Divorce or separation: Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension

In the event that your marriage or common-law relationship breaks down, it's important to understand the possible impact on your pension and insurance benefits plans. The following questions and answers outline the potential consequences.

You may want to know…

Who should you inform in the event of your divorce or separation?

You should inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre. Please send copies of the following documents:

  • If you are divorced – the divorce decree absolute
  • If you are no longer in a common-law relationship – a letter advising the Government of Canada Pension Centre that the relationship has ended

Please include your pension number on all documents.

Can your pension benefits be divided in the event of divorce or separation?

Yes. The Pension Benefits Division Act provides for the division of the pension benefits that you've accumulated under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Pension Plan.

Who is eligible for a division of pension benefits?

You or your spouse/common-law partner may apply after you've been separated for at least one year. However, if the application is based on a Court Order pertaining to divorce, annulment, or separation then the one-year separation requirement does not apply.

In the case of a common-law relationship, an application may be made only if your relationship lasted a minimum of one year.

In either case, you must have a Court Order or written agreement signed by you and your spouse that provides for the division of your pension benefits.

What steps are involved in obtaining a division of pension benefits?

Either you or your former spouse/common-law partner may apply for a pension benefits division.

These steps are described in further detail in the Division of pension benefits: Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension. Additional information is found under the Pension Benefits Division Act and the Pension Benefits Division Regulations .

How does a pension division affect your pension?

Upon receipt of a pension, it'll be reduced immediately unless you're in receipt of a pension for medical reasons.

How are your survivor benefits affected?

If you were divorced at the time of your death, your former spouse would not be entitled to a survivor benefit.

If you were separated from your common-law partner at the time of your death, he/she would not be entitled to a survivor benefit would end immediately upon separation.

However, if you were separated from your legal spouse--but not divorced--at the time of your death, your spouse would be entitled to Survivor Benefits. Moreover, if you were separated and your former spouse had applied for a division of pension benefits, your former spouse would only be entitled to a survivor benefit amounting only to the portion not covered by the division.

A division of pension benefits to a former spouse will not affect the survivor benefits of a current spouse.

Should you inform the Pension Centre if the person you've named as the beneficiary moves?

Yes. In the event of your death, the Pension Centre will need a current address for your beneficiary and the benefit will be paid more quickly. When you contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre, please have the following ready:

  • Pension number
  • Name of beneficiary
  • Your beneficiary's new address

How are your insurance benefit plans affected?

Once divorced, your former spouse is no longer eligible for benefits under the following plans:

If you become divorced or separated from your spouse or common-law partner, and you have no other dependents for whom PSHCP benefits are being provided, Civilian Members should change their PSHCP coverage from "Family" to "Single". Regular Members, in this situation, should cancel their PSHCP coverage.

Please contact the RCMP National Pay Operations at 1 866 729-7293 for information on how to amend your PSHCP coverage. You must contact Sun Life (Public Service Health Care Plan) and Great-West Life (Public Service Dental Care Plan) to remove the coverage on your former spouse and update your positive enrolment information.

Please contact Morneau Shepell, the RCMP Insurance Administrator, to change your beneficiary designation or amend your RCMP Group Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plans.

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