How your pension plan protects your assets
Your membership in one or more pension plans could allow your spouse, children or heirs to receive benefits following your death.
Where to start?
The Statements of Participation and the Statements of Benefits generally show an estimate of the amounts to which your family could be entitled following your death. Keep those documents in a safe place; they will be useful at the time of your death.
Gather the required statements based on the situations that apply to you.
Ask for your Statement of Participation under the Québec Pension (QPP)
If you are working or have worked in Québec and your annual income is or was greater than $3500,
you are contributing or have contributed to the
QPP. The compulsory public insurance plan provides your family with basic financial protection in the event of death.
To find out the estimated surviving spouse's pension amount under the
QPP and the amount of other benefits to which your family could be entitled when you die, consult your Statement of Participation
now online in
My Account. You can also
request it online and you will receive a copy by mail
within 15 working days.
Ask for your Statement of Participation under your public-sector pension plan (ex.:
There are two documents that can provide you with information on your participation data under your public-sector pension plan: your Statement of Participation and your Statement of Contributions.
Statement of Participation describes the participation in a pension plan as at 31 December of a given year and shows an estimate of your retirement pension and the death benefits that could be paid to your family.
Statement of Contributions shows the cumulative of the data concerning your participation in the pension plan, which we receive annually from the employers concerned.
Ask for your Statement of Benefits under your supplemental pension plan.
Every year, your plan administrator is required to send you a statement. Please consult the statement and any other document pertaining to your plan to find out the applicable provisions in the event of death. You can also reach out to a contact person for your plan for more information.
To find out who to contact, consult the list of
Pension Plans supervised by Retraite Québec.
Ask your financial institution to send you your statements
If you hold a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) or a life income fund (LIF), please consult the documents pertaining thereto and, if necessary, contact your financial institution to find out the amounts accrued therein and the applicable provisions in the event of death.
priority is given to the spouse regarding payment of the amounts payable following a death, regardless of the testamentary provisions, where applicable. However, if the spouse
waives the benefit that could be paid to him or her, a benefit could be paid to another person, under certain conditions.
For further information on the spousal waiver
If you have benefits accrued under a public-sector pension plan
Regardless of the provisions in your will, if you have benefits accrued under a public-sector pension plan, the amounts payable following your death will automatically go to your recognized spouse,
unless he or she has waived them. More specifically, this means that the person may, before your death, waive the survivor's benefits to which he or she would be entitled, if the plan provisions allow it.
The waiver allows the heirs to receive survivors' benefits to which they would be entitled if there is no spouse. Please note that the spouse who waived his or her benefits can revoke his or her waiver at any time before the person's death. He or she must notify Retraite Québec in writing of his or her decision.
If you do not have a spouse, the benefits payable after your death will go to the heirs designated in your will. If you did not make a will, your estate, including the benefits accrued under your pension plan, will be transferred to your heirs in accordance with the provisions of the
Civil Code of Québec.
Notice of Waiver form for additional information about the benefits and plans concerned.
If you have benefits accrued under a supplemental pension plan
Generally, a death benefit is paid in priority to
the spouse of the deceased,
unless he or she has waived it. More specifically, this means that the person may, before your death, waive the survivor's benefits to which he or she would be entitled.
Consult the page pertaining to
spousal waiver for additional information.
If you have money in an
LIRA or an LIF
When you die, the balance of your
LIF will be paid in priority to your
unless he or she has waived it. Your spouse can
waive at any time his or her rights to receive the balance of your
LIF, before that amount is paid to him or her. He or she must provide the financial institution with a written notice on the matter. In that case, the balance of the
LIF will be paid to the successors (ex.: heirs).
Your spouse can also
revoke his or her waiver by sending the financial institution a written notice mentioning his or her wish, but only
before your death.
Please note that testamentary provisions that contravene regulatory provisions governing
LIFs are null and void. The regulation concerned is the
Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans.
If you do not have a spouse, the balance of your
LIF will go to the successors (ex.: heirs) designated in your will. If you did not make a will, your estate, including the benefits accrued under your pension plan, will be transferred to your heirs within the meaning of the Act.
Consult the page pertaining to
LIFs for additional information.
3 sections to consult following the death of a family member
Other useful link
- The Death section on Québec.ca indicates the steps to take following a person's death.