Almost fourteen years have passed since the former Ontario Law Reform Commission (OLRC) released its Report on Pensions as Family Property: Valuation and Division.[2] In its Report, the OLRC reviewed the then state of the law concerning the treatment of pensions under the FLA equalization of family property regime; it explored the many problems that existed in this area and made several proposals for changes in the law. Those proposals were never acted upon, however, and the problems that the OLRC identified continue to this day. Indeed, matters appear to have reached a point where there is virtually unanimous agreement that the situation should be addressed legislatively, as it has in most other Canadian jurisdictions. However, while almost everyone who has a view on the subject agrees that change is needed, there is no unanimity insofar as the choice of legislative solution is concerned, either in Ontario or among the legislatures of the various provinces and territories that have dealt with the matter. The jurisdictions that have acted have essentially chosen one or the other of two approaches to the division of pension interests, commonly denoted as the Immediate Settlement Method and the Deferred Settlement Method.

Following a thorough review of the law in this area and careful consideration of the policy issues raised and the submissions that were made to it, the OLC made several recommendations which were released, along with brief supporting reasons, in October, 2008. This final report provides background information on pension and family property law,[3] a detailed discussion of the problems that exist in relation to pensions and marriage breakdown and an analytical section setting out our assessment of the issues and explaining why we made the recommendations we did. (The recommendations, which are the same as those released in October, appear individually in the section entitled “The LCO’s Assessment of the Issues” and again, grouped together, at the end of the report.)

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