Benefits and Pension Definitions

General Terms


Your natural or adopted child, stepchild or child of your spouse who is under age 21, unmarried, unemployed and not eligible under an employer plan and dependent on you for financial support.


Eligible dependents include your spouse and unmarried, unemployed dependent children, including natural, adopted or step-children for whom you or your spouse have legal custody. Your spouse and children must reside in Canada or the United States. An eligible dependent of a University of Calgary employee in Qatar must be a Canadian citizen. Visit the UCQ website for information about residency and citizenship requirements.

Evidence of Insurability

In some cases, additional medical information or a physical exam will be necessary for certain types of insurance (e.g. optional life insurance) or for specific amounts of coverage. Medical evidence can be submitted by completing the appropriate evidence of insurability form provided to you after you have applied for the benefit. Coverage will only become effective once the insurance company has approved your application.

Life Events

A personal event that could have an effect on both your family status or health and wellbeing. For example: death, birth of a child, marriage, divorce, a change to dependent eligibility or a spouse's benefit coverage.


To qualify as a non-smoker for reduced non-smoker benefit rates, the insured employee or dependent must not have used any smoking materials or tobacco in any other form within the last 12 months.

Overage Dependent (Student)

A dependent child who is over the age of 21 but less than 25, attending an accredited educational institution, college, or university on a full-time basis. Confirmation of student status is required each year.

Overage Disabled Dependent

A dependent child over the age of 21 who is dependent on you for support, maintenance and care, due to a mental or physical disability. Prior to your child turning 21, documentation is required to continue coverage.


The opposite or same sex person to whom you are lawfully married as evidenced by a legally certified document of marriage or who has, for at least 12 months, been continuously living with you in a role like that of a marriage partner (common-law).


You will be asked to name a beneficiary for Employee Life Insurance and Employee Optional Life Insurance. The beneficiary for any AD&D Insurance is the same as for your Basic Life Insurance. If you name a minor as a beneficiary, be sure to also name a Trustee on the paper form. You are the beneficiary under any optional coverage you have for your spouse or dependents.

It is important to know that only the signed paper form on file will be valid in the event of a claim. Ensure to sign and forward your completed form to Human Resources.


A beneficiary is the person, people, estate or other entity named on the insurance policy designated to receive the amount of the benefit when you die. For more information see the Beneficiary Designation Frequently Asked Questions.

Primary Beneficiary

The recipient(s) you specify to receive the death benefits payable upon your death.

Secondary Beneficiary

The recipients of the death benefit if the primary beneficiaries predecease you. If there are no surviving secondary beneficiaries, proceeds will be paid to your estate.


An individual appointed to hold in trust any death benefits payable to a designated beneficiary who has not reached the age of majority. The benefit will be paid to a trustee or guardian on behalf of the minor.

Pension Beneficiaries

Under Alberta pension legislation, your spouse/pension partner automatically qualifies as your beneficiary. You should designate non-spouse beneficiary(ies) in the event you do not have a spouse.

For specific details refer to:

Spouse/Pension Partner Definition

Definition of a spouse in regards to the Public Service Pension Plan and the Universities Academic Pension Plan. 

Public Service Pension Plan

A pension partner is a person who, at the relevant time, is:

  1. Someone to whom you are married and from whom you have not been living separate and apart for three or more consecutive years
  2. if no such person exists, someone with whom you have been living in a common-law type relationship:

a. for a continuous period of no less than three years

b. of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption.

For the purposes of this definition, persons are living separate and apart

a. if they are living apart and either of them has the intention to live separate and apart from the other, or

b. if, before the relevant time,

i. they had been living separate and apart for any period, and

ii. that period was interrupted or terminated by reason only that either of them became incapable of continuing to live separate and apart or of forming or having the intention to continue to live separate and apart of that person’s own volition, and the separation would probably have continued if that person had not become so incapable.

Universities Academic Pension Plan

  1. A person who is married to you and has not been living separate and apart from you for 3 or more consecutive years
  2. If there is no person to whom (1) applies, a person of either sex who has lived with you in a marriage-like relationship for the immediately preceding 3-year period (or a 2-year period if you are together the natural or adoptive parents of a child under the laws of Alberta)
  3. If there is no person to whom (1) or (2) applies, and you have not filed a Declaration of Spousal Separation to the contrary, a person who was married to you but has been separated from you for at least 3 years.