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Pension law and regulation is complex, technical and, to the unwary, a minefield of potential liability. The list of “need-to-know” topics seems endless, and those who advise on pension matters need to be aware of additional potential issues, such as employment law and human rights considerations.

As a lawyer, pensions professional, CFO, HR manager, consultant, or executive sitting on a pension committee, you may be called upon to give advice on or make decisions regarding pension-related issues. It is critical for you to have an understanding of the key issues and their implications.

Now in its seventh year, the OsgoodePD Certificate in Pension Law was developed to provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of the major areas of pension law and practice. This unique program,  taught by leading experts in the pension field, will equip you with the knowledge and the practical strategies you need in your day-to-day work.

This program will cover:

  • The role of pensions in the retirement savings system
  • A review of the federal and provincial regulatory framework
  • Pensions and the employment relationship – key areas of concern
  • The funding and investment principles for pension plans
  • Pension plan governance and risk management
  • Defined benefit to defined contribution plan conversions – key legal and structural considerations
  • Multi-employer pension plans and other multi-employer arrangements
  • The treatment of pensions in corporate transactions and restructurings
  • Pension litigation – the landmark cases and the emerging issues
  • Essential updates about important pension reform initiatives across Canada


Program Directors

  • Mark Newton, Newton HR Law
  • Jeffrey Sommers, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Advisory Board

  • The Honourable Justice Eileen E. Gillese, Court of Appeal for Ontario; former Dean of Law, Western University and Pensions Law Professor
  • David Gordon, Deputy Superintendent, Pensions Financial Services Commission of Ontario (retired)
  • Janet Downing, Lawyer/Senior Consultant, Towers Watson (retired)
  • Malcolm Hamilton, Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute
  • John M. Solursh, Member, Financial Services Tribunal of Ontario; Partner Emeritus Pension and Employee Benefits Group, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • John Poos, Vice President, Pensions and Benefits, George Weston Ltd. and Loblaw Companies Ltd.
  • Mark Zigler, Koskie Minsky LLP
  • Tracy Abel, Vice President, Client Services, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • Susan Bird, B.A. CEBS, ICD.D., President, McAteer Group of Companies
  • Andrea Boctor, Stikeman Elliott LLP
  • Jessica Bullock, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
  • John D. R. Craig, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
  • Cynthia Crysler, Senior Vice President, Pension Policy and Research, OMERS
  • Scott Cushing, Principal, Mercer
  • Karen DeBortoli, Director, Pension & Benefit Research, Eckler Ltd
  • Heather Di Dio, Dentons Canada LLP
  • Mark Eagles, Principal, Mercer
  • Mark Firman, Legal Counsel, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • Zev Frishman, Chief Investment Officer, Morneau Shepell Asset and Risk Management Ltd.
  • Natasha Gidaro, Pepsico Foods Canada
  • Lorena Gepraegs, Senior Associate Legal Counsel & Privacy Officer, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP);
  • Natasha Gidaro, Pepsico Foods Canada
  • Lorraine Gignac, Principal, Mercer
  • Clio M. Godkewitsch, Koskie Minsky LLP
  • Tina Hobday, Langlois Lawyers
  • Evan Howard, Director of Policy, CAAT Pension Plan
  • Mariana MacIntosh, Senior Legal Counsel, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • Sean Maxwell, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Mark Newton, Newton HR Law
  • Susan Nickerson, Torys LLP
  • Kim Ozubko, Miller Thomson LLP
  • John Prezioso, Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
  • Douglas Rienzo, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
  • Susan G. Seller, Bennett Jones LLP
  • Dr Elizabeth Shilton, Senior Fellow, Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace, and McMurtry Visiting Fellow, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • John M. Solursh, Member, Financial Services Tribunal of Ontario; Partner Emeritus Pension and Employee Benefits Group, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Jeffrey Sommers, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Scott Sweatman, Dentons Canada LLP
  • Lyle Teichman, Lawyer and Senior Consultant Willis Towers Watson
  • Susan Ursel, Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP
  • Barry E. Wadsworth, Associate Counsel, Unifor
  • Deron Waldock, Senior Vice President, Canadian Legal Consulting Practice, Aon Hewitt
  • Bethune Whiston, Partner, Morneau Shepell



Fees include attendance, program materials, continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments for each of the 5 days of the program. The price does not include accommodations. Please inquire about group discounts and financial assistance. Fees paid by individuals are eligible for a tuition tax credit. Dress is business casual.

Program Changes

We will make every effort to present the certificate program as advertised, but it may be necessary to change the dates, location, speakers or content with little or no notice. In the event of program cancellation, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School’s liability is limited to reimbursement of paid fees.

Certificate of Program Completion

You will receive a certificate upon completion of The Osgoode Certificate in Pension Law. Participants must attend all program modules and successfully complete the take-home assignment to receive a certificate.

Substitutions, Cancellations and Refunds

Substitution of registrants is permitted at any time. If you are unable to find a substitute, a full refund is available if a cancellation request is received in writing 21 days prior to the program date. If a cancellation request is made with less than 21 days notice, a $150 administration fee will apply. No other refund is available.

Technical Support

In the event you experience technical difficulties, please contact opdsupport@osgoode.yorku.ca for assistance.


Have questions? Read our FAQs.

Program Lawyer

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact:
Reheleh Pourkhodayar

Program Details

Date & Time

February 15 & 22 and March 1, 8, 22 & 29, 2017
(6 modules)


Osgoode Professional Development Centre,
1 Dundas St. W., 26th Floor Toronto, ON

Fee per Delegate

$3,795 plus HST

Registration for this program is now closed

Eligible CPD Credit Hours


Who Should Attend

  • Pension lawyers in private practice
  • Pension plan administrators, managers and sponsors
  • In-house counsel
  • Members of pension boards and investment committees
  • Financial officers and directors
  • HR directors, managers and vice presidents
  • Pension and benefit consultants
  • Investment and compensation consultants
  • Counsel and staff at provincial and federal pension regulators
  • Advocates for retirees
  • Family lawyers and labour & employment lawyers who need a better understanding of pension issues

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“I am in-house counsel and I have been asked to advise the pension committee with very little background in pension law. This program has provided a great foundation for future learning and development. I would highly recommend it to others involved in pension administration.”
Kendell Wilde, Legal Counsel, Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Canada Corp.

“Excellent program. It provides comprehensive and current developments and challenges in pension law. I really appreciate the in-depth expertise of the panelists.”
Patricia Pacanchique, Director, Pension Policy, OMERS

Hotels & Parking

If you require accommodations in downtown Toronto, OsgoodePD has arranged Corporate Rates with several hotels within walking distance of our downtown conference centre.

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