Marriage, Common Law, Separation & Divorce

Change in Marital Status

For marital/relationship status changes, please see the sections below on required documents to be submitted to the UBC Pension Administration office. Please complete a new Beneficiary Designation Form and submit it to the UBC Pension Administration Office. See Designating Your Beneficiary for additional details.

Marriage & Common Law

As a member of the UBC Staff Pension Plan (SPP), if you are married, your spouse must be your primary beneficiary under British Columbia Pension Legislation. Should your spouse wish to waive their right to the death benefits, they must complete a Spouse’s Waiver of Pre-Retirement Benefit form.

The Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA) defines a spouse to be a person, regardless of gender, who at the relevant time is:

  1. married to the Member and has not been living separate and apart from the Member for a continuous period longer than two years; or
  2. living with the Member in a marriage-like relationship for a period of at least two years immediately preceding the relevant time; where the “relevant time” means the date of an event giving rise to an entitlement to benefits under Plan.

Your annual Staff Pension Plan member statement confirms the name of your spouse that we have on file for you, if applicable.

Marriage Breakdown, Separation & Divorce

If you are in the process of a separation or divorce, the UBC Pension Administration Office requires specific document(s) pertaining to the division of your UBC SPP benefits with your former spouse. We will require a copy of your signed separation agreement, court order or Form P9 – Agreement to Have Benefits Divided. See the section below for required documentation.

Going through a marriage breakdown can be a very stressful time and we strongly encourage you to contact the UBC Pension Administration Office if you have any questions around which documents are required. You can be assured of the strictest confidentiality in dealing with matters regarding your pension benefit and your separation.

For further information, please refer to our Marriage Separation and Divorce Information Sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions & Required Documentation

What is a Form P1?

The Form P1 – Claim and Request for Information and Notice is completed by the former spouse to inform the Plan that s/he has claim of interest in a member’s pension. Once the Plan receives this notice, the Plan is able to provide the former spouse with information about the pension. It also requires that the former spouse be given advance notice before the Plan acts on any direction received from the plan member. Note that no funds are transferred upon receipt of Form P1.

What happens when the court order or separation agreement is finalized?

Once there is a signed court order or separation agreement that describes the division of pension, the former spouse must complete Form P2 – Request for Designation as Limited Member, attach the court order or separation agreement and submit to the UBC Pension Administration Office.

How does the former spouse request that they receive their entitlement?

If the plan member is at least age 55 (or has terminated their employment with UBC), the former spouse can complete Form P4 – Request by Limited Member for Transfer or Separate Pension.  Once this form has been received by the UBC Pension Administration Office, a package will be mailed out directly to the former spouse informing her/him of the amount of their entitlement and the options. At the same time, a Form P6 – Notice of Receipt will be mailed to the plan member informing them that the Plan will be processing the request by the former spouse.

What if we don’t have a court order or separation agreement but we still want to split the pension funds?

Form P9 – Agreement to Have Benefits Divided can be used to satisfy the requirement for an agreement under Part 6 of the Family Law Act. Both parties must be in agreement about dividing the benefits and the dates to be used for that purpose.

Can you provide me with the value of my pension before we start negotiating a settlement?

If you and your former spouse are trading other family assets rather than splitting your pension, you may need to know the value of your pension. The Pension Administration Office is not able to provide you with the value of your pension benefit for marriage breakdown purposes. You should also be aware that the value of the pension benefit is not based on the contributions that have been made to the plan. Your pension benefit is family property, and the value of a pension benefit as family property is calculated differently than the value that the Pension Administration Office determines when a plan member terminates their employment. If you would like to know the monetary value of your pension, you will need to hire an independent actuary.