We’re not married. What happens to our pensions if we separate?
Question & AnswerWe’re not married. What happens to our pensions if we separate?
1. Think about sharing your pension
The pension plan member only has to share the value of their pension with their common-law partner if it says so in an:
To get an award or , you normally need to show why it is would be unfair for the pension plan member not to share the pension. This is called an “unjust enrichment” or trust claim.
The most common example is by proving an “unjust enrichment”. This means that it would be unfair to allow your partner to leave the relationship without sharing their property. This can be hard to prove.
To make this claim, you have to show that:
- you contributed to the property,
- your partner benefited from your contribution, and
- there is no reason for your partner to keep this benefit.
Your common-law partner could share the value of their pension by making a payment to you. For example, they could pay you $10,000 to settle your claim to a share of their pension.
If you agreed to share a pension in a , or have a court order or arbitration award that says you have a right to share in your partner’s property, you can ask the to divide the pension. You can do this only if you and your partner have:
- lived together for at least 3 years, or
- lived together and have a child together.