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.

Legal considerations when dividing a pension

A pension is considered a type of family property. This means if a pension plan member separates or divorces, their former spouse or partner may be entitled to a portion of the member's pension. As the administrator of BC's Teachers' Pension Plan, BC Pension Corporation requires direction on whether to divide a pension and how to do it.

The Family Law Act (FLA) and FLA Division of Pension Regulation provide a framework for dividing family property, including pensions. While Pension Corporation and the plans it administers cannot provide legal advice, this section outlines the information and documents we require from plan members or their legal counsel to ensure pension divisions are accurately handled in separation agreements or registered court orders.

If you and your client are drafting a non-standard marital breakdown pension division, we can review the draft agreement and let you know if we can administer the division according to provincial law and plan rule requirements.