When a marriage or common-law relationship ends, it can be difficult to know what will happen to your assets, including any pensions you may have. In British Columbia, the rules regarding pension division apply both to married couples and unmarried couples who have lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years.
The laws surrounding pension division depend on whether or not the pension has commenced by the time the relationship ends and also on the type of pension plan. For example, a defined benefit plan is one where benefits are based on factors such as earnings and length of service whereas a defined contribution plan is one where contributions are made over time to build up savings for retirement.
It’s important that all parties involved in a divorce or separation understand their rights and obligations with respect to pensions. In some cases, it may be necessary to involve lawyers or mediators who specialize in family law matters and pensions. This is especially recommended if there are multiple pension plans involved with different employers. It’s also important to remember that once you make decisions about how your pension funds should be divided, these decisions cannot typically be reversed without significant effort and expense.
Navigating through complex legal issues like those involving pension division can be overwhelming but getting informed advice from an experienced lawyer can help ensure that your interests are protected while ensuring fair division among all parties involved. If you live in the South Okanagan and need assistance understanding your rights related to dividing pensions during a divorce or separation process, contact our team for more information about how we can help protect your financial future.
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