As a retired member, your spouse will receive a spousal pension upon your death. In addition, you can designate a person other than your spouse who could also be entitled to a benefit. This would be the case if you were to die without a spouse, or if both you and your spouse die at the same time.

You have no spouse but have children under 18: The children’s pension

An eligible child is under 18 when the retired member (or spouse in receipt of a survivor pension) dies without a spouse. If more than one child is eligible, the benefit is divided equally among them, and, as each child turns 18, their pension stops and the payment is re-divided among the remaining eligible children.

The total children's pension is the same amount that a spouse would have received, that is, 60% of the retired member's lifetime pension. However if the parent was a spouse who died while collecting a spousal pension, the children's pension will be the same amount that the spouse was receiving, that is, 60% or 75% of the retired member's lifetime pension, depending on the option that was chosen at retirement.

The children's pension is paid to a legal guardian on your behalf until the youngest eligible child turns 18, at which point pension payments stop. If there are benefits owed as a result of the 60 months pension guarantee, they will be paid to the youngest child once he or she turns 18.

You have no spouse or children under 18: 60 months guarantee

Monthly survivor benefits are payable only to spouses and eligible children. Beneficiaries, however, may be entitled to a one time payment under the 60 months pension guarantee. The guarantee states that if, when the retired member dies, with no spouse or children, the total of the payments the retired member received does not equal 60 months' worth of his or her initial lifetime pension, the beneficiary receives the difference.

The provision also applies if a spouse dies while collecting a spousal pension and the payments made to the original retired member plus the spouse total less than 60 times the retired member's initial monthly lifetime pension. In the case of the children's pension, the calculation is made once the last eligible child turns 18 and has received the final pension payment. In this case, if the payments made to the original retired member, the spouse and all of the children total less than 60 times the original retired member's monthly payment, the last child left alive or the last to turn 18 receives the difference.

How to designate a Beneficiary

You should advise us of a change to your beneficiary by completing a Change Request form and mailing it directly to us, or by contacting us by phone.

You can name anyone you want as your beneficiary – a friend, your children or even a charitable organization. If you want to name more than one beneficiary, be sure to indicate the percentage of any benefit you want each beneficiary to receive.

If your marital status has changed due to separation or divorce, be aware that under Ontario law, the value of the pension you earned while married must be included in the calculation of family property. Read our pamphlet “Your pension and separation or divorce” to learn about the process to follow should you find yourself in this situation.