Increasing your survivor pension
You can choose to increase your survivor pension to 65, 70 or 75%. You’ll incur a higher reduction if you elect this option.
Your pension will be reduced slightly to provide for a survivor pension higher than 50%. The reduction to your pension depends on the age of you and your eligible spouse, and the survivor pension you choose. This reduction is permanent during your lifetime, even if your eligible spouse dies before you or you separate/divorce after we make your first pension payment.
For most members who choose a 60% pension, their pension is reduced by about 1%.
If you change your mind, you can decrease your survivor option at any time before your pension begins. Once we make your first pension payment, you can't revoke a survivor pension increase. The easiest way to change your survivor pension election is by signing in to your account. Choosing one of the percentages displayed is all it takes to make your selection.
Decreasing your survivor pension
It's also possible to decrease your survivor pension to 50 or 55%. There's no cost for providing a 50% survivor pension to your eligible spouse.
If you feel this is the right option for you and your eligible spouse, you both must sign a Spousal Waiver of Joint and Survivor Pension form and return it to us within 12 months of your first pension payment. A waiver can be revoked if you notify us in writing. However, once we make your first pension payment, your survivor option election becomes irrevocable.
The easiest way to change your survivor pension election is by signing in to your account. Choosing one of the percentages displayed is all it takes to make your selection.
10-year pension guarantee option
If you die before receiving 10 years' worth of pension payments, your eligible survivor will receive 100% of your lifetime retirement pension for the balance of the 10 years. You can choose this benefit, at a minimal cost. This benefit is free and automatic if you don’t have an eligible spouse at retirement. Any balance remaining on the 10 years of pension payments will be paid as a survivor pension to any dependent children or as a lump sum to your estate.
If your eligible spouse also dies before the 10-year pension guarantee ends, eligible dependent children will receive a survivor pension from any balance remaining on the 10 years of pension payments. If there are no dependent children, any balance remaining will be paid as a lump sum to your eligible spouse's estate.
We recommend that our members opt for the 10-year guarantee because it's considered to be a very affordable form of insurance. The lifetime reduction for this option is 0.1% of your CPP-adjusted annual pension (or about $44 per year for the average career teacher).
Here's an example of the reductions that apply to an average unreduced teacher's pension of $51,000.
Examples of options and cost
Amounts below are based on an average unreduced pension of $51,000. Cost varies based on a variety of factors including your age, your eligible spouse's age, and the percentage of survivor pension you elect.