BCLI Issues 4th Edition of Questions and Answers About Pension Division on the Breakdown of a Relationship in British Columbia

30 March 2017

By Kathleen Cunningham

BCLI has issued the 4th revision of its publication Questions and Answers About Pension Division on the Breakdown of a Relationship in British Columbia.  Among the most frequently accessed resources on the BCLI website, Questions and Answers is widely used by family law practitioners, pension plan administrators, and estate planners as a source of detailed answers to technical questions dealing with pension division.  The general public also finds Questions and Answers equally helpful as a source of basic information about the treatment of pensions in a division of family property following breakdown of a marriage or long-term marriage-like relationship.

The 4th revision reflects the new BC Pension Benefits Standards Act and its regulations that came into force in September 2015.  It also contains updates to reflect recent case law on the application of the pension division provisions of the Family Law Act.

Questions and Answers was last updated in 2013 to reflect the changes made by the Family Law Act.  The Family Law Act made pensions belonging to persons in long-term marriage-like relationships subject for the first time to division on breakdown of the relationship, like pensions belonging to legally married spouses who separate or divorce.  The new Pension Benefits Standards Act that came into force in 2015 substantially revised the law governing pension plans and benefits, and also made incidental amendments to the Family Law Act.

As with the previous revisions of Questions and Answers, BCLI worked closely with Thomas G. Anderson QC of Anderson Pension Law Consulting, the author of the first version published in 1997.  Mr. Anderson also conferred with other pension law experts in completing the 4th revision.   BCLI acknowledges with gratitude the assistance of Mr. Anderson and his colleagues in the field of pension law in keeping this very popular publication up to date with developments in the law