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Marital Breakdown

Pension assets are an important part of the savings of the Member of the Plan and are considered to be part of the family assets. The Family Law Act is the provincial law in British Columbia that governs how all family assets, including pensions, are divided when the marriage ends.

The Act states that both spouses are entitled to a share of any Pension earned by either spouse during a marriage. It also clearly sets out how the Administrator is to split the Pension assets between the spouses in order to ensure that both parties receive a fair division of retirement income.

The division of Pension assets is not automatic after a separation or divorce. The former spouse of the Plan Member must apply to the Plan Administrator for the division of the Pension using the applicable forms.

First, the former spouse should complete the Claim of Spouse to Interest in Member’s Pension (Form P1) to notify the Plan Administrator of the former spouse’s legal interest in the Member’s Pension.

If the Pension Plan is a Defined Benefit Plan, the former spouse should complete the Request for Designation as Limited Member of Pension Plan (Form P2) to become a “Limited Member” of the Pension Plan. Once the former spouse is a “Limited Member” of the Plan, the Member’s Pension may be split using the Request by a Limited Member for Transfer or Pension (Form P4).

If the Pension Plan is a Defined Contribution Plan, the former spouse should use the Request for Transfer from Unmatured Defined Contribution Plan (Form P3) to initiate the split of the Member’s Pension assets.

Once the Plan Administrator has received any of these forms from the former spouse, the Administrator will send a Notice of Receipt (Form P6) to the Plan Member to notify them of the former spouse’s claim. This form is for informational purposes only. No action is required by the Plan Member if he/she receives this form from the Plan Administrator

Completed forms should be forwarded to the Plan Administrator.

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Questions on completing the forms should be directed to the Plan Administrator.

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