Right to a statement of benefits

Important Notice

Please consult Newsletter number 32, Amendments to the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans effective 4 January 2018, as well as division V – Transfer of benefits between spouses This link will open in a new window. of the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans, to find out the rules for partition applicable to spouses in a civil union, the changes to the payment methods applicable to the former spouse, and the calculation of member benefits after partition.

Spouses have the right to receive a statement of benefits where there is:

  • institution of an action for:
    • divorce
    • separation from bed and board
    • civil annulment of marriage
    • application for compensatory allowance
  • family mediation
  • an initiative for the dissolution of a civil union
  • an agreement between former de facto (common law) spouses to obtain a statement of benefits

Separation from bed and board

A separation from bed and board is a legal separation pronounced by a judge.

A simple de facto separation, without a judgment, does not give married spouses the right to receive a statement of benefits.

Spouses' place of residence

Where the spouses live and where the procedure is introduced have no effect on the right to a statement of benefits.

For example, if the divorce petition is introduced in the United States, the spouses are entitled to a statement of benefits because there is institution of an action for divorce.

Applicable matrimonial law

Applicable matrimonial law has no effect on the right to a statement of benefits.

For example, some spouses renounced the application of family patrimony rules in 1989, as permitted by the law at that time. If a petition for divorce is introduced, the spouses are entitled to a statement of benefits even if the rules concerning family patrimony do not apply to them.

Principal precautions

The plan administrator is required to provide a statement of benefits if the member had benefits at the date of the valuation, even if the member no longer had benefits on the day that the plan administrator received the application for a statement of benefits.

For example, a member leaves his job and transfers his benefits to a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) in 2004. In 2005, the member requests a statement establishing the value of his or her benefits at the end of a conjugal relationship, in 2003. The plan administrator must provide the statement because in 2003 the member had benefits in the plan.

The plan administrator is not required to provide a statement to married spouses if there has not been institution of an action and if the spouses are not in family mediation. However, the administrator can issue the statement if the member agrees (personal information).

The administrator is not prohibited from issuing a statement when all the required information has not been provided. However, the information must be sufficient to carry out a valuation conforming to the regulations and respecting the established procedure.

Examples

  1. The member applies for a statement of benefits and claims to be in family mediation, but does not provide the mediator's declaration to that effect. Since the administrator could voluntarily issue a statement to spouses who are not in family mediation, it may also issue a statement in spite of the absence of the declaration.

  2. The member applies for a statement of benefits but does not give the spouse's address. That information is required because the administrator must send a copy of the statement to the spouse. Since the administrator does not have essential information, it should therefore not issue the statement.

  3. The spouses have introduced an action for divorce and are applying for a statement of benefits without specifying the date of the institution of the action. Since the valuation must be made as at that date, the administrator is unable to issue the statement.

For more information

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