Don’t miss these important pension and benefits dates for 2019

As 2018 draws to a close, professionals in the pension, investment, benefits and human resources industries have a number of dates to add to their calendars for the year ahead.

Jan. 1:

  • The Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan enhancements take effect. In the first stage, employees and employers will see their CPP contribution rates climb from the current level of 4.95 per cent each to 5.95 per cent each by 2023, for a total of 11.9 per cent up to the year’s maximum pensionable earnings.

Read: A primer on the incoming CPP/QPP enhancements

  • The amount of payroll eligible for exemption from Ontario’s employer health tax will rise to $490,000 from $450,000 for employers with 10 or fewer employees.

Read: Ontario to raise payroll exemption on employer health tax

  • British Columbia will begin levying its new health tax. Employers with payroll costs below $500,000 are exempt, those with payroll between $500,000 and $1.5 million will pay 2.95 per cent on the amount exceeding $500,000 and employers with payroll above $1.5 million will pay 1.95 per cent.

Read: Employer-paid benefits to be subject to new B.C. health tax

  • As part of Bill 47, Ontario employees will see changes to their personal leave provisions. The 10 days of personal leave proposed by the former Ontario Liberal government will be replaced by three days for personal illness, three days for family responsibilities and two days for bereavement, all of which are unpaid.

Read: Ontario government unveils new labour standards bill

  • Employees in Nova Scotia who are victims of domestic violence will be entitled to 10 intermittent or consecutive days off and up to 16 consecutive weeks off each year. To be eligible, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 13 weeks.

Feb. 1:

  • Until this date, the Public Sector Accounting Board will be accepting written comments from stakeholders on the accounting principles and guidance applied when determining post-employment benefit obligations, as well as whether potential accounting guidance is acceptable for estimating obligations for non-pension related benefits that occur post-employment, such as sick leave, long-term disability and health and dental benefits.

March 2019:

  • OHIP+ will become the second payer for prescription drug coverage for those under age 25 who have coverage under a private plan.

Read: Ontario government to become second payer under OHIP+ changes

Mar. 17:

  • Initially expected to take place in June, the use-it-or-lose-it employment insurance parental benefit will come into effect for children born or placed for adoption on or after this date. The five-week benefit will increase the duration of employment insurance parental leave by up to five weeks in cases where the second parent agrees to take a minimum of five weeks of the maximum combined 40 weeks available using the standard parental option of 55 per cent of earnings for 12 months. Alternatively, where families have opted for the extended parental benefits at 33 per cent of earnings for 18 months, the second parent would be able to take up to eight weeks of additional parental leave.

Read: Budget offers details on new five-week leave for second parent