The Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld the B.C. Credit Union Employers’ Pension Plan’s decision to increase its normal retirement date to age 65 from age 62.

The 2016 decision — which was made by trustees to maintain the plan’s financial viability — was being challenged by a group of plan members who alleged the trustees breached their fiduciary duties and failed to warn plan members about a solvency deficit in the funding of the plan.

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In its decision, the court found no evidence that the pension plan’s trustees breached their statutory reporting obligations to either plan members or to the superintendent, nor did they act unreasonably by considering irrelevant or improper factors in selecting new trustees. “Absent such a breach, there is no basis to support the plaintiffs’ allegation of a breach of the duty to warn about possible benefit changes.”

The plaintiffs also alleged the trustees’ resolution to raise the retirement age, instead of contribution rates, improperly favoured the interests of participating employers. However, the court sided with the trustees, noting they considered the consequences of raising contribution rates on participating employers and the potential for these employers to withdraw from the plan.

“This is a relevant and proper factor to consider as it impacts the long-term financial viability of the plan, which is a core concern for the trustees.”

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