FTR Now

On May 27, 2019, the federal Department of Finance announced proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act (Canada) (ITA), to facilitate the conversion of existing Health and Welfare Trusts (HWTs) into Employee Life and Health Trusts (ELHTs), and to improve the existing ELHT rules. Comments on the proposed ITA amendments are invited by July 31, 2019…

FTR Now

On April 11, 2019, the Ontario government tabled its 2019 Budget, Protecting What Matters Most (Budget), and introduced supporting implementation legislation, Bill 100, the Protecting What Matters Most Act (Budget Measures), 2019 (Bill 100).

The Budget outlines key initiatives around broader public sector compensation, reforms within the healthcare sector, registered pension plans, freedom of information, and more. In this FTR Now, we highlight the proposals that are of particular interest to employers, benefits plan administrators and human resources professionals.

FTR Now

Recently approved pension changes to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System may increase employer pension costs and have impacts on workforce management. The OMERS Sponsors Corporation recently completed a Comprehensive Plan Review, which involved consideration of several proposed changes to the plan design and benefits.

Human Resources Legislative Update

On November 21, 2018, the federal government issued its Fall Economic Statement 2018, “Investing in Middle Class Jobs” (Statement). Among other things, the Statement: reiterates the Budget 2018 commitment of an evidence-based approach towards addressing retirement security and announces that targeted consultations will soon be launched as the government continues to explore ways to enhance…

FTR Now

Ontario Budget 2018

On March 28, 2018, the Ontario government tabled its 2018 Budget, A Plan for Care and Opportunity and introduced Bill 31, the Plan for Care and Opportunity Act (Budget Measures), 2018. The Budget outlines key initiatives around retirement security and pension reform, healthcare, education, further initiatives to specifically address gender equality issues, representation of women, and more…

Human Resources Legislative Update

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has published a new Guidance Note providing its interpretation and expectations relating to the requirements for the default investment selected by the administrator. The Guidance Note (Default Option for Member Choice Defined Contribution Plans) relates to defined contribution (DC) accounts or additional voluntary contribution accounts in…

Human Resources Legislative Update

In March, 2018, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) will commence a targeted review of pension plan member option statements to verify compliance with key requirements under the Pension Benefits Act (Act) and FSCO policies. In particular, FSCO will focus its targeted review on whether plan administrators are: meeting requirements for statement content and…

Human Resources Legislative Update

Much anticipated proposed regulatory amendments respecting the formula for calculating Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) assessments were published by the Ontario government on January 19, 2018 (Proposed Regulations).  With unproclaimed amendments to the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) set to enhance PBGF protection by increasing the guarantee from $1,000/month to $1,500/month, the proposed changes to the PBGF assessment formula are intended to maintain the viability of the PBGF.

FTR Now

New legislation has been tabled that will, if passed, change the retirement framework in Ontario – and the rules around pension plan administration, governance and funding. The proposals outlined in Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017, include permanent solvency funding measures, discharges for annuity purchases, a new registry for missing beneficiaries, multi-employer pension plans and target benefits changes and a host of other key amendments. Learn more about these important Bill 177 pension proposals and how they could impact your organization in this FTR Now.

FTR Now

On November 14, 2017, the Ontario government introduced Bill 177, the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017 (Bill 177), omnibus legislation supporting key reforms outlined in the 2017 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review (Fiscal Review), which was also released on that date.

Human Resources Legislative Update

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s recently revised position on employee discounts is attracting significant media coverage. In 2016, the CRA published an updated technical document on “Benefits and Allowances Received from Employment” (Income Tax Folio S2-F3-C2*), which provides that employee discounts on merchandise for less than fair market value are considered taxable benefits under the…

FTR Now

Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced proposed reforms to pension plan funding that will have a significant impact on employers and plan administrators with plans registered in Ontario. These changes are expected to be part of the government’s Fall agenda, and will be of particular interest to employers who provide single employer defined benefit (DB) pension plans or participate in multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) in Ontario.

Case In Point

In a recent decision, Corporation of the Township of Langley v. Canada Union of Public Employees, Local 403, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board set aside and ordered the reconsideration of an arbitration decision in which the Arbitrator had ruled that terminations of several employees on long-term disability (LTD) was discriminatory. Each of the terminated…

FTR Now

Ontario Budget 2017

On April 27, 2017, the Ontario government tabled its 2017 Budget “A Stronger, Healthier Ontario” (Budget) and Bill 127, Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017 (Budget Bill), omnibus legislation designed to implement some of the proposals contained in the Budget. In this FTR Now, we highlight key proposals that are of particular interest to…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On November 11, 2016 the government of Ontario and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) reached an agreement regarding post-retirement benefits (PRBs) for members of the OPSEU Pension Plan. The Ontario government subsequently announced that the terms of that agreement would be extended to members of the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), subject to…

FTR Now

On November 16, 2016, the Ontario government introduced Bill 70, Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016 (Bill 70). Bill 70 is omnibus legislation that includes various pension-related initiatives, including substantive changes to certain pension minimum standards…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On November 16, 2016, the Ontario government introduced Bill 70, Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016, omnibus legislation that would, among other things: enact the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act, 2016 to establish a new framework for the creation of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), replacing both…

FTR Now

Long-awaited Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) legislation was introduced on Thursday, April 14, 2016, which, if passed in its present form, will provide the statutory framework and timeline for full ORPP implementation by January 1, 2020…

FTR Now

Federal Budget 2016

On March 22, 2016, the federal government tabled its 2016 Budget, Growing the Middle Class (Budget). While certain key legislative initiatives are already underway in respect of reforms to the federal labour regime…

FTR Now

Recent amendments to Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act regulations now require that administrators of Ontario registered pension plans file Statements of Investment Policies and Procedures (“SIPPs”) with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO”), together with a detailed information summary form (“Form 14”). We discuss these new filing requirements and supporting FSCO resources in this FTR…

FTR Now

On February 16, 2016, the Ontario government announced that the first wave of Ontario Registered Pension Plan (“ORPP”) implementation has been delayed by one year to January 1, 2018. This change, which impacts certain large employers with more than 500 employees, is one of several significant developments outlined in this FTR Now. THE ANNOUNCEMENT The…

FTR Now

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (“ORPP”) is coming and all municipal sector employers need to consider and prepare for the potential of ORPP participation and associated additional payroll costs commencing as early as January 1, 2017. In this FTR Now we provide an overview of the ORPP and highlight key issues that you should be…

FTR Now

Editor’s Note: Following publication of this communication, the Ontario government announced that the first wave of ORPP implementation will be delayed by one year to January 1, 2018. Please be sure to read our FTR Now of February 17, 2016 for updated information on this significant development, or contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer for…

FTR Now

On January 26, 2016, the Ontario government announced new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (“ORPP”) design details. Among other things, the announcement provides further clarity and guidance on the following issues of particular interest to employers: coverage, and in particular the definition of “employment in Ontario,” as well as application of the ORPP to non-residents and…

FTR Now

Ontario Budget 2015

On April 23, 2015, the Ontario Minister of Finance tabled the 2015 provincial Budget, “Building Ontario Up” (“Budget”), and Bill 91, Building Ontario Up Act (Budget Measures), 2015 (“Bill 91”), omnibus legislation designed to implement some of the proposals contained in the Budget. In this FTR Now, we highlight some of the key proposals that…

FTR Now

On December 8, 2014 the Ontario government introduced Bill 56, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2014 proposed legislation intended to institute the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (“ORPP”). That same day, the government also introduced Bill 57, the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act, 2014, legislation that will, if passed, provide the legal framework for…

FTR Now

On December 8, 2014, the Ontario government introduced Bill 56, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2014, legislation intended to address the issue of retirement undersavings. As we previously reported, the government initiated a public consultation process regarding Ontario retirement pension plan (“ORPP”) implementation through targeted questions to employees and employers in November, 2014. A…

FTR Now

On September 19, 2014, the federal government released proposed amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 (“PBSR”). Proposals relating to the pension investment rules that apply more broadly – to federally regulated pension plans[1] as well as pension plans that are regulated by the provincial pension legislation in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland…

FTR Now

On September 19, 2014, the Department of Finance Canada released proposed amendments to the federal Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 (“PBSR”). The proposed amendments would modernize the pension investment rules applicable to pension plans registered in many Canadian jurisdictions. Specifically, these changes will, if adopted as drafted, impact the investments that are permitted to be…

FTR Now

On September 19, 2014, the federal government released long-awaited regulations for public comment that would, if adopted as drafted, implement significant reforms to the current framework governing federally-regulated private pension plans. Investment-related reforms will also have implications for Ontario regulated pension plans, and for pension plans regulated by other provinces where such jurisdictions have adopted…

FTR Now

Ontario Budget 2014

On Monday, July 14, 2014, the newly elected Liberal government introduced the 2014 Ontario Budget. As was pledged by Premier Wynne during the election campaign, the new Budget is virtually identical to the version that was first tabled on Thursday, May 1, 2014 (and which triggered the recent election). The newly tabled Budget is still…

FTR Now

Federal Budget 2014

On February 11, 2014, the Minister of Finance, the Honourable James Flaherty, tabled the 2014 Federal Budget “The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities” (Economic Action Plan 2014). This FTR Now focuses on some of the key proposals that are of particular interest to employers, human resources professionals and pension plan administrators. TAX INITIATIVES…

News

A recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, Lacey v. Weyerhaeuser, considered an employer’s right to unilaterally change post-retirement benefits. Although the retiree benefits at issue in this case had been voluntarily instituted, it was found that the employer had represented that the retiree benefits would be maintained on and after retirement, and…

Case In Point

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) denied leave to appeal from a decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) in Lacey v. Weyerhaeuser Company Limited. The case concerned changes to certain post-retirement benefits for retired salaried employees (“Retirees”) of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited (“Weyerhaeuser”), and a predecessor company. At issue were fully-funded post-retirement…

FTR Now

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, Ontario’s minority government released its economic outlook and fiscal review, titled Creating Jobs and Growing the Economy (the “Economic Outlook”). The Economic Outlook updates and also expands upon legislative and other reform initiatives that had previously been announced. In this FTR Now, we review the key retirement-related updates and developments…

FTR Now

On August 15, 2013, the Ontario Financial Services Tribunal (“FST”) issued its decision in Royal Ontario Museum Curatorial Association v. Ontario (Superintendent Financial Services), concerning an amendment made to The Royal Ontario Museum Pension Plan (“Plan”). The Plan is a defined benefit (“DB”) pension plan. At issue before the FST was whether an amendment to…

FTR Now

On Thursday May 2, 2013, the Ontario government introduced its 2013 Budget, entitled A Prosperous and Fair Ontario (the “Budget”). The government also introduced Bill 65, the Prosperous and Fair Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2013 (“Bill 65”), omnibus legislation designed to implement some of the proposals contained in the Budget. The Budget announced that the…

FTR Now

Federal Budget 2013

On March 21, 2013, the Minister of Finance, the Honourable James M. Flaherty, tabled the 2013 Federal Budget “Jobs, Growth and Long Term Prosperity – Economic Action Plan 2013.” In this FTR Now we review those Budget items that are of most interest to employers, human resources professionals and pension plan administrators. These include: Amendments…

News

A recent arbitration decision serves as an important reminder that if an employer wishes to negotiate changes to retiree benefit entitlements in a unionized workplace for employees who have already retired, it can only do so where the applicable collective agreement contains clear and unambiguous language allowing for such changes. In this case, the employer…

Case In Point

In TRW Canada Ltd. and Thompson Products Employees’ Assn. (Retiree Benefits) (Re), collectively bargained changes to vested retiree benefits were found to have been made without lawful authority. The changes had been proposed by the employees’ association (“Association”), following a particularly hard round of collective bargaining, and after the employer threatened to close one of…

Case In Point

On October 4, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in Minister of National Revenue and Real Estate Council of Alberta (“RECA”), and in doing so has helped to clarify how certain amounts paid to board members, council members and office-holders are to be treated…

FTR Now

On March 29, 2012, the federal government tabled its 2012 Budget, Economic Action Plan 2012 – A Plan for Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity. As widely anticipated, the Budget alters the retirement landscape for many Canadians and announces cost-cutting measures and reform of the federal public service. It also proposes certain tax reform measures, and…

FTR Now

On November 16, 2011, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) released its decision in Minister of National Revenue v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario (“HMQ”). The FCA’s decision overturns the January 17, 2011 decision of the Tax Court of Canada (“Tax Court”) in which it had held that per diem amounts paid…

FTR Now

On December 15, 2011, Bill C-13, Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act received Royal Assent. Bill C-13 is omnibus legislation designed to implement a number of measures proposed in the federal government’s 2011 Budget. This FTR Now discusses one aspect of Bill C-13 that amends the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and creates new requirements…

FTR Quarterly

2011 Summer Issue

FOCUS ON THE FEDERAL SECTOR Federal expertise LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS Pension reform – HR opportunities and challenges The ongoing evolution of privacy rights PROFILE Continuing education Download PDF

FTR Now

In the administration of a pension plan, there are a number of situations which call for the use of prescribed forms. These forms often require decisions to be made that can affect the pension plan entitlements of members and other plan beneficiaries. Sometimes, in an effort to adapt and/or make the prescribed forms more readable…

FTR Now

On May 4, 2011, the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (“SC”) made public seven proposed changes to the OMERS pension plans. The proposals have been put forward by various individual SC members in connection with the SC’s annual review of the OMERS pension plans. There are two main objectives: (1) improving the funded position of the top-up…

FTR Now

INTRODUCTION On March 29, 2011, the Honourable Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, tabled the government’s 2011 Budget, “Turning the Corner to a Better Tomorrow”, before the Legislature and simultaneously introduced omnibus legislation amending a variety of statutes to implement some of these initiatives through Bill 173, the Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act (Budget Measures),…

FTR Now

In two recent cases – Real Estate Council of Alberta v. The Minister of National Revenue (“RECA”) and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario v. The Minister of National Revenue (“HMQ”) – the Tax Court of Canada (“TCC”) ruled, respectively, that attendance and per diem fees paid to persons holding an office were…

FTR Now

As reported in our previous FTR Now, on October 20, 2010 the Ontario government introduced Bill 120, the Securing Pension Benefits Now and for the Future Act, 2010, reflecting a number of the reforms announced in the government’s news release of August 24, 2010. The Bill supplements the first phase of Ontario pension reforms, contained…

FTR Now

On January 28, 2010, the Federal Court of Appeal rendered its decision in Toronto Transit Commission v. Minister of National Revenue (“TTC”), which will be of interest to employers who provide long term disability (“LTD”) benefits to their employees through self-funded or administrative services only (“ASO”) arrangements.  According to the Court’s decision in TTC, Canada…

FTR Now

INTRODUCTION Following on the heels of the Report of the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions (“OECP”), the Ontario Government released draft pension reform legislation on December 9, 2009. Bill 236, Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2009 (“Bill 236”) marks the beginning of what the Government is calling a multi-stage pension reform process to modernize Ontario’s pension…

FTR Now

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) has recently reviewed its unpopular characterization of tuition fees, scholarships, and bursaries (“tuition awards”) provided by employers to family members of employees as taxable benefits to the employees. The CRA’s updated position is that a tuition award provided by an arm’s length employer for the post secondary education of an…

FTR Now

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its judgment upholding the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Kerry (Canada) Inc. v. DCA Employees Pension Committee. The Supreme Court’s decision provides helpful guidance on a number of important issues, including the payment of plan expenses from a pension fund, the use of actuarial surplus under a…