Marriage Breakdown (Divorce)

A pension earned in a registered pension plan by a pension plan member during their marriage or common-law relationship is considered part of “family property” in the event that the member’s spousal relationship ends.

There is no requirement to divide the pension - it’s up to you and your former spouse. Deciding whether or not to divide your pension assets is an important decision. Please seek independent legal advice from a family law lawyer. OMERS cannot provide you with legal or financial advice.


Marriage Breakdown (Divorce) Post-2011 Rules

Post-2011 rules apply if your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was signed or executed on or after January 1, 2012.

A pension earned in a registered pension plan by a pension plan member during their marriage or common-law relationship is considered part of “family property” in the event that the member’s spousal relationship ends. There is no requirement to divide the pension - it’s up to you and your former spouse. As part of the decision-making process, you may be required to obtain a valuation of your pension benefits, which involves the following four steps:


Step 1 – Apply for a Statement of Family Law Value (FLV)

Deciding whether or not to divide your pension assets is an important decision. To begin this decision-making process, you may be required to obtain a valuation of your pension benefits (known as a Family Law Valuation).

To apply for a Statement of FLV, please complete a FSCO Family Law Form 1 - Application for Family Law Value on the FSCO website and send it to OMERS.

Here's how to complete Part B of the form:

Check your FSCO forms carefully before sending to OMERS!

Print the Top 5 Reasons for Delaysand use it as a checklist.

Make sure you’ve included all the required documents listed in Part G of FSCO family Law Form 1. For example, most applications require a FSCO Family Law Form 2 - Joint Declaration of Period of Spousal Relationship.

Step 1 FAQs

A: The first Statement of FLV issued to you or your spouse on or after March 1, 2015 will be provided at no cost.

  • If you have more than one membership in the OMERS Plan, you or your spouse are still only entitled to one Statement of FLV for each OMERS membership at no cost.

  • If you request a Statement of FLV for more than one date, the first statement issued will be provided at no cost. The Statement of FLV for the second date would cost $600.

  • If you and your spouse are both members of the OMERS Plan, both you and your spouse are entitled to one free Statement of FLV in respect to your individual memberships.

  • Please make the cheque payable to OMERS Administration Corporation.

A: Within 60 days of OMERS receiving a completed application. (Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.) If information is missing, OMERS will contact the applicant directly, or the designated contact person. OMERS cannot process statements for a future FLV Date (i.e., OMERS can only process statements after the FLV Date has occurred). 

Important: When scheduling court dates or other meetings, keep in mind the 60-day processing time.

A: An eligible applicant includes:

  • A member of the Plan who is active, deferred or retired at the FLV date.

  • A former spouse of the member (only legal marriage, not common-law relationship).

An eligible applicant does not include aof a member. In this case, the member must apply. This limitation is part of the legislation. 


Step 2 – OMERS Prepares Family Law Valuation

OMERS will prepare a FSCO Family Law Form 4 – Statement of Family Law Value (FLV) within 60 days of receiving a completed application. This document details the value of pension assets accrued during the relationship and the maximum amount that OMERS can be directed to pay yourif your pension is divided.

Do you have more than one OMERS membership?  If you have separate memberships with different OMERS employers or even with the same employer, either at the same time for different jobs or for a different period of employment, a separate Statement of FLV will be provided for each membership. Each membership is identified by the final two digits in the member’s membership number (e.g., -01 or -02) found in Part C of the FSCO Family Law Form 4. Each membership will have its own FLV as a separate piece of property for equalization purposes. The membership status may also be different (e.g., former member or retired member status) so the form types may be different.

Step 2 FAQs

A: No. The FLV does not include benefits under the Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) for the OMERS Primary Pension Plan or the member’s Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) value as at FLV Date. For more about the RCA and AVCs see the information at the bottom of this page.

A: Depending on the member’s status at the FLV Date, either Form 4 B, D, or E will be used. Members with more than one OMERS membership will receive a Statement of FLV for each membership.

A: Both the member and the former spouse (married or common law) will be sent a copy, regardless of who applied. If either spouse has assigned a contact person (by completing FSCO Family Law Form 3 - Contact Person Authorization), only the contact person will be sent the statement.

Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) Provision

  • The FLV does not include the value of a member’s AVC account; however, AVC account information must be reported on the Form 4 for use in the equalization of net family property.

  • If a member wishes to use AVC funds for marriage breakdown purposes, the member can withdraw up to 50% of their AVC account balance as at the FLV Date. This withdrawal can be made at any time during the year and is subject to the applicable AVC rules (e.g.,amounts can be transferred only to another locked-in account).

  • To make an AVC withdrawal, the member must provide OMERS with a copy of a court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract that establishes the funds are required for an.

  • OMERS does not transfer funds directly from a member’s AVC account to a former spouse – any payment is made directly to the member and the member must arrange the transfer to the former spouse.


Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA)

  • The RCA provides benefits for earnings that exceed the defined benefit limits under the  Income Tax Act.

  • The RCA is not governed under the Pension Benefits Act and it not included in the FLV.

  • A member may contact OMERS for an RCA pension estimate as at the FLV Date. With the consent of the member, OMERS will also provide the estimate to the member’s. The amount is an RCA benefit estimate only – the member or thewill have to obtain their own independent valuation of the RCA benefit.

  • OMERS cannot make any payment from the RCA to a person other than to the member or a survivor. Therefore, the RCA benefit cannot be split at source, similar to the.

  • It would be the member’s responsibility to pay theirif the RCA is split.


Step 3 – Make a decision on dividing the pension

Once you receive the Statement of Family Law Value from OMERS, you and your former spouse will need to decide if your pension will be divided.

If you decide to divide your pension, treatment of the pension amounts from the Plan must be clearly set out in the applicable marriage breakdown document (court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract). The document must indicate:

  • that matches the date on the FSCO Family Law Form 4 – Statement of Family Law Value.

  • Division of the pension benefit expressed as either a specified amount or a percentage of the FLV reported on the FSCO Family Law Form 4 – Statement of Family Law Value. For members with more than one OMERS membership, this must be set out for each membership separately.

Also, if you have an Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) account or you are entitled to a Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) benefit, AVCs and RCA benefits must be addressed separately in the marriage breakdown document. For more about the RCA and AVCs see Step 2 – OMERS Calculates a Statement of FLV.

Step 3 FAQs

A: Yes. OMERS cannot administer a payment (transfer or division of pension) from the defined benefit provision of the Plan that is more than 50% of the FLV reported in the FSCO Family Law Form 4 (updated with interest until the settlement month). The 50% limit applies per membership (for dual members). 

Also, for transfers, OMERS cannot administer a full lump-sum transfer settlement contemplated in a marriage breakdown document if all of the funds have already been from paid the Plan. If partial benefits have been paid, OMERS will not be able to include the spousal portion of benefits already paid in the transfer either.


Step 4 – Apply for a transfer or division from the OMERS Plan

If you and yourchoose to divide your OMERS pension, yourmust apply for a transfer or division from the OMERS Plan and provide the supporting documentation. OMERS will transfer or divide the pension within 60 days of receiving a completed application.

Important! Before applying, please read FSCO Family Law Form 4E, page 8, Next Steps on the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) website.


Active Members

To apply to transfer the Family Law Value (FLV) from the Plan, send the following to OMERS:

1. A marriage breakdown document (i.e., court order, domestic contract, family arbitration award) executed on or after January 1, 2012 that:

  • Is a certified document.

  • Clearly specifies the transfer amount or percentage of the Family Law Valuation (FLV) that is to be paid from the Plan. Please refer to FSCO Family Law Form 4B or D for guidance on how interest is or is not included.

  • States the FLV Date that corresponds to the date listed in the FSCO Family Law Form 4 - Statement of Family Law Value.

Important:

  • If any of the above items is missing, your application will be considered incomplete and the marriage breakdown document will need to be amended or clarified at your expense.

  • If the start date of spousal relationship is included, it must match the start date listed in the FSCO Family Law Form 4.

  • For members with more than one OMERS membership, only a single marriage breakdown document is needed to support the application, provided the membership amounts are listed separately.

2. FSCO Family Law Form 5 – Application to Transfer the Family Law Value on the FSCO website.

  • Theand witness must sign in Section I on page 5.

  • Theand witness must sign on the same date.

For members with more than one OMERS membership, complete a separate FSCO Family Law Form 5 for each membership.

Thecompletes Parts 1 to 3.

  • The receiving financial institution completes Part 4.

For members with more than one OMERS membership, only one Direction to administrator form is required if the funds from the separate memberships are going to the same account.

The Direction to Administrator form is only required if the funds are being transferred to a locked-in retirement account, life income fund (LIF) or registered pension plan (RPP). Please refer to your transfer options identified in Part E of your FSCO Family Law Form 4.

File icon
Direction to administrator .pdf
This form is a locking-in agreement and is completed by the financial institution or the administrator of the other registered pension plan that is receiving the funds.
Download
(851 KB)

Retired Members

To apply to divide the Family Law Value (FLV) from the Plan, send the following to OMERS:

1. A marriage breakdown document (i.e., court order, domestic contract, family arbitration award) executed on or after January 1, 2012 that:

  • Is a certified document.

  • Clearly specifies the transfer amount or percentage of the Family Law Valuation (FLV) that is to be paid from the Plan. Please refer to FSCO Family Law Form 4B or D for guidance on how interest is or is not included.

  • States the FLV Date that corresponds to the date listed in the FSCO Family Law Form 4 - Statement of Family Law Value.

Important:

  • If the start date of spousal relationship is included, it must match the start date listed in the attached FSCO Family Law Form 4.

2. FSCO Family Law Form 6 - Application to Divide a Retired Member’s Pension on the FSCO website

  • Theand witness must sign in Part H on page 6.

  • Theand witness must sign on the same date.

File icon
Form 157 – Claim for former spouse pension .pdf
Download
(885 KB)

This form provides the personal and banking information for the direct deposit payment.

  • Theand witness must sign in Section 4.


Optional: TD1 tax forms (federal and provincial)

The Canada Revenue Agency requires that OMERS withhold tax from OMERS monthly pension payment, where necessary.

  • If you do not complete the TD1 tax form(s), OMERS will deduct taxes after allowing the basic personal amount only.


Important Note Regarding Arrears

Arrears represent the split pension that was not deducted from the FLV Date to the settlement month (plus interest). It is not payable in a lump sum manner; rather, it increases the deduction to the member’s pension payable to theover the remaining life of the member.

OMERS will include arrears in the division from the FLV Date to the month the division is administered unless the marriage breakdown document specifies that the division of pension is not to include arrears.

If the marriage breakdown document is silent or unclear, OMERS will calculate and include arrears. Language such as “the parties will divide the pension only on a go-forward basis” will not be considered sufficient to exclude arrears. This is required under the governing framework.

Once the pension, including arrears, has commenced payment, if further adjustments are required, OMERS will only adjust the division to exclude arrears on a prospective basis. Any payments already made will be up to the parties to manage. We would require an amendment or clarification to the marriage breakdown document to make this change.


Top 5 reasons your Family Law Value application could be delayed


1. Start Date and Separation Date

  • Discrepancy between the Start Date and Separation Date on Form 1 vs. Form 2

  • Incomplete Start Date and/or Separation Date (e.g., March 2000)

  • Proof of Start Date and/or Separation Date not included


2. Witness signature

  • Witness and member/former spouse sign on different dates

  • Former spouse signs as the witness


3. Amendments

  • Amendments to Form 1 not initialed by the applicant

  • Amendments to Form 2 not initialed by both parties


4. Fees

  • The fee is missing or it's included when it's not required.


5. Missing information

  • Proof of age for both parties

  • Contact information for both parties

    • Direct contact information for each party; or

    • Form 3 authorizing us to communicate with a third party on your behalf


FSCO Family Law Forms Reference Guide

FSCO Family Law Forms Reference Guide

Form Name

Who can fill out this form?

Description

FSCO Family Law Form 1 – Application for Family Law Value

  • Plan member
  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member

Note: This form cannot be completed by a common-law non-OMERS member spouse.

  • Use this form to apply for a FSCO Family Law Form 4 - Statement of FLV.

FSCO Family Law Form 2 – Joint Declaration of Period of Spousal Relationship

  • Plan member
  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member
  • Common-law spouse
  • Required if a certified copy of a court order, family arbitration award, domestic contract or marriage certificate has not been provided to OMERS.
  • The form must be completed by both the OMERS member and former spouse.
  • The start date of the spousal relationship and separation date (FLV Date) must match the dates on FSCO Family Law Form 1.
  • If more than one FLV Date is required, submit Appendix A of the FSCO Family Law Form 1, not FSCO Family Law Form 2.

FSCO Family Law Form 3 – Contact Person Authorization

  • Plan member
  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member
  • Common-law spouse
  • Required for third-party involvement in the process (e.g. a lawyer).
  • Once submitted, all correspondence from OMERS regarding the FLV will be provided directly to the third party.

FSCO Family Law Form 4(B/D/E) – Statement of Family Law Value FSCO Family Law Form 4B for Active at FLV Date. FSCO Family Law Form 4D for Deferred at FLV Date. FSCO Family Law Form 4E for Retired at FLV Date.

  • OMERS Plan administrator
  • OMERS uses this form to provide the FLV calculation.
  • Copies are sent to the OMERS member and former spouse.

FSCO Family Law Form 5 – Application to Transfer the Family Law Value

  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member
  • Common-law spouse
  • If the OMERS member was active or deferred on the FLV Date, the former spouse can submit this form to request the transfer of the assigned portion of the FLV.
  • OMERS member involvement is not required.
  • Supporting documentation must be provided by the former spouse.

FSCO Family Law Form 6 – Application to Divide a Retired Member’s Pension

  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member
  • Common-law spouse
  • If the OMERS member was retired on the FLV Date, the former spouse can submit this form to request OMERS to begin payment of their portion of the pension.
  • OMERS member involvement is not required.
  • Supporting documentation must be provided by the former spouse.

FSCO Family Law Form 7 – No Division of Family Law Value/Pension Assets

  • Plan Member
  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member
  • Common-law spouse
  • If the OMERS member and former spouse decide not to move past the FSCO Family Law Form 4 stage, this form is used to notify OMERS.
  • This does not, however, prevent a future settlement – a former spouse may still apply for a transfer or division of the OMERS Plan benefit.

FSCO Family Law Form 8 – Post-retirement Waiver of Joint and Survivor Pension by the Former Spouse of a Retired Member on Spousal Relationship Breakdown

  • Former legally married spouse of the Plan member
  • Common-law spouse
  • The OMERS member’s former spouse uses this form if they wish to waive their rights to survivor benefits in conjunction with a court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract.
  • The former spouse must be the retirement date spouse.

Marriage Breakdown: Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to questions about post-2012 marriage breakdown rules.

FSCO refers to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. 

General Questions about the Statement of Family Law Value (FLV)

No. A common-law spouse of a member is not an eligible applicant. An eligible applicant includes a member or a former spouse who is/was legally married to the member.

No. The Retirement Income Estimator is not designed to perform these calculations.

Yes and no.

A former legally married spouse can apply for a Statement of FLV. A common-law spouse cannot. OMERS will provide the Statement of FLV to both the member and the former spouse (or designated contact person), regardless of who applied – this is a legal requirement.

The law requires the FSCO forms. Read more at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.  Please note that specific documents must accompany the forms to make the application complete. You can also refer to the FSCO Family Law Forms Reference Guide.

Post-2011 rules apply if your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was signed or executed on or after January 1, 2012. The date your pension started is not a factor. However, membership status (active, former, or retired), at the separation date (FLV Date) will determine how the FLV is calculated and the payment options if your FLV is divided as part of an equalization payment.

No, the application for the Statement of FLV is not mandatory.

No, you or your former spouse who is/was legally married to you can apply at any time. However, you may want to seek independent legal advice in regards to other factors which may be affected by the timing of your application.

No. It means that that you (the member) must initiate the process by applying for the Statement of FLV from OMERS. Once you apply, a common-law former spouse is treated the same as a legally married former spouse for the purpose of a Statement of FLV.

After a Statement of FLV has been issued, the common-law former spouse can apply for a transfer or division from the OMERS Plan.

If both yourself and your former spouse are Plan members and wish to receive a FSCO Family Law Form 4 for each of your pensions, you will need to submit separate FSCO Family Law Form 1 applications in relation to each individual.

If you and your former spouse want to value the Plan’s benefit, a FSCO Family Law Form 4 -

  • Statement of Family Law Value is the legal statement that provides this value. It is referred to as the Statement of Family Law Value (FLV).

To receive a Statement of FLV, there must be a complete FSCO Family Law Form 1 -

  • Application for Family Law Value provided to OMERS.

As the administrator of the Plan, OMERS prepares and provides the Statement of FLV and provides copies to both the member and the former spouse.

Statement of FLV Application Process

You must submit the FSCO Family Law Form 1 - Application for Family Law Value. It is very important that it is submitted accurately and completed in order to not delay the process.

Please see FSCO’s website for a video tutorial and further information on how to complete the FSCO Family Law Form 1 as well as other forms used in the process.

In addition to the FSCO Family Law Form 1, submit one of the following documents as proof of the start date and separation date of the spousal relationship. 

  1. Joint Declaration of Period of Spousal Relationship

     (FSCO Family Law Form 2);

  2. Certified copy of a court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract;

  3. Certified copy of a marriage certificate can be used as proof of the starting date of the spousal relationship; or

  4. Appendix A of the FSCO Family Law Form 1 for proof of separation date when using two dates.

Important! The proof of start date and separation date of the spousal relationship must match what you have submitted in Part E and F of the FSCO Family Law Form 1.

In addition to the proof of spousal relationship dates which must be submitted with your FSCO Family Law Form 1, you must submit copies of you and your former spouse’s proofs of age (e.g., birth certificate). Certified original documents are not required.

The first Statement of FLV issued to you and your former spouse will be provided at no cost. Any subsequent applications made by you or your former legally married spouse will cost $600 per Statement of FLV.

Note: If you request a Statement of FLV for more than one date, the first statement issued will be provided at no cost, the second date, however, would cost $600.

Make the cheque payable to the "OMERS Administration Corporation."

The $600 fee paid is not considered a contribution to the Plan and it is not tax deductible. OMERS can issue a receipt, but the receipt will state that this is not a Plan contribution.

If you and your former spouse have not agreed to or determined your FLV Date, fill out Appendix A of the FSCO Family Law Form 1.

If you and your spouse later decide to apply for a transfer or division from the OMERS Plan, one FLV Date must be confirmed. That date must correspond with one of the dates on Appendix A.

Submit one Statement of FLV application to OMERS. While only one application is required, two Statement of FLV packages are provided.

Yes. Regardless of who applies OMERS is required to send copies to both the member and the former spouse.

Yes, if you would like a third party (e.g., lawyer) to act on your behalf you and/or your former spouse will have to submit a FSCO Family Law Form 3 - Contact Person Authorization. While all correspondence will be sent to the designated third party, please keep in mind they will not have the authority to sign the forms and required documents on your behalf.

Send your application for the Statement of FLV and required documents to:

OMERS 
900-100 Adelaide St W
Toronto, ON  M5H 0E2
Canada

Important! To avoid delays, be sure to include all required forms, documents and a cheque to cover the cost of the fee (if applicable).

Calculating the Family Law Value (FLV)

The 2012 rules specifically refer to an amount calculated by OMERS and reported on the Statement of FLV. While you are not prevented from getting a second opinion at your own expense, OMERS cannot accept a third-party valuation as a basis for OMERS FLV valuation.

OMERS determination of the FLV will comply with legal requirements. If you believe that the information used in the calculation of the FLV is incorrect, contact OMERS.

If you purchased service in the OMERS Plan during your spousal period (based on the date funds were deposited), it will be included as part of the benefit earned during spousal period even if the actual time period of service purchased did not occur during the spousal period.

If your credited service increased due to an omission period, it will only be included as part of your FLV if the dates that the omission occurred fell within your spousal period.

The pension valuation for marriage breakdown is the process to calculate the FLV. OMERS uses a method that involves using contributory earnings and credited service (as at the FLV Date), legally required assumptions and the terms of the OMERS Plan to calculate the FLV through a formula set in the law.

The assumptions used are disclosed on the Statement of FLV. The FLV must be calculated according to requirements established by the law so the methods and formulae are standardized.

If you transferred service in through a reciprocal or divestment transfer agreement, the service is included if it occurred during the spousal period despite when it may have been transferred. Note: service that is not transferred in under one of these agreements is treated the same as a purchased leave or buy-back.

Dividing the Plan Benefit

If the FSCO Family Law Form 7 is provided to OMERS, we will keep this on the member’s record to note that there was a Statement of FLV issued and that the member and their former spouse have separated. The FSCO Family Law Form 7 does not, however, prevent the member and their former spouse from settling any net family property after this form is submitted to OMERS. The former spouse may still apply to OMERS to transfer or divide the Plan benefit after the fact.

Generally no. If you were active at your FLV Date and your former spouse is eligible for a lump sum transfer the amount must be transferred to a locked-in retirement account (LIRA), a life income fund (LIF) or another registered pension plan (RPP) within Canada.

No, there is no time limit to apply for the division of the member’s pension. However, it is important to keep in mind that the member’s pension can be reduced by more than 50% if arrears are applicable.

No, there is no time limit to apply. However, if a member’s circumstances change, the amount available for transfer may be affected. For example, if a member retires and starts collecting their pension, the amount available to transfer from OMERS to the former spouse will be less than the FLV amount quoted on the Statement of FLV. This is because the member was in receipt of a pension that did not factor in any payments that could have been made to the former spouse. The difference between the FLV amount quoted and the amount that OMERS can pay is outside of OMERS, and between the member and his or her former spouse.

If the settlement between you and your former spouse requires OMERS to transfer or divide the Plan benefit (as applicable), the following must be submitted to OMERS:

If a FSCO Family Law Form 4B or 4D was issued to you and your former spouse:

  • Application to FSCO Family Law Form 5 - Transfer the Family Law Value

  • Certified copy of a court order, domestic contract or family arbitration award (as applicable) executed on or after January 1, 2012, under the Ontario, 

    Family Law Act

     that provides for a division of the Plan benefit

  • Direction to administrator form

If a FSCO Family Law Form 4E was issued to you and your former spouse:

  • Application to FSCO Family Law Form 6 - Divide a Retired Member’s Pension

  • Certified copy of a court order, domestic contract or family arbitration award (as applicable) executed on or after January 1, 2012

  • Form 157 – Claim for former spouse pension

You can use the funds to buy back service (if you haveto buy back). Learn more about maximizing your pension through buy backs.

You can also transfer the funds to an Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) account. AVCs are an exclusive savings opportunity for OMERS members. AVCs do not increase your OMERS pension. 

Legal Documents

Yes, OMERS requires the entire document. 

No, to transfer or divide your OMERS pension, OMERS requires a court order issued by the Ontario Superior Court or the Family Court of the Ontario Superior Court. Alternatively, you can execute a domestic contract or a family arbitration award executed under the Ontario Family Law Act in place of a court order.

Yes. A divorce granted outside of Ontario has no impact in regards to your application.

Dual members must address each membership separately in their legal documents and FSCO Family Law Form 5 or 6. Clear direction for the division of pension for each membership must be provided.

OMERS provides “Next Steps” instructions with the Statement of FLV.

If an amendment has been made to your legal document pertaining to your pension prior to a transfer or division, submit certified copies of the amended documents.

The legal document must give clear direction stating that OMERS is to perform the division under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) (do not reference the Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA), for example). Please ensure the document also includes the following:

  • The FLV Date (which must match FLV Date in the FSCO Family Law Form 4).

  • Clearly specifies the transfer amount or percentage (not to exceed 50%) of the FLV that is to be paid from the Plan.

Important! If you received a FSCO Family Law Form 4B or 4D: Interest will be added to the former spouse’s share of the FLV from the FLV Date to the beginning of the month in which the transfer is made if the former spouse’s share is expressed as a proportion (i.e. percentage) of the FLV in the parties’ legal document or if the legal document explicitly requires that interest be paid on the amount.

Important! If you received a FSCO Family Law Form 4E: OMERS will include arrears in the division from the FLV Date to the month the division is administered unless the marriage breakdown document specifies that the division of pension is to not include arrears.

A “certified copy” is a copy of the original document with the signature and official stamp of an appropriate authority indicating that they have viewed the original document and that the copy they are signing is a true copy.

Please be advised that OMERS will only accept certification of court orders, arbitration awards, separation agreements or other domestic contracts by the following individuals:

  • Lawyer

  • Commissioner of Oaths

  • Notary Public

Yes, OMERS will accept a separation agreement because it is a domestic contract. There are three types of domestic contracts: marriage contract, cohabitation agreements and separation agreements

Separation agreements are the most common type of domestic contract negotiated between couples. Any court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract submitted to OMERS will need to be a certified copy in order to be accepted for the purpose of your FLV application.

Post Division Impact to Your Pension

No, it's not allowed under the Income Tax Act and the OMERS Plan’s provisions.

No, your retirement eligibility for both your normal retirement date and earliest unreduced retirement date will not change as a result of a division. The service you have accrued in the Plan remains the same for eligibility purposes.

No, OMERS cannot provide you an estimate of the impact to your pension. You have to apply for a Statement of FLV and, if you go through with the division, OMERS can calculate the impact at that time.

No, the division will not affect your "best five" earnings.

No, amounts shown on your Pension Report will not reflect the amount that has been carved out. Rather, you will receive an annual Pension Report Supplement, which provides details on the current carve-out amount.

Unfortunately, OMERS can only provide the current value of the carve-out in each year following the transfer, and not an estimated amount of the carve-out at future retirement dates.

Yes, whether the division is affected through a lump-sum transfer or split of the pension payments, your pension will be adjusted and reduced to account for the value paid out to your former spouse.

Death Benefits

Yes, your former spouse can waive their right to a survivor benefit by completing a FSCO Family Law Form 8 - Post-retirement Waiver of Joint and Survivor Pension by the Former Spouse of a Retired Member on Spousal Relationship Breakdown.

Read more at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.

If you and your former spouse were married; and

  • not living separate and apart at your retirement date; or

  • your former spouse did not waive their entitlement to survivor benefits within the 12-month period prior to your retirement date;

your former spouse will get a survivor pension for the remainder of their life.

If you were in a common-law relationship, in addition to the criteria above, your former common-law spouse will be eligible for survivor benefits;

  • provided you and they were not living separate and apart at your retirement date and had a spousal relationship for a period of not less than three years before your retirement date; or

  • you were in a relationship of some permanence at your retirement date, if you were parents of a child as set out in section 4 of the Children’s Law Reform Act.

If you pass away before your former spouse and they are not your retirement-date spouse, there are no further benefits payable following your death.

Normally, your pension will be restored to its full amount. However, if the legal document provides for it, payments can continue to be paid to your former spouse’s estate.


Glossary of Terms

Arrears Split pension amounts not deducted from a retired member’s pension payments from the FLV Date to the settlement month (plus interest) spread over the assumed lifetime of the member. Arrears increase the permanent deduction to the member’s pension payable to the former spouse over the remaining life of the member – they are not payable as a lump sum.

“Best Five” The annual average of the 60 consecutive months during which the member's contributory earnings were at their highest. It does not include any overtime pay or most lump sum payments. It may, however, include earnings from a period of service that was transferred-in from another registered pension plan.

If the member has less than five years of, we use actual credited service to calculate average earnings.

Carve Out The estimated future FLV amount that will be deducted from a member’s OMERS pension. The estimate is updated annually and provided to the member on their Pension Report Supplement until retirement.

Equalization Payment A family law term that refers to the “payment” one spouse will owe the other to account for the difference between the net family property they accumulated during their spousal relationship. The FLV amount is used for both the equalization of net family property under the Ontario Family Law Act (FLA) and the division of pensions under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA).

Family Law Value (FLV) The calculation of the pension assets earned during the spousal period. The FLV represents the pension value that the parties will need to include in net family property.

If the pension is divided, the settlement from OMERS is limited to 50% of the FLV. Note: If arrears are included, a retired member's pension may be reduced beyond 50%. 

Family Law Valuation Date (FLV Date) The separation date agreed to by the parties for the purpose of dividing family property. For post-2012 rules, the FLV Date must be set out in the Application for Family Law Value (FSCO Family Law Form 1) and in the corresponding court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract (if applicable).

Former Spouse The non-member spouse of an OMERS member, whether or not the separation or divorce is officially completed. If both parties are OMERS members, the former spouse is the spouse referred to in Part D of the FSCO Family Law Form 1.


Marriage Breakdown (Divorce) Pre-2012 Rules

This information applies if a Plan member's court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was signed or executed prior to January 1, 2012. (A separation agreement is a form of domestic contract.)

"Former spouse" refers to the non-member spouse whether or not the separation/divorce is officially complete. "Parties" refers to the member and the former spouse.

Applicable Legislation – Timing of Payment

A member's former spouse cannot receive a settlement from the Plan until the member's date of termination of employment, retirement date or the date of the member's death.

Marriage Breakdown Documents

For OMERS to administer a division of a member's pension benefit, OMERS must have the marriage breakdown document on file. This refers to a court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract (e.g., a separation agreement). Clear wording in these documents is very important as it will impact OMERS ability to administer the pension division.

OMERS Administrative Process

OMERS will examine the applicable marriage breakdown document and administer its terms according to the applicable legislation and the Plan text.

The document should have clear directions for OMERS to divide the pension benefit, and if applicable, under a variety of circumstances (the member's termination of employment or retirement, or the death of either party).

If the document lacks detail, or suggests that OMERS must act in a manner that would not comply with governing legislation and/or the Plan text, OMERS will not be able to administer a pension division. For example, the marriage breakdown document cannot require OMERS to consider the former spouse as the spouse who will receive survivor benefits if the former spouse does not meet the eligibility criteria for survivor benefits under the Plan.

Pension Division

If the applicable document provides clear instructions that are possible for OMERS to administer, OMERS can pay a benefit to a member's former spouse once the benefit becomes available to the member (that is, upon termination of employment, retirement, or the member's death). Again, the language must be clear enough for OMERS to do so.

It is not possible to divide a pension benefit while the member remains active in the OMERS Plan.

OMERS can pay to the former spouse a maximum of 50% of the pension benefit accrued by the member under the defined benefit provision of the Plan during the spousal period. This does not include any salary or plan improvements that occur after the marriage breakdown.

If OMERS does not have authorization under the marriage breakdown document to pay the former spouse directly, OMERS will accept the member's written authorization to do so. However, if OMERS does not have either authority, the member will be responsible for making the payment to the former spouse. OMERS will need the former spouse's full name, current address, social insurance number and, if applicable, direct deposit information. The former spouse will be taxed on their portion.

Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC)

If a member wishes to use funds from his or her AVC account for marriage breakdown purposes, the member can withdraw up to 50% of his or her AVC account balance determined as of the FLV Date. This withdrawal can be made at any time during the year and is subject to the applicable rules for the AVC provision of the Plan (e.g.,amounts can be transferred only to another locked-in account). Before such a withdrawal can be made, the member will have to establish that the funds are required for an equalization payment (e.g., provide OMERS with a copy of court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract that contains appropriate language). Please note that OMERS does not transfer funds directly from a member's AVC account to a former spouse, so any payment must be made initially to the member and then the member must arrange the transfer to the former spouse.

Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA)

The RCA provides benefits in respect of contributory earnings foraccrued after 1991 that exceed the defined benefit limits for registered pension plans as prescribed by the Income Tax Act and Income Tax Regulation.

The RCA is not governed under the PBA, so it is not administered like the Plan. OMERS does not make any payment from the RCA to a person other than to the member (or their survivors). Therefore, the RCA benefit cannot be split at source similar to the defined benefit provision of the Plan. It will be the responsibility of the member to pay their former spouse to complete any split of the member's RCA benefit.