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’s pension-solvency rules mean non-unionized workers can’t get the best plan

‘We should urgently be doing everything possible to protect the financial future of 60% or 70% of Ontario workers who have no pension’ July 10, 2018 The Ontario government’s policy of granting preferential pension funding rules to unionized workplaces may be impairing the ability of workers in non-union and non-profit workplaces to prepare and plan […]

Legal cases highlight issues around LTD coverage

October 12, 2018 Whether considering age eligibility or policy wording, recent rulings for employees in a pair of Ontario cases are reminders to employers to review their long-term disability offerings. When I’m 65 Ontario employers may no longer have the option to reduce or eliminate health and life insurance benefits for employees aged 65 or […]

A look at Alberta’s incoming joint pension governance structure

 December 3, 2018 Although it’s somewhat late in the making, Alberta’s new pension legislation proposing a joint governance structure for three of the province’s largest pension plans appears to have kept up with the times. “The legislation is a made-in-Alberta plan that takes into account that almost 25 years have passed since we first saw […]

Appeal court upholds ruling in RCMP pension case

December 20, 2018 The Federal Court of Appeal is upholding a ruling denying female Royal Canadian Mounted Police employees the opportunity to buy back into their pension plan after they moved to part-time roles to raise their families. The case arose when three former RCMP officers opted to job share and work reduced hours to spend more […]

A 2018 roundup of the top legal cases in the benefits industry

December 21, 2018 When considering the legal cases attracting the most attention from the pension and benefits industry in 2018, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s decision in Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board was one of the most talked about of the year. “This case is important because plan administrators who previously relied on the Employment Standards […]

Saskatchewan to adopt super-priority for deemed trusts

January 23, 2019 Saskatchewan will soon be the latest jurisdiction to adopt an enhanced priority for deemed trusts created by its pension benefits legislation. The Pension Benefits Act establishes a deemed trust for amounts contributed by both employers and employees. Bill 151, which amends the province’s Personal Property Security Act, will create a super-priority for […]

How will OHIP+ rollback affect plan sponsors?

February 4, 2019 The Ontario government is proposing a rollback of OHIP+, which would restrict the free prescription drug coverage program to dependants under age 25 who aren’t covered by private plans. The previous Liberal government implemented the program in January 2018 with an estimated cost of $465 million annually. It covered all OHIP-insured dependants […]

Ontario court grants appeal for employee in long-term disability case

March 27, 2019 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered a full trial for an employee who sued for $300,000 in long-term disability benefits despite signing a document that released such claims. The decision in Swampillai v. Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Co. of Canada reverses a lower court decision that summarily found the release to be […]

Pension industry welcomes clarity around electronic communications

May 22, 2019 Plan administrators are welcoming the increased clarity accompanying the amendment of Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act to allow for the electronic designation of beneficiaries and the re-issue of the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities’ guideline No. 2, which establishes best practices for electronic communications in the pension industry. “Clarity on the ability to […]

Are elements of U.S. pension reform worthy of Canadian consideration?

February 13, 2020 The first major reform to the U.S. retirement system in a decade, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, contains provisions that could be useful guides for Canadian legislators and regulators. Signed into law by President Donald Trump in December, the act, known as SECURE, is primarily aimed at addressing […]

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