Icon

Personal Injury

Westcoast Actuaries Inc. (WAI) prepares a range of reports related to tort cases such as injuries sustained in work related accidents, motor vehicle accidents, medical negligence, etc. We can work as an expert witness or provide advice to support the plaintiffs or the defendants. Our legal report team is made up of four actuarial professionals, including two consulting actuaries who are qualified court experts. Our reports are prepared in accordance with accepted actuarial practice in Canada. Qualification of our team can be obtained here.


1.       What types of services can be prepared by Westcoast Actuaries Inc.?

2.       How does Westcoast Actuaries Inc. approach an actuarial valuation for personal injury cases?

3.       What is the cost for Westcoast Actuaries Inc.'s services?

4.       How to request a personal injury consultation and report?

5.       Additional Information












  1. What types of services can be prepared by Westcoast Actuaries Inc.?
  2. Following are some of the consultation services and reports which can be prepared by WAI

    • Value of $100,000 increase in line with the movement of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada since January 1978 (i.e. "upper limit" on non-pecuniary damages)
    • Present value of $1 per annum for various future periods using the prescribed net discount rates of 1.5% and 2.0%. The 1.5% relates to wage loss, the 2.0% relates to costs of care.
    • Past lost of income (with or without consideration of taxes). Law office can choose to calculate the income tax on past income themselves.
    • Present value of future loss of income
    • Cost of future expenses
    • Loss of pension and other benefits
    • Past and future loss of household services
    • Investment management expenses and tax gross up
    • Rebuttal report

    All reports are prepared in accordance with the generally accepted actuarial principles with all assumptions and information presented in detail.

  3. How does Westcoast Actuaries Inc. approach an actuarial valuation for personal injury cases?
  4. Our steps to evaluate each personal injury case are as follows.

    Step 1 - Conflict and Availability Check (Please complete the initial data request form here to provide us with some information for discussion):

    • Perform conflict check - To avoid conflict, we can only pick up a case if you are the first, on both sides of the case, to contact us. The first step is to provide us with the name of the plaintiff, the defendant(s) and third parties, the name and firm of the lawyers(s) on the other side. We will then advise you if the case can be progressed to the next stage.
    • Confirm timing requirement and availability - We will then discuss with counsel about timing (e.g. deadline for completion of assignment, any scheduled mediation/trial, etc.) and obtain a general idea of the scope of the assignment (e.g. full written report or verbal advice and estimates, types of reports required, etc.)

    Step 2 - Data Request (Please complete forms listed at item 4 below).

    After the conflict check is completed and availability is confirmed, we will then proceed with the actual calculation and preparation of the reports(s). The following forms list out all our data requirements. We strongly encourage counsel to assemble information using our checklist. The more information we have at the beginning, the more efficiently the reports can be put together resulting in overall cost savings.

    • Case study - Once we obtain detailed information about the case we will then have a phone conference with counsel to discuss the counsel's approach towards the case, as well as, discussing actuarial and non-actuarial assumptions. When evaluating income loss, we will discuss with counsel about different scenarios available to the plaintiff in view of the accident vs if the accident did not occur.
    • Preparation of reports - when all parties have agreed on the types and the scenarios to be used, we will proceed with report preparation based on criteria discussed with counsel
    • Provide counsel with draft report – a draft report will be provided to counsel to fine tune some of the scenarios. At this stage of the process, we would expect the report is 99% complete. Since we provide unbiased expert opinion and valuation, our calculated results would be the same if we were on either the plaintiff’s or defendant’s side.
    • Finalize report and send to counsel

  5. What is the cost for Westcoast Actuaries Inc.'s services?
  6. Westcoast Actuaries Inc. is remunerated on a fee-for-services basis. Every staff member has an hourly rate based on experience and qualifications. A written fee quote will be provided upon request prior to the the commencement of any project or engagement. Please complete the data request form in question 4 below, together with some documentation, to obtain a fee quote.

  7. How to request a personal injury consultation and report?
  8. Please complete the following forms and send the completed forms to Westcoast Actuaries Inc. by email at legal-reports@WAInc.ca. If you have any questions or require additional information you can either email us or call us at (604) 730-1898.

    • Step 1 - Conflict check and timing – please complete this initial form and send the completed form via email or call us to initiate the first step of the request
    • Step 2 - Data request forms – Once we have confirmed availability and no conflict with the other side. Please provide the information to us in the format of the following forms. We strongly encourage counsel to assemble information using our checklist. The more complete information we have at the beginning, the more efficient and accurate the reports can be prepared.
    • i.   For young plaintiff still in school

      ii.  Plaintiff with employment income

      iii. Self-employed plaintiff

  9. Additional Information
    • For personal injury cases in B.C., there are two different net discount rates used when calculating future losses/costs as follows:
      1. The net discount rate used for calculating future income loss is the difference between the expected future rate of return on investments and the expected rate of wage inflation. Effective April 30, 2014, the net discount rate was prescribed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, under Section 56(2)(a) of the Law and Equity Act as 1.5% per annum for calculating future income loss
      2. The net discount rate used for calculating all other future damages is the difference between the expected future rate of return on investments and the expected rate of general price inflation. Effective April 30, 2014, the net discount rate was prescribed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, under Section 56(2)(b) of the Law and Equity Act as 2.0% per annum for calculating future damages other than income loss.
      3. Prior to April 30, 2014 the net discount rates were 2.5% and 3.5% respectively.
    • For past income loss, amounts are net of income taxes (federal and provincial combined), Employment Insurance (EI) premiums and any amounts the plaintiff is required to pay as part of the employment (e.g. registered pension plan contribution) with accrued prejudgment interest (information available at http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/supreme_court/about_the_supreme_court/Court_Order_Interest_Rates.aspx).
    • For a present value of future income loss report where the plaintiff is not able to return to or perform the same job prior to the accident, a “Vocational Assessment Report” by a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant is required.
    • For a present value of future cost of care report, a “Cost of Future Care Assessment Report” or “Life Care Plan” by an Occupational Therapist Consultant is required.

Please contact Westcoast Actuaries Inc. by telephone at (604) 730-1898 or by email at legal-reports@WAInc.ca if you have any questions or require additional information.

Content

【A】


Actuarially Equivalent - A benefit of equivalent actuarial present value when computed on the basis of interest, mortality and/or other rates and tables.


【B】



【C】


Canada Pension Plan (CPP) - A governmental pension plan that provides benefits to workers and their beneficiaries in Canada except Quebec in the event of retirement, disability or death.


CRA - Canada Revenue Agency - also known formerly as: Canada Customs and Revenue Agency; Canada Customs, Excise and Taxation; Revenue Canada, Taxation; and Department of National Revenue.


Commuted Value - A lump sum amount that is actuarially equivalent to a pension determined using certain actuarial bases. Most commuted values are determined in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries Revised Standards of Practice for Determining Commuted Values (CIA Commuted Value Standard), which came into effect April 1, 2011. Prior to April 1, 2011, commuted values were mostly calculated in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries Standard of Practice for Determining Commuted Values which came into effect on February 1, 2005.


Connected Person- A person who owns directly or indirectly 10% or more of any class of shares of a company or is not dealing at arm's length with such person.


Consumer Price Index (CPI) - A statistic that measures the change in the cost of living for consumers.  It is often used to measure inflation.


【D】


Defined Benefit (DB) - A pension design that defines the benefits payable at retirement.  The contribution amount is determined through actuarial valuation.  If a plan is registered for tax purposes, the maximum pension payable is defined by tax regulations.

Defined Benefit Limit (Defined Benefit Pension Plans) - The maximum amount of annual pension that can be paid from a defined benefit pension plan to a member for each year of pensionable service (or called credited service).  Based on current tax rules, the limit can be found on the CRA website. The limit is defined as the greater of $1,722.22 and 1/9 of the Money Purchase Limit.

2/3 Pensionable - Please note that for pre-1990 pensionable service recognized after June 7, 1990, the limit is only $1,150.00 (instead of $1,722.22) for years up to and including 2003 and 2/3 (two-thirds) of the Defined Benefit Limit for years after 2003.  These years of pre-1990 service are usually referred to as 2/3 pensionable.


Defined Contribution (DC) - A pension design that defines the amount of contributions, usually a percentage of salary.  The benefits payable at retirement depend on factors such as future investment return and annuity rate at retirement.  If a plan is registered for tax purposes, the maximum contribution amount (usually a percentage of earnings or income up to a dollar limit) is defined by tax regulations.


Defined Contribution Limit or Money Purchase Limit (Defined Contribution Pension Plans) - The maximum dollar amount of contribution that can be contributed to a defined contribution pension plan on behalf of a member.  Based on current tax rules, the aggregate contribution limit (the total of employer regular, employee regular and employee voluntary)  can be found on the CRA website. After 2016 the limit will increase at the rate of increase of the Average Industrial Wage Index for Canada.


Designated Plan - A Designated Plan is defined in Income Tax Regulation 8515(1) as a Registered Pension Plan that is primarily for the benefit of Connected Persons and Highly-Paid Employees.

【E】



【F】



Flexible Pension Plan - A defined benefit pension plan that allows plan members to earn Optional Ancillary Benefits by making Optional Ancillary Contributions.


【G】



【H】



Highly-Paid Employee - An employee who is paid at least 2.5 times the Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) as defined by the Canada Pension Plan. The current YMPE can be found on the CRA website.

【I】



【J】


【K】



【L】


Life Income Fund (LIF) - A type of RRIF under which the owner must withdraw each year an amount that is between a minimum percentage prescribed by the Income Tax Act (Canada) and a maximum percentage prescribed by pension legislation (click here for applicable percentages for B.C.).


Locking-In - A condition imposed by pension legislation that requires funds either be used to provide a pension at retirement or be kept in a locked-in plan such as a Locked-In RRSP, LIRA, LRIF or LIF.


Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA) - A type of RRSP where the funds are subject to locking-in under pension legislation. These funds must be used to purchase a life annuity, or be transferred to a LIF or an LRIF by the end of the year the owner attains age 71 at the latest. It is available in all jurisdictions except under the federal PBSA which provide for the locked-in RRSP that is very similar to the LIRA.


Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF) - A type of RRIF under which the owner must withdraw each year an amount that is between a minimum prescribed by the Income Tax Act (Canada) and a maximum amount prescribed by pension legislation. The LRIF is only available in Manitoba and in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Locked-In RRSP - A type of RRSP that is available under the federal PBSA to maintain funds that are locked-in as required by pension legislation. These funds must be used to purchase a life annuity or be transferred to a LIF by the end of the year the owner attains age 71 at the latest.


【M】


Maximum Transfer Limit - The maximum amount that can be transferred from a defined benefit pension plan to a money purchase provision (defined contribution pension plan, RRSP or RRIF) according to Income Tax Regulation 8517.  Please click here for details.


Money Purchase Limit - Refer to Defined Contribution Limit.


【N】


【O】



Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) - The entity that ensures pension plans governed by the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (PBSA) comply with the act and are administered in accordance with its requirements.


Old Age Security (OAS) - A monthly pension paid to Canadians over age 65 out of Government general revenue.


Optional Ancillary Benefits (OAB) - Benefits which are provided by Optional Ancillary Contributions under a Flexible Pension Plan.


Optional Ancillary Contributions (OAC) - Contributions made under a Flexible Pension Plan in order to acquire Optional Ancillary Benefits.


【P】


Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA) - Any pension benefits earned in a year after 1989 would reduce an individual's RRSP deduction limit for the following year through the reporting of a Pension Adjustment (PA).  If post-1989 past service benefits are provided or improved, it would trigger a provisional Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA) for the pension plan member which must be satisfied through one (or a combination) of the following means before such post-1989 past service benefits can be provided:

1.     Approval by CRA of Form T1004 (Applying For The Certification Of A Provisional PSPA) filed with them.  CRA will approve the form if the individual has sufficient unused RRSP room carried forward to satisfy the PSPA amount.  Please note that the individual's unused RRSP room would be reduced by the PSPA amount upon CRA's approval; or

2.     Transfer (tax-free) an amount from the pension plan member's RRSP or account in a Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Plan to the pension plan that provides the past service benefits.  Such transfer is commonly referred to as a Qualifying Transfer; or

3.     Withdraw an amount from the pension plan member's RRSP using CRA Form T1006 (Designating An RRSP Withdrawal As A Qualifying Withdrawal).

 
Pension Adjustment (PA) - Starting with 1990, a Pension Adjustment (PA) is reported on a pension plan member's T4.  The PA would reduce the member's RRSP deduction limit for the following year.  PA for a Defined Contribution (DC) pension plan member is the total employee and employer contributions made on the member's behalf as well as any forfeitures allocated to the member.  PA for a Defined Benefit (DB) pension plan member is calculated by a formula.  In simplified terms, it is equal to the annual pension amount earned by the member during the year first multiplied by 9 then subtracted by a prescribed amount ($1,000 for years before 1997 and $600 for 1997 and after).


Pension Adjustment Reversal (PAR) - The purpose of a PAR is to restore RRSP contribution room when an employee's membership in a provision of an RPP or DPSP stops and their termination benefit is less than the sum of PAs and PSPAs that have been reported to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The PAR is reported to the CRA so that the employee's RRSP contribution room that was previously reduced by a PA or PSPA can be restored.
A PAR must be reported any time an individual stops being a member of a provision or plan after 1996. An individual does not have to terminate employment, only terminate plan membership.


Portability - The legislated right for an individual to transfer vested benefits to another registered retirement plan upon termination of employment or membership.


【Q】



Qualifying Transfer from RRSP - Transfer from a pension plan member’s personal RRSP to satisfy PSPA. For new plans, the Qualifying Transfer must be processed within 90 days of official registration by CRA.

Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) - A governmental pension plan similar to CPP that provides benefits to workers and their beneficiaries in Quebec in the event of retirement, disability or death.


【R】


Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP) - A registered disability savings plan is a trust arrangement between a holder and an issuer (a trust company in Canada). The purpose of such a plan is to provide for the long term financial security of a beneficiary who has a prolonged and severe physical or mental impairment and is entitled to the Disability Tax Credit. The RDSP is being administered jointly with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

Registered Pension Plans - A Registered Pension Plan (RPP) in Canada is a plan that is registered with Canada Revenue Agency for tax purposes under Section 147.1 of the Income Tax Act and if applicable the federal or provincial pension regulator.  The plan can be on a Defined Benefit (DB) or Defined Contribution (DC) basis.

Registered Plans - Plans such as Registered Pension Plans, Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Deferred Profit Sharing Plans, etc. that are registered for tax purposes.  Contributions to registered plans by the employer, employee or individual are deductible subject to limits.  Investment income earned by a registered plan is not taxed.  Benefits paid from a registered plan are taxable to the member or beneficiary when received.

Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) - An arrangement under which the owner must withdraw each year a minimum amount prescribed by the Income Tax Act (Canada).  Funds usually originated from matured RRSPs or transfers from other registered plans.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) - A registered savings vehicle under Section 146 of the Income Tax Act arrangement into which an individual makes contributions for retirement savings purposes.

Related Person - Please see 
here for the full definition according to Section 251 of the Income Tax Act.

RRSP deduction limit -
The RRSP deduction limit for a year is the taxpayer’s unused RRSP deduction room at the end of the preceding taxation year, plus 18% of prior year earned income up to the RRSP maximum dollar limit for the current year less the Pension Adjustment (PA) for the prior year.

RRSP maximum dollar limit - The maximum dollar limit for RRSP can be found on the CRA website. Please note that these dollar limits are always one year behind the Money Purchase Limit to allow for reporting of Pension Adjustment (PA) on T4.

Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) - An arrangement defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada) under which an employer, former employer, or in some cases an employee, makes contributions to a custodian.  The custodian holds the funds in trust with the intent of eventually distributing them to the employee (beneficiary) on, after, or in view of retirement, other severance from employment, or any substantial change in the services the employee provides.

【S】

Spouse - See Provincial Pension Acts   – Definition of Spouse.   

【T】

Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) - Starting in 2009, Canadian residents who are 18 years of age or older are able to earn tax free investment income within a TFSA during their lifetime. The maximum amount that can be contributed to a TFSA can be found on the CRA website. This amount will be indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500 in subsequent years. Unused TFSA contribution room can be carried forward to later years. The total of TFSA withdrawals in a calendar year is added to the TFSA contribution room for the next calendar year. The CRA is responsible for monitoring and operating the TFSA, as applicable under the Act.


【U】




【V】



Vesting - This term refers to the acquisition of an unconditional right to pension benefits by a pension plan member after the completion of a certain period of employment or membership and sometimes the attainment of a certain age.  If a member is not vested at termination, he or she will be entitled to a refund of his or her own contributions, if any, with interest.


【W】




【X】




【Y】



Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) - The amount of earnings each year as defined for purposes of determining the maximum amount of contributions payable to and the maximum amount of benefits payable from the CPP/QPP.  The amount increases annually at the rate of average wage growth in Canada.


【Z】