Ontario Marriage Breakdown Rules before 2012
LPF members who made arrangements to divide their pension benefit with their former spouse in a court order, separation agreement or family arbitration award dated on or before December 31, 2011 are subject to the Ontario old marriage breakdown rules and cannot change those arrangements. Under these rules, a member’s former spouse cannot receive a settlement from the Plan until the member’s date of termination of employment, retirement date or the date of the member’s death.
The separation agreement/court order must fully describe how the pension will be divided at retirement, termination or death.
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), clearly stating the name of the pension plan, the date of separation and percentage amount assigned to the former spouse during the period of the marriage or co-habitation.
- Certified copies of proof of age documents, proof of marriage or co-habitation.
If you need to obtain an estimate of your pension benefit for marriage breakdown purpose under these rules, please contact 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 plans 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 Law Act and the Ontario Pension Benefits Act.
You must use specific forms created by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), to apply to the LPF for a valuation of pension entitlement, or to apply for a settlement option. You can download the forms directly from our website. Direct links are provided below.
The following is a brief description of the 5-step process involved and links to the applicable forms:
- Complete an Application for Family Law Value – Family Law Form-FL 1
- Pay the required fee to the LPF of $678.00 (includes HST) for the Statement of Family Law Value (FLV). If you have more than one FLV date, you must submit an additional payment for each additional date. Payments must be submitted by Certified Cheque or Money Order payable to the LiUNA Pension Fund.
- Include all required documentation with your application. Please note that certified copies are required for your marriage certificate and court order/separation agreement.
- Receive your Statement of Family Law Value from the LPF within 60 days
- Decide if you want to divide the pension benefit and the amount to be divided (no more than 50% of benefit earned during your marriage/cohabitation)
- If the pension benefit is to be divided, your former spouse must complete one of the following FSRA forms as applicable:
- Spouse’s Application for Transfer of a Lump Sum – Family Law Form FL 5
- Spouse’s Application to Divide a Retired Member’s Pension – Family Law Form FL 6
- In addition, you must submit a finalized court order, domestic contract (i.e. separation agreement), or arbitration award that clearly states the name of the 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 provided by the LPF.
- Your Former Spouse will receive a payment from the LPF within 60 days.
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 of your former spouse has received a portion of your accrued pension as a settlement.
Before you and your former spouse request the Family Law Valuation and finalize the division of your pension benefits, the LPF strongly recommends you seek legal advice from a family law lawyer.