires that French be the language of work for any business operating in Quebec. To comply with this new law, we are required to make changes to our group annuity contracts, but there should be no impact on plan sponsors’ business activities.
Written language requirements for group annuity contracts
Act 14 requires that certain documents sent to plan sponsors, more specifically the group annuity contract, be written in French. An English version can be provided as well, but a French version is mandatory.
Plan sponsors in Quebec who ask to receive their group annuity contract in English
Plan sponsors who executed their contract
prior to June 1, 2022, will receive a French version of their contract only upon request.
Plan sponsors who executed a contract
after June 1, 2022, will receive an English version of their contract, and they will also receive the identical version of their contract in French.
The group annuity contract templates will be modified
by June 1, 2023, to include a provision indicating, among other things, that the plan sponsor acknowledges having received the French version of the contract and that they have requested to execute the contract in English. As soon as this provision is added, each group annuity contract will have to be provided
in both languages to the plan sponsor
at the same time. Plan sponsors who wish to execute their contract in English will be able to sign only the English version of the contract.
Plan sponsors outside Quebec with plan members working in Quebec
The group annuity contract will be drafted in the language confirmed during the implementation process. A French version of the group annuity contract will be available upon request.
Plan sponsors in Quebec and Plan sponsors outside Quebec with plan members working in Quebec
If a plan sponsor asks to receive their contract in English, that version will be legally binding even if we provided them with the French version.
Communication to plan sponsors
Over the next few months, the Desjardins Group retirement savings team will be contacting impacted plan sponsors to explain the changes regarding Act 14 when asked to execute their group annuity contract in English.
If you have any questions, please contact your Desjardins Insurance representative.