Notice to pensioners who marry after age 60—Canadian Armed Forces pensions

The following information will be of interest to pensioners who were married or are planning to marry after the age of 60.

If you are in receipt of a pension under the Regular Force Pension Plan, you can provide an Optional Survivor Benefit (OSB) for your new spouse if you get married after age 60 only if:

  • you marry and apply for OSB within one year of your marriage and
  • you agree to reduce your current level of pension in exchange for providing a survivor pension to your new spouse at your death

If you choose to provide this survivor pension, you choose between providing a survivor pension of 30%, 40% or 50% of your own pension. Your monthly pension is then reduced according to the level of benefit you have chosen: the greater the survivor pension, the greater the reduction to your pension.

Contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre and we will send you an estimate of the spousal benefit and the corresponding reduction to your monthly pension for each level of coverage. Instructions on how to choose the OSB will be enclosed with the estimate.

This option is only revocable upon the death of the spouse or divorce. In these cases, your pension will be restored to its original level.

The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) was amended so that a member living in a common-law relationship can provide a survivor pension if the relationship begins after age 60. However, the regulations must be amended to specify the details. Consequently, the OSB is not yet available for common-law relationships.

If you were a member of the Reserve Force Pension Plan and are in receipt of a pension, there is no OSB if your marriage or common-law relationship occurred on or after age 60.

Contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre if you would like more information about the OSB.

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