Definition of spouse

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Important notes: 
  • The definition of  “spouse” is not the same in the Desjardins Group Pension Plan (DGPP) and the Group Insurance Plan.
  • For DGPP members outside of Quebec, the provisions of the applicable provincial legislation take precedence over the Plan Regulation and may differ from those presented below.

The summary definition of a spouse for members living in Quebec for the purposes of the Desjardins Group Pension Plan (DGPP) is as follows:

  • The spouse is the person who is married to or united in civil union with the member and who is not legally separated from bed and board from the member.
  • If the member is neither married nor civilly united, the spouse is a person who has been living with the member in a marital relationship for at least 3 years or, in the following cases, for at least 1 year, 
    • if (at least) one child has been born or will be born of their union;
    • if they have jointly adopted at least one child during their marital relationship;
    • if one of them has adopted at least one of the other’s children during this period 
  • If no one meets any of the above definitions, the spouse is a person who the member has designated in writing to the Desjardins Group Retirement Committee, and who has been living in a marital relationship with the member for at least 1 year.
  • Finally, if no one meets any of the above definitions, the member is deemed not to have a spouse for the purposes of the DGPP. 
After having lived in a marital relationship for three years – or one year if a child is or is to be born of the union – your spouse will be recognized automatically for the purposes of the DGPP. If you want your spouse to be recognized after 1 year of marital relationship and less than 3 years of marital relationship, please fill the form Designation of spouse.
If you die before you retire, your spouse will receive the total value of your annuity.
Upon your retirement, this spouse will have to be designated as such and will, upon your death, be entitled to an annuity equal to 60% of yours (regular plan form) or another form of survivor annuity with a different percentage chosen by you at the time you retire.
Your spouse may, however, waive this right by signing the form Spousal waiver of death benefits prior to retirement. This waiver may be revoked at any time by the spouse, prior to the death of the participant or before the commencement of the pension payments. This waiver only concerns benefits to be paid while the participant is still active in the plan. A new form must be signed at the participant's retirement in the event the spouse still wishes to waive the benefits he would be entitled to by virtue of his status of spouse after the participant's retirement.
There will be no impact if you acquire a new spouse after you retire. Your spouse is the person named as such at the time of your retirement and cannot be changed thereafter. You cannot modify or add a spouse or any other dependent person after you retire.