The Pension Benefits Division Act - Program Overview
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The Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA) is an Act of Parliament that permits the division of pension benefits between a member of a federal public sector pension plan and his or her spouse or former spouse when their marriage or common-law relationship breaks down. The pension benefits subject to division are those that were acquired during the course of the marriage or common-law relationship.
The PBDA applies to federal Public Service pension plans provided under the following Acts: Canadian Forces Superannuation Act; Defence Services Pension Continuation Act; Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act; Governor General's Act; Lieutenant Governors Superannuation Act; Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act; Public Service Superannuation Act; Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation Act; Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act.
The following is a brief summary of the PBDA:
1. Who is eligible for a division of pension benefits?
Spouses who have divorced OR who have been living separate and apart for at least one year.
- or -
Spouses who have lived in a common-law relationship for a minimum of one year AND who have been living separate and apart for at least one year.
In either case, there must be a court order or a written spousal agreement, signed by both spouses, that provides for the division of the member's pension benefits.
2. What is the division process?
Application for pension benefits division: Either the plan member or the spouse or former spouse may seek a division of pension benefits. To do so, that person must submit a formal application. The process gives the non-applicant the opportunity to object to the division. Each plan has its own specific procedures, which will be explained upon request.
Transfer: Once the application for division is approved, a lump-sum amount representing the spouse's share of the value of the benefits subject to division will be transferred to the retirement savings vehicle of the spouse's choice. Prior to application, an estimate of the amount that could be transferred will be provided, if a request is made in writing.
Adjustment: Following the transfer, the plan member's pension benefits will be reduced accordingly.
3. Where can details on the division process and application forms be obtained?
For pensions under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Defence Services Pension Continuation Act, inquiries should be directed to:
National Defence Headquarters
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K2
Attention: Pay Services 4-4
For pensions under the RCMP Superannuation Act and the RCMP Pension Continuation Act:
If the plan member is a pensioner, inquiries should be directed to the RCMP Services Section (RSS) at 1-800-661-7595.
If the plan member is a serving member, inquiries should be directed to the nearest RCMP Divisional Headquarters.
For pensions under the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act:
If the plan member is a pensioner or a current member of the Senate, inquiries should be directed to:
MP's Pension Office
Specialized Services Division
1451 Coldrey Ave
If the plan member is a current member of the House of Commons, inquiries should be directed to the House of Commons Pay and Benefits Office at 800-883-2456 or locally at (613) 957-0440.
For pensions under the Public Service Superannuation Act:
If the plan member is not retired, inquiries should be directed to the department in which the member works. If the member's department is not known, or if the member is retired, inquiries should be directed to the following numbers:
These numbers can also be contacted for pensions under the Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act, the Lieutenant Governors Superannuation Act and the Governor General's Act.
A brochure that answers the most frequently asked questions on the PBDA is available from:
Corporate Services Branch
Treasury Board of Canada
300 Laurier Ave. West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5
Tel.: (613) 995-2855
Fax: (613) 996-0518
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