Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Resources

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Naming Beneficiaries

Anyone can be named as your pension plan beneficiary but this designation is subject to certain restrictions under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act:

One of the requirements under the Act relates specifically to the rights of a qualifying spouse (as defined below).  If a member of any Ontario pension plan dies prior to initiating pension payments, and there is a qualifying spouse as of the date of death, the law clearly provides that regardless of any prior beneficiary designation (including a will), it is the qualifying spouse that is entitled to receive any death benefit payable from the pension plan.

Therefore if you have a qualifying spouse or a spouse that may become a qualifying spouse at the time of your death,  and you wish for someone other than your qualifying spouse to receive the death benefit from the pension plan, then Form 4,  Waiver of Pre-Retirement Death Benefit must be completed and submitted to Pension Services. 

A qualifying spouse is defined in the Pension Benefits Act and is the person who is either:

  • Legally married to you and not living separate and apart from you; or
  • Not legally married to you but in a conjugal relationship with you continuously for a period of not less than three years, or
  • Not legally married to you but in a conjugal relationship of some permanence and you are the parents of a child as set out in section  of the Children’s Law Reform Act. 

Minor Children as Beneficiaries – General Information

If a minor child is named as beneficiary in the absence of a named trustee and the staff member dies before the child is 18, the proceeds may have to be paid to the Province’s Official Guardian and held in trust. A trustee may be appointed via the Beneficiary Change Form, and such appointment will remain valid once the beneficiary reaches the age of majority unless a trustee expiration date is provided.

Plan members are urged to check their beneficiary designation periodically to ensure it reflects current estate requirements.

Questions? Contact Us.