In addition to your lifetime pension, the CAAT Pension Plan provides benefits to your survivors upon your death. Knowing in advance what to expect from the Plan can help you protect your loved ones after you’re gone. This page outlines the benefits available to your survivors if you die while collecting a pension from the Plan, whether you earned your pension in DBplus or DBprime.
A lifetime pension for your eligible spouse
The default spousal pension is 60% of the lifetime pension the retired member was receiving at the time of death. The bridge benefit (if applicable) is not part of the survivor benefit. Inflation protection increases continue to be applied to lifetime pension paid to surviving spouse.
The spousal pension from the Plan is paid for the rest of the surviving spouse’s life. However, If the spousal pension meets the small pension criteria in your jurisdiction of employment, it will be paid out as a lump sum, and no other payment options are permitted. Contact the Plan for more information.
If your marital status has changed due to separation or divorce visit the Separation or Divorce page for more information if your jurisdiction of employment was Ontario.
Retiring members with an eligible spouse had the option of selecting a 75% spousal pension in exchange for a lower pension for themselves. If the member dies before their spouse, their eligible spouse receives 75% of their lifetime pension at the date of death rather then default 60%. Your spouse at retirement is only individual eligible to receive this 75% survivor pension.
Who is a spouse?
Your spouse is the person to whom you are legally married or in a common-law relationship. Common-law is defined by your jurisdiction of employment.
Who is an eligible spouse?
If you had a spouse when your pension started, they will be your eligible spouse provided they meet the definition of spouse in your jurisdiction of employment, you were living together at the time your pension started (in other words, not “living separate and apart”), and you and your spouse did not waive the survivor pension at the time of your retirement using the applicable form.
If you did not have an eligible spouse when you retired, and you subsequently have a spouse at the time of your death, that spouse would be your eligible spouse, provided you and your spouse were living together.
What happens if your eligible spouse at retirement pre-deceases you?
If you have a subsequent spouse on your death, that subsequent spouse would be your eligible spouse, provided you and your subsequent spouse were living together.
What happens if you and your eligible spouse at retirement separate or divorce in retirement?
Your eligible spouse at the time of retirement remains entitled to the survivor benefit unless they have waived the survivor pension benefit as part of the separation, in accordance with the conditions set out by applicable legislation. Contact the Plan for more information on whether this applies to your jurisdiction of employment.
If your eligible spouse at the time of your retirement has waived the survivor pension as described above, and you have a subsequent spouse on your death, that subsequent spouse would be the eligible spouse for the survivor pension, provided you and your subsequent spouse were living together at the time of your death.
If you’ve separated from the spouse you had at retirement or have a new spouse, be sure to contact the Plan as soon as possible, to ensure that the Plan’s records are kept up to date. “Separated” or “living separate and apart”, for example, does not include a situation where one spouse is in long-term care, or living away for some other reason, but rather separate living arrangements where the intention is to end the marriage or common-law relationship.
If you were a retired member of the ROM Pension Plan on December 31, 2015, the provisions that apply to your pension may be different than those outlined on this page. Visit the ROM retired members page for details.