Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) - Survivor benefits

Reference

Canadian Forces Superannuation Act

Purpose

The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) and associated regulations set out pension arrangements for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their dependants including the payment of benefits, indexing of annuities and supplementary death benefits.

Entitlement

Entitlement to survivor benefits is dependant upon a member's years of pensionable service.

Details

  • Regular Force Contributor  In the event of the death of a CAF member, a qualified survivor/Estate is entitled to:
    • Member with less than two years pensionable service, the greater of:
      • A return of contributions with interest; and
      • An amount equal to one month's basic pay for each year of pensionable service, based on the final rate of pay.
    • Member with two or more years of pensionable service: a qualified surviving spouse is entitled to an annual allowance calculated on the basis of one percent for each year of service (not exceeding 35 years), multiplied by the member's average annual pay during the best consecutive five year period. This amount, known as the basic allowance, is equivalent to one-half of the pension entitlement the member has earned.
    • Member with two or more years of pensionable service and no qualified survivors:
      • the member's Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) beneficiary would also receive a benefit equal to five times the annuity the member would have been entitled to at the time of death, less applicable tax. If the member did not name a beneficiary or the beneficiary is dead, the benefit would be paid to the member's Estate. (For more detail on the SDB see page 54)
      • Each surviving child is entitled to an annual allowance that is one-fifth (1/5) of the basic allowance, to a maximum of four-fifths (4/5). When there is no surviving spouse/partner, this allowance increases to two-fifths (2/5) of the basic allowance, to a maximum of eight-fifths (8/5). The Guardian of the child will receive the annual allowance on their behalf up to age 18. Between the ages of 18-25, an annual allowance may be paid to the child directly if they are attending full time school or university.
      • These benefits are paid in equal monthly installments and are subject to indexation starting January of the year following the death of the member if there has been a rise in the Consumer Price Index.
  • Reserve Force Contributor to the Regular Force Plan  Survivors of Reserve Force members, who were contributors under the Regular Force Pension Plan, will be entitled to receive benefits based on the rules that apply to that plan.
  • Reserve Force Participant in the Reserve Force Plan  In the event of the death of a Reserve member who is a participant in the Reserve Force Pension Plan, a qualified surviving spouse is entitled to:
    • Member with less than two years pensionable service, the greater of:
      • a return of contributions with interest; and
      • an amount corresponding to the average monthly pensionable earnings in the 12 months prior to the month of death multiplied by the number of years of pensionable service.
      • If there is no surviving spouse, the benefit of $1,000 or more is payable to the member's estate. If the benefit is less than $1,000, an amount equal to a return of contributions is payable to the member's next of kin.
    • Member with two or more years of pensionable service:
      • an annual allowance equal to 1% of the greater of the member's total pensionable earnings and his/her total updated pensionable earnings. This amount, known as the basic allowance, is equivalent to 66 ⅔ % of the lifetime portion of the pension entitlement the member has earned.
      • Benefits may also be payable to children and will depend on the number of children who qualify for an allowance and the presence of a surviving spouse.
      • If there is no surviving spouse or child to whom an annual allowance may be payable, a benefit equal to five times the annual pension benefit the member would have been entitled to at the time of death, less applicable tax, would be paid to the member's estate if $1,000 or more. The benefit would be payable to the member's next of kin if it is less than $1,000.

Contact

  • For any matters concerning the CFSA, contact Director Canadian Forces Pension Services (DCFPS) at 1-800-267-0325 or 613-971-6012.
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