The Supreme Court of Canada has heard the appeal in the Elaine Nolan et al. v. Kerry (Canada) Inc. et al. case.

Last year, plaintiffs representing certain and former members of the company pension plan sought permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

They wanted the SCC to overturn the Ontario Court of Appeal’s June 2007 ruling that said the introduction of a defined contribution (DC) component to the plan didn’t create a second plan and thus found that cross-subsidization was not prohibited by the trust agreement.

The Kerry pension plan was amended to introduce a DC component. The defined benefit (DB) portion had a surplus, which the employer then used to fund its contributions to the DC portion.

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The OCA also ruled that the employer was not responsible to pay the amounts that it had taken from the fund through the contribution holidays.

The case has been closely watched by the industry and two organizations, the Association of Canadian Pension Management and the Canadian Labour Congress, were granted leave to intervene in the case.

The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision sometime in the new year.

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