Statement of benefits for the purposes of partition – SPPs and VRSPs

Why do you need a statement of benefits?

The statement of benefits indicates the value of benefits that a member has accrued in a supplemental pension plan (SPP) or a voluntary retirement savings plan (VRSP) when there is a breakdown of the union. This is the first step for the purposes of partition.

Only a statement of benefits issued by the plan administrator for the purposes of partition can be used to precisely calculate all of a member's plan benefits and the portion of those benefits that was accrued during the marriage or civil union.

Calculating benefits accrued during marriage or a civil union is complex

In the event of the breakdown of a union, the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans and the Regulation respecting voluntary retirement savings plans specify the method for calculating the value of all of a member's benefits in a plan, as well as the portion that was accrued during his or her marriage or civil union. This calculation may differ from calculations required in other circumstances, for example, for the purposes of the member's annual statement of benefits.

Important

Spouses who try to calculate the value of benefits themselves (for example, by using an annual statement or other document) risk making mistakes. The former spouse may receive a different amount than the one to which he or she is entitled, or the couple might have to go back before the court to try and have the situation corrected.

Who can obtain a statement of benefits?

Married spouses

Married spouses can obtain a statement if they are in family mediation or if they have instituted an action for divorce, separation from bed and board (a legal separation confirmed by a court judgment) or civil annulment of marriage.

If the plan administrator consents, they can also obtain a statement if they have stopped living together, even if they are not in family mediation and have not yet instituted an action for divorce, separation from bed and board or civil annulment of marriage.

Spouses in a civil union

Spouses in a civil union can obtain a statement if they are in family mediation, if they have taken steps with a notary to dissolve their civil union, or if they have instituted an action for dissolution or annulment of their civil union.

If the plan administrator consents, they can also obtain a statement if they have stopped living together, even if they have not taken any of these steps.

De facto spouses

De facto (common law) spouses recognized as such can obtain a statement after a breakdown of their union if they both consent to it.

What is in the statement of benefits?

Married or spouses in a civil union

The statement indicates the value of the benefits accrued during the marriage or civil union, which is part of the family patrimony.

It also indicates the total value of the member's plan benefits. That value is the one used to determine if partition respects the limit of 50% of benefits.

These values are generally estimated on the date of the institution of the action or the date on which the conjugal relationship ended.

The statement also contains other information, such as the data used to make the calculations, the method by which benefits could be partitioned, and the interest to be added.

De facto spouses

The statement indicates the total value of the member's plan benefits. That value is the one used to determine if partition respects the limit of 50% of benefits.

This value is estimated on the date the spouses stopped living together.

The statement also contains other information, such as the data used to carry out the calculations, the method by which benefits could be partitioned, and the interest to be added.

The statement does not have to indicate the portion of the value that was accrued during the marriage (or while the couple lived together). If the de facto (common law) spouses wish to have this value calculated, they must first obtain the consent of the plan administrator, who is not obligated to carry out the calculation.

How can you obtain a statement of benefits?

To obtain a statement, you must ask the pension plan administrator. The documents required and the contents of the statement may vary depending on the couple's situation.

Retraite Québec provides forms for requesting a statement of benefits, along with detailed instructions to facilitate the process for couples.

The form used depends on:

  • the situation of the spouses (married, civilly united or de facto)
  • the steps taken by married spouses or spouses in a civil union (family mediation, institution of an action or, for spouses in a civil union, steps taken with a notary)
  • the date on which married spouses or spouses in a civil union would like the benefits to be valuated (when the action was instituted, when they stopped living together or, for spouses in a civil union, a date set by the spouses)

Each form comes with detailed instructions.

Upon receipt of the application for the statement of benefits, the administrator has 60 days to respond and send a copy to each of the spouses.

How much does a statement of benefits cost?

Some administrators provide the statement of benefits free of charge. However, under the Supplemental Pension Plans Act and the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans Act, they are allowed to charge a fee for producing the document.

  • Maximum fee in the case of savings in the form of capital (capital benefits):

    $150, of which each spouse must pay $75

  • Maximum fee in the case of savings in the form of a pension (pension benefits):

    $250, of which each spouse must pay $125

  • Maximum fee where the savings are accrued partly in the form of capital and partly in the form of a pension:

    $325, of which each spouse must pay $162.50

If the administrator is not required to produce a statement of benefits, the fees may be higher.

Legal references

The Gouvernement du Québec publishes its Web pages in French. Consistent with the Charter of the French Language and to inform stakeholders outside Québec, this page is also published in English.
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