Couples Living Together Soon Eligible for Pension Benefits

April 15, 2013

Same-sex couples and those living together will soon have the same pension benefits as people who are married.

The province is amending the Pension Benefits Act to clarify that it includes people who are living together, but not married.

“Today’s amendments are another example of how we are will making life better for all families,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Frank Corbett. “We are updating the language in our legislation to ensure it remains inclusive and accurately represents the people of Nova Scotia.”

The province passed the new Pension Act in late 2011 to provide Nova Scotians with choices and more access to pensions. A couple will only have to live together for one year to be entitled to their partner’s pension, or three years if either is still married to someone else.

During consultations, gaps were identified in the legislation and today’s amendments correct them.

“I am pleased to see these changes take into consideration different types of relationships,” said Mike Bedard, who has been living with his girlfriend for more than three years. “It will help us better plan for our future together.”

Changes include changing “marriage” to “relationship” and expanding the definition of “spouse”.