Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefits are available to a spouse, dependent children and dependent parents.

“Spouse” means:

  • a person who is married to a member; or
  • if a member is not married, a person with whom the member is cohabiting as spouses at the relevant time and who has been cohabiting continuously with the member as the member’s spouse for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before the relevant time (death).

Note: Unless there is a legal divorce the separated spouse is entitled to the survivor benefit.

Dependents are: children who are under 18 years of age and dependent on the teacher for support at the time of the member’s death or who are under 25 years of age and attending an approved educational institution on a full-time basis and who are not dependents for any other person other than the spouse of the teacher; children over 18 years of age who are dependent on the teacher by reason of mental or physical infirmity and are incapable of engaging in any reasonable occupation.

When there is no spouse or dependent children, a parent who is dependent on the teacher for support at the time of the teacher’s death and who is a dependent of the teacher for the purpose of the Income Tax Act. (Canada) is entitled to a 60% allowance.

Death Before Retirement

  1. Death before 8 Years of Eligibility Service

If a teacher dies in service before 8 years of eligibility service has been completed, a death benefit is payable to the teacher’s beneficiary equal to the teacher’s contributions plus interest; or the surviving spouse and/or dependents may elect a deferred allowance commencing on the date the teacher would have been entitled to receive an allowance. Interest is payable for one year only from date of death

  1. Death after 8 Years of Eligibility Service
  • Spouse’s Allowance

When a teacher dies in service and has completed 8 years of eligibility service, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive 60% of the allowance which would have been payable to the teacher at the time of death. This allowance is payable immediately.

  • Children’s/Orphan’s Allowance

If a spouse’s allowance is payable, an amount equal to 10% of the allowance which would have been payable to the teacher is payable to each dependent child, subject to a maximum for all the children of 25% of the allowance, and the amount is divided equally among them.

If a spouse’s allowance is not payable, an amount not exceeding 85% of the teacher’s allowance is payable to the dependent children (60% for 1; 70% for 2; 80% for 3; 85% for 4 or more) and is divided equally among them.

  • Allowances for other Dependents

If neither a spouse’s allowance nor a children’s allowance is payable, dependent parents, in accordance with the┬áIncome Tax Act, receive 60% of the allowance which would have been payable to the teacher at the time of death.

An option is also available for the surviving spouse and/or dependents of a deceased teacher to apply to the Teachers’ Superannuation Commission for a refund of all teacher contributions plus interest standing to the credit of the deceased teacher instead of the above benefits or with at least 8 years eligibility service, the survivor may request a lump sum refund of teacher contributions and interest instead of receiving a monthly allowance.

  • Refund of Contributions and Interest

The surviving spouse or dependents of a member who dies before receiving an allowance may elect to receive a refund of the member’s contributions and credited interest.

  1. Nominee

When a teacher dies in service and leaves no surviving spouse or dependents, the teacher contributions and interest less any disability benefits paid to the teacher are refunded to the teacher’s estate or designated nominee(s). Matching government contributions remain in the Teachers’ Superannuation Fund.

Death After Retirement

When a teacher dies after retirement, the following benefits are paid:

  1. Spouse’s Allowance

The teacher’s spouse is entitled to 60% of the allowance the teacher was receiving at the time of death.

  1. Children’s/Orphan’s Allowance

If a spouse’s allowance is payable, an amount equal to 10% of the allowance the teacher was receiving at the time of death is payable to each dependent to a maximum of 25% of the allowance, and the amount is divided equally among them.

If a spouse’s allowance is not payable, the dependent children receive up to 85% of the allowance that the teacher was receiving at the time of death. The amount of this allowance depends on the number of dependent children. (60% for 1; 70% for 2; 80% for 3; 85% for 4 or more) and is divided equally among them.

  1. Dependent Parents’ Allowance

If no spouse’s or dependent children’s allowances are payable, dependent parents of the teacher shall receive 60% of the allowance which was payable to the teacher at the time of death. Upon the death of a dependent parent, the allowance will revert to the surviving dependent parent, if any, for that parent’s lifetime.

  1. Nominee(s) or Estate

If allowances to a teacher’s spouse, dependent children and dependent parents terminate before the total of these allowances and any disability benefits paid to the teacher equal the teacher’s contributions plus interest at the date of retirement, the difference will be paid to the teacher’s estate or the designated nominee.

Adjustment at Age 65

When a survivor allowance is payable to the spouse, dependent child or dependent parent of a teacher who dies before the age of 65, the amount of the allowance will be reduced beginning with the payment due at the end of the month following the month in which the teacher would have reached age 65. This is due to the integration with the Canada Pension Plan. An additional reduction will be applied at age 65 if the teacher elected the upward adjustment option.