Finding a previous pension plan

Do you think you participated in a pension plan with a previous employer?

Are you wondering whether you are entitled to benefits under a plan?

We have outlined how to get the answers to your questions and, if applicable, how to find pension plans and obtain payment of your benefits.

Do you have documents that refer to a pension plan?

Your documents can be:

  • an annual statement
  • a statement of account or participation
  • a booklet or other documents that explain a pension plan.

Do you have proof that confirms your participation in a pension plan?

The proof you provide can be:

  • a pay stub with a deduction for a pension plan
  • an income tax slip from your employer indicating an amount in the "RPP contribution" box (T4-slip; see box marked "Cotisation à un RPA" or the RL-1 slip) or "Pension adjustment" box (T4-slip)
  • an income tax return with a deduction for a registered pension plan (RPP).

Who were your employers?

Make a list of your employers and indicate the years in which you worked for each employer and the years in which you participated in a pension plan, if applicable.

Note that...

Retraite Québec can help you with this by providing you with a list of your employers who deducted and paid contributions to the Québec Pension Plan. Simply contact us and explain your reasons for requesting the list.


Are you entitled to a pension under the plan?

When you are no longer an active member of a pension plan – which is usually the case when you quit or lose your job –, you are entitled to a pension under the plan, though certain conditions apply. The pension includes the employer's contributions. Note that in the case of a defined contribution plan, the pension includes member and employer contributions, including interest, that is paid into your account.

Pension plans in the private, municipal and university sectors

The conditions for eligibility for a pension differ according to whether the date on which your active membership ended was after or before 1 January 2001.

Cessation of active plan membership after 1 January 2001

You are eligible for a pension under the plan if your active membership in the plan ended on 1 January 2001 or after.

Cessation of active plan membership before 1 January 2001

You are eligible for a pension under the plan if the following conditions apply to the date on which your active membership in the plan ended, providing the date of cessation was before 1 January 2001:

  • For work done from 1 January 1990 to 31 December 2000, you were an active plan member for at least 2 years.
  • For work done before 1 January 1990, you were at least 45 and had accumulated 10 years of continuous service with the plan's employer or 10 years of active membership in the plan.
Note that...

Your plan may be more lenient and could grant you entitlement to a pension even though all of the conditions are not met.


Are you entitled to a refund from the pension plan?

You may have received the refund with your last pay check.

Pension plans in the private, municipal and university sectors

In certain situations, you could be entitled to a refund from your pension plan even though you are not entitled to a pension. This is the case if the value of your benefits under the plan is less than a certain amount or if you have been living outside Canada for a certain time. Check whether one of the situations giving entitlement to a refund applies to you and if you have received a refund under a defined benefit plan, a defined contribution plan or a simplified pension plan.

If your active membership in the plan ended before 1 January 2001 and you are not entitled to a pension, you are entitled to a refund of your member contributions and voluntary contributions, with interest. You may have received the refund with your last pay check.

Have you contacted the employer or plan administrator?

The following points will be of help to you.

You haven't found what you are looking for?

  • Ask the Canada Revenue Agency This link will open in a new window. or Revenu Québec This link will open in a new window. if you have made contributions to a pension plan.
  • If you have not made any contributions and you do not fulfil the minimal conditions for eligibility for a pension, it is possible that you have not accumulated any benefits in a pension plan.
  • Contact Revenu Québec, to whom unclaimed amounts This link will open in a new window. may have been transferred.
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