Survivor of a Plan Member

This section is for you if you are entitled to an RCMP pension benefit as a survivor and are eligible for coverage under certain group insurance benefit plans.

The site is organized around life events that may apply to you as a survivor. By selecting one of the life events you will find information on your potential entitlements.

To find out the meaning of a term used in this section of the site, consult the Glossary.

Life events

Becoming a Survivor

As survivors of an RCMP plan member, you and your eligible children may be entitled to survivor benefits and child allowances under the RCMP Pension plan and may have coverage under the group insurance plans. The following information is intended to provide you with an understanding of your benefits.

Note: In the event of a plan member's death, the Government of Canada Pension Centre (Pension Centre) should be notified immediately. If the plan member was still employed by the RCMP, National Pay Operations should be contacted at 1-866-729-7293 for information on other possible pay-related benefits.

You may want to know…

What should you do first as the survivor of a deceased member of the RCMP Pension Plan?

You must immediately notify the Government of Canada Pension Centre. A qualified pension expert will confirm whether benefits are payable under the RCMP Pension Plan and how to apply for these benefits. If eligible, you will also have the opportunity to obtain medical and dental coverage.

Following a plan member's death, who is entitled to benefits? What are the specific benefits?

The survivor of a deceased member may apply for Survivor Benefits under the RCMP Pension Plan.

In addition to the survivor benefit eligible children may be entitled to a child allowance under the RCMP Pension Plan. Full-time students between the ages of 18 and 25 are paid directly.

If there is no survivor or eligible child, the RCMP Pension Plan provides for a Minimum Benefit payable to the designated beneficiary or, in the absence of such a beneficiary, to the deceased member's estate.

Any applicable life insurance and accidental death or dismemberment insurance amounts will be payable to the designated beneficiary under these insurances. In the absence of a designated beneficiary Great-West Life pays the benefit based on the line of succession for the province in which the plan member lived. Contact Morneau Shepell, the RCMP Insurance Administrator at 1-800-661-7595 to find out more.

If the plan member's death is a result of his/her service with the RCMP, the survivor or eligible children may be entitled to benefits under the Survivor Income Plan (SIP). This program provides an income top-up to the spouse and children of members in the case of a duty-related death. Contact Veterans Affairs Canada to find out if you qualify.

Are there instances where the surviving spouse is not entitled to the survivor benefit under the RCMP Pension Plan?

Yes. A surviving spouse is not entitled to a survivor benefits in the following cases:

  • At the time of death, the member was not vested and had less than two years of pensionable service
  • The plan member's death occurred in the first year of marriage unless shown that there was reasonable expectation of the member surviving at least one year after the marriage
  • At the time of the plan member's death, you were divorced from the plan member
  • Your marriage / common-law relationship began after the member reached age 60, unless the member became or continued to be a contributor or elected for Optional Survivor Benefits (OSB) for a married spouse.
  • The surviving spouse is found to be criminally responsible for the death of the plan member

Are there instances where children are not entitled to survivor benefits under the RCMP Pension Plan?

Yes. A child is not entitled to a survivor benefits in the following cases:

  • He/she was born, adopted or became the plan member's stepchild after the member's 60th birthday unless the member continued to be an active contributor to the RCMP Pension Plan or
  • He/she is between the ages of 18 and 25 and not considered a full-time student

Are there any additional death benefits?

If Veterans Affairs Canada determines that the member's death was duty-related, a Survivor Income Plan benefit may be paid to the member's spouse or common-law partner as well as the member's children. Contact Veterans Affairs Canada for more information.

Who will receive the benefits if the plan member did not designate a beneficiary?

If there are no survivors and no beneficiary was designated, the benefits will be paid to the deceased member's estate.

For group life insurances with no designated beneficiary Great-West Life pays the benefit based on the line of succession for the province in which the plan member lived.

What documents are required when submitting a claim for RCMP Pension Plan benefits?

Table Summary

This table displays what documents are you required to provide when submitting a claim for public service pension plan benefits.

If you are the… You need to provide…
Legal spouse (legally married to the plan member)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Death certificate
Common-law partner
  • Sworn statement
  • Other reasonable evidence establishing the conjugal nature and duration of the relationship (for example, documents related to a mortgage, a lease, a joint bank account, etc.)
  • Death certificate
Eligible child under age 18
  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption papers or proof of guardianship
  • Death certificate
Eligible child 18 years of age or older but under 25 years of age
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of full-time attendance at school or at another educational institution since the age of 18 or since the date of the member's death, whichever is later
  • Death certificate

Where do you send the claim documents?

You must send the required documents to the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

How is the survivor benefit paid?

The Survivor Benefits are paid in monthly installments for life.

Through direct deposit, the benefit is deposited in your bank account on the third last banking day of the month. Direct deposit is preferable and more secure but if you choose payment by cheque, you should receive it by the end of each month.

How is the child allowance paid?

For a child under the age of 18, the child allowance is normally paid to the survivor on behalf of the child.

Payment is made to the person who has custody of the child when:

  • The child does not live with the survivor
  • The survivor's death occurs while the child is still eligible for the child allowance

The allowance is paid directly to the child if he/she is older than 18 years of age and less than 25 years of age and a full-time student.

Are the survivor benefit and child allowance protected from inflation?

Yes. On January 1st, the amounts are adjusted based on the cost of living.

When do survivor benefits end?

Payment of the Survivor Benefits ceases on the survivor's death.

The child allowance is paid to each child as long as he or she remains eligible to receive it. Normally, this means:

  • Until the month in which the child turns 18 years of age or
  • If 18 or older, until the child stops attending an educational institution full-time or turns 25, whichever comes first

Is your survivor benefit affected by the coordination of benefits with the CPP/QPP?

Survivors' benefits are not subject to an adjustment at age 65 due to the Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan Coordination. Survivor benefits are normally equal to half of the plan member's pension entitlement; that is, half of the plan member's pension when calculated before any adjustments. As a survivor, you can receive benefits under the CPP / QPP and also receive a full survivor benefit under the RCMP Pension Plan.

Visit the Canada Pension Plan Web site or the Survivor Benefits section of the Quebec Pension Plan for more information regarding entitlements under these plans.

Are you eligible for the public service group insurance plans? If so, when does coverage take effect?

In general, the survivor of a deceased plan member who is entitled to a survivor benefit under the RCMP Pension Plan is also eligible for coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan. Coverage is also available to eligible family members.

Participation in these plans is optional and the Government of Canada Pension Centre can provide information on how to join.

If there is no surviving spouse, eligible children (including full-time students) who are entitled to a child allowance are normally eligible for coverage under both these plans.

If the deceased member had family coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan, coverage will be continuous if the survivor applies within 60 days of the member's death.

If the deceased member was not covered by the Public Service Health Care Plan, or did not have family coverage, such coverage can be obtained but it will not take effect until three months after the application is received.

You can be covered by the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan even if you do not reside in Canada. For more information, please contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

Important note for residents of Quebec

If you are a Quebec resident, you are automatically covered by law under the prescription drug insurance plan of La Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) once you reach 65 years of age.

In July 2001, the Superior Court of Quebec determined that federal employees are entitled to coverage under both RAMQ and the Public Service Health Care Plan.

For further information on coverage under the RAMQ plan or to find out how to cancel your enrolment in this plan, please refer to the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) website.

Does the Public Service Health Care Plan continue to cover the same expenses as those covered before the plan member's death?

Yes. Coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan is the same.

Does the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan continue to cover the same expenses as those covered before the plan member's death?

If the plan member was still employed at the time of death, your dental service plan as a dependent is different from the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan available to survivors. Consequently, the expenses covered, the percentages and the reimbursement maximums may be different.

If the member was retired and covered by the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan, the coverage remains the same.

When does coverage end under the public service group insurance benefit plans?

A person receiving a survivor benefit remains covered by the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan as long as he/she pays the required contribution and continues to receive an RCMP pension benefit.

Children, including full-time students, receiving a child allowance remain covered by the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan as long as they are eligible children and the required contribution is paid.

When the survivor dies, Pensioners' Dental Services Plan coverage ends for all family members.

Living or Moving Outside of Canada

The following information is for survivors who live or move outside of Canada and want to know how their place of residence affects RCMP Pension Plan benefits and group insurance benefits plan coverage.

You may want to know…

What do you do if you live or move outside of Canada?

Contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre without delay to:

  • Provide your new address
  • Find out whether your move will impact your survivor benefit, your insurance benefits plan coverage or your income tax

Can you receive your survivor benefit payment at an address outside of Canada?

Yes. The payment will be issued in the currency of the country where you live.

Can the direct deposit of your survivor benefit be sent to a bank outside of Canada?

Yes. If you live in one of the countries accepting foreign direct deposits, your survivor benefit can be deposited directly into your account. The deposit is made in the currency of the country in which you live.

Go to the Public Works and Government Services Canada Direct Deposit site to view the list of countries accepting foreign direct deposit and to download the enrolment form.

Is your survivor benefit paid in Canadian dollars or foreign currency?

If your survivor benefit is deposited directly in your bank account in Canada, it is paid in Canadian dollars. If it is deposited in an account with a bank abroad or if you receive it by cheque, the amount is converted into the currency of the country where you live.

Is your survivor benefit indexed according to the increase in the cost of living in the country where you live?

No. Survivor benefits are indexed according to the cost of living in Canada.

Do you have to pay income tax on the survivor benefit that you receive abroad?

Yes. Tax is usually withheld at source unless you have obtained a tax exemption.

How is the amount of income tax to be withheld from your survivor benefit determined if you live outside of Canada?

The amount of income tax to be withheld from your survivor benefit is determined by your country of residence, in accordance with the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) directives on income tax and non-residents. We recommend visiting the CRA website and using the "non-resident tax calculator".

Do you have to file a tax return in Canada for survivor benefits received abroad?

You may have to file a Canadian tax return even if you no longer live in Canada. For further details on the tax rules applicable to non-residents, please consult the Canada Revenue Agency's guide entitled Non-Residents and Income Tax.

Can you get a tax exemption or reduction in the amount of non-resident tax that is withheld from your survivor benefit?

The Government of Canada Pension Centre is required to withhold tax according to your country of residence. Any exemption or reduction must be authorized in writing by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Please contact the CRA's International Tax Services Office to obtain an exemption or reduction.

What type of tax slip will you receive for your survivor benefit if you live outside of the country?

As a non-resident, you will receive an NR4 slip indicating your survivor benefit income.

If part of your survivor benefit income is paid under the terms of the Retirement Compensation Arrangements (RCA), you will also receive an NR4-RCA slip.

However, the total amount of income tax withheld from all pension benefits under the RCMP Pension Plan and the RCA will be reported only on the NR4 slip.

For the year that you move outside Canada, you will receive both a T4A and an NR4 slip for that year.

Does your Public Service Health Care Plan coverage continue if you live or move outside of Canada?

Yes. Public Service Health Care Plan coverage can continue but you have to apply for Comprehensive coverage.

Contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre to discuss your coverage abroad.

Is Public Service Health Care Plan coverage the same for Canadian residents and non-residents?

Not necessarily. For example, hospital insurance coverage may be different. The cost of coverage for those living abroad is higher than it is for Canadian residents. For information concerning rates and coverage, please consult the Public Service Health Care Plan Directive.

Are you covered by the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan if you live outside of Canada?

Yes. You are covered by the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan provided you continue to pay your contributions. Reimbursement is based on reasonable dental charges in the area where the services were performed. Eligible expenses are reimbursed in Canadian dollars.

Can reimbursements for expenses covered by the Public Service Health Care Plan or the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan be deposited directly into your non-Canadian bank account?

If you live outside of Canada, eligible Public Service Health Care Plan and Pensioners' Dental Services Plan expenses will be reimbursed by cheque. Payment can be made by direct deposit into Canadian bank accounts only.

Death of a Survivor

As the survivor of a RCMP Pension Plan member, some benefits and coverage continue upon your death while others cease.

You may want to know…

What happens to your survivor benefit upon your death?

Your Survivor Benefits are payable until the end of the month during which you die.

What happens to the child allowance upon your death?

Upon your death, the children continue to receive a child allowance for as long as they are entitled to it. Following your death, the child allowance is doubled.

Is there a minimum amount guaranteed under the RCMP Pension Plan?

Yes. The RCMP Pension Plan guarantees that a minimum benefit equal to five times the plan member's unreduced annual pension payment will be paid out. If the total payments made to the plan member and to the survivor and children are less than the minimum guaranteed amount, the balance will be paid to the designated beneficiary or the estate. For more information, please refer to minimum benefit.

Does public service group insurance benefits plan coverage continue for any surviving children upon your death?

Any child who is entitled to the child allowance may continue to be covered by the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan as long as the child applies for his/her own coverage and the required contributions are paid.

If you have remarried or established a common-law relationship prior to your death, your new spouse or common law partner's health and dental care coverage ends upon your death.

Remarrying or Taking a New Common-Law Partner

Remarried, or are in a new common-law relationship, you may be wondering whether you or your children are still entitled to RCMP Pension Plan benefits and group insurance plan coverage.

You may want to know…

If you remarry, does the survivor benefit under the RCMP Pension Plan end?

No. The Survivor Benefits are payable for life and are not affected by remarriage.

Is the payment of the child allowance affected by remarriage or a new common-law relationship?

No. The child allowance for a surviving child is paid until the end of the month in which he/she turns 18 years of age. If 18 or older, the allowance is paid until he/she stops attending an educational institution full-time or turns 25 years of age, whichever comes first.

Is your new spouse and/or dependent child eligible to be covered under the public service group insurance benefit plans?

If you have opted for coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan or the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan as a survivor, you can apply for coverage for your new eligible spouse and/or dependent children.

To do this, contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre.