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Pension Appeals Board

What is the Pension Appeals Board?

The Pension Appeals Board is the third level of appeal. The Pension Appeals Board operates at arm's length from the Canada Pension Plan.

The Pension Appeals Board is the final opportunity for appeal under the Canada Pension Plan.

Members of the Pension Appeals Board are federal or provincial superior court judges or former judges and are appointed by the Governor in Council. Members include a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and up to ten permanent Members and additional temporary Members.

Pension Appeals Board hearings are not automatic and claimants or the Minister must request Leave to Appeal.

The PAB will decide whether there are grounds to hear an appeal. If there are grounds it will advise you and HRDC in writing and schedule a hearing. If the PAB decides not to hear the appeal, it will advise you and HRDC in writing. The decision of the OCRT is then final and binding.

The PAB panel is made up of three judges. The hearing is open to the public. Legal counsel and appropriate expert witnesses always represent HRDC at these hearings, and you may have legal counsel or another person represent you. You may be eligible to claim some of the costs related to your hearing.

After the hearing, the PAB will inform you and HRDC of their decision. PAB decisions are final. If you or HRDC believes that there has been an error in fact or in law, you or HRDC may request a judicial review of the PAB decision at the Federal Court of Appeal

What is Leave to Appeal?

Every request should include the following:
  1. the claimant's name, address and social insurance number;
  2. the date of the Review Tribunal decision and the location of the hearing;
  3. the date the Review Tribunal decision was received;
  4. a detailed explanation of why the claimant is requesting leave to appeal;
  5. the facts which support the appeal;
  6. any new medical or other information that could affect the appeal and
  7. the name and address of the claimant's representative, if there is one.
Claimants are responsible for providing all information required to support the appeal.

Using the documents which are received, and without the presence of any parties, one Member of the Pension Appeals Board will decide whether the appeal should be heard. The Pension Appeals Board will write to claimants and the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to tell them whether or not leave to appeal is granted. If the Board decides not to hear an appeal, the Review Tribunal decision is final and binding. If the Board decides to hear an appeal, it will schedule a hearing.

What are Pension Appeals Board Hearings?

Hearings are held in major cities across Canada and are open to the public. Claimants and the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will have an opportunity at the hearing to present their cases. Appeals heard by the Pension Appeals Board are by way of a new hearing.

Time is available at each hearing for claimants to express their situation in their own words. Interpretation services are provided, if they are going to be used.

Legal counsel and appropriate expert witnesses always represent the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development at these hearings. The claimant may also have legal counsel or a representative of their choice.

The length of time it takes to go through this level of appeal varies by province. Claimants can expect to wait approximately two months before “leave” is granted or refused and one year or less before the case is heard.

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