Beneficiaries and your pension

Learn the options available to you when choosing a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for your pension benefit.

Who is the beneficiary of your pension?

Your pension gives you a secure and lifelong source of income after you retire. In addition to the financial security it provides you, your pension can also provide financial security to your beneficiaries – your family, other people or organizations – after your death.

If you are not married and have not named a beneficiary, your estate is automatically your beneficiary when you die.

If you are married or in a common-law relationship of more than two years, your spouse is automatically your beneficiary. However, your spouse can formally waive their rights to the pension benefit they would receive if you die.

If your spouse has given up their rights to both the minimum 60 per cent lifetime survivor's benefit and their beneficiary rights, you can name other people or organizations as your beneficiary. These can include a combination of:

  • People
  • Organizations (such as societies, charities, trusts or corporations)
  • Trusts

You can name one or more alternate beneficiaries for each beneficiary. This means that if a beneficiary dies before you, an alternate beneficiary or beneficiaries may receive your pension benefit when you die.

You can also name your estate as your beneficiary. If you do, your pension benefit will be paid to your estate and distributed as outlined in your will.

Sign in to My Account to view your current beneficiary information.

Related content for beneficiaries and your pension

Name a trustee for a beneficiary

Choosing your pension option