Régie des rentes du Québec

Surviving spouse's pension

Eligibility

This pension is ensures a basic income to the surviving spouse of a person who has sufficiently contributed to the Plan.

A person is eligible for a surviving spouse's pension if:

  • the Régie recognizes him or her as the surviving spouse of the deceased contributor

    and
  • the deceased contributed sufficiently to the Québec Pension Plan.

Married, in a civil union or the de facto (common law) spouse of the deceased?

  • If the deceased was married or in a civil union, the surviving spouse's pension will be paid to the spouse unless there had been a legal separation.
  • If the death occurs in the year of marriage or civil union, certain rules apply.
  • If the deceased person was not married or was legally separated, the pension will be paid to the person who qualifies as the de facto (common law) spouse.
  • If, when the person died, nobody had been living in a de facto union with that person for at least 3 years, the surviving spouse's pension will be paid to the legally separated spouse, if the separation took place before 1 July 1989 .
  • If, at the time of separation, there was a renunciation of partition of the earnings recorded under the Québec Pension Plan and no de facto spouse qualifies, the surviving spouse's pension will be paid to the spouse who is legally separated if the separation took place between 1 July 1989 and 31 December 1993, provided no other judgment of separation took effect after 31 December 1993.
  • A person continues to be entitled to a surviving spouse's pension even if he or she remarries or enters into a civil union.

Recognition of de facto (common law) spouses

  • The de facto spouse may qualify as a surviving spouse if he or she lived with the deceased person for at least 3 years preceding the death.
  • If a child was born or is to be born of their union or if they adopted a child, only one year of cohabitation is required.
  • For deaths occurring on or after 4 April 1985, same-sex spouses can also apply for survivors' benefits.

Determining the amount

The amount of a surviving spouse's pension varies according to the following factors:

  • the contributions that the deceased spouse made to the Plan;
  • the deceased's retirement pension supplement, if he or she was receiving one;
  • the surviving spouse's age;
  • whether the surviving spouse supports dependent children of the deceased person;
  • whether the surviving spouse is disabled;
  • whether the surviving spouse is already receiving a retirement or a disability pension.

The amounts shown below are valid until 31 December 2014. They represent monthly payments.


Monthly payments
Age Situation Maximum amount of the surviving spouse's pension

under 45

without any dependent children 506,56 $
with one or more dependent children 814,23 $
disabled, with or without dependent children 846,94 $
between 45 and 64 all situations 846,94 $
65 or over you do not receive a retirement pension 623,00 $

Maximum retirement pension

As of age 65, if a person receives the maximum retirement pension payable under the Québec Pension Plan for that year, payment of the surviving spouse's pension will end.

Combined pension

In addition to the surviving spouse's pension, a person can receive a retirement pension or a disability pension. In such a case, the Régie des rentes du Québec pays both pensions in a single monthly payment. This is known as a combined pension, and it is subject to a maximum amount determined by law. That amount is not necessarily equal to the sum of both pensions. As a result, the amount of the surviving spouse's pension could be reduced.

Moreover, if an additional amount for disability is added to the retirement pension, it is taken into account in the calculation of the combined pension amount. As a result, the surviving spouse's pension could be further reduced.

If a person receives an indemnity from the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) and the Régie deems him or her to be disabled for the same disability, the amount of the person’s surviving spouse's pension could be reduced.

When do pension payments begin?

The surviving spouse's pension will be paid to you as of the month after your spouse's death. Retroactive payment of a surviving spouse's pension is limited to 12 months.

How often are payments made?

The surviving spouse's pension is paid on the last working day of the month.

Also see...


Filing an application...
Application for Survivors' Benefits
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Did you know that?

The surviving spouse's pension provides basic income to widows, widowers as well as de facto spouses.