Waiving spousal rights
Your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your pension. Learn what's involved if your spouse wants to give up their right to receive a pension benefit when you die.
At retirement: Waiving spousal rights to a death benefit and monthly pension
Your spouse is also entitled to receive a death benefit if you die after your pension starts. The pension option you choose when you retire determines what your spouse will receive if you die before they do.
By law, if you have a spouse, you must choose a minimum 60 per cent joint life pension when you retire. If you choose a single life or joint life option less than 60 per cent, your spouse must sign a Form 2 waiver. By signing the waiver, your spouse is agreeing to give up or reduce their right to your pension benefit when you die.
Different waiver options are available within Form 2, depending on what your spouse is willing to give up. Your spouse can agree to reduce their death (survivor’s) benefit or waive all their beneficiary rights.
Waiving all beneficiary rights
If your spouse waives all beneficiary rights, it means that after you (the plan member) die, they will not receive any pension payments. You can then name someone else as your beneficiary to receive the death benefit when you die.
For instructions on how to fill out Form 2, go to Submit a form to waive your beneficiary rights to your spouse’s pension.
Reduce death (survivor’s) benefit
There are two ways in which your spouse can agree to reduce their death (survivor’s) benefit:
- Waive their right to a joint life pension but remain a beneficiary of a single life pension with a guarantee. This means your spouse will receive your pension payments only if you die before the end of the guarantee period. If you die after the guarantee period, your spouse will receive nothing.
- Waive their right to a 60 per cent lifetime death (survivor’s) benefit but remain a beneficiary and take a lesser percentage. This means your spouse will receive 100 per cent of your pension payments if you die within the guarantee period, until the period ends. After the guarantee period, your spouse will receive less than 60 per cent of your pension payment for the remainder of their life. If you die after the guarantee period ends, your spouse receives less than 60 per cent of your pension payments for the remainder of their life. The percentage they receive depends on the pension option you choose.
For instructions on how to fill out Form 2, go to Submit a form to waive your beneficiary rights to your spouse's pension. You can submit the completed Form 2 with your pension application.
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