The British Columbia government has introduced for First Reading
a new Pension Benefits Standards Act (the
PBSA), marking a long-anticipated major step towards comprehensive
pension reform in the province and in neighbouring Alberta.
The Minister of Finance, Kevin Falcon, has described the new
PBSA as incorporating the recommendations made by the
Alberta/British Columbia Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards
(for a copy of Blakes comments on the 2008 Joint Expert Panel
Report, please click
The proposed new Act entirely replaces the existing PBSA,
substituting a principles-based regulatory approach for a
rules-based approach which has the objectives of reducing
administrative costs, enhancing the rights of members (through,
among other items, providing for the immediate vesting of pension
benefits), providing private-sector employers with increased design
options, such as the facilitation of target benefit plans and
requiring the adoption of governance and funding policies by
defined benefit or target benefit plans.
In addition, the enabling legislation would also amend the
relevant family law statutes which prescribe the rules for pension
division on marital breakdown.
In the coming months, the Alberta government is expected to
introduce largely similar legislation, following through with the
Joint Expert Panel's support for greater legislative and
regulatory harmonization between the two jurisdictions.
Upon release of the new Alberta legislation (which is likely to
be in the fall but may be introduced as early as the upcoming
spring session of the Legislature), we will provide a full analysis
of the new Acts and will host a special client seminar to help
prepare plan sponsors and others to meet the challenges and
opportunities presented by pension reform in Western Canada.
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Please join members of the Blakes Commercial Real Estate group as they discuss five key provisions of a commercial real estate purchase agreement that are often the subject of much negotiation but are sometimes misunderstood.
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The session will be led by Dr. Robert Brooks, an award-winning author and psychologist. In his presentation, Dr. Brooks will describe the mindset and realistic practices of leaders and staff that help to nurture and sustain a culture characterized by positive emotions, satisfying, respectful relationships, a sense of meaning and ownership for one’s work, and enhanced job performance. Examples will be offered to illustrate strategies for developing a positive emotional culture in an organization.
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