Your pension is a family asset. If you or your spouse or common-law partner ends your relationship, the pension you built during your relationship will be taken into account when your family assets are divided. The Pension Benefits Act (PBA) states that pension benefits must be divided equally if there is:
- a court order under The Family Property Act requiring the division of family property; or
- a written agreement between you and your spouse, former spouse or partner about the division of family assets; or
- a court order from another Canadian jurisdiction requiring the division of the pension benefits; or
- an order of the Court of Queen’s Bench requiring the division of the pension benefits.
If you and your spouse or common-law partner agrees, you may opt out of the mandatory credit splitting. To opt out, each person must receive independent legal advice and a statement from their pension plan administrator showing the value of the pension credit subject to the credit splitting. Both parties must enter into a written agreement with each other confirming that the pension credits will not be divided. The value of the pension credit can only be prepared by the Pension Office and is required for the opt-out provisions to be legal.
Splitting the difference
If both parties are members of pension plans, they may agree in writing to divide the difference in values between the two pensions equally, rather than dividing both pensions on a 50/50 basis. This provision is available to those who separated on or after June 24, 1992, or those who had separated earlier, but had not finalized the division of pension credits.
More information can be found on the Pension Commission website.
If your marriage or common-law relationship has ended, please contact the Pension Office. The value of your pension accrued while participating in the pension plan can only be determined by the Pension Office.
If a common-law relationship occurred immediately prior to marriage, the period begins with the date the common-law relationship began. For married persons who began living separate and apart before June 30, 2004, the pension credits subject to division are those earned from the date of marriage.
How to proceed
If your marriage or common-law relationship has ended, please contact the Pension Office.