No. 96

Effective: Retroactive to June 13, 2007

Eligible disabled dependant children to receive a lifetime survivor pension

What's changed?

A recent amendment to the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) changed the definition of 'eligible child' to allow eligible disabled dependant children to receive a lifetime survivor pension even if the child is over 18 and not attending post secondary school. The PSPP sets out criteria that must be satisfied for a disabled dependant child to receive a lifetime survivor pension.

Who is eligible?

Before the amendment, any child under the age of 18 or attending full-time school for a maximum of five years after the age of 18, is eligible for a survivor pension. However, with this amendment, a disabled dependant child is now entitled to a lifetime survivor pension, regardless of age and education requirements, as long as:

  • there is no eligible surviving spouse at the time of death of the pensioner,
  • the surviving spouse dies while receiving a survivor pension,
  • the child is financially dependent on the member/pensioner or surviving spouse when the last of the member/pensioner or surviving spouse dies, and
  • the child (or the child's guardian or Power of Attorney) applies to OPB and the child is found to have a continuing mental or physical disability.

If the deceased pensioner or surviving spouse was eligible for insured benefits, the eligible disabled dependant child will continue to receive insured benefits.

OPB may at any time review eligibility for a survivor pension and can stop payments if medical evidence determines the child no longer satisfies the criteria.

What hasn't changed?

This amendment does not change the order of entitlement for the payment of survivor benefits under the PSPP. An eligible surviving spouse of the member/pensioner at the time of death still has first entitlement to the survivor benefits.

How is payment determined?

The type and amount of payment is based on whether:

  • it is a member or pensioner that dies,
  • an eligible spouse exists,
  • a surviving spouse who is already receiving survivor benefits dies, and
  • in the case of a member’s death, the member has pre-1987 service, post-1986 service or both.

We are currently updating our forms and processes to accommodate this change. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Reis, Employer Relations Specialist at 416-601-3967 or