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
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Sutherland v. Hudson’s Bay Company has confirmed that the principles regarding entitlement to surplus on plan termination established by the Supreme Court of Canada back in 1994 still apply.
Yesterday Bill 120, Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010, received royal assent. As discussed in previous posts (see October 22, October 29 and December 6, 2010 posts), Bill 120 made a number of significant changes to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act, including:
Bill 120, Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010, was amended by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, and was ordered for Third Reading on December 1, 2010. While the amendments address some of the concerns we raised in our submission to the government, a number of issues remain outstanding.
Earlier this month, the Ontario government introduced Bill 120, The Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010 for first reading. While we commend the government for pushing ahead with pension reform, we are concerned that a number of the amendments may not resolve ongoing issues as intended or may in fact have… Continue Reading
With the introduction of Bill 120, the Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010, on October 19, 2010, the Ontario government moved forward with its stated objective to continue its reform of the province’s pension system. This second stage of pension reform follows on the heels of Bill 236, which received royal… Continue Reading
On October 19, 2010, the Ontario government introduced the second stage of pension reform – Bill 120, The Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010. A press release indicated that Bill 120 would include amendments aimed at: strengthening pension plan funding requirements; providing certain multi-employer pension plans and jointly sponsored pension plans… Continue Reading
On October 7, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Burke v. Hudson’s Bay Co., upholding the Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling that Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) was permitted to charge plan administration expenses to the pension fund, and did not have a fiduciary obligation to transfer a portion of the actuarial… Continue Reading
In late August of this year, the Ontario government announced the second stage of pension reform. While we were pleased to see that the government was continuing to move forward with its reforms to the Ontario pension system, we were concerned that these proposals did very little to encourage employers in the private sector to… Continue Reading
As indicated in our previous post on Bill 236 (the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010), the provisions that address surplus withdrawal on full or partial wind-up have come into force. There is still some controversy, however, surrounding how the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is interpreting the new provisions. On September 20, 2010, FSCO… Continue Reading
As indicated in a previous post, among the very few aspects of Bill 236, the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010 to come into force on royal assent were the provisions addressing surplus withdrawal on full or partial wind-up. Some issues of concern regarding these provisions have already arisen, as they have been subject to competing… Continue Reading
As indicated in a previous post, most of the provisions of Bill 236, Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010, which recently received Royal Assent, have not yet come into force, but there is one important exception – the new surplus withdrawal regime for full and partial wind ups. Under the old plan wind up surplus withdrawal rules, an employer had to… Continue Reading
Bill 236, Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010, received royal assent on May 18, 2010. As discussed in previous posts (from April 21, 2010 and December 10, 2009) Bill 236 makes a number of significant changes to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act, including: eliminating partial wind-ups; introducing immediate vesting; extending “Rule of 55” grow-in benefits to… Continue Reading
Following several days of public hearings and receipt of many written submissions, on April 19, 2010 the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs reported on Ontario Bill 236, Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010, making a number of amendments to the Bill. Probably the most significant change in the revised version of the Bill, which… Continue Reading
Yesterday’s Budget announcement by the Ontario government included its “vision” for further pension reform – with the emphasis being on changes to the funding of defined benefit plans. Ontario began its reform of the pension system late last year with the introduction of Bill 236, which it described as the “first stage” of a multi-step… Continue Reading
Following through on its announcement last fall, the federal government has recently tabled a Notice of Ways and Means Motion, which includes amendments to the Income Tax Act increasing the pension plan surplus threshold from 10% to 25%. These amendments, which will apply to all registered pension plans, whether federally or provincially regulated, beginning with… Continue Reading
In January 2010, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released a consultation paper outlining proposals to streamline the regulatory review process for defined benefit (DB) applications (PDF). The proposals outlined in the most recent paper – an earlier consultation process had taken place in the spring of 2009 – are designed to lead to more… Continue Reading
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Hydro One confirmed that the Superintendent may use a “subset analysis” when assessing the “significance” of plan member terminations for purposes of ordering a partial plan wind-up. The impact of this decision may be limited, however, if the amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) wind-up… Continue Reading
On December 9, 2009 the Ontario government announced the first stage of a multi-step process to reform the province’s occupational pension system – the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2009 (Bill 236). The next stage is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2010. It appears that the government is taking its cue from the… Continue Reading
The Ontario government filed Regulation 447/09, extending the surplus sharing regulation (under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act) for two years to December 31, 2011. In addition, the regulations for Specified Ontario Multi-Employer Pension Plans have been extended for two years to 2012.
The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave in Burke v. Hudson’s Bay Company. As you may recall, the case involved the sale of a division of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and the related transfer of pension plan members, along with assets equal to these members’ liabilities, to the purchaser’s new pension plan. The… Continue Reading
Is it permissible to re-open a closed pension plan and thereby quash the hopes of members to access the surplus bottled up in it? The latest decision in the Rogers v. Buschau saga suggests it is. As some may remember, the sponsor, Rogers Communications Inc., had closed a defined benefit pension plan, registered under the federal… Continue Reading
The decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Re Hawker Siddeley Canada Inc. Pension Plan (PDF) presents an opportunity for employers to expedite the surplus distribution process by allowing surplus attributable to unlocated members and former members to be paid into Court. When Hawker Siddeley Canada Inc. wound up its plan in 1996,… Continue Reading
Much has been written on the Kerry case following its release by the Supreme Court in August 2009. The facts of the case are well known by now. But what salient points from the case should pension administrators and their advisors keep in mind? There are several, and in a nutshell, they are: No statutory or common law… Continue Reading