Waiving spousal rights

Your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your pension. Learn what's involved if your spouse wants to give up their right to receive a pension benefit when you die.

Pre-retirement: Waiving the right to a death benefit

Your spouse is entitled to receive a death benefit if you die before you apply for your pension. They can give up this right by submitting Form 4 Spouse’s waiver of beneficiary right to benefits in a pension plan, locked-in retirement account, life income fund or annuity before pension or annuity payments start.

You can then name a beneficiary other than your spouse to receive your pension benefit. You must submit the Form 4 waiver along with your Nomination of beneficiary (pre-retirement) form.

If your spouse gives up their right to the death benefit and you die before applying for a pension, your named beneficiary will receive this benefit as a lump-sum payment.

You can access Form 4, at: Your pension > Beneficiaries > Learn about waiving spousal rights > Submit a form to waive your pre-retirement death (survivor) benefit.