Pension Plan Members
What are my options when I retire?
You are eligible to receive a pension when you reach the normal retirement date specified by your pension plan. However, you may retire any time you are within 10 years of the normal retirement date. For example, if your plan has a normal retirement date of 65 years of age, you have the right to retire and begin to receive a pension at any time after reaching age 55. By selecting an early retirement option, you may reduce the amount of pension you will receive.
If you have transferred money from your plan to a LIRA, then your pension can commence at the earliest of:
A pension is a life annuity. If you have a spouse, pension legislation requires that your pension be offered in a "joint and survivor" form. This provides your surviving spouse with a lifetime pension of at least 60% of the pension that was being paid to you. There are three exceptions to the requirement that you receive a joint and survivor annuity:
Your spouse waives the requirement that the annuity be a 60% joint and survivor annuity
You may receive a pension that does not offer the 60% survivor benefit if your spouse signs a waiver form (Form 3 - Spousal Waiver RE: Post-Retirement Survivor Benefit) prior to the commencement of your pension. Your spouse must sign a waiver prior to the purchase of a single life annuity or an annuity with a survivor benefit of less than 60%.
Your spouse consents to having the pension money transferred to a RRIF
You may transfer your pension money to a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) that meets the requirements of Section 29.1 of The Pension Benefits Regulations, 1993. Your spouse must sign a consent form (Form 1 - Spousal Consent RE: pRIFF) before you can make the transfer.
You must designate your spouse as beneficiary of a RRIF. Your spouse may waive his or her status as beneficiary by signing a waiver form (Form 2 - Spousal Waiver RE: pRRIF Beneficiary).
Your spouse consents to having the pension money transferred to a Variable Benefit
If you are a member or former member of a defined contribution plan that offers a Variable Benefit from the plan, at retirement you may also establish a Variable Benefit Account. A Variable Benefit is similar in nature to the RRIF. Your spouse must sign a consent form (Form 2.01 - Spousal Consent RE: VBA) before you can establish a Variable Benefit Account. In addition, your spouse must waive entitlement to the 60% survivor benefit provided by the Act by signing a waiver form (Form 3 - Spousal Waiver RE: Post-Retirement Survivor Benefit).
You must designate your spouse as beneficiary of your Variable Benefit Account. Your spouse may waive his or her status as beneficiary by signing a wavier form (Form 2.02 - Spousal Waiver RE: VBA Beneficiary).
Pooled Registered Pension Plans
You may be able to transfer your pension money to a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) and receive your retirement income from the PRPP. Please see our PRPP webpage for more information about PRPPs.
Learn more about your options when you retire.