Plan changes improve survivor benefits for dependent children

posting date Posted: April 1, 2023

Effective April 1, 2023, the following changes have been made that will impact the survivor benefits payable from the OPSEU Pension Plan:

  • The definition of an eligible child has been expanded so disabled dependent children may be entitled to receive a survivor pension.
  • The eligible children of members who die before they retire are now second in line to receive a survivor pension after a member’s spouse.
New definition of child

Previously, a member’s children were only eligible for a survivor pension if they were under the age of 18, or older and in continuous full-time attendance at a secondary school or a post-secondary school for up to five years immediately following secondary school.

Under the new rules, disabled dependent children who meet certain eligibility criteria will now also be entitled to a survivor pension, regardless of their age and education, after the death of a member and their surviving spouse.

New order of entitlement for pre-retirement survivor benefits

Before this change, when a member died before retirement their eligible children were second in line for a survivor pension only for pension service earned before 1987.

Under the new rules, if a member dies before they retire a survivor pension for pension service after 1986 will be payable to the member’s eligible children if:

  • the member does not have a spouse at the time of their death, or
  • the member’s spouse has waived their right to a survivor benefit, or
  • the spouse dies while they are entitled to a survivor pension.

If a member dies before they retire and they do not have a spouse or eligible children, the survivor benefits are payable to the member’s designated beneficiary(s) or to their estate.

More information

Please read our survivor benefit fact sheets to learn more about these changes and how they impact the survivor benefits that may be payable if a member dies before or after they retire.

OPTrust will be updating all relevant communications on our website to reflect these changes in the coming months.