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Life Events

A qualifying life event is a change in your circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, and death, which may impact your pension benefit. 

Below are the common life events and other changes that may affect your pension benefit: 


  • When you get married, your spouse gains certain rights to your pension benefits. Please review Pension Options to gain a better understanding of the benefits. 
  • If you die before retirement and you are married and meet the requirements for a pension, your spouse will be automatically entitled to the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension, regardless of who is named as your designated beneficiary. For more information, visit the pre-retirement death benefits rules. 


  • The Pension Plan is mandated by law to have a procedure by which the two parties to a divorce may determine and allocate the participant's pension benefit. The legal name for the order which must be approved and filed with both the pension plan and the court is the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Plan’s QDRO Procedure is available for your reference.  
  • The plan has a model QDRO available to help the parties and their attorneys draft a QDRO which can be accepted and processed by the Plan.  


Death of a Participant 

  • In the event of the death of a participant or spouse, notify the Plan. 
  • Pension benefits may be available to the beneficary(ies) of a participant who dies before retirement.
  • If the participant was retired before death, benefits to the beneficiary will depend upon the type of pension selected. 

Death of a Spouse 

  • In the event of the death of a spouse of a participant, notify the Plan. 
  • If you are a participant of the Plan and your spouse passed away, you should update your beneficiary designation using the Designation of Beneficiary Form if you have not yet initiated your pension benefit.  

Death of a Designated Beneficiary