Partition of a pension plan between former de facto spouses
In order for partition to be possible, you and your former spouse must reach an agreement within 12 months following the breakdown of your union. Without this agreement, the plan administrator cannot carry out partition.
1st step: Apply for a statement of benefits
You or your former spouse can apply for a statement of benefits from the plan administrator as soon as you are separated.
The statement will indicate the total value of your benefits. 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 former 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: Application for partition
After reaching your agreement, 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 agreement, with interest.
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, $11 740 in 2020
- 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)
Your former de facto spouse cannot receive more than half of the total value of the benefits accumulated in your pension plan as at the date on which your conjugal relationship ended.
To make things easier for you
You can use the appropriate forms 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, 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 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 and address of the person representing the plan's administrator (contact person).