Bulletin NB Vol 7 N. 23, December 2004
Québec's policy concerning drugs
On December 16, 2004, Health and Social Services Minister Philippe Couillard tabled a white paper on Québec's policy concerning drugs.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 22, December 2004
The 2005 social security programs parameters
We are pleased to inform you about the latest developments regarding the main parameters of the major social security programs to assist you in planning your 2005 budget.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 21, December 2004
Pension plan funding in Quebec
The performance of pension funds in 2004, coupled with the decline in interest rates throughout the year, could mean that the solvency position of many pension plans will be put to the test again. Pension plan sponsors that are required to do an actuarial valuation at the end of 2004 could be faced with significant increases in their funding costs.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 20, November 2004
Interest rates applicable to actuarial valuations as at December 31, 2004
The Bank of Canada recently published the nominal interest rate on long-term Government of Canada bonds and the rate on real return Government of Canada bonds for the month of October 2004. It is on these rates that the interest rates to use for solvency valuations as at December 31, 2004 will be based.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 19, November 2004
The latest pension plan governance guidelines
On October 25, the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities (CAPSA) issued the final version of its governance guidelines for registered pension plans. Unlike the guidelines for capital accumulation plans (CAPs) issued by the Joint Forum of Financial Market Regulators on May 28, 2004 (see our June 2004 bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 11) that concerned only CAPs, including defined contribution plans with investment options, the latest guidelines also apply to defined contribution plans without investment options and to defined benefit plans.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 18
The new regulation amending the Quebec Regulation Respecting Supplemental Pension Plans
On October 20, 2004, a new regulation amending the Regulation Respecting Supplemental Pension Plans ("Amended Regulation") was published in the Gazette officielle du Québec. This amendment deals with two aspects: payment of additional pension benefit and reference to the new Standard of Practice approved by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) for determining pension commuted values. The consultation period for the Amended Regulation ends on December 3, 2004.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 17, October 2004
The withdrawal of Vioxx from the world market
A few days ago, Merck Frosst announced that it was pulling its flagship drug Vioxx off the market worldwide because of the increased risk of cardiovascular events (heart attacks and strokes) for people who use this drug for a long period (more than 18 months).
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 16, October 2004
Taxable benefits to surviving spouses and dependents of deceased employees
Taxable benefits arising from contributions paid by an employer for a group insurance plan have existed for several years. Today, plan sponsors generally understand the tax consequences of providing group insurance. However, insurance coverage for a surviving spouse or dependents that continues after the death of an employee or retiree are not always as integrated.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 15, September 2004
Making a pension plan beneficiary designation
Although it might seem a simple matter to designate a beneficiary to receive death benefits payable under a pension plan, there are some less obvious aspects to consider. This bulletin describes why it is a good idea to designate a beneficiary, defines the concept of eligible spouse within the meaning of the Act, and explains how to designate and change a beneficiary.
Bulletin NB Vol 7. N. 14, September 2004
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 13, September 2004
The implications of the Monsanto case for Quebec pension plans
After restructuring the company and reducing its workforce, Monsanto Canada Inc. wound up part of its pension plan registered under Ontario law. This was back in 1997 and at the time there was a surplus in the pension plan. Initially, the Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario rejected the report on the grounds that it did not include a procedure for distributing the surplus relating to the part of the fund that had been wound up. After numerous appeals, the case ended up at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 12, September 2004
Health Care Professionals' rates
This bulletin presents the results of our annual survey of the fees that are currently being charged by health care professionals. This survey was conducted during the month of June 2004.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 11, June 2004
Current guidelines for capital accumulation plans
On May 28, the Joint Forum of Financial Market Regulators, which was created in 1999 to develop governance rules for capital accumulation plan sponsors and service providers, issued the final version of its guidelines.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 10, June 2004
The new standard of practice for determining the pension commuted values
In February 2004, we informed you that the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) approved a new standard of practice for determining the pension commuted values payable under a registered pension plan upon termination of participation. The new standard of practice was supposed to take effect on September 1, 2004. The effective date of the standard was delayed by the CIA Board of Directors following a review process that took place recently. On June 15, 2004, the CIA Board of Directors reconfirmed the standard with an effective date of February 1, 2005.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 9, June 2004
The latest developments regarding payment cards for the reimbursement of dental care expenses
In November 2003, we issued a bulletin about a business dispute between the Association des Chirurgiens Dentistes du Québec (the sole owner of Dentaide) and the main insurers who use the ESI card to process the dental transactions of their insurees, namely Desjardins Financial Security, La Capitale, La Survivance and SSQ Financial Group. This dispute has led to a situation where many dentists refused to use the new ESI payment card.
Bulletin NB Vol. 9 N. 8, June 2004
The changes to the Quebec Prescription Drug Insurance Plan
On June 14, the Board of Directors of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) announced the latest modifications to the Quebec Prescription Drug Insurance Plan effective on July 1, 2004.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 7, June 2004
The new disclosure requirements regarding employee future benefits
In April 2004 the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) issued the final version of the amendments to the disclosure requirements regarding employee future benefits. These changes will apply to fiscal years ending on or after June 30, 2004. There are also new disclosure requirements for interim (quarterly) financial statements.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 6, June 2004
FEDERAL FINANCE MINISTER ANNOUNCES THE SUSPENSION OF SPECIAL CAPS ON PENSION FUNDS’ INVESTMENTS IN INCOME TRUSTS
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 5, June 2004
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 4, May 2004
Simplified pension plans
On May 19, 2004, the Régie des rentes du Québec adopted the Regulation amending the Regulation respecting plans exempted from the application of certain provisions of the Supplemental Pension Plans Act ("the Regulation"). This Regulation, which takes effect June 3, 2004, contains important amendments to the provisions that apply to simplified pension plans (SPP). An SPP is a defined contribution pension plan (DC plan) with simplified administrative rules such as no obligation to hold annual meetings and no pension committee.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 3, April 2004
Making a life-insurance beneficiary designation
At first glance, the designation of a life-insurance beneficiary might seem simple. However, in order to make an informed decision, it is important to be aware of the various subtleties involved. It should be noted that several aspects treated in this bulletin also apply to pension plans. However, the various subtleties pertaining to pension plans will be discussed in a later bulletin.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N. 2, March 2004
The integration of long-term disability insurance benefits
Following a decision rendered by the Alberta Court of Appeal in the spring of 2003, in the case of Hennig v. Clarica, some insurers have issued bulletins over the past months concerning the integration of long-term disability insurance benefits.
Bulletin NB Vol. 7 N.1, February 2004
The new standard of practice for determining the pension commuted values
The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) recently approved a new standard of practice for determining the pension commuted values payable under a registered pension plan upon termination of participation. The new standard of practice will take effect September 1, 2004, and will replace the current one, which has been in use since September 1, 1993.