In December of 2010, changes were made to Ontario pension laws
to make it easier for employers to withdraw surplus. Employers no
longer have to conduct tedious and expensive historical plan
reviews in order to implement a surplus-sharing deal. Rules were
also introduced to create a new arbitration process in cases of
disputes with pension plan members. Employers are now allowed to
receive surplus if:
the employer is entitled to the surplus according to the
pension plan documents;
there is a written surplus sharing agreement with pension plan
members (and possibly other persons); or
a court order or arbitration award provides for the
Additional changes to the surplus withdrawal rules were recently
released and came into force on July 1, 2012. The recent pension
reforms further simplify the surplus withdrawal rules by removing
the requirements that employers provide information relating to
surplus attribution and contractual authority in the written
surplus notice to the plan members. In addition, the recent changes
make it clear that if an employer is funding a wind-up deficiency
and has contributed to the plan more than the amount required to
fund the deficiency, the remaining assets in the plan may be
refunded to the employer as an overpayment, rather than be treated
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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