Hicks Morley Featured in Benefits and Pensions Monitor

On August 7, 2014, Benefits and Pensions Montior cited Hicks Morley’s recent FTR Now entitled “Budget Bill Includes Carrigan Pre-Retirement Death Benefit Fix.” This FTR Now discusses the July 24, 2014 amendments to the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) which are intended to address the impact of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s 2012 decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate. The amendments clarify the…

Employer Permitted to Define “Spouse” under Benefit Plan to Exclude Married but Separated Spouses

In a recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) in VanderLinde v. Oshawa (City)  (“VanderLinde”), the Tribunal found that it is not discriminatory for an employer to require that an employee’s legally married spouse be living with the employee as a condition of eligibility as a spouse under its group benefit plan. In…

The Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Pension Assignments must be “Clear and Unambiguous”

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…

Supreme Court Denies Leave in Carrigan

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…

Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate Update: Ontario Pension Regulator Supports Common-Law Spouse’s Appeal

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…

When is a Pension Assignment not an Assignment?

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…

Ontario Court of Appeal Decision Rewrites the Pension Pre-Retirement Death Benefit Regime

On October 31, 2012, a majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal awarded the pre-retirement death benefit payable under an Ontario registered pension plan to a member’s designated beneficiaries rather than to his common law spouse. The majority’s decision in Carrigan v. Carrigan Estate (“Carrigan”) is a departure from the pension industry’s widely held interpretation…

Pension Assignments Must be Clear and Unambiguous

On July 27, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that if a pension plan member wishes to assign an interest in his or her pension entitlement to a former spouse, the language of the separation agreement or divorce order must be clear and unambiguous. Since the language of the separation agreement and divorce…

Hicks Morley Information and Privacy Highlights – Fall 2011

Welcome to the Fall 2011 Hicks Morley Information and Privacy Highlights! This second edition of our new re-vamped publication includes many note-worthy decisions, including Vaughan (City) (Re) , where the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario found that personal information received on an unsolicited basis is not “collected” for the purposes of the Municipal Freedom…