“Our company weathered the recent economic downturn reasonably well, but we are still concerned about the feasibility of continuing to offer a defined benefit plan. Are we restricted by our collective agreement from making amendments to the plan? Are there other potential labour relations consequences that we need to be aware of?”
“As an employer trustee of a multi-employer pension plan, we are not sure of the scope of what we can do. We would really benefit from getting some advice on how we might be able to proceed on a go-forward basis in order to achieve our long-term objectives and ensure the future viability of the plan.”
Navigating the body of law surrounding pensions and benefits is convoluted and difficult. Employers who are considering implementing, amending or eliminating a pension plan must be aware of the impact of such decisions on their existing and future labour obligations. Even understanding one’s existing obligations and restrictions can be a complicated matter.
Our lawyers are well-suited to advise on many pension issues, particularly those that address the labour relations consequences of important decisions impacting on the establishment, modification, administration or wind-down of a pension plan. We are continually striving to be at the forefront of such issues, as demonstrated by a leading arbitration decision recently won by our firm in which the arbitrator upheld the employer’s entitlement to unilaterally convert from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan.
Further, our lawyers are available to assist on matters such as: