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.

Legal considerations when dividing a pension

A pension is considered a shared family asset. This means that if a pension plan member divorces or separates, the member’s former spouse or partner may be entitled to a portion of the member's pension. As the administrator of the WorkSafeBC Pension Plan, we require direction on whether or how the pension is to be divided.

The Family Law Act (FLA) and Family Law Act – Division of Pension Regulations provide a framework for dividing family assets, including pensions. While the BC Pension Corporation and the plans it administers cannot provide legal advice, the information in this section outlines the information and documents that we require from plan members and/or their legal counsel to ensure pension divisions are accurately handled in separation agreements.

If you and your client are drafting a non-standard marital breakdown pension division, we can review the draft agreement and let you know if we can administer the division in accordance with provincial law and plan rule requirements.