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Amendments to the Pension Benefits Division Regulations

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March 15, 2004

Amendments to the Pension Benefits Division Regulations

Please ensure that the following information is provided to employees in your organization as soon as possible.


The purpose of this bulletin is to inform you that the Pension Benefits Division Regulations have been amended, effective December 3, 2003. These regulations are made pursuant to the Pension Benefits Division Act.

The Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA) provides for the division of pension benefits accrued by members of the Public Service Pension Plan and other public sector statutory pension plans, following a divorce or separation of the pension plan member from his or her spouse or common-law partner.

The recent regulatory amendments reflect the amendments made to the Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA)by the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act, Statutes of Canada 2000, c. 12 and clarify their application.

Main changes

The option to request a division of pension benefits is extended to same-sex common-law partners, under the same rules as apply to opposite-sex common-law partners.

To have the option to request a division of pension benefits, common-law partners—whether of opposite sex or same sex—must establish that they have been cohabiting in a relationship of a conjugal nature for at least one year.

The new regulations also make minor technical changes to take into account ongoing changes made to certain pension plans subject to the PBDA and to improve administrative procedures regarding the provision of information to the parties to a division of pension benefits.

Effective date

The new regulations apply to pension divisions effected after December 2003.

Further information on the application of these regulations may be obtained by consulting your compensation advisor.

Phil Charko

Assistant Secretary
Pensions and Benefits Sector

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