If you become disabled
Eligibility for a disability pension
Pension plan are not required to offer a disability pension. However, if your plan does offer a disability pension, certain terms and conditions apply. Consult your plan summary or contact the plan administrator to find out what they are.
To be entitled to a disability pension, your physical or mental disability must be recognized under your plan must be serious enough to require you to stop working for the employer who offers the plan or must force you to end your active membership in the plan. Your plan may have other conditions.
Furthermore, the value of your disability pension must be at least equal to the value of the benefits to which you would have been entitled if you had not become disabled. The amount of your disability pension may therefore be different than your vested retirement pension.
Your plan may provide that payment of a disability pension will be terminated if your disability is no longer recognized under the plan. That termination may occur even if you do not return to work for the employer who sponsors the plan.
Find out whether your plan can refund your benefits
If a disability reduces your life expectancy and you are entitled to a pension (deferred or other), your plan may allow you to receive a refund of the value of your benefits in a single or several payments. You must, however, apply for a refund before you begin receiving your pension. Consult your plan summary or contact the plan administrator to find out what conditions apply.
If you plan does not provide a refund of your benefits
By having your benefits transferred to a locked-in retirement account (LIRA), you will be able to obtain a cash payment if the following 3 conditions are met:
- your physical or mental disability reduces your life expectancy
- your disability puts an end to your active plan membership
- your age allows you to transfer your benefits.
The qualifications required to be recognized as disabled under your pension plan may be different from the qualifications under the Québec Pension Plan.
To find out more...
You can consult our section on disability.
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