In response to Ontario's new regime for dividing pensions on
marriage breakdown, which permits the former spouse of a plan
member to receive an immediate payment of his or her share of the
member's pension and requires plan administrators to calculate
the value of the pension, the Financial Services Commission of
Ontario (FSCO) has released draft versions of the prescribed forms that
must be used in the pension division process.
These forms are to be used by plan members, their spouses/former
spouses and plan administrators during most of the steps in the
process. For example, there are forms for:
applying to the plan administrator for the "imputed
value" or "family law value" of the pension;
the administrator advising the applicant if an application is
providing a statement of the imputed value of the pension to
the applicant -- there are different versions of these forms
depending on the type of plan (e.g., defined benefit or defined
contribution) and the status of the member (e.g., active or
requesting the plan administrator to transfer a former
spouse's share of a pension or to divide a retired member's
pension, or to advise that there will be no pension division.
One form that appears to be missing is a form for the plan
administrator to advise the member and the former spouse of the
completion of a pension transfer or division, which could include
information such as the amount transferred to the former spouse and
the amount of the member's adjusted pension going forward.
While FSCO has indicated that the forms may be amended between
now and the December 31, 2011 deadline, they have also stated they
do not expect to make any "material changes" to the
To provide plan administrators and members with further
guidance, FSCO has posted instructions and questions and answers
related to the forms. FSCO has also indicated that they are in the
process of developing additional materials, including questions and
answers that will clarify transitional issues.
We'll discuss these forms further and, more generally, the
practical implications of the new pension division regime for plan
administrators at an upcoming webinar on Wednesday, November 9,
Douglas Rienzo practises exclusively in the
area of pensions and employee benefits, with a particular focus on
pension surplus issues and family law issues related to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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