If your jurisdiction of employment was Ontario, and you and your spouse/former spouse were married and separated after retirement, the spouse at retirement retains the right to a survivor pension. Ontario law requires that the value of the pension you earned during your time together be included in the calculation of net family property. There is no requirement to divide the pension, only to consider its value in the division of all family property.
If your jurisdiction of employment was not Ontario, the Ontario Family Law Act does not apply to you. Contact the CAAT Pension Plan directly for more information.
Pension law and family law are complex, and they interact in a number of ways in the case of spousal relationship breakdown. As a result, it is strongly recommended to obtain advice from a lawyer with experience in this area before making any decisions regarding the division of your pension.
Process to follow if your jurisdiction of employment was Ontario
For common-law spouses, there is no requirement under Ontario family law to divide net family property (including the value of any pension assets) on breakdown of their spousal relationship. You may however decide to do so.
The Ontario rules, which apply to new cases as well as past cases without a pre-2012 legal agreement providing for the division of pension, bring these key changes:
- Prescribed valuation performed by the Plan - The Plan is required to calculate the Family Law Value of a member’s pension accrued during the relationship, using prescribed formulae, and provide this to both the member and their spouse/former spouse.
- Immediate settlement of benefits - Where a member and their former spouse agree or are required to divide the value of the member’s pension, the spouse’s portion of the Family Law Value will be immediately split from the member’s entitlement. Though settled immediately, the former spouse’s share may be transferred to a locked-in account until retirement age.
- Prescribed process and forms - Members, their spouses / former spouses and the Plan will be required to use several detailed forms created by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) throughout the process of applying for a valuation through to instructing the Plan on their decision about the division of the Family Law Value of the pension.
Spousal / Marriage Relationship Breakdown Forms if your jurisdiction of employment was Ontario
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) sets out the process to follow and the forms to be used by you and your former spouse to obtain the Family Law Value of your pension from the Plan and to instruct us on whether or not your pension will be divided.
Effective June 8, 2019, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) assumed regulatory duties of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO). All existing regulatory direction remains in force.
Forms initiated by the member or the member’s spouse/former spouse
Forms sent by the Plan to the member’s former spouse
These forms will be included with the spouse’s copy of the Statement of Family Law Value. They are posted here for your information only.