When you enrol in the Plan, you are required to name a beneficiary. Your beneficiary will receive the death benefit if you die before retiring.
As to who can be your beneficiary depends on whether you're single or have a spouse.
If you are single or your spouse has waived their entitlement, you may name any person or organization, such as a charity, as your primary beneficiary.
If you are married or in a common-law relationship, your spouse is automatically entitled to the benefit payable on your death prior to retirement based on pension legislation.
Definition of a spouse
A spouse is:
- the person to whom you are legally married; or
- if you are not married, the person with whom you are living in a conjugal relationship, and to whom at least one of the following situations applies. They:
- have been living with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 continuous months;
- is the parent of your child by birth or adoption; or
- has custody and control of your child (or had custody and control immediately before the child turned 19 years of age) and your child is wholly dependent on that person for support.
A spousal relationship with someone to whom you are legally married ceases upon divorce.
A spousal relationship with someone to whom you are not married ceases upon a separation of at least 90 days due to a breakdown in your relationship. The individual resumes being your spouse if you resume living together in a conjugal relationship for a NEW period of at least 12 continuous months.
A married spouse takes priority over another person even if that person meets the definition of a spouse. You cannot have more than one spouse at any given time.
REMINDER: You must inform PEPP if your marital or common-law status changes.
To learn more about your options, read PEPP Talk - Designation of Beneficiary.