Alberta appears to be moving forward with its pension reform agenda. As you may recall, on December 10, 2012, Alberta’s new Employment Pension Plans Act (the Proposed New EPPA) received royal assent, but it has not yet been proclaimed in force. For an overview of the changes in the Proposed New EPPA, see our October… Continue Reading
The Ontario government has posted for public consultation a proposed exemption to the 10% rule which applies to investments of Ontario pension plans. Comments are due by February 18, 2014. Background on the Pension Plan Investment Rules In 2000, the Ontario government adopted the federal investment rules as part of a Canada-wide harmonization initiative. These… Continue Reading
Last year, the Ontario Court of Appeal surprised many in the pension industry with its decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate, which essentially established a new priority scheme for the payment of pre-retirement death benefits – and by extension joint and survivor benefits – under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA). The Ontario government… Continue Reading
On November 19, 2013, the Province of New Brunswick introduced for First Reading, An Act Respecting Pensions under the Public Service Superannuation Act (the Act). Under the Act, the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) will be repealed and the pension plan under the PSSA will be converted to a shared risk plan in accordance with… Continue Reading
Many in the legal community (myself included) have felt for years that the Alberta pension regulator and the Alberta courts got it wrong in Halliburton when they concluded that the employer was precluded from implementing a “hard” freeze on defined benefits (i.e., freezing both service and earnings) when converting to a defined contribution (DC) formula… Continue Reading
On July 2, 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Finance released for public comment draft regulations that would give life to the new pension asset transfer provisions in Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act (PBA) that were inserted in the PBA three years ago – on May 18, 2010 (through Bill 236) – but have yet to be proclaimed… Continue Reading
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
In today’s budget, the Ontario government announced that it is continuing with its pension reform agenda, but it is not all “old news”. Perhaps of most interest to employers and plan administrators will be the government’s intention to review the implications of the recent Carrigan case and its expanded interest in alternative plan designs.
The Ontario Divisional Court’s recent judgment in Ontario Pension Board v. Ratansi has overturned an earlier decision of the Financial Services Tribunal and restored an understanding established by previous Tribunal precedents. Employees who have transferred to a new employer as a part of a sale of business or divestment are not entitled to receive pension… Continue Reading
Almost four years after the Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards (JEPPS) submitted its final report with recommendations to fundamentally reform Alberta and British Columbia’s pension systems, the Alberta government has introduced Bill 10, Employment Pension Plans Act. Similar to B.C.’s Bill 38, which was passed earlier this year, Bill 10, if passed, will replace… Continue Reading
Following up on the solvency funding relief for Alberta specified multi-employer pension plans (SMEPPs) which was passed last year, the Alberta government recently amended the Employment Pension Plans Regulation to also provide solvency funding relief to defined benefit plans which are not SMEPPs. Notably, the regulation does not require any form of member consent, or… Continue Reading
As of July 1, 2012, a number of amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) and related amendments to the general regulation under the PBA were proclaimed in force. Employers and plan administrators should carefully review their plans and their administrative practices to ensure that they continue to be compliant with the PBA, and… Continue Reading
Late last week, the Ontario government released another round of draft regulations. This time the focus is on disclosure of plan related documents to plan members, former members, retired members, and their spouses, as well as other specified persons. They include amendments with respect to the following: plan records to be made available on request… Continue Reading
On April 30, 2012, British Columbia introduced Bill 38, Pension Benefits Standards Act, for first reading. If passed, the current British Columbia Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA) would be repealed and replaced in its entirety by Bill 38. Bill 38 marks the first significant amendments to British Columbia’s pension regime since the Joint Expert Panel… Continue Reading
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
Almost two years after passing its initial amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA) in Bill 236 and Bill 120, the Ontario government has released the first round of regulations required to implement its pension reform agenda. The regulations, which are in draft form and subject to public consultation, address a number of… Continue Reading
On March 27, 2012, the Ontario government introduced Bill 55, Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012, for first reading. Schedule 53 of Bill 55 sets out a number of amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) which relate to previous amendments that have not yet come into force, including amendments: clarifying entitlement… Continue Reading
The Ontario government’s 2012 Budget, released yesterday, includes a number of announcements which will be of interest to administrators of both private and public sector pension plans. Some Good News for Private Sector Employers The government recognized that as a result of ongoing market volatility and low interest rates many private sector defined benefit plans… Continue Reading
On June 24, 2011, the Ontario government published final regulations governing the division of pensions on marriage breakdown. With the publication of these regulations, which come into force on January 1, 2012, long-awaited reform of the family law provisions of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act appears to be coming to a close.
The Ontario government recently filed regulations under the Pension Benefits Act (the PBA), which implement funding changes for jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs) and certain public sector plans, as well as more general changes applicable to all defined benefit (DB) plans.
Certain provisions of Bill C-9, last year’s Budget Bill, which amended the federal Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA), have been proclaimed in force. As noted in an earlier blog post, Bill C-9 included a number of significant amendments to the PBSA related to funding, plan wind-ups, vesting, and plans at risk. Briefly, the sections coming into… Continue Reading
Effective March 25, 2011, Ontario amended the regulations under its Pension Benefits Act (the Regulations) to adopt the federal investment rules “as they may be amended from time to time.” Previously, Ontario had adopted the investment rules as they read on December 31, 1999 – requiring any changes to the rules made by the federal… Continue Reading
In this week’s Budget announcement, the Ontario government confirmed that work continues on its pension reform initiatives. While a number of the government’s announcements focus on the administration, investment and funding of single and multi-employer pension plans, the government also reiterated its desire to make changes at the “macro” level through support of modest phased… Continue Reading
In this post, I will discuss important pension plan funding changes implemented by Bill 120, Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010. (Previous posts have considered some of the more controversial aspects of Bill 120, namely, changes to the rules regarding surplus withdrawals, contribution holidays and plan expenses.) Like many aspects of… Continue Reading