Survivor – Eligible Spouse
In order for the eligible spouse to qualify for any of the survivor benefits, he/she must meet the spousal eligibility condition and must not have been living separate and apart at the time of the Plan member’s death.
Survivor – Eligible Child(ren)
In order for the “eligible child(ren)” to qualify for any of the survivor benefits, there must not be an “eligible spouse.” Or in the case of the post-1986 service, the “eligible spouse” must have waived his/her entitlement to post-1986 survivor benefits and the Plan member must have named the “eligible child(ren)” as a designated beneficiary(ies).
An eligible child remains eligible for the survivor benefit as long as he/she meets the definition of eligible child. In the case of more than one “eligible child” the survivor benefit is divided equally amongst the eligible children. Once an eligible child no longer qualifies for the survivor benefit, that share is then divided amongst the remaining eligible child(ren).
Under Ontario law a child is considered a minor until the age of 18. Although an older child may be defined as an “eligible child” under the Plan, he/she would be regarded as an adult and not be subject to laws governing minor children. OPTrust does not pay survivor benefits directly to a minor child because a minor child cannot sign a valid release.
A beneficiary is the person or organization designated by the member on the Pension Beneficiaries form (OPTrust 1015) to receive the post-1986 survivor benefit, in the event that there is no eligible spouse or where the eligible spouse has waived the benefit.
If the deceased Plan member has no eligible survivors and has not named a beneficiary, then any survivor benefits will be made to the deceased’s estate.