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

Category Archives: Plan Administration

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Alberta Pension Reform: Getting Started on Plan Compliance Amendments

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

Effective September 1, 2014, the new Alberta Employment Pension Plans Act (New EPPA) and Employment Pension Plans Regulation (New Regulation) came into force. Pension plans registered in Alberta, as well as plans registered in other jurisdictions which have Alberta members, will need to review their plans and make any necessary amendments to ensure compliance with… Continue Reading

Plan Administration Changes in New Alberta Pension Legislation: Make Sure You Are in Compliance (Part II of II)

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

In this post, we discuss the amendments in the new Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and the accompanying Employment Pension Plans Regulation (EPPR), which came into force on September 1, 2014, with respect to plan administration. In this second part of a two-part series on changes of interest to plan administrators, we focus on the… Continue Reading

Plan Administration Changes in New Alberta Pension Legislation: Make Sure You Are in Compliance (Part I of II)

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

The new Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and the accompanying Employment Pension Plans Regulation (EPPR), which came into force on September 1, 2014, are reforming the pension regulatory landscape in Alberta. In this post (part one of a two-part series), we focus on certain amendments to the EPPA and EPPR which will require changes to… Continue Reading

PBA Amendments in Response to Carrigan Case Become Law

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Family Law Issues, Legislation & Regulations, Plan Administration

Following the recent provincial election, Ontario’s Liberal government re-introduced the budget bill which had been defeated during the last session of the legislature. With the Liberals’ new majority in the legislature, the budget bill passed easily this time around. Bill 14, the Building Opportunity and Securing Our Future Act (Budget Measures) Act, 2014, received royal… 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

Ontario Introduces PBA Amendments in Response to Carrigan Case

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Family Law Issues, Legislation & Regulations, Plan Administration

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

Plan’s Funded Status Required to be Disclosed under Freedom of Information Request

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Plan Administration

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

Carrigan Case: Supreme Court of Canada Dismisses Leave to Appeal

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Family Law Issues, Plan Administration

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

Quebec Court of Appeal Refuses to Authorize Pension Class Action

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

FSCO Updates Family Law Forms

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Family Law Issues, Plan Administration

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

Pension Plan Restructuring (Part IV) – Plan Amendments

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

Re Amcor Packaging: Court Corrects Plan Amendment Made in Error

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

Upcoming Webinar re Carrigan Case

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

CRA Pension Limits for 2013

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

No Divorce from Spouse #1? Common Law Spouse #2 Not Entitled to Pre-Retirement Death Benefits

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Family Law Issues, Plan Administration

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

Régie Des Rentes Releases Unfavourable Position on Margins for Adverse Deviations

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, Plan Administration, Regulator Policies & Communications

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

Ontario Pension Reforms Come into Force

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

Saint John (City) v. Ferguson – Board of Trustees Can Commence Legal Proceedings for Defamation

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

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

Ontario Budget: Implications for Private and Public Sector Pensions

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

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

FSCO to Make Electronic Filing Mandatory

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration, Regulator Policies & Communications

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

Orpin v. Littlechild: Will Revokes Insurance Policy Beneficiary Designation

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, Plan Administration

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

CAPSA Guidelines re Prudent Investments and Funding Policies

Posted in Canada Pensions & Benefits Law, DB Plan Funding, DC Plans, Investments, Plan Administration

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