NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 15, September 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 14, September 2018 Fears of a prescription drug bubble: 20 years laterNB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 13, July 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 12, July 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 11, June 2018
Do you remember an article titled The Blockbuster Drugs of 1999, which outlined the concerns of the drug insurance industry in Canada? This article reported on drugs that were of concern to group insurance plan sponsors.
Quebec pay equity maintenance audit—Supreme Court judgmentNB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 10, June 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 9, May 2018
On May 10, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld judgments by the Superior Court of Québec (2014) and the Québec Court of Appeal (2016), namely that sections 76.3, 76.5 and section 103.1 paragraph 2 of the Pay Equity Act (hereinafter the “Act”) are unconstitutional.
Ontario to allow administrator discharge upon annuity purchaseNB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 8, May 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 7, April 2018
On April 3, the Ontario government filed a regulation amending the Pension Benefits Act, which will allow a complete discharge to the administrator of a single employer pension plan following an annuity purchase. The modifications will come into force on July 1, 2018.
Towards a national pharmacare program?NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 6, April 2018
Last month, as part of the annual budget, the federal government announced the creation of an advisory council that will study the possibility of a national pharmacare program in Canada. This council will be chaired by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins. One of Hoskins’ major accomplishments was the implementation of OHIP+, a free universal drug coverage for all Ontarians under the age of 25.
Substance use in the workplace: Are you ready?NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 5, March 2018
With the impending legalization of marijuana for recreational use, it is in the best interest of organizations to reflect on the position they wish to adopt as regards employee health and safety.
Ban on differences in treatment clauses in pension plans and other employee benefitsNB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 4, February 2018
On March 20, the Quebec government introduced Bill 176, An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance, which includes the prohibition of “any distinction made solely on the basis of a hiring date, in relation to pension plans or other employee benefits, that affects employees performing the same tasks in the same establishment.”
2017 tax credit for medical expensesNB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 3, January 2018
For the 2017 tax year, Canadian taxpayers could be entitled to a tax credit ranging from 4% to 20% of medical expenses(1) incurred for themselves or their dependants. The credit is subject to certain conditions and depends on the province or territory of residence.
Proposed changes to Ontario’s PBGF contribution formulaNB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 2, January 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 21 No. 1, January 2018NB Bulletin Vol. 20 No. 23, December 2017
The Ontario government’s proposed new funding framework includes unproclaimed amendments to the Pension Benefits Act that would increase the guarantee provided by the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) by 50%—from $1,000 to $1,500 per month—in the event a defined benefit pension plan would wind up with insufficient funds.
More Details on the Funding of Ontario’s Defined Benefit Pension PlansNB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 21, December 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 20, November 2017
The Ontario government recently unveiled the highly anticipated details of its proposed defined benefit pension plan funding reform, announced on May 19, 2017. Interested stakeholders can submit their comments on the proposals to the Ontario Ministry of Finance until January 29, 2018. Our experts have prepared a summary of the proposed amendments.
Key Elements of the Quebec Pension Plan Enhancement: For a Better Understanding and AppreciationNB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 19, November 2017
With the tabling of Bill 149 on November 2, Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão announced the enhancement of the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). This announcement is positive for all workers, particularly the younger generation, as the maximum retirement pension benefit will increase from $13,400 under the current QPP to more than $20,000.
Outlined below are the key changes that were announced, which we examined in detail during a breakfast seminar and a webinar held on this topic last week.
Amendments to the Ontario Pension Benefits ActNB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 18, November 2017
On November 14, the Ontario Government tabled Bill 177, titled the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures). This is the first step toward introducing the legislative measures that were announced when the government released the broad outline of its reform on the funding of defined benefit pension plans in May 2017. Bill 177 provides various amendments to Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act (PBA).
Universal drug program in Ontario: UpdateNB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 17, November 2017
Last May, we informed you that Ontario would offer a free universal drug program, OHIP+, to children and youth under the age of 25. This plan will officially come into force on January 1, 2018.
Proposed amendments to the SPP ActNB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 16, November 2017
On November 2, Minister of Finance Carlos Leitao presented Bill 149 – An Act to enhance the Québec Pension Plan and to amend various retirement-related legislative provisions.
The bill deals with two distinct matters:
- Enhancing the public plan
- Amending certain provisions of the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (SPP Act)
Annuity purchase for retirees: Is now the right time?NB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 15, October 2017
In recent years, annuity purchases for retirees have become a preferred approach for managing the maturity and controlling the risks of defined benefit pension plans. Many factors have recently shifted the landscape of annuity purchases in Quebec, which should prompt you to question—or re-question—the relevance of adopting such a strategy for managing the risks of your pension plan. Overview.
Prescription drug invoice: first impressionsNB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 14, September 2017
More than two weeks have passed since Bill 92 came into force in Quebec, which requires pharmacists to break down the cost of prescription drugs on invoices to clients. However, the intended effects are slow to emerge.
Normandin Beaudry’s Salary Increase Survey 2017–2018NB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 13, September 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 12, July 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 11, July 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 10, June 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20, N. 9, May 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 8, May 2017
The seventh edition of the Salary Increase Survey was conducted during the summer of 2017. Some 294 organizations representing more than 602,000 employees took part in the survey, allowing us to build a reliable, information-rich database.
New universal drug program in OntarioPension Plan ReformLes Mercuriades AwardsNB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 7, May 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 6, February 2017
On April 27, 2017, the Ontario government tabled its budget for the coming year. This budget provides that, beginning January 1, 2018, Ontario will offer a free universal drug program, OHIP+, for children and youth under the age of 25.
2016 Tax Credit for Medical ExpensesNB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 5, February 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 4, January 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 3, January 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 20 N. 1, January 2017NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 21, December 2016
For the 2016 tax year, a tax credit ranging from 4% to 20% of incurred medical expenses could be granted to Canadian taxpayers. The credit is subject to certain conditions and depends on the province or territory of residence.
Rates for Health Care Professionals in 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 19, December 2016
Recently, Normandin Beaudry conducted its 19th annual survey of fees charged by health care professionals in Quebec. Because health care services provided by these specialists are typically covered by group benefits plans, we believe that the results presented below will be of interest to you.
The Court of Appeal confirms the constitutional invalidity of certain pay equity provisionsNB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 18, November 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 17, November 2016
On October 12, 2016, the Quebec Court of Appeal largely confirmed a Superior Court decision declaring sections 76.3 and 76.5 of the Pay Equity Act to be unconstitutional. These sections violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms on the grounds of gender discrimination.
The Court of Appeal also declared the second paragraph of Section 103.1 of the Pay Equity Act to be unconstitutional.
Bill C-27: An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 16, September 2016
Bill C-27 (An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985) was introduced in the House of Commons on October 19, 2016. This Bill comes in response to public consultations on target benefit pension plans ("TB plans") launched by the Department of Finance Canada on April 24, 2014, and applies to federally regulated private pension plans.
2016-2017 survey on salary increasesNB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 15, August 2016
The annual Salary Increases Survey, conducted by Normandin Beaudry, reveals that Quebec salaries are expected to increase by 2.8% in 2017. Salary structures are expected to increase by an average of 1.8%.
Review of the solvency funding framework for defined benefit pension plans in OntarioNB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 14, August 2016
On July 26, 2016, the Ontario government released a consultation paper entitled "Review of Ontario's Solvency Funding Framework for Defined Benefit Pension Plans," targeted at sponsors of single employer pension plans. This bulletin summarizes the approaches and options proposed during the course of these consultations. Interested parties have until September 30, 2016 to submit their comments.
Enhancing your bond portfolio with the liquidity premiumNB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 13, July 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 12, June 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 11, June 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 10, April 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 9, April 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 7, March 2016NB Bulletin Vol. 19 N. 5, February 2016
In recent years, Canadian investors have seen interest rates fall dramatically. The rate for 10-year federal bonds fell from 6% at the beginning of the 2000s to under 1% in the 3rd quarter of 2016. This decrease allowed investors to generate good returns. However, the future prospects for traditional bonds are now poor.
2015 tax credit for medical expensesNB Bulletin Vol. 18 N. 12, September 2015
For the 2015 tax year, a tax credit ranging from 4% to 20% of incurred medical expenses(1) could be granted to Canadian taxpayers. The credit is subject to certain conditions and depends on the province or territory of residence.
Quebec survey on salary increasesNB Bulletins Vol. 18 N. 11, August 2015
Normandin Beaudry's annual survey on salary increases reveals that Quebec salaries are expected to increase by 2.7% in 2016. Salary structures are expected to increase by an average of 1.8%.
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP): comparable plans definedNB Bulletins Vol. 18 N. 10, July 2015NB Bulletins Vol. 18 N. 9, June 2015
On August 11, 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced additional details on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), including what defines a comparable workplace pension plan. The ORPP is a new Ontario pension plan aimed at helping working Ontarians who do not have a workplace pension plan.
Bill 57NB Bulletins Vol. 18 N. 8, June 2015
After the bill on the funding of municipal pension plans was assented to last December, the National Assembly continued its work, introducing An Act to amend the Supplemental Pension Plans Act mainly with respect to the funding of defined benefit pension plans (Bill 57) on June 11, 2015.
Ontario pension plans: Overview of recent changes to legislationNB Bulletins Vol. 18 N. 7, June 2015NB Bulletins Vol. 18 N. 6, may 2015
Over the last year, several legislative changes have impacted pension plans registered with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). The purpose of this information bulletin is to present the key legislative amendments that recently came into effect in Ontario. It also aims to summarize the bills and regulations that should be introduced in the near future.
Bill 28 passed - implications for group benefits plansNB Bulletin Vol. 18 N. 5, April 2015NB Bulletin Vol. 18 N. 4, April 2015
The National Assembly passed Bill 28 on April 20, 2015. This bill includes a host of budget measures and numerous changes to different laws. Several of the measures announced impact directly or indirectly group benefits plans.
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)NB Bulletin Vol. 18 N. 3, March 2015NB Bulletin Vol. 18 N. 2, February 2015
Public consultations on Bill 56, An Act to require the establishment of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), were recently held and ended in late March 2015. The purpose of this major bill is to create an additional savings instrument that will strengthen the current retirement income system for working Ontarians.
2014 tax credit for medical expensesNB Bulletin Vol. 18 N. 1, January 2015NB Bulletin Vol. 17 N. 13, December 2014NB Bulletin Vol. 17 N. 12, December 2014
For the 2014 tax year, a tax credit ranging from 4% to 20% of incurred medical expenses(1) could be granted to Canadian taxpayers. The credit is subject to certain conditions and depends on the province of residence.
Revenu Québec and its application of the Unclaimed Property ActNB Bulletin Vol. 17 N. 11, December 2014NB Bulletin Vol. 17 N. 10, October 2014
On April 1, 2006, the Curateur public transferred the administration of unclaimed financial property to Revenu Québec (RQ). Since then, RQ has been auditing pension plans to determine whether or not unclaimed property and penalties, if applicable, have been remitted. These audits target notably small amounts whose commuted value represents less than 20% of the Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) for the year in which the member ceased to be an active member.
Rates for Health Care Professionals in 2014NB Bulletin Vol. 17 N. 8, September 2014NB Bulletin Vol 17 N. 7, July 2014NB bulletin Vol. 17 N. 5, May 2014
During the summer of 2014, Normandin Beaudry conducted its 17th annual survey of fees charged by health care professionals in Quebec. Considering the fact that health care services provided by these specialists are typically covered by group benefits plans, we believe that the results presented below will be of interest to you.
Residual benefits due to pension plan insolvencyNB bulletin Vol. 17 N. 4, May 2014
On April 30, 2014, the Régie des rentes du Québec (the “Régie”) issued a Newsletter Express on the amounts payable following the settlement of benefits under a partially solvent defined benefit pension plan. This document confirms a change in the interpretation of rules that could have financial impacts for plan sponsors.
Comply to make Ontario more accessible for persons with disabilitiesNB bulletin Vol. 17 N. 3, March 2014NB Bulletin Vol. 15 N. 7, June 2012
In 2005, the Ontario government enacted the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which aims to eliminate barriers that persons with physical or psychological limitations may face. This Act includes different standards that employers must comply with to create accessible workplaces that allow employees with disabilities to reach their full potential.
Prescription Drug Insurance: RAMQ Position UpdateNB Bulletin Vol. 15 N. 6, April 2012NB Bulletin Vol. 15 N. 5, February 2012
The document entitled Info assurance médicaments and published on the website of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) presents the RAMQ’s positions on various topics related to Quebec’s Act respecting prescription drug insurance (hereinafter called “the Act”) and on the administration of private drug insurance plans. The RAMQ recently updated this document.
Tax credit for medical expensesNB Bulletin Vol. 15 N. 4, February 2012
Subject to certain eligibility criteria, a tax credit of between 4% and 20% of the incurred expenses can be granted to the taxpayer(1).
Proposed amendments to accounting standards applicable to employee future benefitsNB Bulletin Vol. 15 N. 3, January 2012
Private enterprises that only recently transitioned to new Canadian accounting standards already need to anticipate the impact of other amendments for employee future benefits that could be introduced in the near future. Private sector not-for-profit organizations are also preparing to adopt the new Canadian standards and must already consider the impact of future amendments to these standards.
Infrastructure Bonds: Why Consider Them?NB Bulletin Vol. 14 N. 12, December 2011NB bulletins
Pension funds are now—more than ever—looking for secure, long-term assets that produce a high steady rate of income. For several years now, bonds related to infrastructure projects, particularly those structured as public-private partnerships (PPPs), have become increasingly popular and have taken on a growing position in bond indexes. For some organizations, certain values or ideologies might render these investments inappropriate. However, they have characteristics that meet the needs of many pension funds to manage their mismatch risk and some institutional managers have set up funds dedicated to infrastructure debt.