How to transfer the value of your benefits

The following information will be useful if you want to transfer benefits from your defined contribution pension plan



What are the conditions that apply to transfers?

To be entitled to transfer the amounts credited to your account, you must no longer be an active member of the pension plan. That is usually the case if you have left or lost your job.

Exceptions to the rule

Generally, you are not entitled to transfer the amounts credited to your account if one of the following situations applies:

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When can transfers be made?

You can apply for a transfer of the amounts credited to your account at the following times:

  • within 90 days following receipt of your statement of cessation of active membership, if you are more than 10 years away from the normal retirement age under the plan (for example, if you are under 55 and the normal retirement age is 65)
  • thereafter, once every 5 years, within 90 days following the anniversary of the date on which your active membership ceased
  • at any time, if you are 10 years or less from the normal retirement age or if you are over the retirement age (for example, if you are under 55 and the normal retirement age is 65)
Note that...

A plan can be more generous and provide, for example, that you can apply for a transfer at any time, regardless of your age when your active plan membership ceases. Consult the summary of your plan for the rules that apply to you.

A plan can be more generous and provide, for example, that you can apply for a transfer at any time, regardless of your age when your active plan membership ceases. Consult the summary of your plan for the rules that apply to you.


When informed that your active membership has ceased, the plan administrator has 60 days to send you your statement of cessation of active membership. The statement will show the value and nature of the amounts credited to your account.

A helpful example...

David turned 47 years old on 15 January 2021. His active plan membership ends on 31 January 2021. He receives a statement of cessation of active plan membership from the plan administrator on 15 March 2021. The normal retirement age under the plan is 65.

David can apply for a transfer of the balance of his account at the following times:

  • between 16 March 2021 and 13 June 2021 (age 47)
  • between 1 February 2026 and 1 May 2026 (age 52)
  • at any time as of age 55

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To whom do you make an application for a transfer?

Your application for a transfer must be made to the administrator of your plan. Do you know how to reach the administrator? Your statement of cessation of active membership gives the plan adminstrator's address and the name and address of the person you should contact for information. Your can also use our online service Pension plans supervised by Retraite Québec.

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What can be transferred?

Under a defined contribution pension plan, you can transfer all the sums credited to your account:

  • the employer contributions with interest
  • your member contributions with interest, if you had to contribute
  • your additional voluntary contributions, if any
  • sums transferred to the plan, with interest, if any transfers were made

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Where can you send your transferred benefits?

You decide where the sums credited to your account will be transferred.

You have the following transfer options:

  • a locked-in retirement account (LIRA)
  • a life income fund (LIF)
  • a deferred or immediate life annuity contract purchased from an insurer
  • a voluntary retirement savings plan (VRSP) (if transfers can be received under the plan's provisions)
  • the new employer's supplemental pension plan (if transfers can be received under the plan's provisions)
  • a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) for any sums that can be directly refunded to you
Note that...

The sums credited to your account can be left in the plan's pension fund (unless the plan is terminated). However, such sums will have to be converted into retirement income no later than 31 December of the year in which you reach age 71.

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In what circumstances can you receive a cash refund?

In some situations, you can receive a cash refund. Your plan must provide for certain refunds; others may be offered as options.


Other useful links

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