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Pensions & Benefits Law A Discussion of Canadian and U.S./Cross-Border Pension & Benefit Legal Issues

Category Archives: Benefit Plans

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Ontario Latest Jurisdiction to Announce Changes to Public Sector Employee Benefits

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Public Sector Plans

Earlier this week, the Ontario government announced that it would be making changes to its post-retirement benefit program in order to “bring the Ontario Public Service retiree benefits in line with other public sector organizations”. First, the government intends to increase the eligibility period for retiree benefits. Members who do not have 10 years of… Continue Reading

New Requirements re Insurance for LTD Plans of Federally-Regulated Employers Coming Into Force in 2014

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Legislation & Regulations

In 2012, the federal government passed Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, which among other things amends the Canada Labour Code (the Code) to implement insurance requirements for long-term disability (LTD) plans in the federally-regulated private sector, as previously discussed here. Federally-regulated employers (that is, those in industries such as telecommunications and… Continue Reading

Timberwest Forest Corp. v. Gustavson: Limits on Employer’s Right to Amend Post-Retirement Benefits

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law

As more post-retirement cases actually go to trial, we are starting to get a sense of what factors judges consider relevant in determining whether an employer will be permitted to reduce or eliminate post-retirement benefits. In this British Columbia Supreme Court decision, released on August 16, 2012, the personal circumstances of the plaintiff, Mr. Gustavson,… Continue Reading

Federal Budget Bill Includes Changes for LTD Plans Sponsored by Federally-Regulated Employers

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Legislation & Regulations

The federal government followed up on its Budget announcement earlier this year by introducing Bill C-38, Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, for first reading. While much discussion of the Budget has focussed on proposed changes to Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement – gradually increasing the age of eligibility from 65 to… Continue Reading

Lump Sum Payments in Lieu of Health/Dental Benefits Will Be Taxable

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law

Employers considering payouts in lieu of health and dental benefits should move quickly, as the Canada Revenue Agency (the CRA) has indicated that (subject to certain exceptions for insolvent employers) such payments will be taxable beginning in 2012. In response to commentary included in the federal budget, the CRA recently posted a series of Qs… Continue Reading

Employers Should Review Plan Terms Defining Eligibility for Retiree Benefits

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

Even though post-retirement benefit (PRB) plans are not the same as registered pension plans, and are not subject to pension standards legislation, the recent arbitration decision in Regional Municipality (Durham) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1764 is an important reminder to both employers and employees that benefits under pension plans and PRB plans… Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments under the Income Tax Act for Employee Life and Health Trusts

Posted in Benefit Plans, Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Legislation & Regulations

The Minister of Finance recently announced proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act creating a new vehicle, called an employee life and health trust (EL&H trust), through which employers can provide certain group benefits to their employees and former employees in a tax effective manner. While many of the rules in the proposed amendments regarding… Continue Reading