If you are not married or in a civil union, your pension plan will recognize as your spouse the person of the opposite sex or the same sex that you presented as your spouse. At the time of your death, that person must not be married to or in a civil union with another person and must have been living in a conjugal relationship with you for at least 3 years.

That period is only one year (instead of 3) if:

  • a child was born or is to be born of your union; OR
  • you and your spouse jointly adopted a child during your union; OR
  • you or your spouse adopted the other's child during your union.

When a member or retiree dies, a public-sector pension plan provides for the priority payment of benefits to the surviving spouse. The benefits vary depending on the pension plan and status of the deceased member or retiree at the time of his or her death.

However, the spouse can waive his or her spousal benefits in favour of the heirs and subsequently revoke such a waiver by notifying us in writing. We must receive the notice before the member or retiree dies. If the notice is incomplete, the waiver or revocation of the waiver will be deemed invalid.

A waiver of spousal benefits or a revocation of such a waiver must meet the following requirements:

  • It must refer to all benefits.
  • We must receive it before the death of the plan member or retiree.
  • It must be made using the Notice of Waiver or Revocation (161A) or a written notice that provides the following information required by regulation:
    • the pension plan covered by the waiver
    • the name and address of the plan member or retiree
    • the name and address of the renouncing spouse
    • the date of the notice.

No, the waiver under the RREGOP is not valid under the PPMP.

When a person participates in more than one pension plan, a waiver is needed for each plan. In addition, when a person changes plans, a new notice must be sent to us.

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