Marriage Breakdown
Job and Life Changes

Marriage Breakdown

If you and your spouse are getting separated or divorced, the pension you have earned in the LPF, or in any other registered pension plan, during your marriage or common-law relationship, is considered to be a part of “family property” and may be divided between the spouses.

You may be required to include the value of any pension benefits you accumulated in the LPF Pension Plan during the period of your marriage or spousal relationship in your calculation of net family property. Although it is not mandatory to divide your pension, when you make arrangements to split your assets you may choose or need to pay a portion of your pension to your former spouse.

Please note that Marriage Breakdown Rules vary from province to province. On our website we provide the information pertaining to Ontario, which is the LPF’s province of registration.

If your court order, family arbitration award or a domestic contract, such as a separation agreement, was signed or executed on or before December 31, 2011, please read the section Ontario Marriage Breakdown Rules before 2012.

If your court order, family arbitration award or a domestic contract, such as a separation agreement, was signed or executed on or after January 1, 2012, please read the section Ontario Marriage Breakdown Rules Effective January 2012.

When you have a separation agreement finalized or a court order, please forward a certified copy of any such signed agreement to the LPF Office.

Ontario Marriage Breakdown Rules Effective January 1, 2012

If you have a court order, family arbitration award or a separation agreement signed or executed on or after January 1, 2012 these rules apply to you. The LPF and other pension plan administrators in Ontario have to follow these regulations regarding the valuation and division of pension benefits in the event of a marriage breakdown. These rules are part of the Ontario Family Act and the Ontario Pension Benefits Act.

You must use specific forms created by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), to apply to the LPF for a valuation of pension entitlement, or to apply for a settlement option. You can download the forms and instructions on how to use them directly from our website. Direct links which are provided below.

The following is a brief description of the 5-step process involved and links to the applicable forms:

  1. Complete an Application for Family Law Value - Form 1
    1. If applicable, include Joint Declaration of Period of Spousal Relationship - Form 2 and Contact Person Authorization - Form 3
    2. Pay the required fee to the LPF of $678.00 (includes HST) for the Statement of Family Law Value (FLV) for single FLV date, or $1,356.00 if selecting two FLV dates (Appendix A of Form 1). Please note that only Certified Cheques or Money Orders payable to the Labourers’ Pension Fund will be accepted.
    3. Include all required documentation (Certified Copies only) with your application
  2. Receive your Statement of Family Law Value from the LPF within 60 days
  3. Decide if you want to divide the pension benefit and how
  4. If not dividing the pension, FSCO form No Division of Family Law Value/Pension Assets - Form 7 must be sent to the LPF
  5. If the pension benefit is to be divided, your former spouse must complete one of the following FSCO forms as applicable:
    1. Application to Transfer the Family Value - Form 5
    2. Application to Divide a Retired Member’s Pension - Form 6
    3. In addition, you must submit a finalized court order, domestic contract (i.e. separation agreement), or arbitration award that clearly states the name of your pension plan, the Family Law Valuation date, and the pension entitlement payable to your former spouse as either a percentage of the reported Family Law Value or an exact dollar figure. Under Ontario law, your former spouse cannot receive more than 50% of the benefit you earned during the relationship, as set out in the Statement of Family Law Value that the LPF sent you.
  6. Your Former Spouse will receive a payment from the LPF within 60 days in accordance with the transfer ratio at the time of payment.
  7. Your LPF Pension Benefit will be adjusted once the LPF issues a payment to your former spouse. Your pension benefit will be reduced accordingly because your former spouse has received a portion of your accrued pension as a settlement.

Before you and your former spouse make any arrangements about requesting the valuation and deciding on the division of your pension benefits, the LPF strongly recommends you to seek legal advice from a family lawyer.

Instructions: Form 1Form 2Form 3Form 5Form 6Form 7

Ontario Marriage Breakdown Rules before 2012

LPF members who make arrangements to divide their pension benefit with their former spouse in a court order, separation agreement or arbitration award finalized on or before December 31, 2011 will not be subject to the above rules and cannot change those arrangements.

Under the old marriage breakdown rules of Ontario, a member’s former spouse cannot receive a settlement from the Plan until the member’s date of termination in the Plan, retirement date or the date of the member’s death.

The separation agreement/court order must state the name of your pension plan, date of separation and fully describe how the pension benefits paid at termination, death or retirement will be divided. The maximum amount of pension benefits that can be assigned to a former spouse is 50% of the pension benefit earned during the period of the marriage or co-habitation, determined in accordance with applicable provisions of the Pension Benefit Act and the Family Law Act. Your pension will be reduced by the amount of any pension assigned to your former spouse.

In order for the LPF to administer a division of a member’s pension benefit, we must have a certified copy of the marriage breakdown document, such as a court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract (e.g., a separation agreement). Clear wording in these documents is very important as it will impact the LPF’s ability to administer the pension division. 

If you need to obtain an estimate of your pension benefit for marriage breakdown purpose under the old rules, please contact the LPF.

Also, download and complete a Change of Information Form - LPF Member and mail it to LPF as soon as possible after the date of separation from your spouse.

Review your Beneficiary Information

Regardless of what marriage breakdown rules are applicable to your situation, as soon as you get separated or divorced you should review your designated beneficiary information. 

Log on to AccessLPF to review your current beneficiaries and complete a Beneficiary Designation Form if any changes are required.