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

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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 […]

$100M judgment against Bell may signal uptick in pension indexing litigation

February 24, 2020 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that Bell and its related companies, including Bell Canada, Bell Media Inc., Expertech Network Installation Inc. and Bell Mobility Inc., have been miscalculating the cost-of-living adjustment due to their 35,000 pensioners since 2017. The judgment could cost the telecommunications company up to $100 million and signal […]

2018 to be a busy year for pension reforms

 January 3, 2018 If there’s one thing that’s clear about pension reform in 2018, it’s that sponsors will have their hands full, particularly in Ontario. “There’s no question in my mind that impending changes to Ontario’s pension laws will motivate administrators and service providers to up their game,” says Mary Picard, a partner at Dentons […]

Pensioners of insolvent companies left out of contingency fee debate

Friday, January 05, 2018 Something’s been lost so far in the debate about contingency fees that the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) calls “[protecting] access to justice for the public, while ensuring protection from unscrupulous practices and unreasonable fees.” Unfortunately, what’s been lost are a lot of people. They’re called “pensioners,” a group that […]

Canadian pension funds increasingly using co-investments to diversify real estate holdings

March 6, 2018 In their constant search for diversification, Canada’s largest pension funds seem to be continually restructuring their Canadian office building portfolios. “The goal has been to redeploy their investments by expanding internationally and developing new class A office buildings in Canada as well,” says Ayres Gonsalves, vice-president of commercial at Dorsay Development Corp., a […]

A look at trends in long-term incentive plans

April 16, 2018 While many employers offer a comparable pension or health benefits plan to all employees, where long-term incentives plans are available they usually vary by employee level. A recent Willis Towers Watson survey of Canadian publicly traded companies with revenues exceeding $2 billion found 100 per cent of these companies’ chief executive officers and […]

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