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

Category Archives: Pension Reform

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Alberta’s New Target Benefit Regime

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform, Target Benefit Plans

Alberta is moving forward with sweeping pension reforms in the new Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and regulations, which come into effect on September 1, 2014. Alberta’s new approach of providing comprehensive and specific rules for various types of pension plan designs is a welcome change from the “one size fits all model” employed in… Continue Reading

Quebec Proposes Reforms to Municipal Defined Benefit Pension Plans

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans

On June 12th, the Quebec government introduced Bill 3 – An Act to Foster the Financial Health and Sustainability of Municipal Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Quebec (Bill 3). Bill 3 replaces Bill 79 – An Act to Provide for the Restructuring of and Make Other Amendments to Municipal Defined Benefit Plans (Bill 79) which… Continue Reading

Ontario Government Committed to Improving Pensions Through Extensive and Innovative Measures

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform, Plan Conversions, Target Benefit Plans

By:  Jana Steele, Paul Litner and Lesha VanDerBij The 21st century workforce needs a modern retirement income system, but Ontario and Canada have a 20th century system in place. That is why Ontario is taking a leadership role in addressing this pressing issue. On May 1st, the Ontario government presented its Budget for 2014 (the… Continue Reading

Differentiating Pension Issues: TBPs vs. CPP

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform, Target Benefit Plans

By Louise Greig and Jana Steele We noticed last week after the federal government’s welcome announcement to commence a consultation process on target benefit plans (TBPs)  that much of the media coverage and discussion focussed on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the fact that the federal government appears to have rejected the option of… Continue Reading

Ontario Pension Reform Update: Proposed Amendments to Regulations

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DC Plans, Investments, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Plan Administration

As part of its ongoing pension reform initiative, on April 25, 2014, the Ontario government announced amendments to the general regulation under the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) in relation to the following: statements of investment policies and procedures (SIP&P); annual statements for former and retired members; financial statements; and payment of variable benefits from defined… Continue Reading

Big Changes for Alberta Public Sector Pension Plans

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

On April 16, 2014, the government of Alberta tabled Bill 9, Public Sector Pension Plans Amendment Act, 2014 (Bill 9), which proposes significant changes to public sector pension plans in Alberta. In this blog post, I will discuss proposed changes that, if passed, will impact the Management Employees Pension Plan (MEPP), Local Authorities Pension Plan… Continue Reading

Amendments to Alberta’s Proposed New Employment Pension Plans Act

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, De-Risking, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Target Benefit Plans

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

New Brunswick Reforms MLAs Pensions to Shared Risk

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, De-Risking, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans, Target Benefit Plans

On March 26, 2014, the New Brunswick legislature introduced for first reading Bill 51, An Act Respecting Members’ Pensions, which proposes to move Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to the shared risk pension plan currently available for other public sector employees in New Brunswick. (As discussed in a prior blog post, New Brunswick recently… Continue Reading

Quebec Releases Draft Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan Regulations

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DC Plans, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform

On March 12, 2014, the Quebec government released draft regulations (pdf) that are required to complete the new legal framework for the establishment of voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSPs) in Quebec effective July 1, 2014. The Quebec government adopted Bill 39 (the VRSP Act) last December, which defines the main characteristics of the VRSP design. One… Continue Reading

Restructuring Pensions in Quebec’s Municipal Sector: Hints of Private Sector Reform to Come?

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans

As was expected, the Quebec government recently tabled Bill 79, An Act to provide for the restructuring of and make other amendments to municipal defined benefit plans, which is aimed at improving the sustainability of defined benefit pension plans in the municipal sector. This Bill is one of the steps that were announced in the… Continue Reading

Federal Budget 2014 Includes Pension Changes for Public Sector Employees

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

Yesterday’s federal budget demonstrates that, like many of its provincial counterparts, the federal government is looking for cost savings in its employees’ compensation arrangements. Federal Budget In an effort to ensure that “public service employee compensation is reasonable and affordable, as well as aligned with that offered by other public and private employers”, the federal… Continue Reading

Quebec’s New Pension Reform Proposals: Effective Solutions in the Works?

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans, Target Benefit Plans

As in many other jurisdictions in Canada, Quebec’s pension landscape is in the midst of significant change driven by the issues of pension coverage, adequacy and sustainability. Notable highlights for 2013 included: the release of a report by the pension expert committee mandated to analyze the state of Quebec’s retirement income system and to make… Continue Reading

New Brunswick Proposes Public Sector Changes

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Innovation & Plan Design, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans, Target Benefit Plans

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

Public Sector Pension Reform Includes Retirees

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans, Target Benefit Plans

Reform of Canada’s public sector pension plans is no longer limited to active employees – increasingly governments are willing to address expensive components of retiree pensions as a part of their reform initiatives. Most recently, Prince Edward Island announced that, beginning in 2017, it would only grant cost of living adjustments (COLA) to its public… Continue Reading

Ontario Releases Draft Asset Transfer Regulations

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Sale of Business

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

Pooled Registered Pension Plans – Status Update

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform

To address concerns about pension coverage in Canada, the federal government introduced the concept of the pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) in late 2011 through Bill C-25, the Pooled Registered Pension Plan Act (PRPP Act). The PRPP is intended to provide a “low cost” and accessible retirement savings vehicle for Canadians who do not currently… Continue Reading

Ontario Budget 2013 – More Pension Reform to Come

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Family Law Issues, Innovation & Plan Design, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans, Target Benefit Plans

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.

Expert Committee Pressing for Pension Reform in Quebec

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Pension Reform

Back in the fall of 2011, an expert committee chaired by Alban D’Amours was mandated by the Quebec government to analyze the state of the Quebec retirement income system and to make recommendations on how to improve it in light of the new economic and demographic realities. The Committee released a voluminous report on April… Continue Reading

Quebec Budget Forecasts Further Pension Reform

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Innovation & Plan Design, Pension Reform

Last month, the Quebec government posted its budget for 2012-2013, which included a number of pension-related items. Expert Committee: The committee tasked with studying Québec’s retirement system, chaired by Alban D’Amours, is expected to table its report in early 2013. The recommendations of the Expert Committee will likely lead to a round of pension reform… Continue Reading

Ontario Pension Plans Will be Permitted to Use Letters of Credit

Posted in DB Plan Funding, Pension Reform

Effective January 1, 2013, certain Ontario employers will be able to use letters of credit to fund their pension plans’ solvency deficiencies. Provisions permitting letters of credit were added to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA) in late 2010 when Bill 120 was passed, but they did not come into force pending the publication… Continue Reading

Alberta Introduces New Pension Legislation

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Innovation & Plan Design, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform

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

Ontario Pension Reforms Come into Force

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Plan Administration, Plan Wind-Ups

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

FSCO Instructions for MEPPs & JSPPs Looking to Opt Out of Grow-In Benefits Now

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Pension Reform, Public Sector Plans

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has posted information for jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs) and multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) which are planning to opt out of the new grow-in benefit regime. Of particular note, these plans may file notice of their election with the Superintendent of Financial Services before July 1, 2012, though… Continue Reading

Ontario Releases More Draft Pension Regulations: Disclosure Requirements

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Legislation & Regulations, Pension Reform, Plan Administration

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