BCLI welcomes pension division reforms
March 29, 2023
BY Kevin Zakreski
The BC Law Institute is pleased to note the introduction of Bill 17 in the legislative assembly. This bill amends part 6 of the Family Law Act, implementing BCLI’s recommendations to reform pension division for separating spouses.
When it is enacted, the bill’s amendments will provide a host of improvements to BC’s comprehensive legislation on pension division. These improvements include clarifying and modernizing the law on locked-in retirement accounts and life income funds; private annuities; waiving survivor benefits after pension commencement; the powers of a personal representative after the death of a spouse; commuted value: transfer and calculation; disability benefits; and transitions.
BCLI’s Report on Pension Division: A Review of Part 6 of the Family Law Act was published in March 2021 as the culmination of its project on pension division. The project featured over two years’ work by an expert project committee and a broad-based public consultation.
“I’m happy to see the introduction of amendments to part 6 of the Family Law Act. BCLI’s Pension Division Review Committee examined part 6 for over two years and recommended changes that would improve how pension division works for separating spouses. The BCLI committee’s recommended changes will enhance BC’s pension-division system for all stakeholders, including boards of trustees of registered pension plans, administrators, pension and family-law lawyers, and individual plan members and spouses.”—Colin Galinski, Chair, BCLI Pension Division Review Project Committee
“BCLI is grateful to see our recommendations become implemented in a bill that will improve the law on pension division. On behalf of BCLI, I would like to thank the Pension Division Project Committee and all who participated in the project’s public consultation for their assistance in developing these reforms to an important area of the law.”—Tejas B. V. Madhur, Chair, British Columbia Law Institute
- Bill 17, Family Law Amendment Act, 2023 (first reading)
- Report on Pension Division: A Review of Part 6 of the Family Law Act
- Backgrounder—Summary of the Report on Pension Division: A Review of Part 6 of the Family Law Act (PDF)
- Backgrounder—Pension Division Review: Legislative Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Backgrounder—Quick Facts about the Pension Division Review Project (PDF)
- Backgrounder—Members of the Pension Division Review Project Committee (PDF)
- Pension Division Review Project Webpage
- BC government announcement “Changes to Family Law Act will make it easier for separating couples”