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Life & Career Events

Common Questions

What are the advantages to designating a beneficiary?

Your heirs could save time and money. Funds are paid directly to the beneficiary, without the delays or probate fees associated with the processing of an estate. Estate taxes are also avoided, although your heirs will pay tax on your death benefit.

How do I designate or change a beneficiary?

You can designate or change your beneficiary through your Ontario Teachers' account.

If you choose to name multiple beneficiaries, any pre-retirement death benefit payable, for service that accrued after 1986, will be divided equally among your beneficiaries.

In the absence of a designated beneficiary, any death benefit payable, after survivors have been taken into account, will go to your estate.

Can I name a minor child?

You can name a minor as your designated beneficiary. A child aged 18 or older receives survivor benefits directly, while payments for a minor child are provided to the court-appointed guardian of the child's property. If there is no guardian, benefits are paid into court until the child reaches age 18.

What if I don't designate a beneficiary?

If you don't have an eligible spouse, dependent children or a designated beneficiary when you die, any benefits will be payable to your estate.

What do designated beneficiaries get?

If you don't have an eligible spouse at the time of your death, a designated beneficiary receives a lump-sum payment equal to the commuted value of the pension you accumulated after 1986, minus the value of any child's pension that may be payable. Any death benefits payable for service before 1987 are paid to your estate, not your beneficiary.

What happens if I die after I collect my pension?

A designated beneficiary exists only for pre-retirement death benefits. Post-retirement benefits are paid to your eligible spouse or, if you don't have one, to your dependent children and/or estate.