Your pension partner has special rights regarding your pension. If you are married, your spouse is automatically your pension partner, unless you have been living separate and apart for three or more years.
If you are not married but live with someone in a spouse-like or common-law relationship, this person will be considered your pension partner once you've been living together for three years in a row. This period can be shortened if you have a child of that relationship, either by birth or adoption.
If you have any questions about your personal situation as it relates to your MEPP pension, you can contact Member Services directly.
It is important to disclose your pension partner information when you first join MEPP. If you do not have one at that point, you can update your information as your relationship status changes. You must also update the information immediately if you should divorce, separate or re-marry while you are a Plan member.
Divorce or Separation
If your marriage ends, your pension benefit may have to be divided between you and your spouse. This requires a matrimonial property order (MPO) to be filed with MEPP. An MPO will provide the details as to when and how your MEPP benefit is to be divided, if at all. You should consult your legal counsel about how to get and file an MPO. You can also send a draft copy of the order to MEPP for review before submitting it, which can save you time and money if it needs to be changed.
If you and your pension partner separate, please let Member Services know as soon as possible so that they can provide you with what you need to update your pension partner information.
Your pension partner receives special protection, by pension law, and is automatically your only beneficiary if you pass away before you begin your pension. Your pension partner will receive a lifetime pension from MEPP if you pass away after you become vested.
Your pension partner can waive their right to your MEPP benefit, however the waiver must be completed before you pass away. Your pension partner can also choose to revoke the waiver at any time prior to your death, making them the sole beneficiary once again.
Pension Partner Rights After You Retire
When you retire and start your MEPP pension, the law requires you to choose a benefit option that will continue to pay a lifetime benefit to your spouse or partner should you pass away.
Upon your retirement, your spouse or partner can complete a waiver to give up the right to that benefit. This can be done in order to allow you to select a single lifetime pension option, and to name other beneficiaries.
Definition of a Pension Partner
A pension partner is how we refer to a spouse or partner and is a person who:
at the relevant time is someone to whom you are married and from whom you have not been living separate and apart for three or more consecutive years; or
if no such person exists, someone with whom you have been living in a common-law type relationship:
for a continuous period of no less than three years, or
of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption.
For the purposes of this definition, persons are living separate and apart:
if they are living apart and either of them has the intention to live separate and apart from the other, or
if, before the relevant time,
they had been living separate and apart for any period, and
that period was interrupted or terminated by reason only that either of them became incapable of continuing to live separate and apart or of forming or having the intention to continue to live separate and apart of that person’s own volition,
and the separation would probably have continued if that person had not become so incapable.