On October 15, 2014, the Nova Scotia government introduced
legislation that will, if passed into law, permit Pooled Registered
Retirement Pension Plans (or "PRPPs") in NS:
Pooled Registered Retirement Pension Plans.
PRPPs are intended to give employees and self-employed people who
do not have access to a traditional workplace pension an
accessible, low cost retirement option. PRPPs pool the assets of
individual members so they can offer more investment and savings
opportunities at lower administrative costs. PRPPs are also
portable so they can move with members throughout their
SMEs. PRPPs are an attractive option for small
to medium-sized employers wanting to provide employees with a
pension plan, but avoid the administrative complexity and potential
liability related to traditional pension plans. Participation is
voluntary and employer contributions to PRPPs are not
PRPPs in Canada. The federal government has
passed legislation permitting PRPPs for federally regulated
industries. Under that legislation, PRPPs are voluntary and must be
administered by qualified financial institutions licensed
specifically for the purpose of providing PRPPs. On October
7, 2014, the federal government announced that five life insurance
companies have been licensed to provide PRPP's for federally
regulated employers. British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta
have also passed, but not yet made effective, similar
legislation. Quebec has enacted legislation requiring
businesses over a certain number of employees to make available to
employees a Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan, a form of PRPP.
Proposed NS Legislation. Like the legislation
in Saskatchewan and BC, the proposed NS legislation imports various
provisions from the federal legislation. The intent is that
if a qualified financial institution is licensed by the federal
government, then that license will be sufficient under the
provincial legislation. Many of the details surrounding
PRPPs, such as the ways in which funds may be invested, and the
types of investment options offered, will be found in the
regulations that will be implemented pursuant to the PRPP
Timing. The government says it expects to
complete the regulations and have the framework to offer PRPPs in
NS in place in early 2015.
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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