Alerts

Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Canada: New Proposed Regulations are Announced

Canada is refining its approach to money laundering. On July 4, 2015, new proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PC Act) were published in the Canada Gazette. The clock is now ticking as this signals the start of a 60 day consultation period.

 

Norton Rose Fulbright has a comprehensive overview here: CLICK HERE …

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July CIA Interest Rates for Commutation

2015

2.4% 10 Yrs / 3.7%  —  January

1.9% 10 Yrs / 3.3%  —  February

1.9% 10 Yrs / 3.4%  —  March

1.9% 10 Yrs / 3.4%  —  April

2.2% 10 Yrs / 3.6%  —  May

2.2% 10 Yrs / 3.6%  —  June

2.3% 10 Yrs / 3.8%  —  July

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July 20 Critical Windows Security Flaw Announced

Microsoft announced that a previously unknown security flaw involving fonts (of all things) could let a hacker take over your computer. This issue affects virtually ALL versions of Windows.

If your Windows computer updates automatically, you probably do not need to take action, as an update will be uploaded to your computer (hopefully before a hacker exploits the flaw!).

More information from Microsoft is available here: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/MS15-078

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Flash! Secret Security Hole Revealed by Source Code Theft

IMPORTANT NOTE: Penad software does not use Adobe Flash Player and is not susceptible to the security problem described below. However, if your computer uses Flash, it IS susceptible. In such a case, a hacker can take control of your computer. If Penad software is running on that computer, then the hacker may be able to access Penad software and data. Because Adobe has NOT yet (as of this article) released a security patch for this newly discovered problem, we recommend that you disable Adobe Flash Player to ensure you are not vulnerable to attack.

News Flash: Adobe Flash Player is NOT SAFE FOR WORK!

A few days ago, a hacker broke into the files of an Italian computer “security firm” and released their internal company emails and the company source code onto the Internet. The targeted company, Hacking Team, has made a business of finding security holes in computing operating systems and exploiting them on behalf of their clients.

Their value proposition is that they will help clients break into and take control of the computers of their targets. Hacking Team clients include the governments of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan, Egypt, and the USA.

An analysis of Hacking Team’s source code and email communications has revealed that Hacking Team had identified a previously unknown security hole in Adobe Flash Player. This security hole HAS NOT BEEN FIXED BY ADOBE AS OF THIS WRITING.

Using this security hole, a hacker is able to take control of a target computer running Adobe Flash Player. Hacking Team described this security hole as “the most beautiful Flash bug for the last four years”. Computers running Windows, OS X and Linux are all vulnerable.

Now that Hacking Team’s approach has been released to the Internet, EVERY HACKER ON EARTH is now able to exploit this security hole. Because Adobe has not yet released a fix, your computer is vulnerable if it is running Adobe Flash Player. We therefore recommend that you disable Flash immediately.

Adobe has issued the following statement:
A critical vulnerability (CVE-2015-5119) has been identified in Adobe Flash Player 18.0.0.194 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit targeting this vulnerability has been published publicly. Adobe expects to make updates available on July 8.

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Are You Aware of the 2015 Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Benefit Rates?

For those already receiving CPP benefits, their rate will increase by 1.8%. The maximum CPP benefit for new recipients age 65 is now $1,065 per month. The amount you receive is based on your average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the five years prior to retirement, plus whether or not you took early benefits. Speak with your financial planner to calculate your possible benefit and best retirement age.

The OAS rate for the first quarter of 2015 (January to March) is $563.74 per month.

NOTE: The Old Age Security (OAS) benefit is paid to qualified Canadian citizens regardless of income during their working years. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP, or the Quebec Pension Plan in Quebec) is based on contributions and income during your working years and also offers disability, death, survivor and children’s benefits.

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Are You Aware of the 2015 Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security Benefit Rates?

For those already receiving CPP benefits, their rate will increase by 1.8%. The maximum CPP benefit for new recipients age 65 is now $1,065 per month. The amount you receive is based on your average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the five years prior to retirement, plus whether or not you took early benefits. Speak with your financial planner to calculate your possible benefit and best retirement age.

The OAS rate for the first quarter of 2015 (January to March) is $563.74 per month.

NOTE: The Old Age Security (OAS) benefit is paid to qualified Canadian citizens regardless of income during their working years. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP, or the Quebec Pension Plan in Quebec) is based on contributions and income during your working years and also offers disability, death, survivor and children’s benefits.

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Has Your Pension Plan Filed U.S. Form W-8BEN-E?

That’s right, there is now another filing for Canadian pension plan sponsors, this time having to do with American tax rules.

American citizens, unlike citizens of most other countries, are required to pay taxes on all income worldwide, regardless of where it is earned and regardless of where the citizen was living at the time. To track and enforce compliance, Uncle Sam passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as of July 1, 2014, which requires financial institutions worldwide to report on investment income credited to any of their clients who are US citizens.

As an aside, many financial institutions in Europe and elsewhere find this requirement so onerous that they have actually closed the accounts of US customers. Fortunately, registered pension plans in Canada are exempt from the requirement, but they are NOT exempt from filing exemption forms with EACH financial institution holding pension fund assets, where that institution is itself a “foreign financial institution” under FATCA.

Pension plan administrators must file Form W-8BEN-E with each such financial institution, including financial institutions located outside of Canada (such as investment managers based in France, for example). In addition, if any of the filing information changes, the plan administrator must notify all financial institutions where it has filed Form W-8BEN-E of any such changes within 30 days.

Because the pension plan administrator is certifying required information, we strongly advise that pension plan sponsors confer with their counsel to ensure they have met the requirements of FATCA. Contact Penad for more information on how to ensure you are in compliance with this requirement.

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Thalidomide Survivors Finally Get Life-Long Pensions

The Canadian federal government announced on Friday May 22 that most eligible thalidomide survivors will receive payments of either $75,000 or $100,000 annually, tax-free. Those victims requiring lower levels of support will receive $25,000 in pension.

Thalidomide was an over-the-counter morning sickness drug that caused over 10,000 babies to be born with various medical problems including severely deformed limbs, blindness, deafness, cleft palate, and internal deformities in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Other countries such as the UK and Germany have been paying victims annual pensions for decades.

It took the Canadian government over fifty years to provide a pension (some minor lump-sum payments were made in years past). The government fought against taking responsibility for the damage to survivors, despite the fact that the government had allowed the drug onto the market amid warnings from around the world about the tragic consequences of using the drug.

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2015 YMPE Announced

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced the 2015 limit for yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).

  • For 2015 the YMPE has been set at $53,600 up from $52,500 in 2014.
  • RRSP Maximum limits were also increased for 2015 to $24,930 compared to the 2014 limit of $24,270.

 

For more rates  check out our rates section

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2014 YMPE Announced

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently announced the 2014 limit for yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).

  • For 2014 the YMPE has been set at $52,500 up from $51,100 in 2013.
  • RRSP Maximum limits were also increased for 2014 to $24,270 compared to the 2013 limit of $23,820.

 

For more rates  check out our rates section

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