Ontario S.C. Approves Pension Plan Surplus Withdrawal

Mr. Justice Peter Cumming of the Superior Court of Justice certified as a class “all members, past members, annuitants and other beneficiaries” of the salaried pension plan of McMaster University, “other than McMaster University,” on September 4, 2001.

On November 1, 2001, the court approved a settlement agreement relating to the class proceeding. The agreement involved a reorganization of the pension plan to enable approximately $150 million of surplus to be paid in equal shares in the university and to the approximately 4,500 members of the class who were entitled to a payment from the plan in the period July 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000. Past members of the plan who had withdrawn their defined benefits before July 1, 2000 were not included in the surplus sharing group as they did not have legal rights in the plan. Accordingly, the court found that the settlement agreement was fair, adequate and in the best interest of all class members with a legal right to monies in the plan. The university will now proceed to the Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services for consent to the withdrawal.

McMaster was represented by Randy Bauslaugh, J.A. Prestage, Elizabeth Boyd and Kim Ozubko of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Mark Zigler, Michael Mazzuca and Ari Kaplan of Koskie Minsky represented the representatives for the class. Barry Glaspell of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP acted for the custodial trustee, CIBC Mellon Trust Company.