Pension Division Upon Marital Breakdown

Regulations Regarding Pension Division on Relationship Breakdown

Important Notice:

Beginning January 1, 2020, common-law pension partners are permitted to submit Family Property Orders for the division and distribution of their Management Employees Pension Plan (MEPP), Supplementary Retirement Plan (SRP) for Public Service Managers, Public Service Management (Closed Membership) Pension Plan (PSM(CM)PP), and Provincial Judges and Masters in Chambers Registered and Unregistered Pension Plans (Judges Pension Plan) pension benefits upon relationship breakdown.

If you are seeking a division of pension benefits as a common-law partner, the definition of pension partner must have been met. The definition of pension partner in MEPP and SRP is:

A pension partner is a person who, at the relevant time, is:

  1. someone to whom you are married and from whom you have not been living separate and apart for three or more consecutive years; or
  2. if no such person exists, someone with whom you have been living in a common-law type relationship:
    1. for a continuous period of no less than three years, or
    2. of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption.

The definition of pension partner in PSM(CM)PP is:

"pension partner" means

  1. a person who, at the relevant time, was married to a participant or former participant and
    1. was not judicially or otherwise separated from him, or
    2. if so separated, was wholly or substantially dependent on him,
  2. if there is no person to whom subclause (i) applies, a person who
    1. lived with the participant or former participant
      1. for the 5-year period immediately preceding the relevant time, or
      2. for the 2-year period immediately preceding the relevant time if there is a child born to that person and the participant or former participant, and
    2. was, during that period held out by the participant or former participant in the community in which they lived as his consort, or
  3. if there is no person to whom subclause (i) or (ii) applies, a person who was married to but separated from the participant or former participant and not dependent on him at the relevant time.

The definition of pension partner in the Judges Pension Plan is:

"pension partner" means

  1. a person who, at the relevant time, was married to a participant or former participant and
    1. was not judicially or otherwise separated from him or her, or
    2. if so separated, was wholly or substantially dependent on him or her,
  2. if there is no person to whom subclause (i) applies, a person who, as at and up to the relevant time, had lived with the participant or former participant in a conjugal relationship
    1. for a continuous period of at least 3 years, or
    2. of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption,
    and was, during that period or that relationship, as the case may be, held out by the participant in the community in which they lived as being in that conjugal relationship, or
  3. if there is no person to whom subclause (i) or (ii) applies, a person who was married to but separated from the participant or former participant and not wholly or substantially dependent on him or her at the relevant time.

Please note, "spouse" is used throughout this information to describe both married spouses and common-law spouses that met the definition of pension partner.

Relationship breakdown can result in a division of your pension. Regulations regarding pension division on relationship breakdown impact members of the Management Employees Pension Plan and Supplementary Retirement Plan (SRP) for Public Service Managers and Public Service Management (Closed Membership) Pension Plan. Regulations state Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS) is required to provide pension information to both you and your spouse, when requested by either of you.

What you need to do:

If you require information about your or your spouse's pension, please provide APS with a written request as soon as possible.

Written requests must contain the following information:

  1. the signature of the person requesting the information;
  2. the full names, current addresses, and current phone numbers of both the member and the spouse. (Please note, a current address and phone number can be care of a lawyer);
  3. an estimated beginning and end date for the period of joint accrual (normally the time the parties were married or living together). This date must be either a date prior to or the date of the request; and
  4. if the request is from or is to go to a member's lawyer, a release, signed by the member permitting APS to release the information to that lawyer; and
  5. if the request is from, or is to go to, a non-member spouse's lawyer, the non-member spouse must sign a release permitting APS to release the information to that lawyer.

Please mail or fax your request to the APS Member Services Centre:

5103 Windermere Blvd. SW
Edmonton, AB T6W 0S9

Fax: 780-421-1652

See the following for more information:

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