Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (R.S.C., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.))

Act current to 2017-12-11 and last amended on 2016-06-30. Previous Versions

Pre-retirement Death Benefit

Marginal note:If member dies before retirement
  •  (1) In the case of the death of a member or former member of a pension plan who is entitled to a deferred pension benefit under section 17, or, in the case of a member, would be entitled to that benefit if the member ceased membership in the plan, the member’s or former member’s survivor is entitled to the pension benefit credit, calculated in accordance with section 21, to which the member or former member would have been entitled on the day of death if they had terminated employment on that day and had not died.

  • Marginal note:No survivor

    (1.1) If a member or former member dies without leaving a survivor, the pension benefit credit referred to in subsection (1) is to be paid to the member’s or former member’s designated beneficiary or, if there is none, to their estate or succession.

  • Marginal note:Alternative

    (2) A pension plan may provide for a survivor, as an alternative to what is provided by subsection (1), an immediate pension benefit equal to or greater than what is provided by subsection (1).

  • (3) and (4) [Repealed, 2010, c. 12, s. 1809]

  • Marginal note:Surrender of pension benefit or pension benefit credit

    (5) A pension plan may provide that a survivor may, after the death of a member or former member, surrender, in writing, the pension benefit or pension benefit credit to which the survivor is entitled under this section and designate a beneficiary who is a dependant, within the meaning of subsection 8500(1) of the Income Tax Regulations, of the survivor, member or former member.

  • Marginal note:Effect of group life insurance plan

    (6) Subject to subsection (7), a defined benefit plan may provide for the reduction of the benefit payable under subsection (1) or (2) by an amount equal to that part of the group life insurance payment that can be considered to have been paid by employer premiums, calculated in a manner satisfactory to the Superintendent, if

    • (a) in the circumstances described in subsection (1) or (2), a survivor is entitled to a payment under a group life insurance plan on the death of the member or former member of the pension plan;

    • (b) the group life insurance plan is one that is approved by the Superintendent for the purposes of this subsection; and

    • (c) the group life insurance premiums are paid in whole or in part by the employer.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (7) In respect of a reduction referred to in subsection (6),

    • (a) the actuarial present value of the reduction may not exceed the amount of the payment to which the survivor is entitled under the group life insurance plan; and

    • (b) in the case of a contributory pension plan, the reduction may not reduce the benefit payable to the survivor to an amount less than the aggregate of the member’s required contributions together with interest in accordance with section 19.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 23;
  • 1998, c. 12, s. 15;
  • 2000, c. 12, ss. 257, 264;
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 72(F);
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1809.

Marriage or Common-law Partnership

Marginal note:New relationship not to terminate pension benefit

 A pension benefit payable to the spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner of a member or former member or to the survivor of a deceased member or former member shall not terminate by reason only that the spouse, former spouse, former common-law partner or survivor marries or enters into a common-law partnership.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 24;
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 258.

Divorce, Annulment, Separation or Breakdown of Common-law Partnership

Definition of provincial property law

  •  (1) In this section, provincial property law means the law of a province relating to the distribution, pursuant to court order or agreement between them,

    • (a) of the property of spouses on divorce, annulment or separation; or

    • (b) of the property of former common-law partners on the breakdown of their common-law partnership.

  • Marginal note:Application of provincial property law

    (2) Subject to subsections (4), (7) and (8), pension benefits, pension benefit credits and any other benefits under a pension plan are, on divorce, annulment, separation or breakdown of common-law partnership, subject to the applicable provincial property law.

  • Marginal note:Non-application of this Act

    (3) A pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit under a pension plan that is subject to provincial property law pursuant to this section is not subject to the provisions of this Act relating to the valuation or distribution of pension benefits, pension benefit credits or other benefits under a pension plan, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Power to assign to spouse, etc.

    (4) A member or former member of a pension plan may assign all or part of their pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit under the plan to their spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner, effective as of divorce, annulment, separation, or breakdown of the common-law partnership, as the case may be. The assignee is, in respect of the assigned portion of the pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit, deemed for the purposes of this Act, except section 21,

    • (a) to have been a member of that pension plan; and

    • (b) to have ceased to be a member of that pension plan as of the effective date of the assignment.

    However, a subsequent spouse or common-law partner of the assignee is not entitled to any pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit under the pension plan in respect of that assigned portion.

  • Marginal note:Duty of administrator

    (5) On divorce, annulment, separation or breakdown of a common-law partnership, if a court order or an agreement between the parties provides for the distribution of property between a member or former member and their spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner, the administrator shall determine and administer any pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit of a pension plan of the member or former member in the prescribed manner and in accordance with the court order or agreement on receipt of

    • (a) a written request from either the member or former member or their spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner that all or part of the pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit, as the case may be, be distributed or administered in accordance with the court order or the agreement; and

    • (b) a copy of the court order or agreement.

    However, in the case of a court order, the administrator shall not administer the pension benefit, pension benefit credit or other benefit in accordance with the court order until all appeals from that order have been finally determined or the time for appealing has expired.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (6) On receipt of a request referred to in subsection (5), the administrator shall notify the non-requesting spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner of the request and shall provide that person with a copy of the court order or agreement submitted in support of the request, but this requirement does not apply in respect of a request or an agreement received by the administrator in a form or manner that indicates that it was jointly submitted.

  • Marginal note:Splitting of joint and survivor pension benefit

    (7) A pension plan may provide that, where, pursuant to this section, all or part of a pension benefit of a member or former member is required to be distributed to that person’s spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner under a court order or agreement, a joint and survivor pension benefit may be adjusted so that it becomes payable as two separate pensions, one to the member or former member and the other to that person’s spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner, if the aggregate of the actuarial present values of the two pensions is not less than the actuarial present value of the joint and survivor pension benefit.

  • Marginal note:Adjustment of joint and survivor pension benefit

    (7.1) A pension plan may provide that, if no part of the pension benefit of a member or former member is required to be distributed to that person’s spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner under a court order or agreement referred to in subsection (5), a joint and survivor pension benefit may be adjusted so that it becomes payable in the normal form of the pension benefit as defined in subsection 22(1).

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (8) The aggregate of the following amounts shall not be greater than the actuarial present value of the pension benefit or other benefit, as the case may be, that would have been payable to the member or former member had the divorce, annulment, separation or breakdown not occurred:

    • (a) the actuarial present value of the pension benefit or other benefit paid to the member or former member, and

    • (b) the actuarial present value of the pension benefit or other benefit paid to the spouse, former spouse or former common-law partner of the member or former member.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 25;
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 259;
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 73(F);
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1811.

Portability of Pension Benefit Credits and Purchase of Life Annuities

Marginal note:If member not yet eligible to retire
  •  (1) If a member, before becoming eligible to receive an immediate pension benefit pursuant to subsection 16(2), ceases to be a member of a pension plan or dies, the member or the survivor, as the case may be, is entitled

    • (a) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to another pension plan, if that other plan permits,

    • (b) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to a retirement savings plan of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be, or

    • (c) to use the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be,

    if the member or the survivor notifies the administrator of that desire, in prescribed form and within ninety days after the cessation of membership or the member’s death, as the case may be (or, where the Superintendent allows a longer period under paragraph 28(1)(d), within sixty days after the administrator has given the written statement pursuant to that paragraph), and the administrator shall forthwith take the necessary action to give effect to any such notification.

  • Marginal note:Where member eligible to retire

    (2) Where a member, after becoming eligible to retire pursuant to subsection 16(2) but before the commencement of payment of a pension benefit, ceases to be a member of the pension plan or dies, the plan may permit the member or the survivor, as the case may be,

    • (a) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to another pension plan, if that other plan permits;

    • (b) to transfer the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to a retirement savings plan of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be; or

    • (c) to use the member’s pension benefit credit or the survivor’s pension benefit credit, whichever is applicable, to purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (2.1) The transfer of pension benefit credit, referred to in paragraph (2)(b), may be made by a member only if the member’s spouse or common-law partner notifies the administrator, in the prescribed form, of their consent to the transfer.

  • Marginal note:Other optional provisions of plan

    (3) Where, at any time, a member ceases to be a member of the pension plan or dies, the plan may provide

    • (a) [Repealed, 2010, c. 25, s. 192]

    • (b) that, if part of the pension benefit payable results from the excess described in subsection 21(1), the member or the survivor, as the case may be, must choose one of the following options in respect of that excess:

      • (i) transfer it to another pension plan, if that other plan permits,

      • (ii) transfer it to a retirement savings plan of the prescribed kind for the member or survivor, as the case may be, or

      • (iii) use it to purchase an immediate or deferred life annuity for the member or survivor, as the case may be.

  • (4) [Repealed, 2010, c. 12, s. 1813]

  • Marginal note:Pension plans include

    (5) For the purposes of this section, pension plans to which pension benefits may be transferred include

    • (a) pension plans that are under provincial jurisdiction;

    • (b) pension plans that are organized and administered to provide pension benefits to employees employed in excepted employment; and

    • (c) a pooled registered pension plan, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (2nd Supp.), s. 26;
  • 1995, c. 17, s. 61;
  • 1998, c. 12, s. 16;
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 175(F);
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 264;
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 74(F);
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1813, c. 25, s. 192;
  • 2012, c. 16, s. 88.
 
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