Pensions and marital breakdowns: information for lawyers

Lawyers are often asked to advise clients about dividing a pension benefit between a plan member and a former spouse. Learn more about the information and documents we need to administer a pension following a relationship breakdown.

A checklist of what you need to do

In the case of a separation or divorce, the plan member, their former spouse can take the following actions:

□ Submit an authorization form if they wish BC Pension Corporation to release information to a third party, including legal counsel

□ Ensure the complete, signed separation agreement or registered court order outlines how the pension is to be divided between the member and former spouse. The document should address all contingencies for dividing a pension, including what happens if the member:

□ terminates employment before the agreed-upon retirement date
□ purchases additional service or goes on disability leave
□ dies before retirement (if a different proportionate share is agreed upon in the event of a death)
□ transfers service to another pension plan

□ Submit proof-of-age documents

□ Submit any other relevant forms

□ Ensure contact information for the plan member and former spouse is current and up to date

As legal counsel for a plan member or former spouse, you can also take these actions on your client's behalf.