How to Name a Beneficiary to Your Supplementary Death Benefit Plan (PWGSC-TPSGC 2196)

This video will inform you about the Supplementary Death Benefit, whom you can designate, and how to complete the form.

Topics covered: The Supplementary Death Benefit; the PWGSC-TPSGC 2196 form

Transcript of the How to Name a Beneficiary to Your Supplementary Death Benefit Plan (PWGSC-TPSGC 2196)

(Background music: Welcome page with a logo of the Government of Canada Pension Centre.)

At the government of Canada Pension Centre, we're here to help.

Hi, my name is Ben.

I'm here to help you name a beneficiary to your supplementary death benefit or SDB plan.

So why is this form important for you? Well the SDB plan applies to almost all members of the public service pension plan. You could compare it to a decreasing term life insurance. Should anything happen to you, this benefit is payable upon your death.

(The narrator is facing the camera. When he says: “… supplementary death benefit …,” a grey text box appears with the words “SUPPLEMENTARY DEATH BENEFIT” in white letters. When he says: “… or SDB plan …,” the words get shortened to be the abbreviation SDB. The text box disappears.)

The designation form is a legal document that gives you the power to choose who receives the benefit upon your death.

Let's say that you never completed or sent in a designation form.

What happens then? Well, the death benefit would automatically be paid to your estate.

It is important to understand that the provisions of a will, separation agreement, or court order will not, I repeat, will not have any effect on the designated beneficiary to your supplementary death benefit.

The payment will always be made to the designated beneficiary on file or your estate if no designation form was completed.

This means that in the event of a divorce or separation, the benefit would still be paid to the former spouse if that person was still the last valid beneficiary on file, no matter what the separation agreement might say.

One more thing to consider before we get to completing the form, if the supplementary death benefit is paid to your estate, it may be subject to what we call probate fees or claims from creditors.

But if the SDB is paid to an individual, it would be protected against such fees or claims.

Lastly, before filling this form, please ensure that your organization participates in the SDB plan, as some have a separate group life insurance plan.

To designate a beneficiary, you must complete the naming or substitution of a beneficiary form. This is form number PWGSC-TPSGC 2196.

(On full screen appears the NAMING OR SUBSTITUTION OF A BENEFICIARY form. The narrator explains how to fill out the form off screen. When the voice says “… you must complete …,” the NAMING OR SUBSTITUTION OF A BENEFICIARY title is highlighted in yellow, and is shown in a close-up image in the top-right corner of the screen. When the voice says “… this is form number …,” the form number PWGSC-TPSGC 2196 is highlighted in yellow on the screen, and is shown in a close-up image in the bottom-left corner of the screen.)

Since you're watching this video, you probably have the form right in front of you and you're ready to fill it out.

Let's do that together.

Remember that as you're filling out your form, you can pause this video should you need extra time. Ready? OK, let's start on page one.

You can either complete the form electronically or print a blank version to fill it out manually.

We recommend using a dark ink pen should you go this route.

You need to enter your personal information in the appropriate fields.

Here's an example with completed fields.

It's important to remember that you must enter either your personal record identifier, your PRI, or your pension number.

We need one of these to locate your file.

(Male voice over. On screen is the pre-filled PLAN MEMBER’S PERSONAL INFORMATION section. When the voice says: “… enter either your personal …,” the PRI section is highlighted in yellow. When the voice says: “… or your pension number,” the Pension No. section is highlighted in yellow.)

Pause the video and complete this section.

I can wait, really.

Page one is completed.

Let's go to page 2.

Now it's time to designate a beneficiary.

Here's where it can get confusing.

You can only designate one single person at a time who must be at least 18 years of age.

You may be thinking to yourself, I can't name just one person that would be unfair and start a family feud.

No worries if that would be the case, simply designate your estate as the beneficiary and then specify in your will how the benefit should be distributed.

Other than your estate, you can also name a charitable, benevolent, religious or educational institution as the beneficiary.

You can obtain the institution's registration number by calling the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

You can also consult the list of registered institutions or charities on the CRA website.

(Male voice over. When the voice says: “Other than your estate …,” the screen scrolls sideways to the section I HEREBY APPOINT THE FOLLOWING BENEFICIARY AND REVOKE ANY PREVIOUS DESIGNATION of the form; its fields are pre-filled. When the voice says: “You can obtain the institution’s …,” the Government of Canada List of charities from the CRA website appears.)

In this example, John designated his wife, Jane.

Remember to include the beneficiaries date of birth, address and phone number.

Remember to sign the form and also have a witness sign.

This witness must be at least 18 years of age and must be someone other than the beneficiary.

In this example, John had his brother, Bill, sign as a witness.

If you make mistakes while completing your form, amendments must be initiated by you and the witness.

In this example, John designated both his wife, Jane and daughter Denise as beneficiaries.

The amendments were done and initialled by John and his witness, brother Bill.

Once fully completed and signed, the form bearing the original signatures must be mailed to the address indicated on page 3.

(Male voice over. On the screen is a pre-filled section of the form, along with two signatures. When the voice says: “… John designated his wife …,” the words JANE and WIFE are circled in red. When the voice says: “Remember to sign the form …,” we see the signatures on the form, and the form scrolls slowly from the right to the left. When the voice says: “If you make mistakes …,” there is a close-up of the form at the GIVEN NAMES field, where the name DENISE is crossed off in blue ink and has the initials of JS and BS next to it. When the voice says: “In this example, John …,” the screen zooms onto the Date-of-Birth and Relationship to You fields, and the date of 1997-03-16 and name DAUGHTER are both crossed off in blue ink and are initialled by JS and BS. When the voice says: “… done and initialled by John …,” we see a close up of the participant and witness’s signatures on the screen. When the voice says: “Once fully completed …,” there is a close-up on the screen from the page 3 of the form, showing the following mailing address: Public Works and Government Services Canada, Public Service Pension Centre - Mail Service, 150 Dion Blvd, PO Box 8000, Matane QC G4W 4T6.)

Remember, you can keep a copy for your records, but you must send the original signed form because it is a legal document.

The Government of Canada Pension Centre must receive your designation form before you pass away.

Otherwise it will be invalid and the last valid form on file will be used to make the death benefit payment.

We recommend that you use express mail to send your form.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Should you have any questions regarding this video, feel free to contact us.

Thanks for watching.

(Text on screen: Contact information: Government of Canada Pension Centre – Mail Facility, PO BOX 8000, Matane QC G4W 4T6. Telephone: 1-800‑561‑7930. Email:

(Text on screen: Check us out:,,,

[Music stops]

(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)

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