Division of Pension Benefits Package

This information package provides a summary of the division of pension benefits process upon marriage or common-law breakdown as provided for under the Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA). It is intended for pension plan members under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (RCMPSA) or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation Act (RCMPPCA) and their spouse or former spouse/common-law partner. It is for information purposes only. In the event of any discrepancies between the content of this package and the PBDA and its associated regulations, the latter will prevail.

The PBDA came into force on September 30, 1994 and provides a mechanism for the division of pension benefits upon marriage or common-law relationship breakdown. The eligible applicant has to apply for a division of pension and produce a Court Order or written Agreement providing for a division of pension benefits. Pension benefits can be divided as part of the division of family assets to a maximum of 50 percent of the actuarial present value of the pension benefits accumulated during the period of cohabitation.

Note: An application for the division of pension benefits may be submitted even if the Court Order or written Agreement providing for the division of the pension benefits was drawn up before September 30, 1994, the date the PBDA came into effect, provided the plan member had not died prior to September 30, 1992 and the terms of the Court Order or Agreement have not been satisfied by other means.

Division of Pension Benefits

Explore the following sections to learn more about the division of pension benefits:

This information package may not answer specific questions related to your situation, therefore, you are encouraged to contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants

The following individuals may apply for a division of pension benefits 1. These pension benefits must have accumulated during the period of cohabitation, while married or living together in a common-law relationship:

  • Plan member
  • Spouse or former spouse who has been living separate and apart from the plan member for at least one year. The couple may be separated for less than one year if the application for division is based on a Court Order pertaining to divorce, annulment or separation that stipulates the division of pension benefits between the twoparties.
  • Former common-law partner who has cohabitated with the plan member for at least one year and who has been living separate and apart for at least one year. As of December 2003, the option to request a division of pension benefits was extended to same-sex common-law partners.
  • Representative of the plan member or a representative of the spouse or former spouse/common-law partner. This individual has to provide a certified true copy of the document that authorizes acting on behalf of the applicant.

Process Overview

There are four steps in the process related to the division of pension benefits.

  1. Step 1: Request for Estimate on Division of Pension Benefits

    You may request an estimate of the maximum transferable amount allowed for division before making an application. You can request an estimate even if you are not yet separated or divorced. Refer to the Request for Estimate section for specific details, including required documents and forms.

  2. Step 2: Application for Division of Pension Benefits

    The application for division of pension benefits is the process for an eligible applicant to formally request a division of the plan member's pension benefits, accumulated during the period subject to division, as stated in a Court Order, written Agreement or supplementary documentation.

    Refer to the Application for Division section for specific details, including required documents and forms.

  3. Step 3: Division of Pension Benefits and Payment

    Once the application is approved, the division payment is transferred into a locked-in registered retirement vehicle chosen by the recipient. In some cases, a portion of the payment may be paid directly to the recipient and taxed at source. Refer to the Division and Payment section for specific details.

  4. Step 4: Adjustment to the Plan Member's Pension Benefits

    After the division payment has been transferred to the recipient's locked-in registered retirement vehicle, the plan member's pension benefit is adjusted to reflect the division of pension benefits. We will notify the plan member of the resulting adjustment.

    Refer to the Adjustment to the Plan Member's Pension Benefits section for specific details.

Process Workflow and Time Frame

Refer to the Process Workflow section for specific details in respect of the division of pension benefits and associated time frame.

Request for Estimate

This section provides specific details if you wish to receive an estimate of the maximum transferable amount allowed for division before making a formal application for division. It includes the required documents and forms. An estimate can be requested even if you are not yet separated or divorced. This step is optional as an application for division may be made without an estimate.

Normally an estimate can only be provided once within a 12 month period unless:

  1. You have ceased to cohabit with your spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner;
  2. You or your spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner began proceedings in relation to separation, divorce or annulment;
  3. You and your spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner entered into an agreement; or
  4. Your pensionable service included in the period subject to division has been adjusted

Estimate

The estimate calculation is based on the value of the plan member's pension benefits accumulated during the period of cohabitation and on the information you provide.

You will receive a Pension Benefits Report, which includes the estimate. A general explanation on how to interpret the report will also be included. Note that the division amount quoted on the estimate is the maximum amount that could be transferred on the date the report is prepared.

Note:
  • The estimated amount can change significantly with fluctuation in interest assumptions.
  • If the plan member requests an estimate of the maximum transferable amount, an estimate of the resulting impact on the pension benefits will also be provided.
  • If both parties to the division are RCMP plan members, the difference between the division amounts for each member may be paid to the recipient's locked-in registered retirement vehicle if the Court Order or written Agreement so provides. You may contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre for further details.

Documents and Forms

  1. Required - Form RCMP-GRC 2488E titled "Request for Pension Benefits Division Information with respect to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act Pension in accordance with the Pension Benefits Division Act".

    This form is required to request an estimate of the maximum transferable amount. Please ensure that you provide the plan member's name and date of birth (section C of the form), otherwise the form will be considered invalid and will be returned to the sender.

  2. Required if available – Copy of the Court Order or written Agreement that:

    • provides for the division of the accrued pension benefits;
    • establishes the dates of the period of cohabitation subject to division; and
    • establishes the dates when interruptions occurred in the period of cohabitation (if applicable).

    If you do not have a Court Order or written Agreement or if all the information required, as specified in paragraph 2 above, is not included in the Court Order or Agreement, you have to complete Form RCMP-GRC 2483E titled "Statutory Declaration in the matter of Provision of Pension Benefits Information under the Pension Benefits Division Act".

    If your spouse should request an estimate, the "Statutory Declaration – In the matter of Provision of Pension Benefits Information under the Pension Benefits Division Act". Form RCMP-GRC 2483E, to be valid, must be witnessed by a lawyer, notary public or commissioner for oaths. There is no requirement to have the form witnessed when you request an estimate.

  3. If applicable - Authorization to act on behalf of the applicant

    You only need to provide this document if you are a representative acting on behalf of the plan member or on behalf of the spouse or former spouse/common-law partner. It must be the original or certified true copy.

Once completed, the respective documents and forms must be forwarded to the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

Application for Division

This section provides specific details for you to apply for a division of the pension benefits accumulated during the period of cohabitation. It includes the required documents and forms. The spouse or former spouse/partner may make an application for a division provided there is a Court Order or a written Agreement allowing for the division.

Application

You have to submit an application for division of pension benefits, as the division is not carried out automatically upon divorce or separation. This can be done at any time. You may also withdraw an application for division at any time until the division payment is transferred to the locked-in registered retirement vehicle. Refer to the Division and Payment section for specific details pertaining to the payment process.

Documents and Forms

  • Required - Form RCMP-GRC 2486E titled "Application for Division of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act Pension Benefits in accordance with the Pension Benefits Division Act".

    This form is required to apply for a division of the pension benefits accumulated during the period subject to division, as stated by the Court Order, written Agreement or supplementary documentation.

  • Required – Court Order or written Agreement that:
    • provides for the division of the accumulated pension benefits and that;
    • establishes the dates of the period of cohabitation subject to division, including any dates when interruptions occurred.

    If the period of cohabitation is not included, you have to complete Form RCMP-GRC 2484E titled "Statutory Declaration in the matter of an Application for Division of Pension Benefits under the Pension Benefits Division Act".

    To be valid:

    • a lawyer, notary public or commissioner for oaths has to witness form RCMP-GRC 2484E.
    • the Court Order has to be certified by the Clerk of the Court, original signature or stamp;
    • the written Agreement has to be the original or a certified true copy.

    Note: If both parties to the division are RCMP plan members, the difference between the division amounts for each member may be paid to the recipient's locked-in registered retirement vehicle if the Court Order or written Agreement so provides. You may contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre for further details.

  • If applicable – Authorization to act on behalf of the applicant

    This document authorizes a representative to act on behalf of the plan member or on behalf of the spouse or former spouse/common-law partner. It must be the original or certified true copy.

  • If applicable – Copy of the marriage certificate

    A certified true copy of the marriage certificate is required unless the period subject to division is mentioned in the Court Order or written Agreement.

Once completed, the respective documents and forms must be forwarded to the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

Notification and Objection

When an application for the division of the pension benefits has been approved, both the applicant and non-applicant will be notified in writing.

The recipient of the division payment will also be provided with instructions on how to direct the payment into a locked-in registered retirement vehicle once the application is approved. Refer to the Division and Payment section for additional details pertaining to the payment of the amount subject to division and required forms.

The non-applicant has 90 days2 to file a notice of objection to the division from the date of being notified of the application for division. An objection to the division must be filed in writing to the Government of Canada Pension Centre. If the objection is valid, the application for division is put on hold until the objection is resolved.

There are three grounds for objection:

  1. the Court Order or written Agreement has been changed or is no longer valid; or
  2. the terms of the Court Order or written Agreement have been or are being satisfied by other means; or
  3. proceedings are under way to appeal or review the Court Order or to challenge the terms of the written Agreement (documents from the court are required to confirm that such proceedings are underway).

Documentation in support of the objection must be forwarded to the Government of Canada Pension Centre within the 90 day objection period. Once the objection period has expired and no objection has been received, the division will be processed. Refer to the Division and Payment section for details.

If the non-applicant is able to prove grounds for objection, the application for division will be suspended until there is a new Court Order or written Agreement that allows for the division to proceed. The application for division can also be refused, if we cannot determine the period subject to division, as a result of a dispute regarding the dates of cohabitation.

Division and Payment

This section provides specific details pertaining to the calculation and payment of the amount resulting from the division of pension benefits.

The plan member's accumulated pension benefits are subject to division before or after retirement. For the member who is in receipt of monthly pension payments, the maximum transferable amount is based on the value of future pension payments only.

Calculation of the Division of Pension Benefits Amount

Depending on the terms of the Court Order or written Agreement, the recipient can receive up to 50 percent of the actuarial present value of the plan member's pension benefits accumulated during the period subject to division. The actuarial present value is a lump sum equivalent to a pension benefit normally payable in the future. If the Court Order or written Agreement provides for the transfer of a smaller lump sum amount, this smaller amount will apply.

Payment of the Pension Benefits Division Amount

Locked-in provisions

The division payment is transferred as a lump sum directly to a locked-in registered retirement vehicle chosen by the recipient. The recipient can also choose to have the funds transferred to a life income fund, to another registered pension plan or to a financial institution or life insurance company for the purchase of an immediate or deferred life annuity. The division payment can be transferred into several accounts, as long as they are locked-in registered retirement vehicles. Recipients are responsible for consulting with their chosen institution as to their financial options.

If the member has less than two years of service in the Force, there are no lock-in requirements on the transfer amount.

Required Forms

  • RCMP-GRC 2347-18E titled "Certification of Lock-in for Purposes of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act or the Pension Benefits Division Act". The chosen financial institution has to complete this form to certify that the division payment will be administered in accordance with the locked-in provisions of the PBDA.
  • T2151 titled "Direct Transfer of a Single Amount Under Subsection 147(19) or Section 147.3". This form is required by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to verify that the funds are transferred to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). It is available through your financial institution or on the CRA Website.

If, the recipient of the division payment is also a plan member under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (RCMPSA), the division payment can be used as payment towards an ongoing purchase of prior pensionable service. (For additional information on prior pensionable service buyback, consult the Service Buyback Package).

The division payment can also be used to repay deficiencies in contributions for periods of leave without pay.

Tax Implications

As the division payment is transferred into a locked-in registered retirement vehicle, taxes do not apply until the recipient starts receiving periodic benefits from the chosen financial institution. However, if any portion of the division payment exceeds the limits allowed under the Income Tax Act, it is paid directly to the recipient and income tax is withheld at source. For additional details on income tax, we invite you to consult the CRA Website.

Adjustment to the Plan Member's Pension Benefits

When the division payment is transferred to the recipient's locked-in registered retirement vehicle, the plan member's pension benefits will be adjusted and the Government of Canada Pension Centre will notify the member accordingly.

Where the plan member is still actively employed, the adjustment will only take effect on the date of his entitlement to pension benefits.

Where the plan member is in receipt of pension benefits, the adjustment will take effect the first of the month following the division, unless the plan member is in receipt of an annuity for medical reasons.

Member in receipt of an annuity for medical reasons

If the plan member is in receipt of an annuity for medical reasons, the adjustment to the pension benefits will only take effect on the date the plan member would become entitled to an immediate annuity.

Note: If the plan member regains his health and makes an option for an annual allowance (AA), the reduction takes effect on the date of entitlement to the AA.

Process Workflow

This section provides specific details in respect of the division of pension benefits process workflow and associated time frame.

While we intend to process requests within the specified time frame, in some cases, the process may be delayed for reasons beyond our control. Some possible reasons for delays are:

  • Your request for an estimate or application for division is incomplete and/or supporting documents are missing;
  • Difficulty in obtaining information from the spouse or former spouse/common-law partner; or
  • Difficulty in obtaining information from the financial institution(s).

Refer to the following sections, Request for Estimate or Application for Division, to learn more about each specific process workflow and associated time frames:

Information Requests - Division of Pension Benefits

You are interested in receiving information related to the division of pension benefits

What does an applicant do?

Consult the Division of Pension Benefits Package for general information related to the division process.  Contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre for addition information.

When does an applicant do it?

Anytime

What do we do?

Provide the applicant with general information on the division of pension benefits.

When do we do it?

Phone call inquiries: Returns phone calls within 48 hours

Written inquiries: Replies to written requests within five working days of receiving all required documentation

Estimate Requests - Pension Benefits Division Amount

You are interested in receiving an estimate of the amount allowable for division

What does an applicant do?

Request an estimate of the maximum transferable amount allowed for division. This step is optional as an application for division may be made without an estimate.

Refer to the Request for Estimate section for specific instructions, including required documents and forms.

When does an applicant do it?

Anytime before proceeding with an application for the division of the pension benefits.

What do we do?Estimate Requests - Pension Benefits Division Amount

Provide the applicant with a pension benefits report, which includes the estimate of the maximum transferable amount allowed for division.

When do we do it?

Within five working days of receiving all required documents and forms.

Note: There may be delays for reasons beyond our control. As an example, a service standard of seven working days has been established with the plan member's current employer, when additional information is required to process the estimate request.

Application for Division of the Plan Member's Pension Benefits

You are interested in applying for a division of the pension benefits

What does an eligible applicant do?

Apply for a division of the pension benefits.

Refer to the Application for Division section for specific instructions, including required documents and forms.

When does an eligible applicant do it?

Anytime after separation or divorce.

What do we do?Application for Division of the Plan Member's Pension Benefits

Validate the application for division and supporting documents.

Forward a letter to the applicant and non-applicant confirming receipt and acceptance of an application for a division of the pension benefits. The non-applicant will also be notified about the objection period

Note: The above mentioned letter will include instructions regarding the forms to be completed by the recipient and the chosen institution to process the transfer:

Form T2151 titled "Direct Transfer of a Single Amount Under Subsection 147(19) or Section 147.3"; and

Form RCMP-GRC 2347-18E titled "Certification of Lock-in for Purposes of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act or the Pension Benefits Division Act".

Request relevant documentation from the plan member's current employer.

When do we do it?

Within 30 days from date of receipt of the application for division.

What can a non-applicant do?

File an objection to the division of pension benefits.

Refer to the Notification and Objection section for details pertaining to the approved grounds for objection.

When can a non-applicant do it?

Within 90 days from the notification letter.

What can a non-applicant do? Application for Division of the Plan Member's Pension Benefits

Waive rights to object to the division (in writing).

Refer to the Notification and Objection section for details.

When can a non-applicant do it? Application for Division of the Plan Member's Pension Benefits

Anytime after having received the notification letter.

Once the objection period has expired and no objection has been received, the division will be processed as follows:

What do we do?

Calculate and transfer the division payment to the recipient's chosen institution.

Refer to the Division and Payment section for details.

Forward a notification letter to the applicant, non-applicant and chosen financial institution, confirming that the payment process has been completed.

When do we do it?

Within 120 days of receipt of an application or within 45 days of receipt of all required documents and forms.

If the non-applicant submits an objection, we will do the following:

What do we do? When can a non-applicant do it?

Validate the objection to the division.

If the objection is valid, a letter is sent to the objector and to the applicant, informing both parties that the division of the pension benefits is suspended until the objector submits an amended Court Order or written Agreement.

If the objection is invalid, a letter explaining the reasons for the rejection is sent to the objector and the application for division of the pension benefits is processed.

When do we do it? When can a non-applicant do it?

Within 15 days from the date of receipt of the objection to the division.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Pension benefits include any annuity, annual allowance, transfer value, pension transfer or return of contributions, but do not include survivors' allowances. Purchase of prior pensionable service will count in the division of pension benefits, as long as payments were made during the period subject to division.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

The non-applicant may waive the 90-day objection period in writing but only after having received the notification letter from us.

Return to footnote 2 referrer