Supporting Documents Required

When applying for an OMERS survivor benefit, supporting documents and forms are needed to process the claim. Unless otherwise stated, we do not need certified or notarized copies of documents.

Proof of the member's death

We will accept legible photocopies of the following documents as proof of the member's death, in order of preference:

  • provincial death certificate (or equivalent);
  • funeral director's statement of death; or
  • certificate of appointment of estate trustee with or without a will.

Proof of legal marriage

OMERS will accept a legible photocopy of one of the following documents as valid evidence of a legal marriage:

  • a marriage certificate; or
  • a statutory declaration (or a signed letter from the place of worship where the marriage took place); or
  • a sworn affidavit.

Proof of common-law relationship: supporting documents

OMERS requires that you submit supporting documents with the statutory declaration that help to prove the common-law relationship continued for at least three consecutive years (or for a shorter time if there are natural or adopted children of the relationship).

If the member’s death occurred before retirement**: Provide proof that you were living as a common-law couple for each of the three consecutive years up to the member’s date of death.

If the member’s death occurred after retirement**: Provide proof that you were living as a common-law couple for each of the three consecutive years up to the member’s date of retirement.** Or, if there was no spouse at the member’s date of retirement, provide proof that you were living as a common-law couple for each of the three consecutive years up to the member’s date of death. If the member had a spouse other than you at their date of retirement, please contact OMERS Client Services.

**“Retirement” is the pension start date, i.e., the date that the payment of the first instalment of the member’s pension is due according to the terms of the OMERS Primary Pension Plan.

While each situation is unique, there are generally three types of documents that your common-law spouse will need to provide to OMERS when submitting a claim for survivor benefits – at least one from each category below. More information may be required depending on the circumstances.

1. OMERS Statutory Declaration of Common-law Relationship (Form 159)

OMERS Statutory Declaration of Common-law Relationship must be completed by your common-law spouse.         

2. Primary documents - include at least one of the following documents for each of the three continuous years:

  • Joint bank statement
  • Joint lease, mortgage or home purchase/ownership agreement for shared residence
  • Property tax statement in both names for shared residence
  • Your last will and testament that names your partner as your common-law spouse or beneficiary
  • Insurance policies demonstrating your spousal relationship and shared residence (life, home, property, car)
  • Household bills (hydro, water, etc.) in both names, or in each name for shared residence

Example:

If you died on June 30, 2018, to help prove that your common-law spouse was living with you for three consecutive years, they would have to provide proof of your common-law relationship for the period of June 2015 to June 2018.

3. Secondary Documents – at least one of the following documents:

  • Affidavits and/or letters confirming the common-law relationship, including dates, from your family, friends, and professional advisers (lawyer, doctor, etc.)
  • Income tax returns naming each other as spouses
  • Newspaper/social announcements naming you and your spouse
  • Cemetery/funeral home invoice paid by your spouse
  • Published death notice naming you and your spouse
  • Health benefits statement (e.g., employer benefits) showing joint coverage.

Proof of eligibility for child's benefit

The person who has legal custody of the deceased member's eligible children, and is applying for a child's benefit on their behalf, must submit the child's:

  • birth certificate, or
  • adoption papers, or
  • guardianship papers and a letter stating that the child was a dependent of the member.

If the spouse does not have custody of the eligible child, please provide the name and address of the person who does have custody, or the name and address of the child. 

If the deceased member's child is between 18 and 25, and a full-time student, they must submit a Form 155 - Declaration of full-time attendance at an educational institute on an annual basis. 

If the deceased member's child is over 18 and is totally disabled OMERS needs written confirmation of the child's disability from a legally qualified medical practitioner (such as a Form 141 - Certificate of child's total disability.)

Proof of age

OMERS needs proof of age for a member who dies before retirement, and for any eligible children. A document submitted as proof of age must include the date of birth.

We will accept a legible photocopy of one of the following documents:

  • birth certificate
  • baptismal papers
  • adoption papers
  • Canadian registration of birth
  • Canadian passport
  • Canadian citizenship papers
  • Certificate of Indian Status (status card)
  • Canadian driver's licence

If none of the above documents are available, we need legible photocopies of two of the following documents:

  • marriage records
  • school records
  • military records
  • foreign passport
  • Age of Majority card
  • statutory declaration
  • Canadian immigration papers