© Copyright 2006 Rogers Publishing Ltd. The following article first appeared in the January 2005 edition of BENEFITS CANADA magazine.
Key dates to prepare for in 2005.
Now that all the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to once again get to the tasks at hand in the new year. And plan sponsors throughout the country will need to mark their calendars as varying industry measures and rules take effect in 2005. Here is a look at some of them:


Jan. 1 – The federal government is reducing the Employment Insurance contribution rate for employees to $1.95 from $1.98 per $100 of insurable earnings.

Feb. 1 – Adoption of a revised actuarial Standard of Practice for Determining Pension Commuted Values, which was recently approved by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

The CAPSA Model Law Committee, after reviewing comments received from pension stakeholders about the model law proposal, will finalize them for approval by CAPSA in early 2005.

Dec. 31 – Deadline to comply with Joint Forum’s capital accumulation plan guidelines.


Jan. 1 – The Ontario Health Premium will revert to its full annual tax.(As of July 2004, Ontario residents were paying only half the annual tax).

April 1 – The province will no longer cover the cost of physiotherapy services (exception for seniors receiving physiotherapy through home care and long-term care facilities).


Jan. 1 – Bill 129, Pension Benefits Act(amended) removes “grow-in” benefits.

Jan. 1 – The province will cover all healthcare for residents requiring long-term care services. The initiative will apply to 6,600 residents in 144 facilities and is expected to cost $45 million annually.


April 1 – New dental and optical coverage for seniors will be provided with income-based co-pays.


Jan. 1 – The Workers Compensation Board is reducing its average premium rate from $2.059 to $1.975 per $100 of insurable earnings.

Source: Mellon Outlook, Manulife.com, CanadianInstitute.com, Cox Hanson O’Reilly Matheson, CAPSA.