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Publication of a draft regulation on the funding of multi-jurisdictional defined benefit pension plans

On December 5, 2018, the Quebec government published a draft regulation of the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (“SPPA”) aimed at protecting the rights of Quebec members of a multi-jurisdictional defined benefit pension plan in the event of plan division or termination.

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December 2018

White Paper – National pharmacare

In February 2018, the federal government announced in its budget the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. In a discussion paper published in June 2018, the council identified three key issues:

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December 2018

Pause on Pay Transparency

Last week, the Ontario government introduced Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018 in the legislature. If passed, Bill 57 would amend a significant number of Ontario’s statutes, including the “Pay Transparency Act”. Under Schedule 32, “the date of commencement of the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 is changed from January 1, 2019 to a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.”

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November 2018

Increase in QPP/CPP contributions: Are you in the loop?

The increase in contributions to the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) will begin in early 2019.

In October 2018, Normandin Beaudry surveyed rémun member organizations to learn more about what they intend to do following the changes to the QPP/CPP. Some 40 organizations, representing a total of about 90,000 employees, took part in the survey.

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November 2018

Major reshuffling of the GICS sectors

In this era of evolution and revolution of communication methods, technologies and access to information, organizations have no choice but to adapt. A growing number of companies are moving in that direction by modifying their business model to become fully integrated and provide their clients with comprehensive solutions.

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November 2018

Normandin Beaudry remains involved in the public sector accounting board’s employment benefits project

In late October, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) issued an Invitation to Comment on the provisions to recognize non-traditional pension plans, included in Sections PS 3250 and PS 3255.

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November 2018

Pharmacist compensation reform

In May 2015, we published a memo on the passing of Bill 28. This bill included a host of budget measures regarding health care, including allowing pharmacists to provide a series of professional services starting June 20, 2015.

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November 2018

Renewed reflection on medical cannabis

October 17, 2018 is undoubtedly a date that will go down in history. The legalization of cannabis is a hot-button issue that has raised concerns and calls back into question the guidelines governing the use of medical cannabis, which has been legal since 2001.

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October 2018

High-cost drugs: More than a matter of money

The cost of prescription drugs in Canada has soared in recent years. This increase is due, among other things, to the growing consumption of high-cost drugs. For example, in Canada in 2017, it was estimated that out of an insured population of 1,000 individuals, 10 of them consumed approximately 33% of total drug costs.

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October 2018

Normandin Beaudry’s Salary Increase Survey 2018-2019

The eighth edition of our Salary Increase Survey was conducted during the summer of 2018. Some 233 organizations, representing more than 640,000 employees took part in the survey, allowing us to build a reliable, information-rich database.

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September 2018

Fears of a prescription drug bubble: 20 years later

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 benefits plan sponsors.

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September 2018

New financial parameters for Quebec’s prescription drug insurance plan

Every July 1, the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec adjusts the public prescription drug insurance plan’s financial parameters to take into account the increase or decrease in plan costs.

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July 2018

Ontario’s universal drug program: back to square one

Last year, we informed you that Ontario would offer a free universal drug program, OHIP+, to children and youth under the age of 25. This plan came into effect on January 1, 2018.

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July 2018

Quebec pay equity maintenance audit—Supreme Court judgment

Summary of the decision…

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.

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June 2018

Adoption of Bill 176: Ban on differences in treatment clauses in pension plans and other employee benefits

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June 2018

Accounting standards applicable to future group benefits: Assumptions used by Canadian organizations

Several private sector organizations must include the recognition of their obligations toward defined benefit pension plans (DB plans) and group insurance plans offered to retirees (other post-retirement benefits) in their financial statements.

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June 2018

Are you ready for pay transparency?

On January 1, 2019, Ontario’s “Pay Transparency Act” comes into force. Ontario is the first province to introduce pay transparency legislation and it certainly will not be the last. The spirit of the Act can be viewed as an extension of the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” requirements in the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 that came into effect on April 1, 2018, whereby employees performing similar work must be paid equally, regardless of their employment status (i.e. full-time, part-time, casual, temporary, or seasonal).

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June 2018

Ontario to allow administrator discharge upon annuity purchase

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.

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May 2018

Adoption of new funding rules for Ontario’s defined benefit pension plans

The regulation under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act was filed on April 20, 2018, comes into force on May 1, 2018. This means the new funding rules for defined benefit pension plans are now official. Little changes have been made to the funding rules proposed in the consultation document published in December 2017.

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May 2018

Towards a national pharmacare program?

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.

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April 2018

Substance use in the workplace: Are you ready?

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.

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April 2018

Ban on differences in treatment clauses in pension plans and other employee benefits

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.”

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March 2018

2017 tax credit for medical expenses

For the 2017 tax year, Canadian taxpayers could be entitled to a tax credit ranging from 4% to 20% of medical expenses incurred for themselves or their dependants. The credit is subject to certain conditions and depends on the province or territory of residence.

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February 2018

Proposed changes to Ontario’s PBGF contribution formula

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. Age and service eligibility requirements for the coverage of these benefits would also be eliminated.

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January 2018

The ten most important developments in drug insurance in 2017

For private plan sponsors seeking to contain costs, any new development in the world of drug insurance may represent an opportunity to save money, or a risk to be avoided. But there’s no denying it: the sheer quantity of interventions by a large number of players (governments, insurers, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies) makes for a complex landscape that is difficult to navigate. That’s why we are presenting the third edition of our list of the year’s top developments, which we have put together to help informed plan sponsors identify the most promising courses of action.

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January 2018

2018 Social Security Programs Parameters

As is our custom, we wish to inform you of the parameters that will be used by the major social security programs this year.

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January 2018