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The following information is intended to provide you with an understanding of potential survivor and child entitlements under the public service pension plan. In the event of your death, your survivor or legal representative should immediately notify the Government of Canada Pension Centre and your compensation advisor.

You may want to know…

Are your family members protected in the event of your death?
If you have 2 or more years of pensionable service, your family is protected under your pension plan in the event of your death. Your eligible survivors maybe be entitled to Survivor Benefits and eligible children may be entitled to a Child Allowance.

If you have less than two years of pensionable service, your eligible survivors or estate is entitled to a Return of Contributions, plus interest.

Who is able to claim survivor benefits?
Survivor Benefits are payable to a spouse or common-law partner. If you are separated from your legal spouse but have a partner who may also qualify for an allowance, the benefit would normally be divided between the two applicants based on the period of cohabitation. Please contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre for additional information.

What documentation is required to make a claim for survivor benefits?
For a legal spouse, a copy of the marriage certificate is required. For a common-law relationship, sworn statements and other evidence that demonstrates the conjugal nature and the period of the relationship are required. Please contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre - Contact Us for additional information.

Are there children's allowances payable?
Your dependant children may be entitled to Child Allowance under the public service pension plan. To be eligible, your child must normally be under 18 years of age. However, children between 18 and 25 may receive allowances if they are enrolled in school or another educational institution full-time and have attended continuously since their 18th birthday or the date of your death, whichever occurred later.

A child's allowance is equal to one fifth of the survivor benefit to a maximum combined amount of four fifths of the survivor benefit. If there are more than four children, the maximum combined amount payable may be divided among all the eligible children.

What is payable to the children if there is no survivor benefit payable?
When there is no survivor benefit payable to a spouse or common-law partner, the child's allowance is equal to twice the above-mentioned amount or two fifths of the survivor benefit.

Are there any additional death benefits that will be paid out if you pass away?
Yes. The Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) provides a form of decreasing term life insurance. The basic benefit is equal to twice your annual salary and decreases by 10% annually to a minimum of $10,000, starting at age 66. If you die as an active member of the public service pension plan, your SDB will never reduce below 33% of your annual salary (rounded up to the nearest $1,000) or below $10,000, whichever is greater.

The benefit is paid to your designated beneficiary for supplementary death benefit purposes or your estate and is calculated as follows:

Annual Salary
x
2
Rounded up to the nearest $1,000

Under your pension plan, there is a minimum benefit guaranteed should there be no more eligible survivors or children. For more information, refer to minimum benefit.

Also, the Public Service Management Insurance Plan (PSMIP) provides group life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance to members. Members are generally those who are employed in managerial or confidential positions. To determine if you are eligible to enroll in the PSMIP, contact your compensation advisor.

Should you inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre if the person you've named as the beneficiary of your Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) Plan moves?
Yes. You should notify the Government of Canada Pension Centre when this person moves. In the event of your death, if the Pension Centre has a current address for this person, the benefit can be paid more quickly.
When you contact the Pension Centre, please have the following information on hand:

  • Your Pension number or Personal Record Identifier (PRI);
  • The beneficiary's name, date of birth, and current address.

If your named beneficiary predeceases you, you should designate another beneficiary by completing another Naming or Substitution of a Beneficiary form.

Does your Will affect who receives your Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB)?
Wills, Agreements and Court Orders do not affect who receives your Supplementary Death Benefit. The person you named as your beneficiary for the Supplementary Death Benefit Plan receives your death benefit.

You can only name one beneficiary under this plan. If you wish to divide your death benefit among two or more people, you must name your estate as the beneficiary. You may then specify in your Will how the benefit should be divided.

If you wish to cancel a previous designation without naming a person or an organization (religious, educational, charitable or benevolent), you must also name your estate as your beneficiary.

What death benefits are available if you are slain while on duty?

  • The Public Service Income Benefit Plan for Survivors of Employees Slain on Duty provides your family with an income guarantee if your death was caused by an act of violence occurring in the course of or arising out of the performance of your duties as a federal public service employee. The plan is designed to supplement the income eligible survivors receive from various government sources, to guarantee an income level equal to the net salary or the net pension these employees would have received if alive.
  • The High Risk Travel Compensation Program (HRTCP) is designed to provide the survivors of public service employees on official travel status with compensation for private life insurance benefits not paid because death occurred as a result of war or other hostile activities.
  • Flying Accidents Compensation provides for the payment of compensation to employees or their dependants where injury or death is a direct result of a non-scheduled flight undertaken by an employee in the course of duty, or in the case of a civil aviation inspector where injury or death is a direct result of any flight undertaken for the purpose of conducting a flight test or monitoring commercial air operations on that flight.

Do any of your group benefit plans continue for your family after your death?
Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) coverage does not automatically continue for a survivor. It is not required that a retired member be enrolled in the PSHCP prior to death in order for a survivor to be eligible to apply in his own right. An individual in receipt of a recognized survivor or children's pension benefit must apply and be approved for PSHCP coverage in order to ensure receipt of health benefits under the PSHCP. Plan and enrolment information can be found on the National Joint Council and The Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) (www) Web sites.

Similar to the PSHCP, an individual in receipt of a survivor or child's pension benefits must also apply for dental coverage under the Pensioner's Dental Services Plan (PDSP), in order to obtain this benefit. Additional plan and enrolment information can be found on the TBS PDSP Web site.

For a summary of each group insurance benefit plan, visit Your Insurance Benefits at a Glance.