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The actions of employers, plan administrators and their service providers are subject to regulatory review and legal challenges, including class actions. The need for sophisticated, timely and practical advice related to pension and benefits matters has never been greater.

Gowling WLG provides strategic legal advice on all pension matters - in relation to both registered and non-registered plans - to a full range of industry clients, including employers, employees, sponsors, administrators, beneficiaries, custodians/trustees and investment/fund managers, among others.

A unique perspective

What makes us distinct from many of our competitors is that we don't act solely for the “employer side” or the “employee side.” Our unbiased perspective, the broad nature of our clientele and the fact that we don't have a public position to defend makes us best-placed to provide effective pensions advice to all clients.

A broad clientele

We act for several of Canada's larger single and multi-employer pension plans, both in the private and public sectors. We also act on behalf of promoters of investment products and investment managers, and assist them in structuring their products and services to appeal to pension fund investors.

In-depth experience and expertise

Our team has a broad range of experience and expertise, including lawyers formerly on staff at a pension regulator. In dealings with pension regulators and government officials/agencies, we provide our clients with the benefit of invaluable historical insight and practical experience. We also work closely with other practice groups to deliver seamless service in other key legal areas.

We provide advice and assistance on a wide range of pension matters, including:

  • Plan governance and fiduciary obligations
  • Benefit administration
  • Investment matters, including contract review, comments to SIP&Ps and compliance opinions
  • Asset transfers, plan mergers and plan conversions
  • Plan terminations and annuity purchases
  • Pension and benefit issues in the context of mergers, acquisitions and insolvencies
  • Surplus management issues, including contribution holidays, surplus withdrawals and plan expense issues
  • Supplementary pension plans (SERPs and RCAs)
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts with third party service providers, including investment advisers, consultants, custodians, trustees and others
  • Plan amendments, including compliance amendments, benefit changes and extraordinary changes (e.g., plan closure, freezes, etc.)
  • Preparation and review of employee communications
  • Strategic advice with respect to regulatory examinations and investigations
  • Representation before pension regulatory authorities and all levels of court
  • Pension tax issues

Learn more

To learn more about how we can support your pension needs, please reach out to any member of our team.