Separation or divorce and your pension
Learn how a separation or divorce affects your pension and review the issues to consider.
Separation and your pension
Your pension is a type of family property. If you separate or divorce, your former spouse may be entitled to a portion of it under the Family Law Act.
Married spousesIf you and your spouse separate, your spouse may be entitled to a share of your pension. (Their share will be based on the portion of the pension you earned while you were married to them.)
For pension purposes, you are considered to be separated from your married spouse as soon as one of the following occurs:
- You submit a complete, signed separation agreement or registered court order to BC's College Pension Plan
- You have been living apart from your spouse for two years
People who live together in a marriage-like relationship for a continuous period of two years or more are considered common-law spouses. A common-law spouse has the same legal rights as a married spouse. If you were in a common-law relationship, your common-law spouse may be entitled to a share of your pension. (Their share will be based on the portion of the pension you earned while you were living together.)
For pension purposes, you are considered to be separated from your common-law spouse as soon as your relationship ends.
Deciding what to do with your pension
If you separate or divorce, you and your former spouse may agree to one of these options:
- Divide your pension, with each of you receiving a share
- Leave the pension intact and divide your family property another way
You need to tell us if your pension is being divided so we know how to administer it. You can do this by sending us a copy of your complete, signed separation agreement or court order, or a Form P9 Agreement to have benefits divided under part 6.