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  • Pension plan and separation date

    Hello,
    I legally separated in September 2011, and I joined the pension plan at my work in April 2012. I'm still separated and I was separated at the time I joined the pension plan.
    I've filed the divorce papers and been to trial for custody and equalization issues. I didn't realize I would have any issues with my pension until today. There was no pension per se at the time of separation. Any amounts in my pension plan at work today were accumulated after separation.
    Does my ex have an entitlement to my pension upon my retirement?
    If she does, how can we make arrangements for her to "opt out" of the entitlement?

    She had a pension at her employer on the date we separated. I've never seen a statement or signed any papers saying that I would opt out, and I would have no issue doing so as I believe that that's her money at retirement, although I doubt that she will see my pension under the same light...

    Any advice?
    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by c800957276 View Post
    Hello,
    I legally separated in September 2011, and I joined the pension plan at my work in April 2012. I'm still separated and I was separated at the time I joined the pension plan.
    I've filed the divorce papers and been to trial for custody and equalization issues. I didn't realize I would have any issues with my pension until today. There was no pension per se at the time of separation. Any amounts in my pension plan at work today were accumulated after separation.
    Does my ex have an entitlement to my pension upon my retirement?
    If she does, how can we make arrangements for her to "opt out" of the entitlement?

    She had a pension at her employer on the date we separated. I've never seen a statement or signed any papers saying that I would opt out, and I would have no issue doing so as I believe that that's her money at retirement, although I doubt that she will see my pension under the same light...

    Any advice?
    Thanks
    I believe if you are legally married she does have an entitlement. I'm not sure how it all works. If you get the divorce finalized now you should be able to prove that no equalization be required.

    I would speak to a lawyer for confirmation.

    If she goes after your's you go after hers... It's pretty simple... You DO NOT sign off on one without the other.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by c800957276 View Post
      I legally separated in September 2011, and I joined the pension plan at my work in April 2012. I'm still separated and I was separated at the time I joined the pension plan.
      I've filed the divorce papers and been to trial for custody and equalization issues. I didn't realize I would have any issues with my pension until today. There was no pension per se at the time of separation. Any amounts in my pension plan at work today were accumulated after separation.
      Does my ex have an entitlement to my pension upon my retirement?
      If she does, how can we make arrangements for her to "opt out" of the entitlement?

      She had a pension at her employer on the date we separated. I've never seen a statement or signed any papers saying that I would opt out, and I would have no issue doing so as I believe that that's her money at retirement, although I doubt that she will see my pension under the same light...
      You are entitled to half the portion of her pension which was earned during the marriage. You should know what that amount is from her financial disclosure, and it should have been dealt with as part of equalization. Was it not included? Didn't your lawyer mention this stuff?

      She is entitled to half the portion of your pension which was earned during the marriage. Zero.

      However, that is the Family Law perspective. Your pension administrator may have different rules. Some count from cohab date, some from marriage date. Some count until separation date, some till divorce date. Find out which yours and hers are, and exactly how much money is involved on each side, then you can decide if you want to take further action.

      My advice would be to wait until the divorce comes through and then apply to her pension administrator to have it divided, as this was apparently not done at equalization. If she applies to yours for division, she'll get told she's not entitled to much, if anything.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks. I'll try and find more details on this but I'm pretty sure she was hiding her pension. There was no mention of it in financial disclosure.
        I honestly couldn't care less about her pension but I suspect she won't think the same about mine.
        My pension administrator advised that this has to be specifically detailed in a court order, outlining her entitlement , or lack of it.
        So I'm a little confused. Meeting with the lawyer tomorrow.
        Thanks.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Why do you think she will care about yours? It didn't start until after separation, and it's been less than 2 years. There can't be much in your pension at this point?

          Keep in mind Canada Pension is different. You can agree to leave each other's alone, but CP doesn't care. Even with an agreement the other party can still go after their share of CP.

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          • #6
            It's not much right now but over time it will add up.
            I don't want a surprise comes retirement time some 20 years down the road.


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            • #7
              She shouldn't be able to touch your pension since it was after the date of separation.

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              • #8
                In my case only ex had a pension thru work during marriage. I did not work hence no pension. In our divorce agreement, to settle arrears of CS ex agreed to transfer 3/4th of his pension calculated up to date of separation. Over a year has passed since my divorce and I am still waiting for the funds.

                Post separation I became employees and now have a pension thru work. My pension was never an issue for discussion.

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                • #9
                  Thanks. This is reassuring.
                  I not I. Arrears of anything. If anything I have paid way more and voluntarily. The judge was very impressed.


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                  • #10
                    The worst-case scenario is that she would be entitled to only half the increase in your pension between April 2012 (when you joined it) and whenever your divorce is finalized (soon, I assume, if you've already settled custody and equalization). The best-case scenario is that she would be entitled to nothing because you joined the pension plan after your agreed-on date of separation (which must be in your documents related to equalization).

                    The worst case scenario is probably not too bad (very little $$ will have accumulated). I would do nothing unless she comes after you for the small amount of pension accumulation. If she does, ask for your share of the increase in value in her pension plan for the corresponding period of time. The two will probably cancel each other out. I don't think you've got much to worry about.

                    (Just be sure to change the beneficiary on your pension as soon as you've got the divorce finalized!).

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