Divorce or separation in retirement :Retired members: Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension
In the event that your marriage or common-law relationship ends, it is important to understand the possible impact on your pension and insurance benefits plans.
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 by sending copies of the relevant documents:
- The divorce decree absolute or
- If you're 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 in the event of a marriage or common-law relationship breakdown.
Who is eligible for a division of pension benefits?
You or your former 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 doesn't apply.
In the case of a common-law relationship, you may apply for a division of pension benefits only if your relationship lasted a minimum of one year.
In either case, you must have a Court Order or a written agreement signed by you and your spouse that provides for the division of 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 Division of pension benefits package.
- Step 1: Request information.
Contact the Pension Centre to request an estimate and to confirm which documents or forms are required. If you want an estimate of the division amount before applying, you must submit the RCMP- GRC 2488E - Request for Pension Benefits Division information with respect the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act Pension in accordance with the Pension Benefits Division Act form, along with any other required documents.
- Step 2: Submit application.
You must submit the RCMP- GRC 2486E - Application for division of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act Pension Benefits in accordance with the Pension Benefits Division Act form, along with your Court Order or written agreement, and any other required documents.
- Step 3: Division of pension benefits.
When the division has been approved, the amount representing the value of the benefits earned during the period subject to division is transferred into a chosen registered retirement savings account(s).
These steps are described in more detail in the Division of pension benefits package. Additional information can be found under the Pension Benefits Division Act and the Pension Benefits Division Regulations.
How does a pension division affect your pension?
If you're receiving a pension, it'll be reduced immediately once the division is approved.
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.
A division of pension benefits to a former spouse will not affect the survivor benefits of a current spouse.
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.
If you were separated from your legal spouse, and he/she had received a division of pension benefits, then your former spouse would only be entitled to a survivor benefit for the portion not covered by the division.
Should you inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre if the person you've named as the beneficiary moves?
Yes. In the event of your death, if the Government of Canada Pension Centre has a current address for your beneficiary, the benefit can be paid more quickly.
When you contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre, please have the following available:
- Pension number
- Name of beneficiary
- Your beneficiary's new address
How are your insurance benefit plans affected?
If there’s a change in your relationship status—such as a divorce or separation from a spouse or common-law partner—you may wish to change your PSHCP and PDSP coverage from "Family" to "Single" if there are no other dependents.
Please contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre to amend your PSHCP and PDSP coverage. For PSHCP and PDSP, you must also update your positive enrolment information with Sun Life. Changes can be made by visiting the Sun Life website.
You may also wish to review and update your beneficiary information for your RCMP Group Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment plans. For more information, please contact the RCMP Insurance Administrator, Morneau Shepell, at 1-800-661-7595 or visit their website.
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