Pension assets are an important part of the savings of the Member of the Plan and are considered to be part of the family assets. Spouses of plan members have enforceable legal rights to a share in the benefits of the plan. The division of Pension assets is not automatic after a separation or divorce.
Pension plans must follow provincial property laws as well as pension regulations when a plan member or former spouse requests a division of pension benefits.
First, the former spouse should complete the Claim of Spouse to Interest in Member’s Pension (Form 1) to notify the Plan Administrator of the former spouse’s legal interest in the Member’s Pension.
Second, the former spouse should complete the Request for Designation as Limited Member of Pension Plan (Form 2) to become a “Limited Member” of the Pension Plan.
If the separation agreement or court order dividing the Member’s Pension was dated after July 1, 1995, the former spouse should also complete the Request by a Limited Member for Transfer or Pension (Form 4) to split the Member’s Pension. If the separation agreement or court order was dated prior to July 1, 1995, the former spouse should use the Request in Relation to a Matured Pension Divided under an Agreement or Court Order made before July 1, 1995 (Form 5) to direct the Plan Administrator on how to split the Member’s Pension.
Once the Plan Administrator has received any of these forms from the former spouse, the Administrator will send a Notice of Receipt (Form 6) to the Plan Member to notify them of the former spouse’s claim. This form is for informational purposes only. No action is required by the Plan Member if he/she receives this form from the Plan Administrator.
Please contact the Plan Administrator for a copy of the appropriate forms.
Questions and Answers about Pension Division on Marriage Breakdown in British Columbia can be found at www.bcli.org