Our brother passed away the day after he retired from GM after 34 years of service. Family was told that because he did not sign beneficiary designation to his pension, the family was denied entitlement. Is this right as the laws in Ontario, Canada state that if this is the case, pensions should go directly to the estate.

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Just read about pensions in Canada. What I read was RRSPs, seem to be like our 401k, need to be shown as part of estates. These are not pensions but personal savings. Pensions from employers is mentioned but only that they and SIN, which must be like our SS, need to be stopped. Nothing said about pensions being part of an estate. Pensions are usually a benefit of a company that employees don't pay into.

There should be an insurance policy that a beneficiary is needed. This money is not part of an estate and goes to the beneficiary to do as they please.
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I assume that he has no spouse. By designating no beneficiary he receives more in his pension. Even if he had a wife, she would not be entitled to his pension if he had no beneficiary. Have never heard of a pension being part of an estate. Once a person dies, so does his pension. My husband is a GM retiree. His pension is based on the contract that was in place at time of retirement. You may want to get a copy of the law that says pensions are part of the estate. Then send a letter to GM explaining the law. But, I always thought that once a person dies, unless a survivor mentioned, the pension ends.
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OH my, we'll have to wait for the Canadian posters to weigh in. In the states, the person preparing for retirement can designate pension benefits for his/her lifetime only. Once the person dies, no benefits are paid. BUT a spouse would have to agree to that in a written/signed statement. Is there group life insurance as part of the benefits package? That (in the states) would be paid to the estate if no beneficiary was named.
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