This class action is brought on behalf of Bell Pension Plan members, and those otherwise entitled to benefits under the Plan. The claim alleges the Plan utilized an incorrect calculation of the cost of living indexation. As a result of the incorrect calculation, Bell Pension Plan members, or those otherwise entitled to benefits under the Plan, have been short-changed their full pension entitlements.
UPDATE: April 7, 2022
On July 20, 2021, the Court approved the implementation plan proposed by counsel, including a retroactive payment to all class members and future entitlements, as well as the ancillary motions for approval of legal fees and other matters. The Court’s Reasons for Decision are available here.
The retroactive, one-time payment was sent directly to all class members in October 2021 and all future pension benefits payments after that date will reflect the indexation increase of 2% for the 2017 year rather than 1%.
UPDATE: August 12, 2019
On August 12, 2019, Justice Morgan released his decision certifying the proceeding (click here to see the decision), but ruling against the plaintiff on the summary judgment motion (ruling that Bell calculated the pension index correctly). On appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the class (click here to see the decision) and decided the correct rate of indexation for 2017 was 2%, instead of 1%. Therefore the pensioners should receive a retroactive payment from January 1, 2017 to date. In addition, pension amounts in the future are to be adjusted accordingly.
A plan has been developed to implement the judgment. The motions to implement the judgment and provide payment to the class, and ancillary matters, is scheduled to be heard on July 9, 2021. The details of the motions can be found in the Notice (click here to see the notice).
The total amount of the retroactive payments to all Class members is estimated to be in excess of $34.4 million before applicable deductions. In addition, all future benefit payments to Class members will reflect the indexation increase for the 2017 year. The total estimated value of the increased benefits is calculated to be over $103 million.
The applicable deductions to the retroactive payments include the levy to the Class Proceedings Fund (which funded the action, and which levy is set by statute), an honourarium to the representative plaintiff, and Class Counsel fees, all of which will be determined in the motions scheduled for July 9, 2021. Class Counsel are seeking approval of legal fees of $10 million, plus disbursements and taxes, which represents approximately 9.7% of the estimated lifetime recovery for the Class. The Class Proceedings Fund levy is approximately $2.35 million plus recovery of disbursements of approximately $85,000.