Having your beneficiary designation up-to-date is an important step in making sure your pension assets are paid as intended if and when survivor benefit payments are made. When updating your beneficiaries, it is important to note that survivor benefits for pension plans are automatically payable to your spouse (if applicable). Your designated beneficiary will only receive survivor benefits in the event that:
- you do not have an eligible spouse,
- your spouse pre-deceases you, or
- your spouse has waived their rights to any death benefits payable (by completing a spousal waiver form)
If you do not have a spouse, and have not designated a beneficiary, your survivor benefits will be paid to your estate.
Beneficiary Designation Review and Forms
If you are an active employee – and you have already received your first annual statement – you can view your beneficiary information on file by logging in to your personal profile on the Pension Plan’s Employee Self Service Website and clicking on 'Personal Information’ and then ‘Beneficiary Information’ in the top menu bar.
We are pleased to offer our active plan members with the option to update their Beneficiary and Spouse information through our online Beneficiary/Spouse Designation tool. You can access the tool through the Pension Plan’s Employee Self Service Website. Once you are logged in, in the top menu bar, select ‘Personal Information’, then select ‘Beneficiary Information’.
Your current Beneficiary and Spouse information will be displayed on the screen. Please read the pages in their entirety for assistance in progressing through the online module.
You will need to print the Beneficiary and Spouse Designation Form that will be produced at the end of the online module. After signing the Form and having it witnessed in two sections, please return it to the HRM Pension Plan office for approval.
If you prefer not to use the online Beneficiary/Spouse Designation tool, you can complete one of the following beneficiary/spouse designation forms and return the completed/signed/witnessed form to our office.
Beneficiary Designation Form (Non HRCE Employees)
Beneficiary Designation Form (HRCE Employees)
In accordance with the plan administration policy, we require original, signed copies of spousal & beneficiary designation forms.
Definition of Spouse
It is important to note that Nova Scotia has adopted a formal definition of who qualifies as a spouse. The definition of 'spouse' in accordance with the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act means either of two persons who:
- are married to each other;
- are married to each other by a marriage that is voidable and has not been annulled by a declaration of nullity;
- have gone through a form of marriage with each other, in good faith, that is void and are cohabiting or, where they have ceased to cohabit, have cohabited within the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of entitlement;
- are domestic partners within the meaning of Section 52 of the Vital Statistics Act; or
- not being married to each other, cohabiting in a conjugal relationship with each other and have done so continuously for at least:
- three years, if either of them is married, or
- one year, if neither of them is married.