Pensions & Employee Benefits

The law and practice relating to the employer-employee relationship in the context of pension plans and employee benefits, including executive compensation

Ontario court awards $210K in costs against FSRA in Brewers Retail pension case

By Julius Melnitzer | June 28, 2022 An Ontario Superior Court judge is awarding Brewers Retail Inc. $210,000 in costs against the Financial Service Regulatory Authority of Ontario. Justice Ed Morgan’s award followed his criticism of the regulator for defying a decision of its predecessor, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. One veteran pensions litigator — speaking […]

Ontario judge cautions FSRA in certification of Brewers Retail pension class action

In certifying a pension class action by Brewers Retail Inc., an Ontario Superior Court judge denounced the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario for defying a decision of its predecessor, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Justice Ed Morgan certified the class on Feb. 10, 2022, setting the stage for a settlement approval hearing. In […]

New Brunswick to allow windup of pension plans with missing members

By Julius Melnitzer | January 3, 2022 New Brunswick’s new unclaimed property regime, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2022 and is the fourth such provincial regime in Canada, will finally allow defined benefit pension plan sponsors with unlocatable or missing members to fully windup their plans. The governing legislation, the Unclaimed Property Act, […]

Solvency reserve accounts missing from Manitoba’s new pension amendments

By Julius Melnitzer | October 20, 2021 Although Manitoba’s Pension Amendments Act takes effect on Oct. 1, pension plan sponsors are disappointed that the provisions allowing them to use reserve accounts to fund solvency deficiencies have been excluded from the proclamation. “The government has not indicated when the reserve account provisions will come into effect […]

Court of Appeal decision highlights importance of clear pension communications

By Julius Melnitzer | August 13, 2021 A recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision illustrates the importance of clear communications from pension administrators seeking to avoid liability from lawsuits by claimants alleging they’re entitled to a plan member’s death benefits. “What it comes down to is that employers and pension plans that want to avoid […]

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BARE BONES BRIEFS | LSE: “Mediocre” male managers hold women back | Court: Receiver can monetize public shell listing | 3rd ed. of Kaplan, Frazer’s Pension Law published | Canadian start-up tops InsurTech awards | Best law firm webinars and bulletins

By Julius Melnitzer | June 21, 2021 “inadequate” men suit financial services prototypes “Mediocre” male managers practising “fake empathy” are holding back women in the finance industry, says a new report from Women in Banking and Finance and the London School of Economics (LSE). Apparently, the men were more likely to succeed because they fit […]

Ontario court upholds arbitration clause in employment contract

By Julius Melnitzer | June 11, 2021 An arbitration clause that doesn’t explicitly prohibit a terminated employee from making a complaint to the Ministry of Labour doesn’t offend employment standards legislation, the Ontario Superior Court has ruled. “The ruling will give comfort to employers that Ontario courts will enforce arbitration clauses,” says David Vaillancourt of […]

Federal budget promising relief for DC pension plan under, over contributions

By Julius Melnitzer | May 6, 2021 Tucked away in the federal budget are proposals that will lighten the load for defined contribution pension plan administrators confronted with historical under and over contributions. “These errors are usually inadvertent system or software issues or new regulatory guidance or rulings that have retroactive effect,” says Mark Firman, […]

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Pension regulators step up to the plate amid turmoil

By Julius Melnitzer | February 16, 2021 For almost a year now, federal and provincial pension regulators have been busily trying to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic’s effects. Regulators have never been more proactive than during COVID-19,” says Mitch Frazer, a pensions and employment law partner at Torys LLP. “They deserve full credit for refusing to […]

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Family-status discrimination is ‘minefield’ for employers

By Julius Melnitzer | January 18, 2021 Confusion as to what constitutes family-status discrimination in Canada continues to vex employers. “The Supreme Court of Canada had an opportunity to create a uniform test across the country in 2019 but chose not to hear the case,” says Gary Clarke, the Calgary and Vancouver-based national co-head of Stikeman Elliott LLP’s […]

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