Partition of a pension plan between married spouses
Partition of benefits accumulated under your pension plan is not carried out automatically. You must apply for it.
1st step: Apply for a statement of benefits
You or your former spouse can apply for a statement of benefits from the plan administrator when:
- you have started divorce proceedings or applied for a separation from bed and board or annulment of marriage
- you are in family mediation
The statement indicates the total value of your benefits and the portion accrued during your marriage. The administrator of the plan must produce a statement of benefits within 60 days following receipt of the application. The administrator may charge a fee that you and your spouse must pay jointly.
Do not rely on the annual statement from your pension plan to determine the value of your benefits. The statement does not specify the value as at the calculation date required in the event of partition. In addition, the value is not necessarily calculated according to the method used for partition.
2nd step: Apply for partition
After obtaining a judgment of divorce, of separation from bed and board or of annulment of marriage, you or your former spouse must file a written application, accompanied by the necessary documents, in order for partition to be carried out. The plan administrator will then pay you the amount indicated in the judgment, with interest.
You can apply for partition once the deadline to appeal the judgment has expired, 30 days after the judgment date.
Do not wait for retirement to apply for partition. It is better to apply as soon as possible after the breakdown of your union.
Your former spouse will not be able to receive his or her share in cash, except in the following cases:
- the amount owing is less than 20% of the maximum pensionable earnings (MPE) under the Québec Pension Plan, that is, $12 320 in 2021
- you or your former spouse has not lived in Canada for at least 2 years;
- if you can receive cash (for example, if you partition a not locked-in account under a simplified pension plan)
The partition of family patrimony cannot deprive you of more than half of the total value of the benefits accumulated in all your supplemental pension plans.
To make things easier for you
You can use the appropriate form provided by Retraite Québec to obtain a statement of benefits or apply for partition. The form provides all the information you need to complete your application.
The death benefit after the breakdown of a union
In general, in the event of divorce, separation from bed and board or annulment of marriage, your former spouse loses his or her right to receive a benefit following your death. Because each situation is different, contact the plan administrator for more information.
Joint and survivor pension
If you are retired and your former spouse was entitled to a joint and survivor pension, several choices may be available to you, including to increase the amount of your pension. Contact the plan administrator for more information.
To contact the plan administrator
Consult your last statement of benefits or use our online service Plans supervised by Retraite Québec to obtain the name of the person representing the plan's administrator (contact person).