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Relationship Breakdown

We're sorry to hear you have gone through or are going through a relationship breakdown. When it comes to your pension, we're here to help you, and there are several technical things you need to know.

A member's pension is considered family property and can be divided with anyone meeting the definition of pension partner upon the breakdown of the relationship. Legislation permits pension division if you go through a divorce or separation from your married spouse, or separate from your pension partner. Note: common-law spouses have to meet the definition of a pension partner to be eligible for a pension division.

It's very important to know that not every separation or divorce results in a member's pension being divided. The two of you can agree that other assets can cover anything owed, or you both might agree not to divide anything at all, which would leave your LAPP pension unaffected.

For a pension benefit to be divided and distributed, a Spousal Pension Division Instruction document has to be filed with LAPP. Pension legislation allows for the division and distribution of a member’s pension benefit by making a one-time payment to the non-member ex-pension partner without having to wait for the member to become eligible for a pension benefit. If you're at least age 55 at relationship breakdown and have not commenced your LAPP pension, your former pension partner also has the option of a delayed lump-sum payment, an immediate LAPP pension, or a delayed pension.

If you’re going through a relationship breakdown, your legal counsel should take these regulations into account when working on your settlement. Whatever you and your pension partner decide to do regarding your LAPP pension, please contact us and let us know as soon as possible.

 

If you have a pension partner and are facing a relationship breakdown, an important first step is determining the value of your pension. A Total Entitlement Estimate is a statement of the value of your LAPP pension benefit at the time the relationship breaks down and can be requested from us in writing. 

You or your pension partner can request a Total Entitlement Estimate. However, please note that when one person requests a Total Entitlement Estimate, the other person is also sent an estimate. 

After receiving a Total Entitlement Estimate, you and your pension partner can decide whether to divide your pension or instead consider the value of your pension when dividing all your shared property assets.

Requests for a Total Entitlement Estimate are made in writing and contain the following:

  • Signature of the person making the request; 
  • Full names, current addresses, and current phone numbers for both the LAPP member and their pension partner; 
  • Contact information which can also be care of both or either of your lawyers; and
  • Beginning and end dates of the period of joint accrual (this is normally the time the parties were married or living together).

Who Can Request a Total Entitlement Estimate?
A request can be made by:

  • You;
  • Your lawyer;
  • Your pension partner; or 
  • Your pension partner’s lawyer. 

Please submit the Total Entitlement Estimate request via Secure Messages (available by logging in to Your Pension Profile at the top right corner of this website) or by mail or fax.

If either of your lawyers will be requesting information on your behalf, you and your pension partner must provide an authorization allowing the disclosure of this information to each of your respective lawyer(s). Contact us for information about how to provide this authorization.

 

If your pension benefit isn't being divided but you've obtained an Order or fully executed Agreement that confirms that your pension won't be divided, please send us a court-certified copy of your Order or a copy of your Agreement via one of the methods below.

Mail/In-person:

LAPP
c/o Alberta Pensions Services Corporation
5103 Windermere Blvd. SW
Edmonton AB  T6W 0S9

There is also an after-hours dropbox located outside the front doors for your convenience.

Fax: 780-421-1652

 

1.  Request a Total Entitlement Estimate which will provide you and your pension partner with information about the value of your pension benefit. 

2.  Decide whether you will be using an Order or Agreement to divide your pension.

If you choose to use an Order:

3. Start drafting your Order
For more information on the process to obtain an Order, please speak to a lawyer.

Your Order must set out:

  • Beginning and end dates of the period of joint accrual;
  • Division Factor of the benefit, which is the percentage share of the jointly accrued benefit which is granted to your pension partner (and which must not exceed 50%); and
  • Whether or not there is to be a delayed division if your pension partner is eligible.

It's recommended that your draft Order be reviewed by us prior to proceeding to the next step.

4. File Your Order with the Court and obtain a Court-Certified Copy
An Order is not enforceable until it has been signed by a judge and filed by a clerk of the Court. The court-certified copy of your Order must be stamped as a true copy of the original and signed by a clerk of the Court.

5. Submit a Court-Certified Copy of Your Order
The court-certified copy of your Order is required to divide your pension benefit. This copy must be sent or delivered to LAPP via one of the following methods:

Mail/In-person:

LAPP
c/o Alberta Pensions Services Corporation
5103 Windermere Blvd. SW
Edmonton AB T6W 0S9

There is also an after-hours dropbox located outside the front doors for your convenience.

Fax: 780-421-1652

If you choose to use an Agreement:

3. Start drafting your Agreement
For more information on the process to obtain an Agreement, please speak to a lawyer.

Your Agreement must set out:

  • Beginning and end dates of the period of joint accrual;
  • Division Factor of the benefit, which is the percentage share of the jointly accrued benefit which is granted to your pension partner (and which must not exceed 50%);
  • Whether or not there is to be a delayed division if your pension partner is eligible; and
  • Written acknowledgement from each of the partners, made apart from the other partner:
    • That they are both aware of the nature and the effect of the Agreement;
    • That they are both aware of the possible future claims to property they may have under the Family Property Act, Matrimonial Property Act, or Adult Interdependent Relationships Act (whichever legislation is applicable) and that they both intend to give up these claims to the extent necessary to give effect to the Agreement;
    • That they are both executing the Agreement freely and voluntarily without any compulsion on the part of the other partner; and
    • Each written acknowledgement referred to above must be made before a lawyer other than the lawyer acting for the other partner or before whom the acknowledgement is made by the other partner.

    It's recommended that your draft Agreement be reviewed by us prior to proceeding to the next step.

    4. Complete your Agreement
    An Agreement is not administrable unless it includes all the formal requirements outlined above.

    5. Submit your Agreement
    A complete Agreement is required to divide your pension benefit. The copy must be sent or delivered to LAPP via one of the following methods:

    Mail/In-person:

    LAPP
    c/o Alberta Pensions Services Corporation
    5103 Windermere Blvd. SW
    Edmonton AB T6W 0S9

    There is also an after-hours dropbox located outside the front doors for your convenience.

    Fax: 780-421-1652


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