FTR Now

Key Highlights of Federal Budget 2021

· 26 min read

On April 19, 2021, the federal government tabled its 2021 Budget “A Recovery Plan For Jobs, Growth, And Resilience” (Budget). The Budget sets out a broad range of proposals stemming from the pandemic, such as an extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and an increase to the length of Employment Insurance (EI) sickness…

Human Resources Legislative Update

Federal Budget 2021 Tabled

· 1 min read

On April 19, 2021, the federal government tabled its Budget 2021, “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth and Resilience”. We are currently reviewing the Budget and an FTR Now detailing initiatives of interest to employers, human resources professionals and pension plan administrators will be available in the coming days.

FTR Now

Proposed New PBGF Disclosure Requirements

· 3 min read

On April 15, 2021, the Ontario government released draft amendments to Ontario Regulation 909 under the Pension Benefits Act (PBA), which provide new details of the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) reporting requirements that will soon apply to registered pension plan administrators with Ontario members. In this FTR Now, we highlight the key details of…

FTR Now

Ontario Tables 2021 Budget

· 5 min read

On March 24, 2021, the Ontario government tabled its 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy (Budget), and introduced supporting implementation legislation, Bill 269, Protecting the People of Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021.   In this FTR Now, we highlight certain aspects of the Budget that are of broad interest to…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On January 29, 2021, the federal government announced that it will be amending the Employment Insurance (EI) regulations to temporarily waive the one-week waiting period for EI claimants who establish a new claim between January 31, 2021 and September 25, 2021. This change is in response to the ongoing restrictions on businesses arising out of…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On January 11, 2021, the federal government announced that it will be proposing legislation to ensure international travellers returning to Canada will not be eligible to receive any of the recovery benefits – the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – for their mandatory…

FTR Now

On November 30, 2020, the Department of Finance released Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020 (Fall Economic Statement). In this FTR Now, we focus on two key proposals contained in the Fall Economic Statement that will be of interest to employers and human resources professionals: (i) proposed amendments to the employee stock…

FTR Now

The Canadian government has announced the details of the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program into June 2021. CEWS was established in March 2020 to support employers, and their employees, during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a subsidy with respect to eligible remuneration paid by eligible employers who have experienced reduced revenues…

FTR Now

Sponsors of defined benefit (DB) pension plans registered in Ontario have been given significant temporary contribution relief as part of the Ontario government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 21, 2020, Ontario Regulation 520/20 (Regulation) was filed. The Regulation amends Regulation 909 made under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) to permit temporary contribution deferral for certain eligible DB pension plans, and extend the time over which catch-up contributions following the filing of a new valuation report must be made.

FTR Now

In the latest evolution of the federal government’s response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, on August 19, 2020, amendments to the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act) were published and, on August 20, 2020, the government announced new measures to support affected Canadians who continue to be unable to work due to COVID-19.

FTR Now

On July 27, 2020, the federal government passed Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures (Bill C-20), which amends the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) first enacted in April 2020 with Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 (Bill C-14). Since April, there have been a number of changes to the CEWS. Bill C-20 implements the modified rules for the CEWS program that apply from June onward.

In this FTR Now we provide a comprehensive summary of the CEWS, including the new details of the CEWS extension to December 19, 2020, and we incorporate content from our previous firm communications dated March 30, 2020, April 2, 2020, April 9, 2020, April 13, 2020, and April 20, 2020.

FTR Now

On June 10, 2020, the federal government introduced Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures (Bill C-17). Among other changes, if passed in its current form, Bill C-17 would amend the Income Tax Act to revise the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

FTR Now

In response to industry requests, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced on May 5, 2020 that the minimum 1% employer contribution rule applicable to defined contribution (DC) pension plans is temporarily suspended. In addition, the federal Department of Finance issued a comfort letter confirming that it will recommend an amendment to the Income Tax Regulations to extend the deadline for electing to purchase a leave of absence on a current-service basis. These measures are intended to temporarily assist the sponsors and administers of DC and defined benefit (DB) registered pension plans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FTR Now

Late last week, the Ontario government amended a number of measures already introduced in light of COVID-19. It updated the “COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool” to include an expanded list of symptoms for which self-isolation is required. It made further orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act regarding health care, an expanded list of essential workers eligible for child care and seasonal campgrounds. The federal government provided more information on initiatives already underway, including with respect to the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Human Resources Legislative Update

On April 15, 2020, the federal government announced that, effective immediately, it is providing temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated defined benefit (DB) pension plans, in light of the pandemic’s negative effect on the economy and the resulting financial constraints faced by many sponsors. For the remainder of 2020, there will be a moratorium…

FTR Now

Federal Wage Subsidy Legislation Passed

· 6 min read

On April 11, 2020, Bill C-14, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2, (Bill C-14), received Royal Assent after another emergency session of Parliament. Bill C-14 enacts the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). It includes new details about which employers are eligible, and the calculation of gross revenue and the subsidy. On the same date, the federal government also updated its backgrounder describing the CEWS, reflecting the final form of the legislation.

FTR Now

After making its initial announcement about the significantly expanded Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, the federal government announced on April 8, 2020, that it is introducing additional flexibility to the CEWS, and provided additional details about how the program will operate.

FTR Now

During these uncertain times, pension plan administrators must continue to administer their pension plans and provide benefits to members, former members and retired members. Employers and pension plan administrators face a number of upcoming filing and disclosure deadlines and may have challenges in meeting those deadlines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human Resources Legislative Update

On March 30, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau provided further information about the 75% wage subsidy being made available to businesses, which he first announced last week. Details are to follow from the Department of Finance, but this is what we know so far: the wage subsidy will be 75% up to the first $58,750 earned…

FTR Now

Bill C-13, COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, received Royal Assent on March 25, 2020 after swift passage by Parliament and the Senate. This federal legislation implements the income support and other fiscal measures announced by the federal government on March 18, 2020.

FTR Quarterly

FTR Quarterly – Issue 15

· 13 min read

In This Issue: Protection in the Face of Employee Fraud, Key Human Resources Decisions in in 2019 and Cases to Monitor in 2020 and more!

FTR Now

Federal Government Tables 2019 Budget Bill

· 8 min read

On April 8, 2019, the federal government introduced Bill C-97, Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1, for first reading. Bill C-97 is omnibus legislation enacting certain measures outlined in the 2019 Federal Budget. Below are some of the key amendments of interest to employers, pension plan administrators and human resources professionals.

FTR Now

On March 19, 2019, the federal government tabled its 2019 Budget, “Investing in the Middle Class.” This is an election year, and there is a wide array of initiatives sprinkled throughout the Budget, covering many groups and sectors. There is something for (almost) everyone. In this FTR Now, we focus on the key employment, labour, executive compensation, pension and employee benefits announcements of most interest to employers, human resources professionals, plan sponsors and administrators.

Human Resources Legislative Update

On December 14, 2017, Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017, received Royal Assent. Bill 177 is omnibus legislation which amends several statutes, including the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Pension Benefits Act and the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act. Workplace Safety and Insurance…

FTR Now

Ontario’s Next Wave of Pension Reform

· 15 min read

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 Views

The pension industry is undergoing an unprecedented amount of change. In this video, Stephanie Kalinowski highlight some of the developments that are on the horizon, including a new solvency funding regime for defined benefit plans in Ontario, the introduction of administrative monetary penalties, a new regime for target benefit plans and an extended EI parental leave benefit.

FTR Now

On September 30, 2017, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) published a new policy outlining the procedures administrators must follow to obtain a waiver of the requirement to send biennial statements to missing former and retired members. Find out more 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

On October 23, 2017, the Ontario government published a proposed draft amendment to O. Reg. 286/01 made under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to create a new exemption for pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) with respect to age-based differentiation in certain circumstances. Currently, the ESA prohibits employers from providing a pension plan that treats employees,…

FTR Quarterly

FTR Quarterly – Issue 7

· 17 min read

In This Issue Extended EI Benefits – Top 3 Ways Your Workplace Could be Affected FTRQ&A – Chronic Mental Stress Pension Plan Funding Reform: At the Precipice Featured Lawyer – Stephanie J. Kalinowski Pension, Benefits & Executive Compensation Featured Articles Extended EI Benefits – Top 3 Ways Your Workplace Could be Affected By: Alyson Frankie and…

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.

FTR Now

A reduction to the EI waiting period is expected take effect January 1, 2017. Supplemental unemployment benefit and top-up plan administration will be immediately affected, and short-term disability and sick leave plans may also be impacted. Are you prepared?

FTR Now

Parties involved in the administration of pension plans have been waiting for Canadian pension regulators to agree to a new set of rules applicable to plans with members in more than one province. Recently, the governments of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan signed a new Agreement Respecting Multi-Jurisdictional Pension Plans, which took effect July 1, 2016 (2016 Agreement)…

FTR Quarterly

Preparing for the ORPP

· 6 min read

Editor’s Note: Bill 186 passed Third Reading on June 2, 2016, as amended by the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Please read about the amendments in our blog post, ORPP Act Passes Third Reading as Amended by Committee. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) was first announced in the 2014 Ontario Budget as a major…

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

Ontario Budget 2016

· 17 min read

On February 25, 2016, the Ontario government tabled its 2016 Budget “Jobs for Today and Tomorrow” (“Budget”) and the corresponding Budget Bill, Bill 173, Jobs for Today and Tomorrow Act (Budget Measures), 2016 (“Bill 173”). In this FTR Now, we highlight some of the key proposals that are of particular interest to employers, human resources…

FTR Now

Ontario Tables Budget 2016

· 2 min read

On February 25, 2016, the Ontario government tabled its 2016 Budget “Jobs for Today and Tomorrow” and the corresponding Budget Bill, Bill 173, Jobs for Today and Tomorrow Act (Budget Measures), 2016.

FTR Now

On December 10, 2015, the Ontario government amended the Regulations under the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) to require pension plans to use the new mortality tables when calculating commuted values (“CVs”) for Ontario members. The use of the new mortality assumptions, which are found under section 3500 of the Actuarial Standards Board Standards of Practice…

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

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

Federal Budget 2015

· 13 min read

On April 21, 2015, the Minister of Finance tabled the 2015 Federal Budget, “Strong Leadership: A Balanced-Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth and Security.” This FTR Now focuses on some of the key proposals that are of particular interest to employers, human resources professionals and pension plan administrators. These include: changes to registered retirement income…

FTR Now

On July 22, 2014, the government of Alberta passed the supporting regulations to the province’s new Employment Pension Plans Act (the “EPPA”), legislation enacted in December 2012 following recommendations from a 2008 report by the Alberta and British Columbia Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards regarding pension reform in those two provinces. The new EPPA…

FTR Now

The Ontario government has taken steps in its 2014 Budget to address the impact of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s 2012 decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate (“Carrigan“). On July 24, 2014, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 14, the Building Opportunity and Securing Our Future Act (Budget Measures), 2014 (“Bill 14”), which implements some of…

FTR Now

Ontario Budget 2014

· 17 min read

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

Last week saw significant developments at Queen’s Park that will be of interest to all employers in Ontario. On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the Ontario government introduced its 2014 Budget, entitled Building Opportunity, Securing Our Future (the “Budget”). On the same day, the government introduced Bill 194, the Building Opportunity and Securing Our Future Act…

FTR Now

In a marriage breakdown situation where family assets are being valued and/or divided, a member’s workplace pension entitlements are often the most significant asset. To settle the property issues, a member and his or her spouse may agree that the member will assign an interest in the member’s benefit to the spouse. Unfortunately, it is…

FTR Now

Supreme Court Denies Leave in Carrigan

· 3 min read

The Supreme Court of Canada will not be providing further clarification regarding the administration of pre-retirement death benefits under section 48 of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”). Today, the Court denied leave to appeal in Quinn v. Carrigan. As first discussed in our FTR Now “Ontario Court of Appeal Decision Rewrites the Pension Pre-Retirement…

FTR Now

Federal Budget 2013

· 8 min read

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

As first discussed in our FTR Now of November 7, 2012 “Ontario Court of Appeal Decision Rewrites the Pension Pre-Retirement Death Benefit Regime“, the decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate fundamentally altered the interpretation of spousal rights and priorities relating to payment of pre-retirement death benefits. The Court of Appeal awarded the pre-retirement death benefit payable under…

FTR Now

When is a Pension Assignment not an Assignment?

· 6 min read

Pension plan administrators are often required to interpret the wording of court orders and separation agreements to determine whether there is a valid and effective assignment of an interest to a member’s former spouse. Until now, the courts have not provided clear guidance on what language is needed in order to create an assignment. On…

FTR Now

Pension Solvency Funding Relief Is Here…Again

· 7 min read

INTRODUCTION On November 1, 2012, important amendments were made to the Pension Benefits Act Regulation 909 (the “Regulation”). The amendments extend the temporary solvency relief measures for eligible defined benefit pension plans and make housekeeping changes to the sections requiring defined benefit pension plans to file annual, rather than triennial, actuarial valuations. This FTR Now…

FTR Now

On October 18th, the federal Government introduced Bill C-45, the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012. This is the second Budget Bill introduced in Parliament to enact measures announced in the federal Budget, which was tabled on March 29, 2012. In addition to enacting various Budget measures, Bill C-45 would also enact changes to the Canada…

FTR Now

Ontario Budget – Highlights for Employers

· 20 min read

On Tuesday, March 27, the Ontario Government introduced its 2012 Budget, which is entitled Strong Action for Ontario (the “Budget”). The Government also introduced Bill 55, the Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012 (“Bill 55”), omnibus legislation designed to implement a number of the proposals contained in the Budget. The Budget sets out…

FTR Now

Pooled Registered Pension Plan Framework Introduced

· 10 min read

On November 17, 2011, the federal government introduced the much anticipated Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts, also known as the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (the “PRPP Act”). The proposed legislation follows high-profile consultations with the provinces and the industry, which resulted in…

School Board Update

School Board Update

· 27 min read

IN THIS ISSUE Arbitrator Provides Helpful Award in Ontario’s First TPA Discharge Arbitration Divisional Court Re-Affirms the Importance of Time Limits Pay Equity Remains a Priority Legal Issue for School Boards Accommodating Scent Sensitivities in the Workplace Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Endorses Employer Control Over Accommodation Process Integrated Accessibility Standards under the AODA OMERS Omissions…

FTR Now

Federal Budget 2011

· 11 min read

The Minister of Finance, the Honourable James M. Flaherty, tabled the Government of Canada’s 2011 Budget “A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth” in the House of Commons on March 22, 2011. In this FTR Now we review the key aspects of the Budget that are of most interest to employers and human resources professionals….

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 Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Bill 236, the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010 (“Bill 236”), the first major piece of pension reform legislation to be approved by the Ontario Legislature in over two decades, received Royal Assent. The Bill 236 amendments enhance certain individual member rights and entitlements, provide the Superintendent of Financial Services with…

FTR Now

Federal Pension Reform Proceeds

· 20 min read

Bill C-9, the Jobs and Economic Growth Act, was introduced in the House of Commons on March 29, 2010 as an omnibus bill which proposes to implement many of the significant pension reform initiatives announced by the Minister of Finance on October 27, 2009, certain measures announced in the March 4th federal Budget, as well…

FTR Now

On March 4, 2010, the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, tabled the Government of Canada’s 2010 Budget (the “Budget”), titled “Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth”.  The Budget represents the second and final phase of the Government’s “Economic Action Plan”, which was initiated in the 2009 Budget with a view to lifting…

FTR Now

Ontario Introduces Draft Pension Reform Legislation

· 31 min read

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

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…

FTR Now

Due to recent changes to the Regulations under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act, administrators of underfunded defined benefit pension plans registered in Ontario must in certain situations obtain the approval of the Superintendent of Financial Services of Ontario (the “Superintendent”) before transferring any part of the commuted value of a terminated member’s deferred pension or…