Beneficiaries and your pension

Learn the options available to you when choosing a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for your pension benefit.

Your pension is a secure lifetime source of income after you retire. In addition to the financial security it provides you, your pension may also provide financial care for your beneficiaries after your death. Your beneficiaries can be family members, friends, charities or organizations that are important to you.

If you die before you retire, BC's College Pension Plan will pay a death benefit to your beneficiary(ies).

If you die after you retire, the plan may pay a death benefit to your beneficiary(ies) based on the pension option you chose when you retired.

The beneficiary(ies) you name while you are working are entitled to a portion of your pension if you die before retirement. When you apply for your pension, you can name the same beneficiary(ies) or different ones.

It's a good idea to talk with an estate planner, lawyer or financial adviser to determine the best choice for you when it comes to naming beneficiaries.

This video introduces you to the importance of nominating your pension beneficiaries.

There are two default beneficiaries: your spouse and your estate.

Your spouse

Your spouse is automatically your beneficiary when you die. Your spouse is the person you are married to or have been in a common-law relationship with for a continuous period of more than two years.

By signing a waiver, your spouse can choose to give up their right to the death benefit they would normally receive when you die.

If you do not have a spouse, or if your spouse has waived their right to a death benefit, you can name other people, charities or organizations as your beneficiaries.

You can also name a trust as your beneficiary. This is helpful if your beneficiary is a minor at the time of your death or is not able to manage their own finances.

You can name one or more alternate beneficiaries for each beneficiary. If a beneficiary dies before you, the alternate beneficiary(ies) will receive the death benefit when you die.

Your estate

If you do not have a spouse and have not named a beneficiary, your estate is automatically your beneficiary when you die. Your executor will be responsible for distributing the death benefit. If you do not have a legal will, someone must apply to the courts to administer your estate.

You can also name your estate as your beneficiary. The death benefit will then be paid to your estate and distributed according to the instructions in your will.

Sign in to My Account to view your current beneficiary information.

If you are a member of more than one pension plan administered by BC Pension Corporation, you need to submit a separate beneficiary nomination form for each plan.