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Posts from the ‘Pensions’ Category

Is there a neutral agency in charge of valuing my spouse’s pension?

Only the member of an employer-sponsored pension plan may request valuation. Your options are limited. You may deal with your spouse directly to obtain the relevant information or you may do so through your legal representative. Your spouse may provide statements from the administrator of their pension plan indicating the pension’s value. This may not be sufficient for purposes of equalization, however. The generally accepted valuation document for equalization purposes is one which confirms the Family Law Value of the pension. Such valuation documents are provided by the Financial Services... MORE »

Will my spouse get part of my pension in cash?

Where a spouse’s employer-sponsored pension is to be split, the non-member spouse has several options for receiving payment. Your spouse will have to choose between transferring the funds to their personal registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), or leaving the money in your pension fund until they retire, at which point, they will receive monthly payments. Where pension funds are locked-in, the non-member spouse can only transfer their share into their LIRA or similar locked-in RRSP which cannot be accessed until their retirement.

In cases where the... MORE »

How is my pension valued for purposes of equalization?

Employer-sponsored pensions are valued in a two-step process. First, the total value of the pension-holder’s pension must be determined. This “preliminary value” represents the entire period in which the pension was earned up until the date of marital separation.

Second, the preliminary value is then pro-rated to reflect the value earned during the pension-holder’s marriage to their spouse. This is known as the “family law value.” Once the Family Law Value has been calculated, it is factored in determining the pension-holding spouse’s Net Family Property for purposes of equalization.


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Do I have to share my pension with my spouse?

On divorce or annulment of your marriage, either party (or their legal representative) may apply to have CPP credits combined and split equally between spouses. Credit splitting applies even if one spouse did not contribute to the CPP. An employer-sponsored pension plan may also be split equally. In this instance, splitting may occur as early as when the parties are legally separated as opposed to after a divorce or annulment is granted. In general, the maximum amount payable to a non-member spouse is 50% of the pension’s value or monthly... MORE »

Will my divorce affect my pension?

Under the Ontario Family Law Act, a pension is considered “property” and is valued in accordance with the Pension Benefits Act. Following the breakdown of a spousal relationship, Ontario law provides that each spouse is automatically entitled to a share of the other spouse’s pension. This is so because pension plans form part of the family assets which are to be equalized upon separation or divorce.

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