News & Events
March 22, 2019
On March 19, 2019, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the federal government’s 2019 budget. The budget contained a number of surprises, both in terms of what it included and what it omitted. Perhaps most significantly for the pension and employee benefits industry, while the government reaffirmed its commitment to introduce tax measures to facilitate the
March 15, 2019
James Harnum will be speaking at an OBA Professional Seminar: “Dayco Twenty-Five Years On and Its Impact On Retiree Benefits” on March 26. To view the Program’s agenda, please click here.
November 22, 2018
Amy Tang is speaking at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel Calgary, Alberta on November 22 2018: “Sears Pension: What Happened, How it Happened, and Key Takeaways”. For more information about this event, please click here.
Naming the Correct Parties Correctly: A note on common corporate law errors made by union-sponsored pension and benefit plans
October 31, 2018
The application of commercial law concepts to pension and benefit plans often creates confusion for stakeholders in the pension and benefits industry. This article seeks to shed light on two basic but fundamental issues trustees and their advisors should keep in mind when acting for a pension or benefit fund and entering into legal relationships.
October 4, 2018
On September 25, 2018, just days before his retirement, Senator Art Eggleton moved second reading of Bill S-253, An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and other Acts and Regulations (pension plans). Bill S-253 seeks to accomplish two things: To amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”) and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act
Talos v. GEDSB: Ontario’s Human Rights Code Violates Section 15(1) of the Charter in allowing age discrimination in the provision of workplace benefits in Ontario
August 14, 2018
The recent Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision in Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board has shifted expectations on the ability of benefits plans to treat workers over 65 differently, on the basis that this is particular type of discrimination is excepted explicitly under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code“). When Bill 211, “An
May 31, 2018 - June 6, 2018
Murray Gold will be speaking at the Brazilian Association of Pension Funds’ International Seminar: “Framework, Governance and Sustainability of North American Pension Systems” on June 4, 2018. The event will take place at the Hilton Toronto Hotel in Toronto. Murray will be presenting on “Target Benefit Plans in Canada – Recent Innovations”.
May 8, 2018
On April 20, 2018, the Government of Ontario filed long anticipated amendments to the general regulations under the Pension Benefits Act, which significantly change the funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans. The regulations are the product of a public consultation begun by the Ontario government, initially announced in the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and
Benefit plans can discriminate against marijuana: Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund v Skinner, 2018 NSCA 31
April 24, 2018
In Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund v Skinner, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal considered what constituted discrimination in the denial of access to coverage for medicinal marijuana, emphasizing the deference that courts and tribunals will give to the administrator of a benefit plan in choosing what drugs the plan will cover. The case
March 1, 2018
The 2018 Federal Budget was released on February 27, 2018, and amongst other things, included a major and somewhat surprising announcement regarding the phase out of the CRA’s Health and Welfare Trust Policy, which has governed health and welfare trusts (HWTs) since 1966. The announcement was included in the Tax Measures: Supplementary Information document released
Tax Court Releases Precedent Setting Decision on Taxability of Certain Benefit Claims in Nortel Insolvency Proceeding
December 21, 2017
On November 11, 2017, the Tax Court of Canada released Scott v. The Queen, 2017 TCC 224 (CanLII), a precedent setting decision regarding the taxation of payments made in relation to the termination of employment benefits in the context of the Nortel insolvency. The Tax Court “overruled”, in part, an Advanced Tax Ruling issued by
Murray Gold to Speak at the 2018 B.C. Pension Leadership Forum: Facing Challenges, Finding Solutions
February 22, 2017
Murray Gold will be speaking at the 2018 B.C. Pension Leadership Forum on February 22, 2018. Murray will participate in a workshop entitled “Canada’s Pension Policy Agenda.” This year’s Forum offers a day full of learning and debate on current issues and challenges facing pension plans and their leaders, as well as tangible and practical
November 20, 2017
Bill 177, the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures) (the “Act”), was introduced to the Ontario Provincial Parliament for first reading on November 14, 2017. Schedule 33 of the Act provides changes to the Pension Benefits Act (the “PBA”), which will have broad implications for pension regulation in Ontario. While sweeping changes have been announced,
Private Members’ Bills Seek to Amend Insolvency Legislation to Better Protect Pensioners and Employees
October 20, 2017
On October 17th, MP Marilène Gill of the Bloc Québécois introduced Bill C-372, a private member’s bill which would amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Companies Creditors’ Arrangement Act (CCAA). The Bill would provide for priority status for claims in respect of underfunded pension plans as well as for claims arising as
October 13, 2017
In recent days, the policy and interpretation choices made by the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) have taken a rare step into the public discourse. At issue are employee discounts enjoyed by retail workers. While tax issues are often widely discussed, it is normally in relation to legislative changes being considered by the Federal Government rather
October 4, 2017
The regulatory environment applicable to pension plan administrators will shift in 2018, with the Superintendent of Financial Services gaining the power to impose monetary penalties for breaches of the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”). On January 1 new provisions of the PBA come into force, which, along with a new Regulation on Administrative Penalties, create a
August 25, 2017
The recent Federal Court decision in Bemister v. Canada highlights some of the difficulties that litigants face in attempting to use the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to remedy pension and benefit issues. Background The Applicants in Bemister were federal retirees who participated in the Public Service Health Care Plan (“PSHCP”) and the National
August 18, 2017
Andrew J. Hatnay, head of the Pensions and Benefits group at Koskie Minsky has been quoted in various articles regarding the Sears Canada CCAA proceeding. To review the articles, please click on the following links: The Wall Street Journal: Sears Canada Pensioners Want Plan Wound Up The Globe and Mail: Amid outcry, Sears Canada sets
June 22, 2017
On June 22, 2017, Sears Canada Inc. and several related parties were granted protection from their creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”), pursuant to an Order of the Honourable Justice Hainey of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Koskie Minsky LLP has been appointed as Representative Counsel to represent the retirees of Sears
May 19, 2017
On May 19, 2017, the Ontario government announced that it intends to implement new funding rules for defined benefit pension plans and make certain other changes to the legislation governing pensions. This announcement follows up on the Solvency Consultation process that we previously reported on. The new funding framework described in the May 19th announcement includes:
May 12, 2017
In a previous Blog Post we reviewed highlights from the 2017 Federal Budget. The 2017 Ontario Budget was released on April 27, 2017. The Ontario Budget contains the significant commitment to a universal pharmacare program for persons under 25, as well as a number of updates with respect to various pension reform efforts. OHIP+ Children
April 25, 2017
The 2017 Federal Budget was presented by Finance Minister Bill Morneau last month, on March 22, 2017. Though it has far fewer major commitments than the previous budget from 2016, there are still some noteworthy provisions. Most provincial budgets have also been released by now, with Nova Scotia and Ontario being the two exceptions. Read
March 24, 2017
In Skinner v. Board of Trustees of the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund (2017 CanLII 3240 (NS HRC)), the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has confirmed that denying access to medical marijuana can be discriminatory in certain contexts. Mr. Skinner was involved in a motor vehicle accident while working at ThyssenKrupp Elevator Canada in
Federal Government Announces that Employees will not be Taxed on Employer-Provided Health and Dental Benefits
February 6, 2017
Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the upcoming budget will not include a provision to tax employees on their employer-provided health and dental benefits. The question remains, however, whether the rumoured tax is really off the table for good or whether it is still in consideration as part of an ongoing review of tax
February 16, 2017 - February 17, 2017
Andrew Hatnay will be speaking at the 14th Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference on February 17, 2017. The Conference will take place at the Hotel Bonaventure, in Montreal. Andrew will be speaking on “Restructuring, Liquidating, Now Disengagement? The Use of the CCAA by Corporate Parents to Disengage from Canadian Operations.” To review the Conference agenda, please click here.
December 23, 2016
On December 8, 2016, the Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016 (“Bill 70”) received Royal Assent. Among other things, the omnibus budget legislation enacts the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act, 2016, (the “FSRA Act”) setting out the framework for the creation of the new Financial Services Regulatory Authority (“FSRA”). By way of background, the Minister appointed
November 11, 2016
With little fanfare, the Federal Government has introduced legislation to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act (“PBSA”) to regulate “target benefit” plans. These are plans that offer a formula-style “target” benefit that looks much like a defined benefit but that is not assured. Target benefit plans do not require past service funding guarantees from the
Mark Zigler to Speak at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ 49th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference
November 18, 2016 - November 23, 2016
Mark Zigler will be speaking at the 49th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference in San Diego, California. Click here to view Mark’s paper on Legislative Developments and the Top 20 Cases of 2015-2016, co-authored with James Harnum.
September 19, 2016
Ontario is currently in the process of reviewing solvency funding rules for single employer defined benefit (“DB”) pension plans under the Pension Benefits Act. On July 26, 2016, the Ministry of Finance released a “Review of Ontario’s Solvency Funding Framework for Defined Benefit Pension Plans” Consultation Paper soliciting feedback on a number of potential reforms
August 8, 2016
On June 20, 2016, Canada’s Finance Ministers reached an historic agreement to improve core retirement income benefits under the CPP. The agreement followed years of tumultuous pension politics, including an outright refusal in December 2013 by the Harper Government to consider any changes to the CPP. Following the breakdown in federal-provincial CPP discussions, the Wynne
July 8, 2016
On June 25, 2015 Co-op Atlantic, a co-operative wholesaler operating across Atlantic Canada and Quebec obtained protection from its creditors under the CCAA. Ten months later, in April, 2016, Co-op’s pension plan members received a letter that no retiree ever wants to receive. An actuarial and consulting firm, which had been appointed by the New Brunswick
February 24, 2016 - February 24, 2016
Andrew Hatnay will be speaking at The Osgoode Certificate in Pension Law Program on February 24, 2016. Andrew will speak on “Pensions in the Corporate Transactions and Restructuring”. To view the program brochure, please click here.
January 19, 2016
ADRIC Talks – “The Art & Science of Pension Mediation” by Ari Kaplan , Q.Med, Koskie Minsky LLP
February 5, 2016
Susan Philpott will be speaking at the 13th Annual Review of Insolvency Law Conference on February 5, 2016. The Conference will take place at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Susan will participate in a panel discussion regarding “The Appropriate Scope of Third-Party Releases”. To review the Conference brochure, please click here.
Michael Mazzuca to speak at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plan’s Institute for Apprenticeship, Training and Education Program
January 18, 2016 - January 20, 2016
Michael Mazzuca will be speaking at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plan’s Institute for Apprenticeship, Training and Education Program on January 18, 2016. The program will take place in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), California. Michael will be discussing “Tax Issues for Canadian Training Trust Funds.” To review the program brochure, please click here.
November 26, 2015
Koskie Minsky LLP is pleased to announce that Murray Gold has been appointed as a member of the initial Board of Directors for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) Administration Corporation. The ORPP Administration Corporation will be responsible for administering the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, a plan designed to help Ontario workers retire with greater
November 23, 2015
Ari Kaplan will be speaking on the Art and Science of Pension Mediation to the Vancouver Actuaries Club on November 30, the Canadian Bar Association-B.C. on December 1, and at the Lancaster House Pensions Conference on December 2. For details see www.mediationbenefits.co.
November 13, 2015
Murray Gold was quoted in the Bottom Line article “Report ties climate change to fiduciary duty”. To review the article please click here.
October 22, 2015
Murray Gold and Mark Zigler will be speaking at the 48th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference in Las Vegas, November 22-25,2015. The Annual Conference is one of Canada’s largest pensions and employee benefits events, attracting over 1,500 multi-employer trustees, public plan representatives and administrators of both pensions and health and welfare funds. To view Mark Zigler’s paper
September 8, 2015
Murray Gold and Adrian Scotchmer have authored a paper for SHARE concerning ‘Climate Change and the Fiduciary Duties of Pension Fund Trustees in Canada'.
May 8, 2014
Murray Gold was quoted in the Legal Insights & Practice Trends section of National Magazine. To view the article entitled “Pension Meltdown” please click on the following link: http://www.nationalmagazine.ca/Articles/April-May-2014/Pension-meltdown.aspx.
April 21, 2014
To review the editorial entitled “Together, we can achieve a secure retirement for all” please click on the following link: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/04/17/together_we_can_achieve_a_secure_retirement_for_all.html
April 14, 2014
Murray Gold was quoted in the Toronto Star on April 12, 2014 in regard to the retirement income crisis. The full story is available here: http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/04/11/a_pensioncrisis_primer.html.
April 10, 2014
Murray Gold to Chair the Conference Board of Canada’s Pension Summit, 2014. The Conference Board’s Pension Summit attracts a roster of leading pension experts and will canvass a range of current pension reform issues, including the prospects for a new province-wide pension arrangement in Ontario.
November 16, 2013
Susan Philpott was quoted in the Guardian. To view the article entitled “Union votes to keep fighting pension reforms”, please click here.
November 5, 2013 - November 5, 2013
Murray Gold will be speaking at the Manitoba Pension Forum, November 5, 2013 in Winnipeg, Manitoba on emerging case law and issues in pensions and benefits. For more information about the event, please click here.
October 11, 2013 - October 11, 2013
Andrew will be speaking at the 43rd Annual Workshop on Commercial and Consumer Law on October 11, 2013 from 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Andrew will be speaking on the topic of “The Indalex Decision: Wake-up call? False Alarm?”. The conference will take place at the Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal.
September 11, 2013
Ari Kaplan’s Pension Law, 2nd ed. will be published on October 1, 2013. For more information about the book and to pre-order, please click here.
September 10, 2013
Ari Kaplan was featured in an interview for the Inspiration page at Benefits Canada. To review the interview entitled “Kaplan strikes a chord in music and pensions”, please click here.
September 25, 2013 - September 25, 2013
Michael Mazzuca will be speaking at the 32nd Annual ISCEBS Employee Benefits Symposium on September 25, 2013. The Symposium is being held at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA USA. Michael will speak on “Canada Bill 377—Financial Transparency or Undue Burden?” For more information about the event, please click here.
July 30, 2013
To view the Benefits Canada article entitled “Directions for pension reform: At the crossroads” written by Murray Gold, please click here.
July 17, 2013
Koskie Minsky has consistently ranked among the top-rated Toronto Labour and Pension Law firms, according to the 2013 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. Practice groups included in this category are Labour Relations (Construction Sector), Employment Law, Labour Relations, Occupational Health & Safety, Pensions & Employee Benefits, and Workers’ Compensation. The
Michael Mazzuca made submissions on Bill C-377 before the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee on May 22, 2013
May 23, 2013
Michael Mazzuca appeared before the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee in Ottawa on May 22, 2013 to make submissions regarding Bill C-377 on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association. Michael was recently quoted in the National Magazine article entitled “Labour pains”, to review this article please click here.
May 26, 2013 - May 29, 2013
Mark Zigler, Michael Mazzuca and Ari Kaplan will be speaking at the International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association Conference being held in Rome, May 26 -29, 2013. Mark will be discussing “Documentation Retention and Disclosure” and Michael will be discussing “Trends in pension/benefit litigation – Discrimination and human rights complaints” on Tuesday May 28, 2013. Ari will
January 31, 2013
February 7, 2013 - February 7, 2013
Michael Mazzuca will be speaking at the OBA’s Institute 2013 “Pensions and Benefits” program which is being held on Thursday February 7, 2013 from 9 am to 12:20 pm at the Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre. Michael will speak on “Implementation of Ontario Pension Reform: Emerging Issues”. For more information about the program, please click here.
November 23, 2012
Ari Kaplan was quoted in the Hamilton Spectator article entitled “$1.5 pension spat goes to Supreme Court”. To view this article please click here.
Mark Zigler and Michael Mazzuca to Speak at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ 45th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference
November 18, 2012 - November 21, 2012
Mark Zigler and Michael Mazzuca will be speaking at the 45th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference in Orlando, Florida. Mark will be speaking on Legal/Legislative Developments Across Canada on November 20, 2012 at 9:15 a.m. as well as Legal/Legislative Update – Central Canada at 12:00 p.m. Michael will be speaking on Delinquencies and Bankruptcies on November
November 2, 2012 - November 2, 2012
Koskie Minsky LLP will host a Continuing Professional Development Seminar on November 2, 2012 at the Chestnut Conference Centre – University Of Toronto, 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto, Ontario from 9:00 am. to 1:00 pm. The Program is designed to be of assistance to members of the profession who may be required to act on behalf of
September 13, 2012 - September 13, 2012
Michael Mazzuca will be speaking at the ACPM National Conference, “Shaping the Future, Delivering on the Past” in Victoria, British Columbia on Thursday September 13, 2012 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Michael will speak on the panel discussion – When Pensions and Human Rights Collide. This session will involve a review of legislative requirements and
May 28, 2012
Koskie Minsky LLP is pleased to announce that 12 of the Firm’s lawyers were chosen by their fellow professionals to be listed in the 2012 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory compiles lists of outstanding professionals by conducting peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their
August 14, 2011 - August 16, 2011
Andrew Hatnay will be speaking at the Canadian Bar Associations 2011 Canadian Legal Conference and Expo in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Andrew will be speaking on Monday, August 15 at 8:30 a.m. Andrew’s topic for the conference will be on Bargaining Pensions and Benefits: Resolving Disputes for Underfunded Plans and the Rights of Plan Members in
May 12, 2011 - May 13, 2011
Michael Mazzuca will be speaking at the International Foundation’s Canadian Legal and Legislative Update May 12-13, 2011, at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario. He will be discussing the following topic: Legislative Pension Changes: A Critical Analysis • The Ontario Amendments: Foundation for Change —Bill 120 —Bill 236 • A preview of what is
February 1, 2010
For the second consecutive year Koskie Minsky ranks as the top-rated Toronto Labour and Pension Law firm, according to the 2010 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. Practice groups included in this category are Labour Relations (Construction Sector), Employment Law, Labour Law, Occupational Health & Safety, Pensions & Employee Benefits, and
June 20, 2010 - June 22, 2010
Koskie Minsky partners and counsel will speak at the upcoming Canadian Bar Association Pension & Benefits Section/International Pension & Employee Benefit Lawyers Association (IPEBLA) Quebec Conference: Pensions in a Global Environment. Michael Mazzuca – D&O Fiduciary Liability Susan Philpott – Electronic Record Retention and Destruction Mark Zigler – Non-Sponsor Liability This year’s conference deals exclusively
January 26, 2010 - January 26, 2010
From Nortel to Indalex to Windsor Machines, this past year has seen an increasing number of challenges from employee stakeholders in the areas of labour and pension matters. This program will focus on recent developments both in the case law and the recent legislative changes to the BIA and CCAA. The session will be moderated
January 2, 2010
Koskie Minsky partners are consistently recommended among the top lawyers in Canada in their respective fields by Lexpert® . The 2010 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada lists four Koskie Minsky partners acknowledged by their peers as among the top lawyers in Canada: Kirk M. Baert – Class Action Litigation Bernie