Beneficiaries and your pension

Learn the options available to you when choosing a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for your pension benefit.

Naming multiple beneficiaries

You can name a combination of persons, trusts or organizations as your beneficiaries. However, your spouse cannot be named as one of a number of multiple beneficiaries because pension legislation requires that if you have a spouse, they must be your sole beneficiary.

If you are naming more than one beneficiary, you can assign a different percentage of your pension benefit to each beneficiary. The total amount must add up to 100 per cent.

Unless you have named an alternate beneficiary, if one of your beneficiaries dies before you, the surviving beneficiary(ies) will share the deceased beneficiary’s percentage of your pension benefit.

For example, you could name your two adult children and a favourite charity as beneficiaries. You could assign 45 per cent of your pension benefit to each child and 10 per cent to the charity. The total adds up to 100 per cent. If one child died before you and you did not update your beneficiaries before your own death, your deceased child’s 45 per cent portion would be divided into two and shared equally with your surviving child and the charity.