And the award goes to…
On Oct. 9, Benefits Canada—along with 160 guests—celebrated the finalists and announced the winners of the 2014 Workplace Benefits Awards at a gala evening at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Here are the winners and the finalists. You’ll find more details in our Special Awards Issue, which will be published in December.
ABSENCE MANAGEMENT AWARD
Winner: Rogers Communications
Finalists: Bell Canada; Humber River Hospital
BENEFITS PLAN COMMUNICATIONS
Winners (tie): Electronic Arts Canada; Glencore
Finalist: TRW Canada Ltd.
PENSION PLAN COMMUNICATIONS
Finalists: Harry Rosen Inc.; Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
BENEFITS PLAN ENGAGEMENT
Winner: Libro Credit Union
Finalists: Nalcor Energy; TRW Canada Ltd.
PENSION PLAN ENGAGEMENT
Winner: Niagara Casinos
Finalists: Rogers Communications; Sifton Properties Ltd.
< 1,000 employees Winner: London Hydro Finalists: Bruce Telecom; Learning Enrichment FoundationHEALTH/WELLNESS PROGRAM 1,000+ employees Winner: Niagara Casinos Finalists: American Express; Devon EnergyMENTAL HEALTH Winner: Bell Canada Finalists: Husky Energy; Niagara CasinosSTRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP Winner: Staples Canada & Morneau Shepell Finalists: Glencore & Mercer; Owens MacFadyen Group & Employee Wellness Solutions NetworkNow is the perfect time to think about nominations for next year! Email the editor and we’ll let you know when we open the 2015 call for nominations.
❱ The federal government has proposed the next round of amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations. One proposed change stipulates that DC plan sponsors will have to provide members with more details about the investment choices they need to make, including an extensive description of each investment option. Another change stipulates that DC plans would be able to provide variable benefits during the decumulation phase—meaning, pensioners would be able to withdraw variable amounts from their pension fund each year. Yet another change covers DB plans. DB administrators currently can’t invest or lend more than 10% of the book value of the plan’s assets in or to any one entity. The proposal calls for applying that rule to the market value instead.
❱ Federally registered pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs)— voluntary pension arrangements for employees and the self-employed intended to be lower cost—are now available in Canada. The five insurance companies with PRPP licences (Great-West Life, Industrial Alliance, Manulife, Standard Life and Sun Life Financial) recently registered with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the Canada Revenue Agency—the last necessary step before plan administrators could make federal PRPPs available to Canadians. PRPPs can function with or without a participating employer.
❱ Quebec is considering a bill that would overhaul its health and social services network. Under Bill 10, the number of administrative levels in the health network would be reduced—particularly the number of officers and boards of directors. The bill would combine Quebec’s 18 health and social services agencies and its 182 health institutions into just 28 institutions. The bill would also centralize certain powers related to the organization and governance of health institutions under the office of the Minister of Health and Social Services.
Sources: Norton Rose Fulbright; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Defined Benefit Summit
Dec. 10, 2014 at The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal/Dec. 11, 2014 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto
The theme for this year’s event is Brave New DB World. DB pension plans may have enjoyed strong gains recently, but given the long-term nature of these plans, sponsors still need to consider the future. At this exclusive forum, leading industry experts will discuss how DB plans can lock in their gains for the long term. They will also debate whether de-risking makes sense in the current environment and what new plan design or investment options have the potential to transform the Canadian pension landscape. The forum will include expert presentations and panel discussions with key stakeholders on their experiences with managing pension plans.
Face to Face: Drug Plan Management
Dec. 12, 2014 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto
With the prevalence of chronic conditions and greater use of biologics, now more than ever, employers need to manage their drug spend effectively and understand the return on their investment. While new designs and distribution options may offer savings for drug plan sponsors, it’s also crucial to consider their impact on member needs. What should employers do to ensure their drug plans remain sustainable for future generations? This half-day event features presentations, case studies and interactive panel discussions, providing stakeholders with an opportunity to share common problems and solutions.
Find more information on this and other industry events at benefitscanada.com/conferences
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