NHLPA Pension Trustees Seek Interpretation in Ontario Court of Pension Plan Death Benefit



    TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - The National Hockey League Players' Association
(NHLPA) confirms today that an application has been filed in the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice regarding an interpretation of the National Hockey
League Players' Pension Plan. The application has been filed by the four
Trustees the NHLPA has appointed to the Board administering the Pension Plan.
    The issue relates to the calculation of the death benefit for players
with service in the Plan prior to July 1, 1986 (and for certain NHL employees
with service prior to July 1, 1994). It is the NHLPA's position the death
benefit that has been paid to the widows and other beneficiaries of players
who passed away before electing to take their pension was less than required
by the Pension Plan and by law. In addition, this issue could also affect
additional players going forward who played in the NHL prior to July 1, 1986
and who die before electing to receive their NHL pension.
    The NHLPA became aware of this issue in early 2008 after the
representative of Brad Park and another former player brought this to the
attention of the National Hockey League Pension Society which administers the
plan for the Board. Over the following several months, the matter was
investigated and the NHLPA consulted with its pension counsel in Canada and in
the USA. The NHLPA has reviewed this matter with the NHL, but the two parties
have been unable to agree on a resolution. The NHL does not agree with the
NHLPA's interpretation of the Pension Plan documents and wants to seek
arbitration to resolve this dispute. It is the NHLPA's position that the
proper forum to decide this matter is the Ontario court, which has
considerable expertise in this area. The court process will permit the players
and their beneficiaries to be part of the process and they will be bound by
the results.
    "This is an important matter as it affects the death benefit paid or
payable in the future to former players' families," said Glenn Healy, NHLPA
Director of Player Affairs. "This matter is too important to continue on
without a resolution. The courts will resolve the matter more quickly and
definitively than the arbitration process, and will provide the players and
their beneficiaries more confidence that the correct result will be obtained."
    The administration of the Pension Plan is the responsibility of the Board
of Trustees of the plan, which is comprised of four Trustees appointed by the
NHLPA and four Trustees appointed by the NHL. The NHLPA-appointed Trustees
Paul Kelly (NHLPA Executive Director), Ian Penny (NHLPA General Counsel),
Glenn Healy (NHLPA Director of Player Affairs) and Jamal Mayers (NHLPA Member)
are the applicants to the court proceedings.




For further information:

For further information: For interview requests for Brad Park, please
contact: NHLPA's Communications Department: Jonathan Weatherdon, Director,
Communications, National Hockey League Players' Association, Office: (416)
313-2316, jweatherdon@nhlpa.com

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