BCLI on Bill 17


June 2023

The BC Law Institute is pleased to note the introduction of Bill 17 in the legislative assembly. This bill amends part 6 of the Family Law Act, implementing BCLI’s recommendations to reform pension division for separating spouses.

When it is enacted, the bill’s amendments will provide a host of improvements to B.C.’s comprehensive legislation on pension division. These improvements include clarifying and modernizing the law on locked-in retirement accounts and life income funds; private annuities; waiving survivor benefits after pension commencement; the powers of a personal representative after the death of a spouse; commuted value: transfer and calculation; disability benefits; and transitions.

BCLI’s Report on Pension Division: A Review of Part 6 of the Family Law Act was published in March 2021 as the culmination of its project on pension division. The project featured over two years’ work by an expert project committee and a broad-based public consultation.

As Colin Galinski, chair of BCLI’s Pension Division Review Project Committee said, “the BCLI committee’s recommended changes will enhance B.C.’s pension-division system for all stakeholders, including boards of trustees of registered pension plans, administrators, pension and family-law lawyers, and individual plan members and spouses.”