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Pensions

Upcoming conferences on labour, employment, human rights, privacy, immigration, pensions & benefits law

The table below contains a comprehensive list of the upcoming workplace law (employment, labour, human rights, pensions, privacy and immigration) conferences in Canada in 2011. The full names of the service providers, and links to their sites, are at the bottom of the page.

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"Are Pension Benefits Deductible From Wrongful Dismissal Damages?"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

John D. Campbell and Stephanie L. Turnham have written an article entitled "Are Pension Benefits Deductible From Wrongful Dismissal Damages?" (October 2010). They are lawyers at WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto. The article was published in Canadian Corporate Counsel magazine.

In the article, the authors state that:

In Ontario, and generally throughout the common law provinces of Canada, the current consensus is that pension benefits received during the notice period are not to be deducted from wrongful dismissal damages".

They go on to state, however:  read more »

"Employee Benefit Reference Guide for Canadian Employers"

Maclagan Inc. has published an, "Employee Benefit Reference Guide for Canadian Employers".

Maclagan, which is based in Markham, Ontario, provides employee benefits consulting and insurance brokerage services.

The guide is intended to assist Canadian employers in the review of existing employee benefit programs or the design of new programs. It is a very useful resource in that it reviews, in layman's language, the various components of a typical health and welfare benefits plan.

Federal government releases final regulations said to enhance protection for private pension plan members

Topics: - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The federal government announced today that it has finalized regulations relating to federally regulated private pension plans "that will enhance protection for plan members, reduce funding volatility and modernize the rules for investments by pension funds."

The regulations are part of the "modernized federal pension framework" that was announced on October 27, 2009, and follow up on the draft regulations that were announced on May 3, 2010.

Today's news release states that amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 include:  read more »

"Moving Forward with Phase One of Ontario Pension Reform"

Topics: - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Blakes has published an article entitled "Moving Forward with Phase One of Ontario Pension Reform" that addresses Bill 236, the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010.

The article states that, "There are plan amendments in a number of areas which are required or advisable as a result of Bill 236", which fall under the following headings:  read more »

Navigating Pension and Benefit Issues on Termination of Employment

Mary Picard, a lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, recently presented a paper entitled "Navigating Pension and Benefit Issues on Termination of Employment" at the 8th Annual Pension and Benefits Hot Spots: Essential Updates on Key Legal Issues conference.

The paper addresses, among other topics, Bill 236 (which amends the Ontario Pension Benefits Act), an employer's duty to disclose benefits information, salary continuance issues and payments in lieu of pension accruals.

The paper can be found at the link below.

Federal government proposes changes to federally regulated private pension plans

Topics: - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Minister of Finance proposed changes today to federally regulated private pension plans that will "enhance protection for plan members, reduce funding volatility and modernize the rules for investments by pension funds."

The news release stated that:

The changes proposed today are in respect of regulation and complement the legislative changes in Bill C-9, which was introduced in the House of Commons on March 29, 2010. These changes are part of the comprehensive package of reforms announced on October 27, 2009.

And went on to say:

The amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 include:

-A new standard that uses average-rather than current-solvency ratios to determine minimum funding requirements. This will soften the impact of short-term market fluctuations on a plan's solvency funding requirements.  read more »

Claim can proceed against pension consultants who assisted employer in converting from DB Plan to DC Plan

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The case of Dawson v. Tolko Industries Ltd. involves a lawsuit that has been filed by 47 current and 17 former employees of Tolko Industries ("Tolko") in relation to the conversion of their pension plan from a defined benefit ("DB") plan to a defined contribution ("DC") plan. The trial is currently set for August 2010.

The recent decision in Dawson v. Tolko Industries Ltd., 2010 BCSC 346 involved a pre-trial application by certain defendants to have the case dismissed against them.

Background

In or around 1997,Tolko offered its employees a cash amount in exchange for agreeing to convert from a DB pension plan to a DC plan.  The 65 current and former employees accepted the offer. The basis of the lawsuit is that the value of the pension benefits under the DC plan is much less than it would have been under the DB plan.

In addition to Tolko, the current and former employees also named as defendants the following:  read more »

65 year old employee with 40 years service awarded 20 months notice; pension payments not deducted

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech

In Waterman v. IBM Canada Limited, 2010 BCSC 376, a 65 year old employee with 40 years of service was awarded a 20 month notice period. At the time of dismissal, the employee had had no plans to retire.

In reaching its decision, the BC Supreme Court addressed the following issues of interest:

  1. the impact of the character of employment on the notice period;
  2. the impact of health problems on the notice period;
  3. compensation for lost stock purchases over the notice period; and
  4. whether pension benefits received over the notice period should be deducted from the damages award.

Character of Employment
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