Survivor benefits if you die after retirement

Usually survivor benefits are automatically payable to your eligible spouse. But, you may not have a surviving eligible spouse. If you die after you have started receiving a pension and you do not have an eligible spouse or eligible children, no further pension amounts will be paid from the OPSEU Pension Plan.


If you die after retirement, the benefits normally flow as follows:

benefits flow

If you die after you have started receiving an OPTrust pension, under the current terms of the Plan, your eligible spouse or eligible child (for as long as the child is eligible) will receive a survivor pension based on 60% of the pension you were receiving when you died. If you die before age 65, you would be receiving a CPP bridge pension in addition to your retirement pension. The CPP bridge ends on the date you would have turned 65. On that date, your survivor’s pension is adjusted to 60% of what you (the member) would have received upon turning 65.

Pension used to calculate survivor benefits

The following example shows how a survivor pension changes if the member dies before age 65. At age 65, the member’s CPP bridge pension would have ended. Therefore, the survivor’s pension is reduced to 60% of the member’s pension (without the CPP bridge).

example of survivor benefits calculation


If your surviving spouse remarries after your death, he or she will continue to receive a survivor pension for his or her lifetime. However, if your surviving spouse remarries, his or her new spouse is not eligible for survivor pension benefits.


If you die after your pension payments have started, a lump sum residual balance may be payable. We only calculate the residual balance when there is neither an eligible spouse nor eligible children. To determine if there is any residual balance OPTrust calculates the difference between your contributions plus interest to retirement, minus all the pension payments made to you and your survivors. If your contributions and interest exceed the pension payments, we will refund the residual balance to your beneficiaries or estate. The employer’s contributions and interest are not included in this calculation.

residual balance calculation


When a retiree does not have any eligible survivors, that is, there is no eligible spouse, eligible children or other beneficiaries, any residual balance payable from the Plan will be paid to the estate of the retiree.

OPTrust sends an entitlement package to the executor of the estate when there is no survivor. This personalized information provides details of any benefits payable.

Notification of death

If you die after your pension has started, your survivor or the executor of your estate should notify OPTrust immediately.