HBC wins pension appeal

Does not have to share $94-million pension-plan surplus
By Sarah Dobson
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/04/2009

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has ruled Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) does not have to share a $94-million pension-plan surplus with former employees.

About 1,200 former workers who went to work for a division sold by HBC and purchased by NWC had sued for share of the surplus.

“The obligation at the time of sale was to ensure that all plan members received their promised pension benefits. That occurred — sufficient assets were transferred to the NWC plan to ensure that the transferred employees would receive all the pension benefits which they had been promised under the plan,” said judge Eileen Gillese.

She also dismissed an appeal to reverse the approval of the Bay’s policy of using pension money to pay plan expenses.

“To ensure that the pension promises were honoured, the plan needed to be continued. To be continued, the plan had to be properly administered and the fund properly managed. The expenses were incurred to ensure that both of those things were achieved,” said Gillese.

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