Benefit Options for Pension Guarantee and Spousal Component

With the change in normal form to a life guaranteed 5 years, are there still other guarantee period options and options for continuing my pension payments to my spouse if I die first?

Yes, in addition to the normal form, you will be able to elect any of the following optional forms:

  • Life Only: pension ending upon your death;
  • Life Guaranteed 10 years: pension ending upon your death, but providing for at least 10 years of payment should you die before 10 years;
  • Life Guaranteed 15 years: pension ending upon your death, but providing for at least 15 years of payment should you die before 15 years;
  • Joint and 50% Survivor: pension where 50% of your payment continues to your spouse upon your death;
  •  Joint and 50% Survivor Guaranteed 10 years: pension where 50% of your payment continues to your spouse upon your death, and providing for at least 10 years of payment should you and your spouse die before 10 years;
  • Joint and 60% Survivor: pension where 60% of your payment continues to your spouse upon your death;
  • Joint and 60% Survivor Guaranteed 10 years: pension where 60% of your payment continues to your spouse upon your death, and providing for at least 10 years of payment should you and your spouse die before 10 years;
  • Joint and 100% Survivor: pension where 100% of your payment continues to your spouse upon your death; and
  • Joint and 100% Survivor Guaranteed 10 years: pension where 100% of your payment continues to your spouse upon your death, and providing for at least 10 years of payment should you and your spouse die before 10 years.

As you can see, you would still have the option to elect a pension that continues to your spouse after your death. However, for any of the optional forms, the amount of your monthly pension would be determined on an actuarial equivalent basis (in essence, cost-neutral). Compared to the normal form of a Life Guaranteed 5 years, this would generally translate into a small increase should you elect the Life Only option and a slight decrease should you elect any of the other options to account for the probability that your pension may be paid for a longer period of time. 

2 thoughts on “Benefit Options for Pension Guarantee and Spousal Component”

  1. Thanks for listing the options. It’s not very clear in the wording that if these options only apply to retirees who have spouse, or apply to all.

    1. Hi Adam,

      The Life Guarantee options are available to all Plan Members. The Joint & Survivor is available to all plan members that are either married and living together, and have been for at least two years, or are living with another person in a marriage-like relationship (i.e., common-law) and have been for at least two years.

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