Separation or divorce and your pension
Learn how a separation or divorce affects your pension and review the issues to consider.
Separation and your pension
Your pension is a type of family property. If you separate or divorce, your former spouse may be entitled to a portion of it as per the Family Law Act.
Married spousesIf you and your spouse separate, your spouse may be entitled to a share of your pension based on the portion of the pension you earned while you were married.
If you were married, you are considered to be separated from your spouse after you have been separated for two years or submit a signed separation agreement or registered court order to the plan.
People who live together in a marriage-like relationship for a continuous period of two years or more are considered to be common-law spouses. Common-law spouses have the same legal rights as married spouses and are also entitled to a pension benefit.
If you were in a common-law relationship, you are considered to be separated from your spouse as soon as your relationship ends.
Deciding what to do with your pension
If you separate or divorce, you and your former spouse can agree to either:
- Divide your pension, with each of you receiving a share
- Leave the pension intact and divide your family property another way
You need to tell us if your pension is being divided so that we know how to administer it. You can do this by sending us a copy of your signed separation agreement, registered court order or a Form P9 Agreement to have benefits divided.