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Pensions and Benefits

The negotiation and enforcement of employment benefits and pensions are a crucial part of ensuring justice in the workplace. We provide advice and representation to individuals, organizations, and unions with respect to pensions and both statutory and insured employment benefits. Our union representation includes advising on the benefits for injured workers provided under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, more commonly referred to as workers’ compensation benefits.

Pensions

We advise on and negotiate pension issues, and litigate pension disputes before administrative tribunals and in the courts.

Our services include:

  • advice and opinions on pension matters;
  • assisting in developing and negotiating pension bargaining proposals;
  • assisting with the design of pension plans and retirement compensation arrangements;
  • representation before provincial and federal regulatory bodies;
  • and pension litigation in the courts, including class actions.

Notable pension-related representations include:

  • counsel to the administrators of several large private and broader public sector pension plans, in the Ontario and federal jurisdictions;
  • counsel to an employee stakeholder in the development of a new Ontario jointly sponsored pension plan;
  • and counsel to the union administrators of Employee Life and Health Trusts in the steel sector.

Benefits

We advise union and individual employee clients on the design, negotiation, and administration of benefits plans.

Our services in the area of benefits include advice and representation on:

  • insured benefits, including long-term disability;
  • employment Insurance Benefits;
  • benefits under the Employment Standards Act;
  • employee Life and Health Trusts;
  • and other negotiated and statutory benefits.

Workers’ Compensation

We work with union clients and members navigating the complicated Workplace Safety and Insurance Act regime.

Our services in this area include:

  • training and advising union representatives who are managing workers’ compensation files;
  • representing union members at all levels of the WSIB system, including appeals at the ARO and WSIAT levels;
  • providing public policy research and advice related to the WSIB regime;
  • and assisting with systemic solutions to problems, including developing strategies to eliminate or reduce the root causes of workplace injuries.

Notable benefits-related representations include:

  • Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund v Skinner, in which the Firm represented the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund at the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.The Court held that excluding coverage of medical marijuana, which was based on Health Canada's position on medical marijuana at the time, was not discriminatory and did not violate the Human Rights Act. The Court observed that Health Canada's position on medical marijuana may change over time as information in this area of treatment evolves.
  • Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board, in which Wayne Talos, a high school teacher, brought an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ("HRTO") arguing that cutting off his health and dental benefits when he turned 65 was unconstitutional. The firm represented Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario ("ETFO") and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association ("OECTA") as intervenors in the proceeding, in support of Mr. Talos’s position. The HRTO agreed that the policy was unconstitutional. As a result, employers can no longer provide age-differentiated health and life insurance benefits.

Ongoing Class Actions

Last Modified: 12 November 2019

Employment Insurance, Moms on Maternity Class Action / Assurance emploi - recours collectif

The class action alleges that the government and its EI Commission refused to recognize those sickness leave claims and negligently advised claimants ...

Completed Class Actions

Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Ontario Government Retiree Benefits Case

Our firm commenced an action against the Ontario government with respect to its decision to reduce the health, dental and other benefits of approximat...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Manulife Financial Corporation

In the class action, it is alleged, among other things, that the defendants negligently made misrepresentations relating to Manulife’s risk mana...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Viskase Companies Inc. and Viskase Canada Inc.

A settlement was reached reinstating paid life insurance coverage and compensating certain class members for the loss of their other paid benefits.
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

North Shore Catholic District School Board

When mutual insurance companies “demutualized” several years ago, a number of employers received substantial benefits as a result of the g...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Ontario Nurses' Association CCAC Pension Action

For current and former ONA members who worked for municipalities or home care services between 1996-1998, whether you were an ONA member or not when y...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Royal Group Technologies Ltd.

A settlement has been reached in this class action brought by the Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan ("CCWIPP").

Related Cases

Case/
6 October 2014

Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Superintendent of Financial Services)

Counsel to Monsanto Canada at Supreme Court of Canada, Court of Appeal, Divisional Court and the Financial Services Tribunal in leading national pensi...
Case/
6 October 2014

McGrath v. (Ontario) Superintendent of Financial Institutions

Counsel to OMERS Sponsors Corporation in Financial Services Tribunal proceeding regarding ability of pension plan sponsor to amend inflation adjustmen...
Case/
6 October 2014

Chapman v. Benefit Plan Administrators

Counsel to Trustees, Eastern Car Carriers Pension Plan, in class action relating to pension funding issues: Chapman v. Benefit Plan Administrators, 20...
Case/
8 October 2013

Kranjcec v. Ontario

Class action regarding retiree benefits.
Case/
1 February 2013

Sun Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers

Sun Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers, 2013 SCC 6 (CanLII) Indalex Limited ("Indalex"), the sponsor and administrator of two employee pensi...
Case/
19 December 2012

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. Canada (Attorney General)

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 SCC 71 (CanLII) There are three pension plans involved in th...

Related Resources

Article/1 November 2013

Ignored and Misunderstood: Privacy Rights and Medical Information in the Canadian Workplace

Introduction In 1881, an English Appellate court said: "[I]t is well established that persons do not...
Article/11 June 2013

Pension Risk Management

Insurance companies often describe themselves as “in the business of managing risk” So ...
Article/1 May 2012

Challenges for Jointly Sponsored Pension Plans

Amidst the wave of pension reform in Ontario, one crest has peaked above the rest; jointly sponsored...
Article/1 January 2012

Post-Retirement Benefits Update

Two recent decisions in British Columbia have addressed the issue of entitlement to post-retirement ...
Article/1 August 2005

Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Quebec Prohibition on Private Health Insurance (revised)

On June 9, 2005 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Chaoulli & Zeliotis v. Queb...
Article/10 June 2005

Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Quebec Prohibition on Private Health Insurance

On June 9, 2005 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Chaoulli & Zeliotis v. Queb...
Article/1 November 2013

Ignored and Misunderstood: Privacy Rights and Medical Information in the Canadian Workplace

Introduction In 1881, an English Appellate court said: "[I]t is well established that persons do not by virtue of their status as employees lose their... Read More
Article/11 June 2013

Pension Risk Management

Insurance companies often describe themselves as “in the business of managing risk” So are pension plans Pension sponsors and administrat... Read More
Article/1 May 2012

Challenges for Jointly Sponsored Pension Plans

Amidst the wave of pension reform in Ontario, one crest has peaked above the rest; jointly sponsored pension plans ("JSPPs") are under close examinati... Read More
Article/1 January 2012

Post-Retirement Benefits Update

Two recent decisions in British Columbia have addressed the issue of entitlement to post-retirement health benefits, one in a unionized setting, the o... Read More
Article/1 August 2005

Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Quebec Prohibition on Private Health Insurance (revised)

On June 9, 2005 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Chaoulli & Zeliotis v. Quebec (Attorney General), 2005 SCC 35 (“Chaoull... Read More
Article/10 June 2005

Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Quebec Prohibition on Private Health Insurance

On June 9, 2005 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Chaoulli & Zeliotis v. Quebec (Attorney General), 2005 SCC 35 (“Chaoull... Read More

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