Choose your pension option

This important decision will determine the amount of your lifetime monthly pension payments and the amount your spouse or beneficiaries may receive when you die.


Single life pension options

You can choose a single life pension option if you are single or your spouse has given up their right to your pension.

With a single life pension, you can choose a lifetime monthly pension payment with:

  • A guarantee period of 5, 10 or 15 years
If you die before the end of the period, your beneficiary(ies)   will receive your monthly pension for the remainder of the guarantee period only.
 

For example, if you choose a single life pension guaranteed for 10 years, which is 120 payments, and die before 120 payments have been made to you, what's left of your pension will be paid to your beneficiary(ies). 

If you live beyond the guarantee period, you will continue to receive your monthly pension for the rest of your life. However, when you die, no pension will be paid to your beneficiary(ies).

Beneficiary options with a single life pension

When you choose a single life pension, you can name an individual, an organization or your estate as your beneficiary(ies).

If you have a spouse,   you can only choose a single life pension if your spouse signs a waiver to give up their right to a 60% joint life option. To name a beneficiary other than your spouse for a guarantee period, your spouse must also give up their beneficiary rights.
 

Important things to keep in mind

  • No pension income will be paid to your spouse or beneficiary(ies) after you die
  • If you have a spouse, you can only choose this option if your spouse gives up their beneficiary right to your pension
  • Your spouse or beneficiary(ies) will not be able to access retirement group health benefits after your death

Why choose a single life pension with a guarantee?

If you die within the guarantee period, your beneficiary will receive a time-limited income. This option often appeals to single members with dependants. The following examples show how the single life option works:

  • You have an 11-year-old child when you retire and select a 15-year guarantee. If you name your child (or a trustee or trust set up for your child under 19) as your beneficiary and die within the 15-year guarantee period, your child will receive a monthly income until they are 26.
  • Your spouse (who has given up their right to a joint life pension) has an RRSP but wants to defer cashing it in until age 71. You can support your spouse until they can access the RRSP income by selecting a 5-, 10- or 15-year guarantee period, depending on their age.
  • Your family history suggests that you will have a shorter life expectancy; choosing a guarantee period may allow you to leave a benefit to your estate.

Important things to keep in mind

  • If you outlive the guarantee period, your spouse or beneficiary(ies) will not receive any of your pension
  • If you have a spouse, you can only choose a single life pension if your spouse gives up their right to your pension

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