How Bill C-228’s protection of DB pension plans affects financial planning

The Globe and Mail
May 11, 2023.

Joelle Hall, wealth advisor, portfolio manager and investment advisor with Hall O’Brien Wealth Counsel at Richardson Wealth Ltd. in Ottawa, works with many clients who have public-sector defined-benefit plans, which are more secure than private sector plans simply because governments can, in theory, raise taxes to fund liabilities.

With private-sector DB plans, she keeps a very close eye on the funding ratio, especially as clients approach the cut-off age (usually 55) for commuting a pension.

“There are several factors that go into that commuting decision, but we’d certainly start with how well-funded the plan is, and with anything less than 90 per cent funded, I get a little nervous,” she says.

Ms. Hall worked with clients who had DB plans through Nortel Networks Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

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