Susan G. Seller is a partner in the Toronto office of Bennett Jones LLP and the head of its national pension and benefits practice.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Benefits Canada.
The images of floods, forest fires and heat waves over the past few years is putting climate change front of mind for many, including pension plan sponsors and administrators. It’s become increasingly clear that environmental, social and governance factors are emerging as an important area of concern for pension plan administrators and, by extension, the […]
Pension governance policies have been common for many years, at least since the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities published its initial guidelines on pension plan governance in 2004. There are compelling reasons for plan administrators to have in place a formal pension governance structure and written governance policy. A governance policy, which sets out […]
Employers that act as pension plan administrators have statutory fiduciary duties that are defined by the plan documents and by governing pension legislation. While those duties continue to apply during the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting market volatility, they require even more careful navigation, as cash flow and internal corporate resources may be strained. Pension regulators across […]
An important case around an employer’s ability to change its practice in granting consent benefits under a pension plan is winding its way through the courts. The case, Hall et al v Canadian National Railway, involves a dispute by a group of former employees of the Canadian National Railway Co. who resigned, prior to age 55, between the years […]
While 2018 ushered in a number of significant changes to Ontario’s pension legislation, including a major revamping of the funding rules for defined benefit plans, additional pending changes are afoot for 2019. Other provinces, such as British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, are also reviewing solvency funding requirements for plans registered in their respective jurisdictions. […]
The Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities has published draft guidance for plan administrators and third-party consultants to help them search for missing pension members. The task of locating members and beneficiaries has often placed a significant burden on pension plan administrators. They can’t complete plan windups (including partial terminations) until they’ve distributed all pension […]
2018 to be a significant year for pension reform in Ontario.
While 2017 was a relatively uneventful year in terms of legislative changes affecting pension plans, 2018 promises to be more significant, at least for many defined benefit plan sponsors in Ontario. The changes to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act scheduled to come into force during the coming year include: Funding and governance policies: Plan administrators will need to establish […]
Alongside the Ontario government’s announcement earlier this month regarding a new funding framework for defined benefit pension plans in the province, it also said it would require plan administrators to establish written governance and funding policies. This move is one of a number of proposed measures designed to protect benefit security for members of defined […]
While it may be true that there’s nothing new under the sun in the pension world, target-benefit plans may prove the exception. In the traditional landscape of defined benefit versus defined contribution plans, target-benefit plans represent a new frontier in pension design for employers. A target-benefit plan is an alternative plan design that combines features […]