First steps to take in the event of a separation

What is Retraite Québec's role with citizens going through a separation?

Retraite Québec is a partner of your financial security.We are liable for the administration or the supervision of the following pension plans:

  • the Québec Pension Plan (QPP), mandatory public plan
  • public-sector pension plans (RREGOP, PPMP, etc.)
  • pension plans in the private, municipal and university sectors.

Partition of retirement pension plans can be carried out between former spouses following a separation.

Retraite Québec administers the Québec Family Allowance.We are liable for the administration and the payment of the following benefits:

  • Family Allowance
  • the Supplement for the Purchase of School Supplies
  • the Supplement for Handicapped Children 
  • the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care.

Parents must find out about the steps to take following a separation.

Steps to take with Retraite Québec

Family Allowance payments are made by Retraite Québec to provide assistance to families with a dependent child or children under age 18. The measure includes the Family Allowance payment, the Supplement for the Purchase of School Supplies, the Supplement for Handicapped Children and the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care.

Following a separation, you must take steps in order to update your personal file. This step makes it possible to offer each eligible parent his or her portion of the Family Allowance payment, but also to avoid for a parent to have to repay overpayments following a change in the family situation.

The Family Allowance amount

The amount of Family Allowance varies from one family to another.

It is calculated based on the following:

  • the number of children under age 18 who are living with you
  • the number of children in shared custody or in sole custody
  • the conjugal status (with or without a spouse)
  • the family income, which is calculated based on one of the following situations:
    • combined income of the 2 parents who form a couple
    • combined income of the 2 spouses who form a blended family
    • the parent's personal income in the case of a single‑parent family.

Are you eligible?

Estimate your percentage of custody time

The child lives with you

day(s)   par

Your percentage of custody time is Note that the result remains an estimate. Please refer to a family mediation service or legal representative if necessary.

Select your current situation to find out which steps to take:

Following a separation, the earnings recorded under the Québec Pension Plan, as well as the amounts accrued under a pension plan by either spouse or both, during the union, could be subject to partition.

Three types of pension plans

Québec Pension Plan
DescriptionQuébec's public and mandatory plan
Who to contactRetraite Québec
Public-sector pension plans
DescriptionPension plans for employees in the Québec health and social services sector, the education sector and the public service sector (RREGOP, PPMP, etc.)
Who to contactRetraite Québec
Pension plans of the private, municipal and university sectors
DescriptionSupplemental pension plans offered by the employer
Who to contactPlan administrator

The three steps for partition of the benefits accrued under a pension plan

1

Request an assessment

You can request, free of charge and at any time, an assessment for partition of the benefits accrued under a pension plan, in the event of a separation.

A person thinking about renouncing partition should take this step, which allows him or her to make an informed decision.

2

Request for partition to be carried out

You can officially request for partition of the benefits accrued under a pension plan to be carried out if you are separating.

The type of union will determine the steps to take.

Please select your type of union in the following table.

3

Receive a confirmation by mail

Once the process has been completed, you will receive a written confirmation from the pension plan administrator.

Each person concerned by the partition process will receive a detailed and personalized letter.

Types of unions and the steps to take

You were married or in a civil union

Civil union and marriage (civil or religious) are solemn acts for which two people publicly express their free and informed consent to live together and to respect the obligations and rights associated with this civil status.

Unlike marriage, a civil union is only valid in Quebec. The civil union was created in 2002, to allow the union of same-sex spouses. It still exists, although marriage has been possible for same-sex couples since 2005.

You were in a de facto union

A de facto union exists when a couple lives together and whether or not they start a family.

Therefore, these two people are de facto spouses, meaning they cohabit without being married or in a civil union.

The recognition of a union and the definition of a de facto spouse can vary from one program to another, based on the number of years of cohabitation or if a child is born from this union.

Other useful link

Steps to take with the Gouvernement du Québec

Québec.ca suggests the When a couple separates This link will open in a new window. guide.

The guide provides information on separation, divorce, family mediation and support payments. It also outlines the steps to take with government departments and agencies.

Steps to take with the Government of Canada

Canada.ca suggests the table of benefits per family situation This link will open in a new window..

The table allows you to determine whether you are eligible for the Canada child benefit, the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and the provincial and territorial programs. Do not forget to contact the Canada Revenue Agency This link will open in a new window. to notify them of the change in conjugal status, because it has an impact on your taxes and family benefits.

Questions regarding the law, finances and psychological support

Juridiqc has a website on separation and divorce This link will open in a new window..

The website provides you with a resource directory of legal, psychological and financial professionals. You will also find a list of free or low-cost resources. Check out the information gathered under 5 topics:

  • home, property, money
  • children
  • adjusting to a separation
  • mediation
  • Court.
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