Pensions & Benefits: Critical Issues and What's Often Overlooked 2011

Course Date: May 25, 2011

Welcome and Introduction

Thomas G. Anderson, QC — Anderson Pension Law Consulting, North Vancouver
Scott Sweatman — Spectrum HR Law LLP, Vancouver

Employment Benefits Generally

  • summary of the range of employment benefits
  • how do these issues affect other legal disciplines?
  • different perspectives on common legal problems

Kenneth E. Burns — Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver

When an Employer Restructures Benefits

  • what are vested interests and what are not?
  • what scope is there for an employer to cut back or review benefit packages and plans
  • plan conversions, wind-ups, and other restrictions

Lisa C. Chamzuk — Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver

Networking Break

Mergers & Acquisitions: What You Need to Know About Benefits When Acquiring a Business

  • do you know what you are purchasing?
  • what is the extent of the liabilities represented by employment benefits?

Scott Sweatman — Spectrum HR Law LLP, Vancouver

Correcting Past Mistakes?

  • what are your obligations upon discovering that past practices have not been consistent with legal obligations?
  • are they different for an employer, plan sponsor, administrator, or fund custodian?

Michael Wolpert — Spectrum HR Law LLP, Calgary

Lunch (on your own)

Employment Benefits and Marriage Breakdown

  • finding out what benefits are available
  • determining how the benefits work
  • considering the implications of such benefits in the division of family assets and/or the payment of support obligations

Diane M. Bell — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Colin Galinski — Spectrum HR Law LLP, Vancouver

Family Relations Act, Pensions, and an Aging Population

  • survivor benefit issues
  • is it possible to preserve these benefits on marriage breakdown?
  • securing lifetime income for a former spouse
  • the inter-relationship of pension division and support obligations

Thomas G. Anderson, QC — Anderson Pension Law Consulting, North Vancouver

Networking Break

An Administrator's Perspective

  • what information can the plan provide?
  • steps to avoid roadblocks and speed up obtaining information from a plan
  • how to interpret a Person Profile/Member Benefit Statement 
  • obtaining information in advance on whether the plan can administer the arrangement you are negotiating
  • what to do when the plan writes to you for further directions

Kim Kenyon — BC Pension Corporation, Victoria

Actuaries Panel

  • when do you need an actuary?
  • what actuaries wish the family lawyer understood about requesting and using actuarial reports

Stephen Cheng — Managing Director & Senior Consulting Actuary, Westcoast Actuaries Inc., Vancouver
Michael Demner — Demner Consulting Services Ltd., Vancouver
Ian M. Karp — Karp Actuarial Services Ltd., Vancouver

Disability Benefits and the Family Relations Act

  • review of the trends and changes that  the courts are undertaking with respect to disability benefits—not just reapportionment

Thomas G. Anderson, QC — Anderson Pension Law Consulting, North Vancouver