Private defined-benefit pension plans ravaged by the economic turmoil of the past year will now have longer to recover, the Department of Labour and Workforce Development announced yesterday.

Normally, pension plans without enough assets to provide promised benefits must be fully funded within five years. But a recent change to Nova Scotia’s Pension Benefits Act will now give pension plans up to 10 years to recover.

“We recognize that pension-plan investments were hard hit by the unprecedented changes in financial markets that swept the world a year ago,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marylyn More in a release.

The provision will apply to plans that report under-funding between Dec. 30, 2008 and Jan. 2, 2011.

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