Taking Care of Loved Ones

We know how important it is to make sure the people you love are taken care of. In the event of your death, your TTCPP pension can help you protect your loved ones with a stable, predictable income.

Pre-retirement survivor benefit

TTCPP provides survivor benefits to help your loved ones maintain financial security should you pass away before you retire. Depending on your TTCPP membership status and your marital status, the benefit will vary.

Pre-retirement death benefits are paid in the following order to your:

Eligible spouse
Your spouse would be entitled to an immediate 60% joint and survivor pension if you are not separated at the time of your death. This applies unless you already made a previous election.

TTCPP Bylaws define the meaning of a spouse as a person:

  1. to whom a member is married, providing that the member is not living separate and apart from that person
  2. with whom the member is living together in a conjugal relationship:
    1. continuously for a period of not less than three years, or
    2. in a relationship of some permanence, if the member and their spouse are the parents of a child, as set out in section 4 of the Children’s Law Reform Act at the time a determination of spouse is required.

The benefit is calculated at the date of your death as if you had retired on a full unreduced pension. If at any time before or after retirement you had elected an optional form of pension, such as a 100% joint and survivor pension, then the pension is paid according to that option.

Your spouse will have the option of choosing to receive the monthly pension for their lifetime or as a lump-sum commuted value of the survivor pension.

Designated beneficiary
If you are single or separated at the time of your death, your beneficiary is entitled to benefit payments based on your pension after and before 1986.

Post-1986 pension:
  • Your beneficiary would receive an automatic 10-year guarantee from the date of your retirement. Your benefit is calculated at the date of your death as if you had retired on a full unreduced pension.
  • If you had elected a 15-year guarantee option, then the pension is paid according to that option.
Pre-1987 pension:
  • The benefit paid would be a refund of your contributions plus interest.

If you do not have an eligible spouse or designated beneficiary when you pass away, your pre-retirement death benefit will be paid to your estate.

Additional protection for your loved ones
If you want to enhance the protection that your spouse or beneficiary would receive, you can elect an optional form of pension: a 15-year guarantee or an increase of the 60% survivor option.

This option is available regardless of your age or service and becomes effective immediately once the form is signed. However, it can be cancelled at any time prior to your pension starting. If you do cancel your optional form of pension in favour of a less costly benefit, there is an actuarial charge based on the period of time you had this protection in place. Contact TTCPP to request this election change.

Death benefit calculation
If you want to know what your death benefit would be based on your current marital status and the current pension formula, contact TTCPP.

Post-retirement survivor benefit

If you pass away in retirement, your loved ones are protected. Before starting your pension, you must select one of two options outlined below. Once your pension has started, the option you have chosen cannot be changed. It is very important that you understand how the options work and the impact they have on your pension before you retire.

Survivor option
A survivorship option will provide your surviving spouse with a monthly lifetime pension upon your death. How much your spouse receives is based on the percentage of survivorship you selected:

  • 60%
  • 66 2/3%
  • 80%
  • 100%

The percentage of the survivor pension is calculated on your base pension only and includes any indexation increases.

If you have a spouse when your pension starts, the Pension Benefit Act requires that you select at least a 60% survivorship option; this is called a normal form pension. You may select a higher percentage of survivorship, but the minimum amount is 60%. Your earned pension will be reduced to provide a survivorship option. This is a permanent reduction to your base pension. The reduction applied will be based on your age and your spouse’s age. The reduction for the 60% survivorship option is applied only to the pension you have earned after the survivor benefit date.

Once your pension has started, the option you have selected cannot be changed. Therefore, your monthly base pension would remain at the reduced rate. This survivorship is only payable to your spouse named at the start of your pension. You cannot transfer it to any other beneficiary.

Life-only guaranteed 10- or 15-year option
At retirement, if you do not have an eligible spouse as defined by TTCPP Bylaws and the Pension Benefit Act, a guarantee period option is available in the form of a 10- or 15-year life-only option.

This option means that if your death were to occur before 120 or 180 monthly payments have been made, your beneficiary will receive any remaining balance of your base pension. Your beneficiary can choose to take the base pension in a monthly form or they can choose to receive a lump-sum payment. If your death were to occur after the 120 or 180 monthly payments have been made to you, there will be nothing further payable to your beneficiary.

There is no cost for you to provide a 10-year guarantee, but your earned pension will be reduced if you select a 15-year guarantee. This reduction is based on your age at retirement and is a permanent reduction to your lifetime pension.

If you have a spouse at the time your pension starts, and you both agree to select the guarantee-period option, your spouse will have to waive their right to the 60% joint and survivor option before you can select a guarantee-period option. Once your spouse has waived their right, you can name anyone, including your spouse, as beneficiary. The spousal waiver form must be signed in the presence of a TTCPP staff member.

Before your pension starts, you can change your option. However, there may be a penalty applied to your earned pension. Once your pension has started, you cannot change the option you had chosen, regardless of your circumstances. Therefore, it is very important that you fully understand how the options work before your pension starts.

If you select a guarantee period when you retire, your beneficiary designation is transferable. If you want to change your beneficiary, even after you have retired, you may do so.

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