Relationship Changes

We all experience changes in our life, whether it’s in our professional or personal life. If your relationship status has recently changed, this may affect your pension. We’re here to help you understand what it means for you. Whether you’re getting married, becoming common-law partners, or ending a spousal relationship, let us know and we can assist you with any questions you have.

Getting legally married or becoming common-law partners

If you get married or have been living with your partner for three years or more, it’s important that you complete a Beneficiary Designation form. This form confirms your spousal status and allows you to designate who will receive any pension benefits that may be payable upon your death. Remember to keep it updated anytime you have a change to your marital status or beneficiary.

Going through separation or divorce

In the case of separation or divorce, the Ontario Family Law Act treats pensions earned during the period of marriage as a family asset. This means the value of the pension you earned during your spousal relationship must be included in the calculation of the net family property. There is no requirement to divide your pension, but you must still consider its value in the division of all family property.

As of January 1, 2012, TTCPP, as Plan administrator, is required by the Pension Benefit Act to calculate the valuation of your pension due to marriage breakdown. Either you or your former spouse may initiate the request for us to calculate your Family Law Value (FLV). The FLV is an actuarial calculation of the value of your pension accrued during the period of your spousal relationship.

Read this article about important changes to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario form requirements for FLV requests.

Once you receive your FLV report, you and your former spouse will decide whether or not your pension will be divided as part of the equalization of your net family assets. Your former spouse is entitled to a maximum of 50% of the FLV. If it is decided that the pension is going to be divided at source, your former spouse would transfer the single lump-sum value out of the Plan. If you and your former spouse agree not to split the pension, you may exchange it for other assets during equalization. For more information about the FLV process, contact TTCPP.

You can also visit the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO) website, which offers helpful guidance on pensions in the event of marriage breakdowns.

Separated or divorced before January 1, 2012? Contact TTCPP for important information about potential impacts to your pension.

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