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Dividing Canadian Pension Plans After A Divorce

Canadian Pension Plan contributions may be equally divided between spouses who have decided to divorce or separate. Both spouses did not need to contribute to the program -if only one spouse made payments, the other party may still claim a share.

However, there are certain exemptions that can be applied when dividing a Canadian Pension Plan between spouses.

Factors That Affect The Division Of A Canadian Pension Plan

These rules apply for married couples, as well as common-law couples:

  • Age: According to the Government of Canada website, spouses are not eligible for earnings before one of the persons reached the age of 18, or is over the age of 70.
  • Additional Benefits: Spouses are not eligible if they are currently receiving CPP payments already, or have access to CPP funds due to a specific situation, such as a disability benefit.
  • Living Arrangements: You need to have lived with your partner for at least 12 straight months.
  • Spousal Agreements: These only apply in instances of a divorce of annulment after 1986. Generally, spousal agreements that prevent the division of CPP are not enforceable. However certain provinces, such as British Columbia and Alberta, have laws that allow for this agreed upon provision. It's best to consult a legal professional to verify and review its enforceability, and any potential litigation issues that may arise.

You can request the division of CPP - known as credit splitting - by filling out forms located on the Government of Canada website. However, you may want to consult a family lawyer if you have questions about the process. You need to make sure you provide accurate information - such as the length of cohabitation - as these details can affect the outcome.

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