Learn if you can get your former partner’s pension

If you’re divorced or separated, whether you were married or lived common-law, you might be able to get some of the pension contributions that your former partner has.

The pension contributions that the two of you made while you were together can be divided evenly between you. This can happen when there are enough credits that the split will allow the person whose credit is being split to still meet the minimum requirements. But for this to happen, you must have lived with your former partner for at least one year.

This is sometimes called a “credit split” or a “Division of Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings (DUPE)”.

But make sure that you know if splitting your pension contributions will help or hurt you before you ask for one. There are times when once you ask, the government can’t cancel your request.

If you earned less than your former partner

If you made less money than your former partner, splitting your pension contributions might help you qualify for . Or, it might increase the amount that you get.

If you earned more than your former partner

But, if you made more money than your former partner, splitting your contributions could make it harder for you to get CPP disability benefits. It might also reduce the amount that you get.

If you were married

If you were married, there’s usually no time limit to apply to split your contributions.

But, if your former partner dies, you must apply within 3 years of their death if you separated but did not get divorced.

If you were in a common-law relationship

If you were in a common-law relationship, you must apply to split your pension credits within 4 years of when you separated. But this does not apply if you both agree to remove the time limit and put that in writing.

You must also wait until you’ve been separated at least one year, unless your former partner dies during that time.

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