Relationship changes prior to retirement
How could changes in my relationship status impact what I leave to my loved ones?
As you build your pension benefits throughout your career, it’s important to know what will happen to it if you were to pass away. Your relationship status at the time of your passing influences who is able to receive survivor benefits.
Getting married or becoming common-law
If you get married or are in a common-law relationship, your new spouse automatically becomes your qualifying spouse by law. This means he or she will receive spousal benefits when you pass away. When you retire, your qualifying spouse remains your beneficiary for any benefits payable upon your death, even if you later divorce, separate from your common-law spouse, or remarry.
Learn more about Survivor Benefits if you pass away before retirement.
Ending a spousal relationship
If you end a spousal relationship and become single prior to retirement, the beneficiary(s) you designate will be entitled to your pension benefits when you retire. Learn more about how to designate a beneficiary.
Dividing your pension assets
Ending a spousal relationship can be life-changing and choosing whether to divide your pension assets is an important decision. To begin this decision-making process, you may be required to obtain a valuation of your pension benefits (known as a Family Law Valuation).