Members may recall that some time ago, a pensioner had commenced a class action against Bell arguing that the annual indexation for the year 2017 should have been 2% rather than the 1% calculated and implemented by Bell. We provided some background on this on the BPG website in January 2018: http://bellpensionersgroup.ca/index3news.php?lang=en&id=8568&chapt=corporate. We updated this in July 2018 once the court action had been scheduled: http://bellpensionersgroup.ca/index3news.php?lang=en&id=8707&chapt=corporate. We further updated this matter in August 2019 when the Ontario Superior Court rendered its decision upholding Bell’s interpretation and dismissing the class action : http://bellpensionersgroup.ca/index3news.php?lang=en&id=9155&chapt=corporate.
Subsequent to that judicial decision, the class action plaintiff launched an appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal. On February 21, 2020, the appeal court rendered its decision which allowed the appeal and awarded judgment to the class action plaintiffs on behalf of all members of the class. Effectively, the decision requires Bell to implement a 2% indexation increase for the 2017 year rather than the 1% previously implemented and refers development of the implementation details back to the lower court.
Bell had 60 days from the date of the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. We understand that Bell has sought an extension to this deadline of an additional 60 days. Should the appeal court’s decision stand, it is expected that persons who are or were entitled to benefits under the Bell Canada Pension Plan, and who were entitled to receive indexed pension payments as of January 1, 2017, together with representatives of any of the above who has died, will be entitled to benefit from the decision.
We will continue to monitor this matter closely and keep you advised of further developments, including whether there is any action required on members’ part to participate in this should the decision stand.