Pension plan sponsors may be surprised to learn that information provided to pension regulators pursuant to statutory filing obligations could be more widely disclosed through an “access to information” request. In a recent decision, the B.C. Assistant Information and Privacy Commissioner ordered the B.C. Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM), which regulates B.C. registered pension plans, to… Continue Reading
This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate. As a result, the Ontario Court of Appeal’s new interpretation of the priority scheme for the payment of pre-retirement death benefits under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA) is now settled law. It would appear… Continue Reading
The recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision in Rousselet v. Corporation de l’École polytechnique confirmed some useful legal principles in its analysis: the pension committee of a registered pension plan is a legal entity separate from the plan sponsor and is thus liable for its own actions and omissions; the time limit to challenge a… Continue Reading
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has posted revised family law forms which plan administrators, plan members and their spouses/former spouses must use when plan members or their spouses are seeking a valuation and division of pension assets on marriage breakdown. Plan members and/or their spouses/former spouses must use these new forms immediately when… Continue Reading
There are other ways to restructure your defined benefit plan to decrease future costs that are typically less drastic than the conversion to defined contribution or plan wind-up options discussed in my previous posts. Benefit Reductions For example, plan amendments to: eliminate or reduce ancillary benefits such as unreduced (or partially reduced) early retirement and bridge… Continue Reading
After finding that an erroneous amendment to its pension plan had the unintended effect of increasing benefits payable under the plan to deferred vested members who elected to retire before their normal retirement date, Amcor Packaging Canada, Inc. (Amcor) successfully applied to the Ontario Superior Court to have the plan text corrected. Background In an… Continue Reading
In a post earlier this month, we wrote about the Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate. As many have heard, it has changed our understanding of the priority scheme for the payment of pre-retirement death benefits under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. In a nutshell, the Ontario Court of Appeal decided that if… Continue Reading
The Registered Plans Directorate at the Canada Revenue Agency has updated the rates for money purchase, registered retirement savings plan, deferred profit sharing plan and defined benefit limits, which may be used to calculate pension adjustments, past service pension adjustments and pension adjustment reversals. The Directorate has also increased the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE)… Continue Reading
In the recent case of Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate, the Ontario Court of Appeal has effectively re-written the law on pre-retirement death benefits under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (the PBA). Up until now it has been commonly accepted that if a pension plan member dies prior to retirement, then the member’s spouse on the… Continue Reading
Effective December 31, 2010, revisions were made by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) to its Standards of Practice – Practice-Specific Standards for Pension Plans. In particular, the revised CIA Standards of Practice now provide that assumptions for going concern valuations are either best estimates or best estimates modified to incorporate margins for adverse deviations… 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
The Board of Trustees of the City of Saint John Employee Pension Plan (the Trustees) commenced an action against John Ferguson, a member of the Common Council of the City of Saint John, for defamation based upon certain comments Mr. Ferguson made at both council meetings and in a newspaper article. At issue in two… 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
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
In March of 2010, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) launched its Pension Services Portal (PSP), which enables plan administrators to file Annual Information Returns, Investment Information Summaries, Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund Assessment Certificates, Pension Plan/Fund Financial Statements, Actuarial Information Summaries, and Actuarial Valuation Reports electronically. Last week, FSCO announced that effective January 1, 2013 all of these… Continue Reading
The cases of Richardson Estate v. Mew and Tower Estate v. Tower Estate considered whether a provision in a separation agreement can revoke a prior beneficiary designation. In Orpin v. Littlechild, at issue was a provision included in the will of the deceased, and whether it had the effect of revoking a prior beneficiary designation… Continue Reading
The Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) has been working away at providing pension plan administrators with guidance regarding pension plan investing and funding. As we reported earlier, CAPSA released draft guidelines this past spring. Those guidelines were released on November 15, 2011 in final form: Guideline No.6 – Pension Plan Prudent Investment Practices… Continue Reading
The Registered Plans Directorate at the Canada Revenue Agency has updated the rates for money purchase, registered retirement savings plan, deferred profit sharing plan and defined benefit limits, which may be used to calculate pension adjustments, past service pension adjustments and pension adjustment reversals. The Directorate has also increased the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) to… Continue Reading
The British Columbia Supreme Court’s recent decision in Jarman v. Jarman raises important jurisdictional issues for administrators of supplemental retirement plans (SRPs), confirming that these plans may be subject to provincial family law legislation in circumstances involving the marriage breakdown of a member of the plan.
In response to Ontario’s new regime for dividing pensions on marriage breakdown, which permits the former spouse of a plan member to receive an immediate payment of his or her share of the member’s pension and requires plan administrators to calculate the value of the pension, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has released… Continue Reading
As a result of today’s difficult economic times, many employers are evaluating their retirement programs and considering how they can reduce benefits. The decision of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench in Quinn v. New Brunswick (Minister of Finance) contains guidance on the common law analysis to be applied when considering a potential option… Continue Reading
Effective July 1, 2011, the administration of Ontario and Quebec registered pension plans with members in both jurisdictions is subject to the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities Agreement Respecting Multi-Jurisdictional Pension Plans (the Agreement). The Agreement sets out a framework for the regulation and administration of multi-jurisdictional pension plans (MJPP), including: The rules of… Continue Reading
A recent decision by the Ontario Superior Court provides a useful reminder regarding the difference between just cause at common law and wilful misconduct under employment standards legislation. This distinction is important for plan administrators who will be dealing with grow-in entitlements on and after July 1, 2012.
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.