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

Feds publish draft proposals on changes to employee stock options

The federal government has released draft legislative proposals to implement changes to the employee stock option tax regime announced in its 2019 budget. As promised in the budget, the proposals will impose an annual cap of $200,000 on employee stock options eligible for the stock option deduction under the Income Tax Act. They also confirm that […]

Canadian pension funds welcome proposed tax changes on U.S. real estate investments

Canadian pension funds are welcoming proposed regulations from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that clarify the sweeping exemption from U.S. tax on real estate available to qualified foreign pension funds. “The previous regulatory framework reduced our demand for real estate in the U.S. and, as importantly, increased the cost and complexity of our structuring,” says […]

B.C. Supreme Court holds non-trustee liable for pension losses

The British Columbia Supreme Court has found that an individual who was the “directing mind of a company,” but not a trustee of its pension plan, was personally liable for a contribution shortfall because he “knowingly assisted” the company in breaches of its fiduciary duties. “The case is a heads-up, especially for small employers, to […]

Alberta court rules against double-dipping in disability payments, lost wages

An Alberta court has ruled that employees receiving disability payments during the reasonable notice period can’t “double-dip” by receiving payments for lost wages. “The decision affirms the principle that employees are entitled only to what they would have received had they been working during the notice period,” says Sheena Owens, an employment lawyer at Stikeman […]

FSRA offering late-filing pension plans ‘safe harbour’ on administrative monetary policies

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority is giving late-filing pension plans a “one-time” opportunity to avoid administrative monetary penalties. The “safe harbour,” which applies to any outstanding filings under the Pension Benefits Act, expires on Oct. 31. “Rather than have people concerned about flagging non-compliance with late filings, the FSRA has offered this amnesty of sorts,” […]

Arbitrator rules hospital must compensate pensioner rehired part time for benefits

An arbitrator has ruled that part-time employees who have returned to work after retiring and are receiving pension benefits from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan aren’t “members” of the plan for the purpose of calculating their benefit entitlements if they choose not to re-enrol in the HOOPP on resuming service. The upshot of arbitrator […]

Alberta Pension Services Corp. ordered to pay retiree $267K for misrepresentation of benefits

The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld a $267,017 award to a pensioner for negligent misrepresentation after the Alberta Pensions Services Corp. provided mistaken estimates of the pensioner’s retirement benefits. But the lawyer for Dr. William Calder and his wife says the ruling, which also validated a change in the ASPC’s interpretation of the governing […]

What pension legislation is expected in 2020?

Pension plan stakeholders will see a continued evolution of both short- and long-term reform, with some significant developments expected in 2020. “Hopefully, Ontario will finalize the rules for its target benefit regime — perhaps we’ll see the introduction of single employer target-benefit rules — and there should be some action on variable benefits because the […]

Nortel Pensioners lose $200M refund battle with Ontario’s PBGF

Ontario’s pension benefits guarantee fund has successfully reclaimed some $200 million from monies allocated to pensioners in Nortel Networks Corp. bankruptcy proceedings. The silver lining for pensioners is that the decision by the Financial Services Tribunal finally puts an end to the uncertainty they’ve experienced since their benefits were cut off in 2010. “It would have […]

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