Death benefits for spouses after the end of a conjugal union

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.

To find out the consequences of a conjugal breakdown on payment of survivors' benefits to a spouse, former spouses must contact the pension plan administrator.

General rule

If there is a conjugal breakdown, the spouse loses entitlement to survivor's benefits following the plan member's death. However, there are exceptions. Some are provided for under the Supplemental Pension Plans Act (such as maintaining the possibility of a joint and survivor's pension) and others under the plan. Entitlement may also depend on choices that the plan member or spouse has made.

Each situation is different. The fact that a plan member and his or her spouse have made an agreement for the spouse to be entitled to survivors' benefits after the member's death is no guarantee that the pension plan has an obligation to pay those benefits.

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