Skip to content

Input sought on Nova Scotia pension division and other family property matters

Dante Manna

The Nova Scotia Government is seeking input by way of public survey or written submissions on proposed changes to family property law that would, among other things, affect pension division between former spouses.

The Matrimonial Property Act (“MPA”) provides for division of property, including the pension benefits of either spouse, upon breakdown of a marriage or registered domestic partnership in the province.

Pension division is also regulated by the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”). However, there is some inconsistency between the MPA and PBA on how pension assets can be divided. The background paper describes this situation as follows:

Under Nova Scotia pension law, a spouse or partner who is not the pension plan member is entitled to a maximum of 50% of the part of the pension that was earned during the relationship. Courts have, on occasion, ordered that a spouse or partner get more than 50% of the pension earned during the relationship. However, it is unclear if the pension plan administrator can do this.

The Government now proposes a new law to provide, among other things, that:

…if a court ordered one person to get more than 50%, the pension plan would be able to pay this amount. Further, in certain circumstances the court could order that the spouse who is not the pension plan member should get part of the pension that was earned before the relationship.

The survey asks questions including:

  • Are there circumstances where it would be important for the court to have the ability to order a spouse or common-law partner who is not the member or pensioner of the pension plan to receive greater than 50% of the pension earned during the marriage or common-law relationship?
  • Are there circumstances where it would be important for the court to have the ability to order the full amount of a pension, not just the portion earned during the marriage or relationship, to be split?

All Nova Scotians are invited to provide feedback on these and other questions by completing the online survey or making written submissions by February 20, 2020.  The Government will also be meeting with legal stakeholders later in February. Pension plan administrators would benefit from greater clarity in the law. Our Pensions and Benefits group would be pleased to discuss this consultation with you and assist with any submissions to the Government.

This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above, please contact a member of our Pensions & Benefits group.


Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership.



Search Archive

Generic filters


Nova Scotia relaunches Paid Sick Leave Program

January 12, 2022

Rick Dunlop and Will Wojcik Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program (“Program”) is now open for applications. Employers can now be reimbursed for employees’ time off work to comply with public health requirements, including…

Read More

Retailer’s mandatory mask mandate – no discrimination based on disability or religious belief

December 30, 2021

Sean Kelly and Will Wojcik A recent decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta (“Tribunal”) dismissing a customer’s allegations of discrimination based on physical disability and religious belief against a Natural Food Store’s mandatory mask…

Read More

New Brunswick Court of Appeal rejects claim for unjust enrichment in ordinary wrongful dismissal action

December 22, 2021

Clarence Bennett and Lara Greenough In ExxonMobil Business Support Centre Canada ULC v Birmingham, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal considered the equitable remedy of unjust enrichment in the context of an ordinary wrongful dismissal…

Read More

COVID-19 vaccination soon to become mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces in Canada

December 17, 2021

Brian Johnston, QC and Katharine Mack COVID-19 vaccination policies have become more prevalent. Public sector employees have been mandated to get vaccinated in a number of jurisdictions, the federal government has mandated vaccinations in the…

Read More

Work life balance and ban on non-competes – changes to laws in Ontario

December 17, 2021

*Last updated: December 17, 2021 (originally published December 1, 2021) Mark Tector and Will Wojcik Bill 27, Working for Workers Act (“Act”), 2021, received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021, and is now in force in Ontario.…

Read More

Private posts can lead to a lack of academic professionalism: the relationship between social media and post-secondary institutions and the duty of procedural fairness

December 9, 2021

Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 09 (also available in French, here) Tessa Belliveau In its recent and interesting decision regarding Zaki v.  University of Manitoba, 2021 MBQB 178 (CanLII), the…

Read More

A new era: expanded obligations for owners under New Brunswick’s Construction Remedies Act

December 7, 2021

Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 09 Conor O’Neil and Sarah-Jane Lewis Construction lien legislation exists in every province and territory in Canada. Liens are a creature of statute introduced, at…

Read More

A legal lost and found: proposed rules for New Brunswick’s Unclaimed Property Act now published

December 6, 2021

Christopher Marr, TEP and Michael Forestell As detailed in our previous update , in March 2020 New Brunswick implemented the Unclaimed Property Act (“Act”), with the intention that the New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services…

Read More

Legislative amendments impacting Prince Edward Island companies

December 3, 2021

Margaret Anne Walsh and Graeme Stetson Beneficial Ownership and Corporate Transparency On September 1, 2020, the Government of Prince Edward Island proclaimed into force Bill no. 34 which amends the Business Corporations Act (“BCA”). The…

Read More

What the government is doing to continue support for international students

December 2, 2021

Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 09 Brendan Sheridan With the 2021 fall school semester under way, it has been a year and a half since the COVID-19 pandemic first resulted…

Read More

Search Archive

Generic filters

Scroll To Top