Marriage Breakdown

In B.C. your pension is subject to the rules set out in the Family Law Act. This means that your spouse is entitled to a share of your pension, and you are entitled to a share of theirs.

There are many different ways to work this out, but in general you have three options:

  1. You can decide to keep all of your pension without dividing it. This may be appropriate if you and your spouse both have pensions of similar value, or your spouse has RRSPs that have a value similar to your pension. You should have this documented in writing; otherwise, your spouse can change their mind at any time and open up negotiations at a later date for a different share.
  2. You can divide your pension "at source." This means that your pension is split within the pension plan and you both own a share.
  3. You can keep your pension and provide a cash settlement to your spouse.

It's important to work with an actuary for a pension evaluation to help you in your negotiations.

Learn more by reading our blog by RAC founder, Michael Demner, FSA, FCIA, an actuary and expert in valuing and dividing pension benefits resulting from a marriage separation.

Always seek advice from your financial planner. If you are a member of one of the BC Public Sector Pensions plans, you can see what the Pension Corporation says about your situation. Their pages provide a detailed summary of your options.