Marriage Breakdown

A pension earned in a registered pension plan by a pension plan member during their marriage or common-law relationship is considered part of “family property” in the event that the member’s spousal relationship ends (a “marriage breakdown”).

There is no requirement to divide the pension, but if the parties decide to do so, the applicable legislation must be followed. The legislation determines how the pension is valued and how it can be divided.

Applicable Legislation

Effective January 1, 2012, OMERS and other registered pension plan administrators in Ontario must comply with new rules related to the valuation and division of the pension benefit in the event of a marriage breakdown. These rules are part of the Ontario Family Law Act and the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is responsible for developing the prescribed forms that must be used.

With the introduction of this new legislation, different sets of rules will apply depending on the date that your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was made.* A separation agreement is a form of domestic contract.

1. New Rules (Post-2011)

If your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was made* on or after January 1, 2012 print and read New Marriage Breakdown Rules PDF File [95 KB]

Before you submit your application take the time to review it carefully. Missing information will delay processing. Here are additional instructions for completing marriage documentation.

The required forms that must be used can be found at www.fsco.gov.on.ca under "Pensions", "Family Law Forms".

2. Old Rules (Pre-2012)

Read this document if your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was made* prior to January 1, 2012.

Note: Under the rules in force before January 1, 2012, a member’s former spouse cannot receive a payment from OMERS until the member’s date of termination of employment, retirement date, or the date of the member’s death (based on terms of the relevant document, subject to application legislation).

Old Marriage Breakdown Rules PDF File [53.5 KB]

* “Made” refers to the date the applicable document was signed/executed.

** “Former spouse” refers to the non-member spouse whether or not the separation/divorce is officially complete. “Parties” refers to the member and the former spouse.

Important

OMERS cannot provide legal advice. We recommend that you consult a pensions and benefits or family law lawyer.