Power of attorney and representation agreements
What is power of attorney? Discover the different types and how to set one up to protect your decisions.
Note: This page is for information purposes only. It is up to date as of September 1, 2023. It does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer about your specific situation.
Power of attorney
A general power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more adults, a financial institution or the Public Guardian and Trustee, to manage your financial and legal matters when you are not available. A general power of attorney ends if you become incapable of making decisions or upon death.
Enduring power of attorney
An enduring power of attorney (EPOA) is also a legal document that lets you appoint one or more adults, a financial institution, or the Public Guardian and Trustee to manage your legal and financial matters. An enduring power of attorney can be used when you are incapable of making decisions on your legal and financial matters or need help making your own decisions. An enduring power of attorney ends upon your death.
A representation agreement (RA) is a legal document that authorizes one or more adults, a financial institution, or the Public Guardian and Trustee, to act on behalf of another person.
Representation agreements can cover personal, health care, and financial decisions. To be valid for pension administration purposes, the representation agreement must include a clause allowing the other person to manage your finances.
A committee is a person appointed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia to make decisions for the plan member. The committee must act in the plan member's best interests. The court may also limit the committee’s powers.
A committee may be required by the court if you are deemed incapable of making decisions, managing yourself or affairs and you do not have a valid enduring power of attorney or representation agreement. In this condition, you are not able to appoint an attorney or representative to act on your behalf.
Using a power of attorney or representation agreement from outside British Columbia (BC)
Subject to the legislation in force, we may be able to accept a power of attorney from:
- Canada (outside of BC)
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
When a power of attorney is made outside of BC, it will need to meet signing requirements under BC legislation. We will require a Certificate of Extrajurisdictional Solicitor signed by a lawyer in the jurisdiction where the power of attorney is from. If you have a power of attorney from a jurisdiction outside of BC, please contact us to discuss your specific document.
What the pension plan requires
The following items are required:
- At least three (3) plan member identifiers, for example, full first and last name, Person ID number, mailing address including city and postal code; and
- A clear and complete copy of the current power of attorney, representation agreement or court order confirming committee appointment; and
- Government issued identification and contact details for all attorneys or representatives who will be acting on behalf of the plan member
We will review the submissions and contact you if we require more information.
How to submit documents
Plan members can attach documents through the Message Centre in My Account.
Once the power of attorney, representation agreement or committee is processed and added to the plan member account, the Message Centre in My Account will become disabled.
Attorneys and other representatives can submit documents by mail, fax or email.
Please contact us if you have any questions.