BCLI Seeks Input on Proposals to Reform Pension Division

by the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI)

Can you share your views on the 25 tentative recommendations to reform how pension division is carried out when separating?

The project

The BCLI’s Pension Division Review Project Committee is asking the public to share its views on tentative recommendations to reform how pension division upon the breakdown of a spousal relationship is carried out, in its just-published Consultation Paper on Pension Division: A Review of Part 6 of the Family Law Act.

“The committee has examined part 6 and found it’s generally working well,” noted committee chair Colin Galinski, “but there are areas that could be improved. We hope to hear from pension and family-law specialists and the general public on what they think about our proposed reforms.”

Tentative recommendations for reform

The consultation paper contains 25 tentative recommendations for reform, addressing the following topics: transitional provisions; private annuities; disability benefits; waiving survivor benefits after pension commencement; commuted value: transfer and calculation; locked-in retirement accounts and life income funds; death of a spouse before becoming a limited member; administrative fees; and forms.

How to share your views

Go to the BCLI’s website, where you can find:

  • the consultation paper,
  • a backgrounder summarizing its contents,
  • a response booklet, and
  • a link to the committee’s survey

The committee seeks input from pension-division specialists and interested members of the general public until September 15, 2020.

About the British Columbia Law Institute

The British Columbia Law Institute was created in 1997 by incorporation under the provincial Society Act. Its purposes are to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its adaptation to modern social needs, promote the improvement of the administration of justice and respect for the rule of law, and promote and carry out scholarly legal research.

Stay informed:


Blog post banner for Legal Help from Home: North Shore Pro Bono Society

Legal Help from Home: North Shore Pro Bono Society

Legal Help from Home is a Clicklaw Blog series highlighting free or low-cost resources available during COVID-19. This post is the last in the series.

Public health directives associated with the response to COVID-19 have changed accessibility to various services, creating what can be a confusing landscape for anyone needing access to legal resources. To ease confusion and highlight resources available, Clicklaw has put together the Covid-19 Resources for British Columbians wikibook. We are also featuring legal help and tools in this and past Clicklaw Blog posts. The resources featured in this series provide help beyond finding legal info and are accessible from home or remotely.

Pro bono legal services in the North Shore

The North Shore Pro Bono Society is offering legal help in the areas of estate planning, dispute resolution education, and family mediation. Their mission is to offer legal help to those experiencing financial barriers in access to justice, mainly through keeping costs low to free for clients. The services are for West and North Vancouver residents, though they may accept people coming from other areas.

Estate planning

The Estate Planning Service offers assistance with ensuring that the paperwork is in place to have your affairs in order. This includes the following legal documents:

  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Representation Agreements

To be eligible for assistance, you and/or your spouse/partner must:

  1. Have an individual gross annual income of less than $35,000.00 or a spousal combined gross annual income of less than $75,000.00; and
  2. Have less than $100,000.00 of equity in assets, excluding pension plans.

Dispute resolution education

North Shore Pro Bono’s Dispute Resolution Education program offers coaching and educational workshops for anyone regarding divorce, separation, parenting agreements, support and division of property and debt. Whether you are unsure of your rights and obligations, or what step to take next, this program is highly useful.

Family mediation

When two parties disagree but are willing to engage in a conversation to figure it out, mediation can be an essential tool in reaching an agreement that works for all parties. The Family Mediation program helps you by assigning a mediator to help both you and the other party:

  • overcome disagreement, and
  • find solutions regarding property division, support and custody.

To be eligible to participate in this project, you and your spouse must:

  1. Have a combined gross annual income of less than $75,000.00; and
  2. Have less than $100,000.00 of equity in assets, excluding pension plans.

How will it work?

Interested parties are required to fill out an initial intake form, available on the website. You can fill out the form electronically and email it or print it and send it to the office by mail. If you have questions regarding your situation, call them at 778-786-0615.

If you are eligible, meetings will be available via phone, Zoom, or in-person with social distancing & PPE in the office as needed.

Get in contact

For more information about accessing North Shore Pro Bono’s remote legal services, visit https://northshoreprobono.ca/services/

Find it on Clicklaw: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/organization/helpmap/1265

Stay informed:

To stay informed on resources available during COVID-19 restrictions, visit Covid-19 Resources for British Columbians.

Find it on Clicklaw: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/resource/4725 or use short URL: bit.ly/covid19bc