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S.M. 1992, c. 31

The Retirement Plan Beneficiaries Act

Table of contents

(Assented to June 24, 1992)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:



In this Act,

"designation" means a designation, whether made before or after this Act comes into force, by a participant of another person to receive a benefit that is payable under a plan on the death of the participant; («désignation»)

"participant" means a person who is entitled to designate another person to receive a benefit payable under a plan on the participant's death; («participant»)

"plan" means

(a) a pension, retirement, welfare or profit-sharing fund, trust, scheme, contract or arrangement for the benefit of employees or former employees, or agents or former agents of an employer, or the dependants or beneficiaries of any of the foregoing,

(b) a fund, trust, scheme, contract or arrangement for the payment of an annuity for life or for a fixed or variable term, or

(c) a retirement savings plan or retirement income fund as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada),

created before or after this Act comes into force; («régime»)

"will" has the same meaning as in The Wills Act. («testament»)

Designation and revocation by participant


A participant may designate a person to receive a benefit payable under a plan on the participant's death

(a) by an instrument signed by the participant;

(b) by an instrument signed by another on the participant's behalf, in the participant's presence and on the participant's direction; or

(c) by will;

and, subject to section 12, may revoke the designation by any of those methods.

Designation by will


A designation in a will is effective only if it relates expressly to a plan, either generally or specifically.

Revocation by will


Subject to section 12, a revocation in a will of a designation made by instrument is effective to revoke the designation only if the revocation relates expressly to the designation, either generally or specifically.

Later designation prevails


Notwithstanding The Wills Act but subject to section 12, a later designation revokes an earlier designation, to the extent of any inconsistency.

Revocation of a will


The revocation of a will is effective to revoke a designation contained in the will.

Invalid wills


A designation or the revocation of a designation contained in an instrument purporting to be a will is not invalid by reason only of the fact that the instrument is invalid as a will.

Invalid wills


A designation contained in an instrument that purports to be but is not a valid will is revoked by an event that would have the effect of revoking the instrument if it had been a valid will.

Non-revival of designation


The revocation of a designation does not revive an earlier designation.

Revoked designation in will


The republication of a will by codicil does not revive a designation contained in the will where the designation has been revoked, unless the codicil so provides.

Effective date of designation or revocation by will


Notwithstanding The Wills Act, a designation or the revocation thereof contained in a will is effective from the time of the execution or signing of the will.

Irrevocable designation


A participant may make a designation by instrument irrevocable by so providing in the instrument and by filing the instrument at the head office or principal office in Canada of the administrator of the plan to which the designation relates.

Notice of effect of marriage and divorce


Any form furnished to a participant by the administrator of a plan for use in making a designation, and any report on the status of a plan furnished to a participant by the administrator of the plan, shall contain the following statement:

CAUTION:  Your designation of a beneficiary by means of a designation form will not be revoked or changed automatically by any future marriage or divorce.  Should you wish to change your beneficiary in the event of a future marriage or divorce, you will have to do so by means of a new designation.

Enforcement of designation


A person to whom a benefit is payable under a plan pursuant to a designation may enforce payment of the benefit against the administrator of the plan, but the administrator may set up any defence against the person that it could have set up against the participant who made the designation.

Discharge to plan administrator


Payment by the administrator of a plan of the benefits under the plan in accordance with a designation is, in the absence of actual notice of a subsequent designation or a subsequent revocation of the designation, a full discharge to the administrator of its obligations under the designation.

Conflict between Act and plan


Where this Act is inconsistent with a plan, this Act applies, unless the inconsistency relates to a designation made or proposed to be made after the making of a benefit payment where the benefit payment would have been different if the designation had been made before the benefit payment, in which case the plan applies.

Insurance Act


This Act does not apply to a contract or to the designation of a beneficiary to which The Insurance Act applies.

Transitional - deaths on or after effective date


This Act applies in the case of any death occurring on or after but not before the day the Act comes into force.

Transitional - deaths before effective date


In the case of any death occurring before the day this Act comes into force, the Act for which this Act is substituted continues to apply as if this Act had never been enacted.

Reference in Continuing Consolidation


This Act may be referred to as chapter R138 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Repeal of former Act


The Retirement Plan Beneficiaries Act, being chapter R138 of the Re-enacted Statutes of Manitoba, 1987, is repealed.

Coming into force of Act


This Act, except section 13, comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Coming into force of section 13


Section 13 comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.