The surviving spouse's pension provides a basic income

Are you eligible?

To find out whether you are eligible for the surviving spouse's pension, you must make sure that you legally qualify as the deceased person's "spouse" and that he or she has sufficiently contributed to the Québec Pension Plan.

Were you the married, civil union or de facto 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 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.
  • You will continue to be entitled to your surviving spouse's pension even if you remarry or enter into a civil union.

Note that...
  • 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 occuring on or after 4 April 1985, same-sex de facto spouses can also apply for survivors' benefits.

Determining the amount

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

  • the contributions that the deceased made to the Plan;
  • the deceased's retirement pension supplement, if he or she was receiving one;
  • your age;
  • whether you support dependent children of the deceased person;
  • whether you are disabled;
  • whether or not you are already receiving a retirement or a disability pension.

The amounts shown below are valid until 31 December 2016. They represent monthly payments.

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

under 45

without any dependent children 530,42 $
with one or more dependent children 847,39 $
disabled, with or without dependent children 881,09 $
between 45 and 64 all situations 881,09 $
65 or over you do not receive a retirement pension 655,50 $


If you receive a retirement pension

As of age 65, if you receive the maximum retirement pension payable under the Québec Pension Plan, payment of your surviving spouse's pension will end.

If you receive more than one pension

In addition to your surviving spouse's pension, you can receive a retirement pension or a disability pension. In such a case, we pay 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 your surviving spouse's pension could be reduced.

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

If you receive an indemnity from the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) and we deem you to be disabled for the same disability, the amount of your surviving spouse's pension could be reduced.

When will your surviving spouse's pension start being paid?

The surviving spouse's pension will be paid to you beginning in the month after your spouse's death if you apply within 12 months of the death.

Do not delay applying for your pension!

The pension can be paid retroactively for only up to 12 months, except in rare cases.

How often are payments made?

Your pension is paid on the last working day of the month. Sign up for direct deposit to receive your payments in your bank account.

Also see...

Filing an application...
Application for Survivors' Benefits

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Did you know?

The surviving spouse's pension provides basic income to widows, widowers as well as de facto spouses.
Take advantage of our on-line application for survivor's benefits.