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

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 […]

What are the legal risks of ESG?

May 15, 2020 With environmental, social and governance considerations hovering on the agendas of legislators, shareholders and consumers, it’s easy to overlook the fact that responsible investment can be fraught with legal risks for pension plan sponsors. However, plan sponsors can mitigate much of that risk with a proper understanding of the distinction between ESG […]

Pension funds set to increase private equity allocations: survey

March 10, 2020 The majority (79 per cent) of pension fund and private equity professionals expect their passive private equity allocations to either stay the same or increase in 2020, according to a new survey by Torys LLP. Pension funds, in particular, cited competition for new investment opportunities (65 per cent) and pressure from limited partners […]

Arbitrability of LTD claims in Ontario’s hospital sector heading to Supreme Court

February 26, 2020 The issue of whether long-term disability claims are arbitrable or matters for the court, which has plagued Ontario’s hospital sector for over a quarter of a century, is on its way to the Supreme Court of Canada. “The current state of the law, which denies employees seeking long-term disability benefits under insurance […]

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