​Family Law related FAQs - Pension Payable Upon Death

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Q900. The former spouse of a retired member is receiving a share of the retired member’s pension. What happens to the former spouse’s share if the retired member dies before his/her former spouse?

 
A900. If the retired member dies before his/her former spouse, the retired member’s pension, including payment of the former spouse’s share, will end (subject to any guarantee period). If the former spouse did not waive the survivor pension, he/she will receive a survivor pension for the rest of his/her life. The amount of the survivor pension would normally be 60 per cent of the retired member’s pension. -03/2012
 
 
Q901. The former spouse of a retired member elected the combination option and is receiving a pension from the plan. What happens to the former spouse’s pension if the retired member dies before the former spouse?
 
A901. If the former spouse elected the combination option, the death of the retired member has no effect on the former spouse’s pension. In this case, the former spouse will continue to receive a pension for the rest of his/her life.
 
Note: Under the combination option, the former spouse is paid an independent lifetime pension based on the sum of the former spouse’s share of the retired member’s Family Law Value, and the Family Law Value of the former spouse’s survivor benefit. In accordance with section 67.4(10) of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act, the combination option is only available if:
 
  • the former spouse is entitled to the joint and survivor pension; and
  • the pension plan provides this option.
  • -03/2012
Q902. The former spouse of a retired member is receiving a share of the retired member’s pension. What happens to the former spouse’s share, if he/she dies before the retired member?
 
A902. The Ontario Pension Benefits Act [New Window] (PBA) does not address this issue. In the absence of a PBA requirement to continue paying the former spouse’s share to the former spouse’s estate, it is FSCO’s view that the former spouse’s share of the retired member’s pension reverts back to the retired member unless the Settlement Instrument (court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract) that was filed with the Application to Divide a Retired Member’s Pension (FSCO Family Law Form 6) requires payment to continue to the former spouse’s estate during the retired member’s lifetime. -03/2012
 
 
 
 
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2017 Fourth Quarter - Estimated Solvency Funded Status of Defined Benefit Plans in Ontario

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