Brewers’ Distributor Ltd.

Protecting Members’ Pensions

In the Brewers’ Distributor Ltd. case the employer’s interpretation of the member’s pension plan led to the denial of many eligible members from the pension benefits that they were owed. The lawyers of Koskie Glavin Gordon acted for the Brewery Winery & Distillery Workers Local 300 in successfully challenging the employer’s interpretation of the pension plan,  in a BC Supreme Court case that resulted in over a million dollars in additional pension benefits flowing to the workers.

For many workers, a fair pension is a key benefit that recognizes the value of long service and the promise of security in the retirement years.

Between 2009 and 2011 our firm represented members of the Brewery Winery & Distillery Workers Local 300 working at Brewers’ Distributor Ltd. in fighting to ensure that workers received the pension that they were owed. Through the Employer’s interpretation of the member’s pension plan (the “Plan”) casual, seasonal and temporary workers were being denied pension benefits. The Union’s argument regarding the correct interpretation of the Plan led to dozens of workers gaining access to the (defined benefit) Plan and many more obtaining an earlier date of entry into the Plan.

Our firm succeeded at every stage of the litigation, including before the Superintendent of Pensions, the Financial Services Tribunal and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

As a result of this series of decisions the Plan’s administrators enrolled many of the Union’s members into the Plan and, significantly, adjusted the entry date in the Plan for many others who gained additional credited service, resulting in millions of dollars in pension benefits to the Union’s members.

Brewers’ Distributor Ltd. v. Financial Services Tribunal, 2011 BCSC 1524 (Bowden):

Read the full “Reasons for Judgment” here.