Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Finds Benefit Plan Can Exclude Medical Marijuana

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal recently confirmed that an administrator of a benefit plan may choose what specific drugs and medications will be covered by a plan, and in particular, held that the exclusion of medical marijuana is not discriminatory under human rights legislation. In Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund v. Skinner, an…

Spring 2018 Pension & Benefits Update

Overview In the last few years, reforms to pension and employment legislation have been coming at a break neck speed. More pension and benefit related cases than ever are working their way through the system. In the face of such change, employers and plan administrators must be ready to act, making adjustments to plan design…

Jordan Fremont Quoted in Benefits Canada on the Target-Benefits Pension Bill

Benefits Canada quoted Hicks Morley’s Jordan Fremont in an October 10, 2017 article titled “Can the Feds Overcome Labour Opposition to Pass Target-Benefit Pension Bill?” The article outlines three common myths about target-benefit plans including the risk and uncertainty for employees and pensioners, to which Jordan notes, “the extent to which [defined benefits] are guaranteed ultimately depends on the wherewithal of the funds and, where the fund isn’t sufficient, the financial stability of the sponsor.”

Natasha Monkman Quoted in Canadian HR Reporter on the Ontario Government Covering Prescription Drugs for Residents Under 25

Canadian HR Reporter quoted Hicks Morley’s Natasha Monkman in a May 29, 2017 article titled “Ontario to cover prescription drugs – with no co-pays – for residents under 25”. The article reviews the latest budget announcement where Ontario will be covering prescription medicines for residents age 24 and under as of. January 1, 2018, and how this new measure could save employers 10 per cent on claim costs…

Conducting a Benefits Plan Governance Health Check

Pension plan governance has long had headline-grabbing status – and most plan sponsors regularly review their governance framework to identify and address any governance gaps. At the same time, employers who sponsor group benefits plans too rarely build regular reviews of their benefits plans into their larger governance responsibilities. They should – because the stakes…

Ontario Budget Bill 2016 Passes

On April 13, 2016, the Ontario government passed Bill 173, Jobs for Today and Tomorrow Act (Budget Measures), 2016, omnibus legislation giving effect to initiatives contained in the Ontario Budget 2016. See our FTR Now of February 29, 2016, Ontario Budget 2016, for a detailed discussion of those initiatives of interest to employers, human resources professionals and…

Ontario Budget 2016

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…