Pensions and marital breakdowns: information for lawyers

Lawyers are often asked to advise clients about dividing a pension benefit between a plan member and a former spouse. Learn more about the information and documents we need to administer a pension following a relationship breakdown.

A checklist of what you need to do

In the case of a divorce or separation, the plan member, their former spouse and/or the legal counsel can take the following actions:

□ Submit an authorization form if they wish the corporation to release information to a third party, including legal counsel
□ Provide tools to help you value the pension
□ Ensure the separation agreement or court order outlines how the pension is to be divided between the member and the former spouse. The document should address all contingencies for dividing a pension, such as:

□ future accruals (e.g., what happens if a plan member terminates employment before the agreed-upon retirement date)
□ a plan member buys additional service or goes on disability leave
□ a plan member dies before retiring (if a different proportionate share is agreed upon in the event of a death)
□ transfers of service to other pension plans

□ Submit proof-of-age documents
□ Submit any other relevant forms and administration fees
□ Ensure contact information for the plan member and former spouse is current and up to date