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.

Example of pension division between plan member and former spouse

The division of your pension begins once the Family Law Valuation (FLV) process is complete. This process may take several months, and your former spouse is entitled to retroactive payments to account for the time that passed from your FLV Date to when your pension is divided.

These retroactive payments are paid to your former spouse, in addition to the amount outlined in the separation agreement, court order or arbitration award. Your pension will be reduced accordingly.

The following example shows how payments to a former spouse are calculated to account for the retroactive payments between the FLV date and the date the pension division begins.

Important dates
FLV Date: January 2016
Pension division start date: June 2016

 

Retroactive payment from FLV Date to pension division date
Gross monthly pension to former spouse as outlined in separation agreement $1,200/month
Five retroactive payments (Jan – May 2016 inclusive) between FLV Date to pension division start date in June 2016 $1,200 x 5 months = $6,000*
Total retroactive payments actuarially converted to a monthly adjustment $6,000* converted to an adjustment of $25/month

*plus interest

Monthly payment as of June 2016
Former spouse: (Spousal payment + retroactive payment) – income tax** ($1,200 + $25) – income tax**
Plan member:Monthly pension – (spousal payment + retroactive payment) – income tax – other deductions Monthly pension – ($1,200 + $25) – income tax – other deductions

**Assumes pension payment is former spouse's sole source of income

Spousal waivers

Under FSCO's pension valuation and division rules, your former spouse can waive his/her right to the joint and survivor pension if it's specified in your settlement agreement. To do this, your former spouse must complete Post-retirement Waiver of Joint and Survivor Pension by the Former Spouse of a Retired Member on Spousal Relationship Breakdown (FSCO Form 8).

While you and your former spouse may have personal reasons for wanting to agree to the waiver, please be aware that your gross pension amount will only increase by an amount equal to any actuarial reduction currently applied to provide a survivor pension greater than 50%, and the reduction currently applied to provide the 10-year pension guarantee. This increase will apply to your pension payments beginning the month after we receive the waiver.

Steps 3 and 4 only apply if you're using your pension to settle an equalization obligation.