Your union breaks down
The breakdown of a union can refer to:
- a divorce
- an annulment of marriage
- a separation from bed and board (legal separation)
- an annulment or dissolution of civil union
- a separation of de facto spouses
The breakdown of your union can have an impact on your benefits under the Québec Pension Plan as well as any supplemental pension plans, locked-in retirement accounts (LIRAs) and life income funds (LIFs).
Québec Pension Plan
- If you are married or in a civil union, partition of employment earnings recorded under the names of both former spouses is carried out automatically, even if you are already receiving a retirement pension. In that case, the amount of the pension will be recalculated according to the partition of earnings.
- To see the effect of the breakdown of your union, apply for a simulation of the effects of partition on employment earnings. We provide this service free of charge.
- If you are in a de facto (common law) union, your employment earnings can be partitioned. You must file a joint application for partition and have been separated for at least 1 year.
Supplemental pension plans
- Partition of benefits accumulated in a supplemental pension plan is also possible. To make an informed decision, you or your former spouse can ask the plan administrator for a statement of benefits. See our sections about separation if you are a member of a:
LIRAs and LIFs
- It is possible to partition your locked-in retirement account (LIRA) and life income fund (LIF). The amounts must be evaluated at their market value. There are no prescribed rules for evaluating the portion accumulated during the union, but it must be done in a reasonable way.
- To apply for partition of your LIRA or LIF, you must provide your financial institution with a copy of your judgment or, if you were de facto spouses, a copy of your agreement.
- An agreement between former de facto spouses must be reached within 12 months following the separation.
- Partition is carried out by transferring the amount provided for to an LIRA, an LIF, an annuity contract or the pension plan of your former spouse.
For more information