Overview of Pension, Benefit and Compensation Services

Pension, benefit and compensation issues have attained prominent status in recent years. With an aging workforce and financial stakes higher than they have ever been, legal issues and the associated risks are ever present in the operation of pension, benefit and compensation plans.

Newton HR Law assists clients to identify the issues and manage the financial, fiduciary, regulatory and reputational risks inherent in sponsoring and maintaining pension, benefit and compensation plans. We also assist clients in developing and implementing legally sound strategies to contain costs.

Newton HR Law maintains its position at the forefront of the industry, fostering the development of pension, benefit and compensation law and policy across Canada. We help you understand the legal and policy framework and to confidently anticipate and meet the challenges it presents.

To manage the complexity and diverse challenges presented by pension, benefit and compensation law, Newton HR Law provides expertise in the pension, benefit and compensation aspects of labour and employment, litigation, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, financings, privacy, governance and insolvency.

Newton HR Law has strategic relationships with law firms across Canada to serve the needs of organizations in the federal or provincial sectors anywhere in the country on a cost-effective and efficient basis. With much lower overhead costs, we are able to provide the highest level of service with affordable cost structures, including fixed fee arrangements.

The clients of Newton HR Law recognize the value of a team-based approach to resolving pension, benefit and compensation issues. Clients rely on us to provide sophisticated, experienced legal advice in the context of their unique business needs. Newton HR Law is keenly aware of the financial pressures of its client partners and the need for smart, practical solutions.

The narrative on the next couple of pages describes the main areas of practice of Newton HR Law, within the pension, benefits and compensation sphere.

Plan Design and Modification

Newton HR Law assists employers to tailor their pension, benefit and compensation plans to their specific needs and financial situations. A key aspect of this practice area is modifying post-retirement benefits and advising on the merits of defined contribution versus defined benefit pension plans. We have broad experience with the sensitive practical and legal issues that can be triggered by benefit reductions. We provide assistance to both unionized and non-unionized employers in managing pension, benefit and compensation transitions to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Governance and Fiduciary Duties

Newton HR Law works with its clients to design and implement governance frameworks to meet the unique needs of each organization, to facilitate the efficient and effective management of pension, benefit and compensation programs. We perform governance audits to identify governance gaps and develop appropriate strategies to minimize risk. We review fiduciary liability insurance policies for coverage of risks. We also provide guidance on the scope of statutory and fiduciary duties.

Labour and Employment

We provide the needed guidance on pension, benefit and compensation issues in collective bargaining. Mark Newton worked closely with actuaries for over 20 years, and understands the funding and accounting implications of pensions. We work with single employer and multi-employer plans, defined benefit and defined contribution plans, registered plans and supplemental plans. We assist in the drafting of employment agreements and change-in-control agreements. We also provide strategic advice in the modification of pension and benefits programs, in particular retiree benefit programs, with a view to cost containment.


Newton HR Law acts as litigation counsel in pension, benefit and compensation matters, at all levels of courts across Canada and before administrative tribunals. We partner with specialized litigation counsel as appropriate. It is critically important, in particular with pension matters, to present a thorough case to the regulator and not to count on winning on appeal. In many decided legal cases, partly on account of the complexity of pension matters, the appeal tribunals and courts have deferred to the decisions of the regulators.


The investment of pension assets is governed by rules in the Income Tax Act and in the regulations to the federal Pension Benefits Standards Act, as well as by fiduciary standards both in pension legislation and at common law. Newton HR Law has gained a lot of experience with pension investment and provides practical advice concerning specific investments, investment structures and compliance issues.

Corporate Transactions, Financing and Insolvency

In many corporate transactions, pension, benefit and compensation liabilities can be among the largest, and they are often not immediately apparent. Newton HR Law conducts HR due diligence to identify areas of risk and potential liability in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financings and insolvencies. We also negotiate and draft appropriate phrasing and clauses for corporate documentation, including purchase and sale agreements and financing agreements.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is very complex in the pension area, with ever-changing multi-jurisdictional pension legislation, income tax legislation and industry guidelines. We prepare documentation and filings and negotiate with the pension regulators across Canada and with the Canada Revenue Agency to give effect to plan changes and to ensure ongoing compliance. We also draft and negotiate trust agreements, insurance contracts and policies and outsourcing agreements with third parties, and review employee and retiree communication materials.


We review and provide recommendations and opinions regarding the tax-effective delivery of pension, savings, stock benefits, group benefits, flexible benefits and other benefits programs and executive compensation plans. We also provide opinions on the qualification of investments with pension funds and opinions on other benefit plans such as health and welfare trusts.


We provide advice and guidance on data privacy issues in respect of pension, benefit and compensation plans and their administration.

Newton HR Law

Welcome to Newton HR Law, a human resources law firm, specializing in pension, benefit and compensation matters.


Law Society of Upper Canada

Canadian Bar Association

American Bar Association

Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers

International Pension and Employee Benefit Lawyers Association

Get In Touch

Address: 8 Waterloo Court, Thornhill, ON L3T 6L9

Phone: 416-846-6855