Monsanto forced to pay out pension surplus after firing 146 staff

|Canadian Employment Law Today

Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Ontario (Superintendent of Financial Services), [2002] O.J. No. 4407 (Ont. C.A.)

Monsanto Canada was implementing a partial wind up of the pension plan it maintained for its employees. Due to a corporate reorganization and a plant closure, Monsanto had given notice of termination to 146 employees. At issue in this case was whether it had a legal obligation to distribute the actuarial surplus in the pension plan attributable to them.

Monsanto had submitted a report to the provincial pension regulator seeking approval for the partial wind up of the plan. The report did not provide for a pro rata distribution of the plan’s surplus to the workers. The superintendent gave Monsanto notice of refusal to approve the partial wind up report primarily because it did not provide for the distribution of the surplus, which was contrary to s. 70(6) of the