Skip to content

Working members

If you’re working when you change your spousal relationship, you should be aware of how this may impact your pension benefits.

 

If you’ve already started your pension, see Changing a spousal relationship – retired members for details.

Ending a spousal relationship

If you separate from your spouse prior to your retirement or pre-retirement death, your spouse will no longer be entitled to a survivor benefit under the plan. However, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of your pension benefits through a settlement of your equalization obligations under family law. 

If you need to value your pension for the calculation of net family property, apply to us for a Statement of Family Law Value. There's no need to hire an external actuary.

As a working member (including those on a leave of absence or with a deferred pension), a lump-sum payout to your former spouse is the only settlement option available to you and your former spouse, if you choose to settle your equalization obligation with your pension. The lump sum can be transferred to a life income fund (LIF), locked-in retirement account (LIRA) or another registered pension plan of which your former spouse is a member.

You're required to complete several family law forms to calculate the value of your pension and transfer the lump sum should you decide to do so. These forms are made available by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), which regulates financial services and pensions, including family law matters as they relate to pensions. 

FSRA has a guide which may help you through this process, Pensions and Marriage Breakdown – a Guide for Members and their Spouses. This guide provides an overview of valuing and dividing members’ pensions upon marriage breakdown. 

Send forms electronically

For your convenience, we provide e-signature enabled forms in our step-by-step instructions below so you can complete and send forms electronically.

When completing the application process, please note:

  • We don't charge a fee for calculating your Family Law Value (Step 1)
  • We only require copies of supporting documentation, they don't need to be certified

Remember to update your profile if your marital status changes.

Valuing and dividing your pension

If you’re considering dividing your pension, you’ll need to take the following steps:

Step 1: Apply for a Statement of Family Law Value

If you're married, either you or your spouse can apply for this statement. If you're in a common-law relationship, only you can apply. If you're both plan members, you're both required to apply to get the Family Law Value (FLV) for each pension.

Here's how to apply:

1. Complete the mandatory Application for Family Law Value (Family Law Form FL- 1). We have several e-signature enabled versions of this form, select the one that best meets your needs (the appendices are optional):

Family Law Form FL-1 with Appendix A (Joint Declaration of Period of Spousal Relationship) – use this version if you don’t have the other proof documents listed in Part G of Family Law Form FL-1

Family Law Form FL-1 with Appendix B (Request for Two Family Law Values) – use this version if you and your spouse haven’t determined your family law valuation date and want to propose two different dates

Family Law Form FL-1 with Appendix A and Appendix B – use this version if you need to complete both appendices

Family Law Form FL-1 only (no appendices) – use this version if you don’t need to complete either appendix

2. Send us all required documentation. You can either attach them in DocuSign while completing the form, or upload them later in your Document Centre.

We send statements to both spouses upon receiving the completed application with all required supporting documents.

Important

  • The Family Law Valuation (FLV) date must be specified in your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract. The FLV date must match the FLV date identified on your Statement of Family Law Value. 
  • If you don’t wish to provide your current mailing address, you may provide the address of another person (identify them in the C/O section at the end of Part C – Information about the Plan Member). This person could be your lawyer or an individual acting for you. We’ll send your Statement of Family Law Value to this person but they don’t have the authority to discuss your family law matters with us. Please contact us to find out how to authorize that person.

Step 2: Decide if you're using your pension to settle your equalization obligation

Once you've received your Statement of Family Law Value, consult your family lawyer and/or financial advisor for professional advice when making this decision.

A lump-sum payout to your former spouse is the only settlement option available to you and your former spouse, if you choose to settle your equalization obligation with your pension.

Step 3: Finalize your separation agreement with your family lawyer

This step only applies if you're using your pension to settle an equalization obligation.

This agreement should clearly identify your former spouse's share of the FLV (found in Part A of your Statement of Family Law Value) and the FLV date. Refer to FSRA’s Pensions and Marriage Breakdown – a Guide for Members and their Spouses for guidance on when interest applies.

Important

  • Under Ontario law, your former spouse cannot receive more than 50% of the pension benefit you earned during the spousal relationship, as set out in your Statement of Family Law Value.
  • The Family Law Valuation (FLV) date must be specified in your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract. The FLV date must match the FLV date identified on your Statement of Family Law Value.

Step 4: Apply for a lump-sum transfer to a LIF, LIRA or another registered pension plan

This step only applies if you're using your pension to settle an equalization obligation.

Your former spouse must apply to us directly.

Here's how to apply:

  1. Complete the Spouse's Application for Transfer of a Lump Sum (Family Law Form FL-5) – e-signature enabled
  2. Select a transfer option (listed in Part E of your Statement of Family Law Value)
  3. Include the finalized court order, arbitration award, or separation agreement, which clearly identifies your former spouse's share of the FLV, a completed Direct Transfer Request form and all other required documents with the application. You can either attach them in DocuSign while completing the form or upload them later in your Document Centre.

Important

  • You must complete and submit the Ontario Teachers' version of the Direct Transfer Request form. We won’t accept any other version of this form (i.e. from your bank, trust company, etc.).
  • We transfer the FLV as outlined in the finalized court order, arbitration award or separation agreement in a lump sum to your former spouse upon receiving the completed application with all required documents.

Ending a spousal relationship process