How your pension plan protects you 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
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 Québec Pension Plan. 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 Québec Pension Plan and the amount of other benefits to which your family could be entitled when you die, consult your Statement of Participation.
Two ways to obtain your Statement of Participation
View it online
You must have a clicSÉQUR account or create one when you start the service.
You will receive it by mail within 15 working days.
Ask for your Statement of Participation under your public-sector pension plan (ex.: RREGOP, PPMP, etc.)
There are two documents that can provide you with information on your participation data under your public-sector pension plan: your Statement of Contributions and your Statement of Participation.
Two documents to better plan
|Statement of Contributions||Statement of Participation|
The document gives the total participation data under your pension plan, data that we receive each year from your employer(s).
It provides detailed information about membership in a pension plan as at 31 December of a given year and presents an estimate of your retirement pension and the death benefits that could be paid to your family.
You can file an application using the Application for Statement of Contributions or by calling us.
Statements of Participation are sent by mail on different dates according to the plan or sector.
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.
By law, 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.
Consult the 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 LIRA or LIF will be paid in priority to your recognized spouse, unless he or she has waived it. Your spouse can waive at any time his or her rights to receive the balance of your LIRA or 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 LIRA or 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 LIRAs and 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 LIRA or 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 LIRAs and LIFs for additional information.
What are the first steps to take in the event of death?
Following the death of a family member, it is important to notify Retraite Québec as soon as possible. Consult our Action to take in the event of death section for further information.
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