The 2010 Ontario Budget was tabled on March 25, 2010. The Budget
recognizes the importance of retirement security issues as the
population of Ontario ages. The Budget also confirms that the
pension reform efforts which began in 2009 will continue in
The following are highlights of the efforts mentioned in the
Budget for modernizing the Ontario pension and retirement income
Ontario has been working with other Canadian jurisdictions to
finalize an agreement for establishing clear rules for the
administration and regulation of multi-jurisdictional pension
plans. Ontario is also engaged in an evidence-based assessment of
Canada's retirement income system, in partnership with other
governments across Canada. Finance ministries are assessing a range
of options to address possible future challenges facing the system
based on an expert study commissioned by Ontario. Preliminary
assessment is expected to be presented at the finance
ministers' meeting scheduled in May 2010.
Marriage Breakdown. The government
will consult, in 2010, on regulations related to Bill 133, the
Family Statute Law Amendment Act, 2009, which introduces
new rules for division of pensions on marriage breakdown.
Solvency Funding Relief and Public Sector Pension
Plans. The government will consider additional
temporary funding relief measures for public sector and broader
public sector pension plans if such plans meet certain conditions
related to greater sharing of risk and governance.
Further Pension Reform. Efforts to
modernize the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) will continue
in 2010. Changes will be implemented in stages to ensure effective
coordination and to mitigate cost increases. The next stage of
reform is expected to address the following:
strengthen the requirements for taking contribution
enhance the requirements for funding benefit improvements when
existing benefits are not fully funded
limit the extent to which the value of certain benefits can be
excluded for funding valuations
permit the use of letters of credit to partially satisfy
solvency funding requirements
set a uniform funding threshold for annual actuarial
Plan Design – encourage innovative plan design by
providing a framework for "flexible pension plan"
Surplus Entitlement – clarify procedure for
determining surplus entitlement on plan wind-ups
MEPPs and JSPPs – examine an updated framework for
the funding, governance and regulation of plans that meet specified
criteria, e.g., MEPPS and JSPPs
Investment Rules – examine the appropriateness of
changes to the federal investment rules, once implemented, for
Ontario pension plans
Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund
(PBGF). The government will determine the best steps
for reforms that address the future of the PBGF based on the
results of an independent actuarial project study which are
expected to be available in the spring of 2010. PBGF owed $275
million, as at March 31, 2009, to the Province. The Province is
providing a $500 million grant to the PBGF to help ensure that the
PBGF has sufficient assets to cover claims in the future.
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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