Changing Your Marital Status

What you need to know

New Marital Relationship After Retirement:

  • If you have no eligible survivors* and you begin a new marital relationship after your pension has begun, your new spouse is not automatically entitled to a 60% survivor pension.
  • If you wish to provide your new spouse with a lifetime survivor pension, you will have to pay for the pension through a reduction to your pension.
  • You may start the process by completing the Application for Post-Retirement Spouse Survivor Pension Application.
    • If you are married, you must apply within 90 days of your date of marriage. 
    • If you are in a common law relationship, you must apply within 90 days of the third year anniversary of the date your common-law relationship began.
    • If you miss the 90 day window, you may still apply, but your application must include a Certificate of Health signed by your physician certifying that you are in good health.
  • You may choose to provide your new spouse with a survivor pension equal to 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, or 75% of your lifetime pension.  The cost of the survivor pension will vary depending on the option you choose. 
  • OPTrust will send you a quote outlining the cost for each option and an election form. 
  • Once you have returned the completed election form, your pension will be reduced to pay for the survivor pension for your new spouse. 
  • The reduction to your pension will remain in effect for your lifetime, even if your new spouse dies before you do.
  • If you qualify for post-retirement insured benefits and your pension has been reduced to provide a survivor pension for your new spouse, your new spouse will qualify to receive post-retirement insured benefits coverage after you die.

*eligible survivors include an eligible spouse at retirement or eligible children.  


Breakdown of your marital relationship after January 1, 2012:

Contact OPTrust if your marital relationship breakdown occurred before January 1, 2012

  • pensions are considered a family asset and subject to Family Law rules regarding division of assets
    Division of assets

    the only option is to divide your OPTrust pension by paying a portion to your former spouse

    • pension law limits the amount payable to a former spouse up to a maximum of 50% of the pension you earned during your spousal relationship

  • if you die before your former spouse, he or she may be entitled to a survivor pension based on 60% of your pension before it was split

How to update your status

When starting a new spousal relationship

  • send OPTrust a copy of your:
  • notify OPTrust if you are changing your surname
  • update your beneficiaries using the paper form
  • add your new spouse to your insured benefits coverage


In a spousal relationship breakdown:

  • complete the Family Law form if applicable
  • review your beneficiary information and update it as necessary

When to contact us

  • any life changes – marriage, new common-law spouse, separation, divorce, death, new beneficiaries
  • changes to contact information – address, phone number, e-mail address

Forms you need to complete

New Spouse

Marital Relationship Breakdown

PART 1: The application process 

Member completes these forms: 

PART 2: Determining the value – within 60 days OPTrust determines value sends both parties a copy of Statement of Family Law Value

PART 3: Decision re division of pension

Jointly completed by member and ex-spouse

Additional forms to complete, if applicable


Background material for more information