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2020 Plan Review Update and COVID-19 Amendments
John is an active OMERS member who divorced Jane and has been living together in a common law relationship with Susan for two years. He and Jane have two children, Max and Drew, who are in high school. If John dies before his retirement date, who is entitled to a survivor pension?
Correct. Jane is not an eligible spouse because she is divorced from John. Susan is also not an eligible spouse because she and John are not married and she has not been continuously living with John for three years or more. Max and Drew will receive a children’s pension, because they are under the age of 18 and dependents at the time of John’s death. A children’s pension is divided equally among the eligible children. When a child is no longer eligible, the benefit is redistributed among the remaining eligible children.
Mary and Chris had been married for 20 years when she retired and started collecting her OMERS pension. After a few years in retirement, Mary divorced Chris and married Joseph. Her four children are all over the age of 25 and, as a result, are not eligible for an OMERS children’s pension. If she were to pass away, who would receive an OMERS survivor benefit?
Correct. If Chris is still living at the time of Mary’s death, he is entitled to an OMERS survivor benefit because he was the eligible spouse at her retirement date, assuming Chris did not waive his right to this benefit as part of divorce arrangements.
Mark has been living with Scott, an active OMERS member, for two years. They are not married, but they adopted a daughter, Lily, last year. If Scott dies, is Mark entitled to a survivor benefit from OMERS?
Correct. Mark is considered a common-law spouse because he and Scott were living together and they adopted Lily. OMERS applies the legal definition of a common-law spouse, that is a person who is living together with an OMERS member in a conjugal relationship: