With former Sears Canada Inc.’ employees set to see a 30 per cent reduction in their pension benefits beginning Aug. 1, Benefits Canada looks back at the saga.

June 2017 — Sears Canada announces it’s seeking protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act as it faces a $308.6-million deficit related to its retirement benefit obligations.

August 2017 — Counsel for Sears’ employees and retirees file a motion seeking a plan windup.

September 2017 — The company suspends its special payments at the end of the month and ceases to provide post-retirement benefits, including life insurance, medical and dental coverage.

Oct. 10, 2017 — Sears Canada announces it will seek a liquidation order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Oct. 17, 2017 — The Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services selects Morneau Shepell Ltd. to take over the administration of Sears Canada’s pension plan.

March 29, 2018 — Ontario’s Liberal government announces in its annual budget that the pension benefits guarantee fund will boost its monthly coverage limit by 50 per cent to $1,500 from $1,000. It also backdates the change to ensure Sears pensioners would be eligible for the extra money.

July 20, 2018 — Sears Canada retirees, through their legal counsel Koskie Minsky LLP, filed a motion in court seeking the retailer’s remaining cash to help fund their pension shortfall.

Aug. 1, 2018 — Retirees are set to see a 30 per cent reduction to their monthly pension benefits beginning today.

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Philip Hoberg:

All retirement pensions must be guaranteed before any creditors are paid. Pensioners depend on their pensions to fund their retirement years. Pension funding must be protected when large companies fail, before creditors and shareholders. Pensions for employees should be paid just like MPs and senators in the government.

Monday, December 03 at 2:29 pm | Reply

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