If you face a shortened life expectancy, you may be able to receive a lump-sum benefit in lieu of further pension payments. The benefit is the present value of four months’ pension, plus the value of any death benefit that may be payable.
The information below applies to retired members. If you're still working, please visit Facing a terminal illness to learn about your options.
To qualify for a shortened life expectancy benefit, you need to verify a life expectancy of less than two years. If you die before receiving a shortened life expectancy benefit, the plan’s usual post-retirement death benefits will be paid instead.
If someone is contacting us on your behalf, you’ll need to provide one of these two documents:
Written authorization (to release your personal information to a third party assisting with the application process)
To receive a shortened life expectancy benefit, you must provide a statement from a doctor licensed in Canada, outlining the illness or physical disability that’s likely to shorten your life expectancy to less than two years. If you have an eligible spouse, they must also consent to the withdrawal. Why? They’ll be forfeiting the right to survivor benefits if you choose this option. The value of the survivor pension is included in the benefit you receive.
Once you receive the benefit, no further entitlements are provided under the plan, even if you live longer than expected.
To apply for shortened life expectancy benefits, you must complete and return the forms provided in the:
If an eligible child is disabled, let us know as soon as possible as it may increase the value of your shortened life expectancy benefit.
Payment options and tax implications
Shortened life expectancy benefits can be:
Taken in cash (payable in the form of a cheque or direct deposit to your bank account)
Transferred to an RRSP, up until the end of the calendar year in which you turn age 71
Transferred to a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
A combination of these options
Cash payments are subject to withholding tax and may require additional tax payments when you file your income tax return.
If you choose to transfer funds to an RRSP or RRIF, it’s important to understand that the Income Tax Act limits the amount that can be transferred on a tax-sheltered basis. Any excess amounts are paid in cash and subject to withholding tax.