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Life & Career Events

Survivor Benefits

I'm single and my children are no longer eligible for a survivor pension. Will my estate receive something instead?

If you have no eligible spouse when you receive your first pension payment, you're automatically entitled to a 10-year pension guarantee at no cost. This means if you die before you've received 10 years' worth of pension payments, we'll pay the balance of the 10 years as a survivor pension to any dependent children or as a lump sum to your estate.

If you die before retirement with no eligible recipients, your contributions plus interest before 1987 are paid to your estate together with a lump-sum payment representing the commuted value of the pension you accumulated from 1987 until your death.

I plan to provide my spouse with the automatic 60% survivor pension. If my spouse dies before me, will the reduction to my pension continue?

Yes. Reductions for survivor pensions greater than 50% are permanent, even if your spouse predeceases you.

If I marry after I go on pension, will my new spouse be eligible for a survivor pension?

Not automatically. If a former spouse remains eligible, you cannot designate a new spouse for a survivor pension. If you do not have an eligible former spouse, you can apply for a new survivor pension and your pension will be reduced to pay for it.

Can I arrange through my will to have a dependent child's survivor pension go into a trust fund?

No. We are legally obligated to pay survivors directly. If the dependent child is 18 or older, the survivor pension will flow directly to him or her. If the child is a minor, we deposit payments with the Accountant of the Ontario Court (General Division) until the child reaches the age of 18, unless someone has become the child's legal guardian.

If I take the 10-year pension guarantee option, why would I want a survivor pension of more than 50%?

The 10-year pension guarantee and survivor pension are different post-retirement death benefits and should be considered separately.

The 10-year pension guarantee only provides a benefit in the event of your death prior to receiving 10 years' worth of pension payments and then only for the remainder of the term. The survivor's pension is payable for the life of your spouse and for as long as your children remain dependents. The survivor pension represents a percentage of your pension.