Planning for your survivors

What you need to know

  • your spouse receives the full value of the pension benefit you were entitled to receive
  • if there is no surviving spouse, any benefits are paid to your beneficiaries or estate
    • estate executor may need to apply for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee
    • OPTrust’s process for estate payments
      If you do not have a spouse at the time of your death, or if they have waived their right to a survivor pension, and you have not designated beneficiaries, payment will be made to your estate.”

      Step 1: Information to send OPTrust when member or retiree dies:

      • Death certificate, and
      • Contact information for executor

      Step 2:  Depending on whether the member died with or without a Will, when OPTrust receives these documents, we will send the executor:

      an Application for Estate Entitlement form and a letter requesting

      • if the member or retiree died with a Will
        • copy of the Will
        • Certificate of Appointment of Estate with a Will (not needed if there are no outstanding creditors and the payment amount is less than $50,000)
      • if the member or retiree died without a Will
        • Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will (not needed if there are no outstanding creditors and payment amount is less than $50,000)

      Step 3:  Executor sends OPTrust:

      • completed Application for Estate Entitlement form
      • if applicable, a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with /without a Will

      Step 4:  When these are received, OPTrust sends:

      • request for signed and notarized Executor Declaration (required for amounts from $5,000 to $50,000)
      • request for signed and notarized Beneficiary Declaration (required for amounts from $5,000 to $50,000)

      Step 5:  When OPTrust receives these documents, we send:

      • letter confirming payment
      • cheque, under separate cover, to the executor
      • T4A for the estate, under separate cover, to the executor
  • beneficiaries must be named using the beneficiary form
    • If you designate beneficiaries for your OPTrust pension in a Will, please provide a copy to OPTrust
    • You can also name beneficiaries via Online Services here
  • your surviving spouse continues to receive insured benefits, if you were eligible for them

How to plan

  • ensure OPTrust has your current beneficiary information
  • tell your beneficiaries they are named as recipients
  • prepare a Will and Power of Attorney for property and personal care and keep the documents in a safe place, known to your executor or next of kin

When to contact OPTrust

It is important for you to notify OPTrust of changes to your spousal and beneficiary information. During your membership, inform OPTrust of:
  • changes to your contact information – address, e-mail, phone number
  • life event changes – beneficiary change, new spouse, spousal relationship breakdown, new child

When death occurs, your survivor or estate representative should take the following action:

Step 1: Notification of death

  • Notify OPTrust and your employer of your death
  • Provide contact information for your estate representative or executor
  • Provide a copy of your proof of death to OPTrust (ex: death certificate, funeral director’s certificate)

Step 2: OPTrust contacts your survivors

  • Based on your spousal and beneficiary information on file, OPTrust will contact your survivors about their benefit and any payment options
  • OPTrust will ask for supporting documents required to make payment directly from your survivors

Step 3: When OPTrust receives these documents, we send:

  • letter confirming payment
  • payment, less taxes, to the survivor or to your spouse’s RRSP (as applicable)
  • T4A for each payee, under separate cover