CHANGING YOUR BENEFICIARY
Revocable or irrevocable?
There are two types of beneficiary: revocable and irrevocable. Revocable beneficiaries can be changed at any time without the beneficiary’s consent. Irrevocable beneficiaries can only be changed with the written consent of the beneficiary. You are also required to obtain the consent of your irrevocable beneficiary to exercise certain rights under your contract, for example, to make a withdrawal, obtain a policy loan, or redeem or assign your contract.
In Canada, beneficiary designations are revocable unless indicated otherwise. The only exception to this principle is in Quebec, where you are required to specify that your married or civil-union spouse is a revocable beneficiary, otherwise, he or she automatically becomes an irrevocable beneficiary.
You have the option of designating a minor child as the beneficiary of your insurance and savings products. However, it is important to note that if you designate a minor child as an irrevocable beneficiary, you must wait until the child reaches the age of majority to obtain his or her consent to amend the beneficiary designation or to exercise certain rights under your contract.
You must also think about who will be responsible for administering the portion of your insurance or savings products paid to a minor beneficiary. There are different rules depending on the province of residence of the minor beneficiary. Talk to a legal advisor, who can answer your questions or guide you toward the proper resources.
Subrogated or contingent beneficiary
What if one of your beneficiaries dies. If you want, for most products, you can designate a subrogated beneficiary in replacement of a deceased beneficiary. Thus, the portion allocated to the deceased beneficiary will be paid to the subrogated beneficiary. Otherwise, the law dictates to whom the deceased beneficiary’s portion will be paid.
Subrogated beneficiaries are revocable at any time. It’s up to you to decide whether it is relevant to designate a subrogated beneficiary or whether you simply prefer to change your beneficiaries if one dies.
Individual insurance and savings products
Obtained through your financial advisor
Your advisor is there to help. He or she will guide you through the process and provide good information based on your products and your needs. Your advisor will refer you to a legal advisor, if necessary.
Note that it is not possible to change a beneficiary designation over the phone with Customer Service. However, the Customer Service team is there to guide you in the right direction.
Do you have any questions? Our Customer Service Department is here to help you.
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (Eastern time)
Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (ET) (Pacific time)
Group savings and insurance products
Obtained through your employer
Group savings products (TFSA, RRSP, etc.)
Go to My Client Space, under the Beneficiary tab to make the change. If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service Department.
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm (Eastern time)
Group life insurance
Please contact your plan administrator to learn how to proceed. You can also contact our Customer Service Department for assistance.
Monday to Friday, 7 am to 8 pm (Eastern time)