Separation or divorce and your pension
Learn how a separation or divorce affects your pension and review the issues to consider.
Your pension is a type of family property, like a house or car, and your former spouse may be entitled to part of it. You and your former spouse may both be members of BC’s College Pension Plan or members of different pension plans; either way, the value of your pensions will be treated just like any other family property.
BC’s Family Law Act sets out how property is divided when spouses separate or divorce. Before you take any steps that will affect your pension, both you and your former spouse should get independent legal advice about your individual rights. Your lawyer may choose to review the information on this website. Neither College Pension Plan nor BC Pension Corporation can provide advice on separation or divorce and your pension.
If you and your spouse separate, your spouse may be entitled to a share of your pension based on the portion of the pension you earned while you were married.
For pension purposes, people who live together in a marriage-like relationship for a continuous period of two years or more are considered common-law spouses. Common-law spouses have the same legal rights as married spouses and are also entitled to a pension benefit.
If you were in a common-law relationship, you are considered to be separated from your spouse as soon as your relationship ends.
Deciding what to do with your pension
If you separate or divorce, you and your former spouse can agree to either:
- Divide your pension, with each of you receiving a share
- Leave your pension intact and divide your family property another way
You need to tell us if your pension is being divided so that we know how to administer it. You can do this by sending us a copy of your complete, signed separation agreement or registered court order, or a Form P9 Agreement to have benefits divided under Part 6.