Osler made a submission to the Ontario Ministry of Finance in response to its draft regulations regarding grow-in benefits and the Superintendent’s authority to order a pension plan wind up.
We understand that the draft regulations were intended to address the following issues:
- specific circumstances in which an employer-initiated termination of employment would, and would not, be considered an “activating event” that triggers grow-in benefits;
- requirements to be met by sponsors of jointly sponsored pension plans and administrators of multi-employer pension plans in order to elect to opt out of providing grow-in benefits; and
- additional circumstances in which the Superintendent may order the wind up of a pension plan.
For further discussion of the draft regulations (and the related discussion paper), see our prior blog post.
Briefly, our recommendations may be summarized as follows:
- adding exemptions to the grow-in provision, which mirror the exemptions from notice of termination and termination pay in the regulations under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000;
- clarifying the rules governing grow-in benefits in the context of internal reorganizations and international transfers;
- providing greater flexibility with respect to the timing of elections to opt out of grow-in benefits (or rescinding such opt outs), allowing such elections to be done on a class by class basis and clarifying the effective date of employment terminations that will be used to determine entitlement to any grow-in benefits;
- placing certain restrictions on the Superintendent’s expanded authority to order a pension plan wind-up; and
- clarifying that a wind-up could be ordered if, among other requirements, members are no longer eligible to receive ancillary benefits.