Annual Report 2016/2017

  • August 16, 2017

Submitted by Section Chair, Megan Kaneen

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held:3

November 3, 2016
Guest Speaker: Claude Marchessault, Counsel, Dentons LLP
Meeting Title/Topic: Legal Liability Arising from Benefits Communication
Synopsis: Claude reviewed the legal challenges associated with benefit communications. Topics included negligent misrepresentation, estoppel, communicating benefit changes and corporate risk management related to benefit communications.

April 24, 2017
Guest Speakers: Randy Bauslaugh, McCarthy T├ętrault, Izhak Goldhaber, CBIA and Kevin Sorhaitz, Morneau Shepell
Meeting Title/Topic: Roundtable: Better Pensions for Lawyers
Synopsis: Mr. Bauslaugh leads a task force with the Canadian Bar Insurance Association to establish a multi-employer pension plan for lawyers and law firms, and Chartered Professional Accountants and their staff, on a target benefit basis with a defined contribution component. The task force has met with law firm managers in several provinces, including British Columbia, in regards to design elements and has completed preliminary costings and feasibility and sustainability studies.
As part of their effort to seek further input from members of profession, members of the task force engaged in a roundtable discussion with the Pensions & Benefits Law Section to discuss the proposal and to obtain feedback. The session was an opportunity for section members to provide their perspective and input on this initiative.

June 28, 2017
Guest Speaker: Murray Campbell, Partner, Lawson Lundell LLP
Meeting Title/Topic: Dealing with Missing Plan Members and Other Special Issues that Arise in Pension Plan Administration
Synopsis: Murray Campbell presented on the issues that arise in relation to missing plan members as well as other special issues that arise in pension plan administration. Topics included un-locatable members, missing members, murdered members and disputed entitlement to pre-retirement death benefits.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

The group continues to serve as a forum for education, addressing issues relevant to pension and benefits practice, as well as a forum for bringing together members of the small BC pension bar to engage in practice-related discussions. Highlights this year included a spirited roundtable discussion on a proposed pension plan for lawyers, including in respect of actuarial and tax obstacles to consider.