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:
- marriage certificate and Statement of Marital Status form
- spouse’s birth certificate
- notify OPTrust if you are changing your surname
- update your beneficiaries using the paper form
- add your new spouse to your insured benefits coverage
- send OPTrust:
- Statement of Marital Status form and proof of a three-year continuous common-law relationship
- copy of your spouse’s birth certificate
- update your beneficiaries using the paper form or through your Online Services account
- decide if you want your pension reduced to provide a survivor pension for your new spouse
- add your new spouse to your insured benefit 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
- Application for Post-Retirement Spouse Survivor Pension Application
- Pension Beneficiaries
Marital Relationship Breakdown
PART 1: The application process
Member completes these forms:
- Application for Family Law Value - FSCO Family Law form 1
- Joint Declaration of Period of Spousal Relationship – FSCO Family Law form 2
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
- if no division, complete No Division of Family Law Value/Pension Assets or provide a certified copy of your court order or separation agreement stating the decision made regarding the division of the pension
- Division of pension – ex-spouse to complete Application to Transfer the Family Law Value
- applying to divide the pension - Family Law form 4E
- provide certified copy of your court order or separation agreement stating the decision made regarding the division of the pension
- Pension Beneficiaries
Additional forms to complete, if applicable
- Contact Person Authorization – FSCO Family Law form 3 (optional)
- Division of pension – Application to Transfer the Family Law Value – to be completed by your former spouse
Background material for more information
- Updating your marital status information (fact sheet)
- Family Law and Your Pension (Post-2011 Rules) (fact sheet)
- Your pension beneficiaries (fact sheet)
- How to prove your spousal relationship (fact sheet)