Separation & Divorce

If your marriage or common law relationship ends, you may need to make some changes to your benefit coverage. You may also want to connect with a counsellor, free of charge, through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.

You can read more about these topics below, but here’s a summary of what you need to do if your marriage or common-law relationship ends:

  • If you need support, reach out our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which offers a range of counselling and support services.
  • If you are divorced or your common law relationship ends, UBC requires that you remove your former spouse or partner from the MSP, Extended Health, Dental, Employee and Family Assistance Program and Spouse Optional Life Insurance and AD&D benefit plans. If you are separated, your spouse can continue their coverage for as long as you remain legally married.
  • Decide whether you want to change the beneficiary information for your UBC life insurance and pension.
  • Update your address if you are moving, and provide us with new emergency contact information if you listed your spouse or partner as your emergency contact.

Contact UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program for counselling support

During this time, you may want to speak with a counsellor through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Plan. UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell, offers confidential counselling support that is available in-person and by phone, web or mobile app. In addition to counselling, Shepell offers WorkLife Services that can assist you in the areas of family, financial and legal support.

Remove a spouse or partner from your benefit coverage

If you are divorced or no longer in a common-law relationship, you must remove your former spouse or partner from the MSP, Extended Health, Dental Care and Employee and Family Assistance Program.

If your spouse or partner also had coverage under UBC’s Spouse Optional Life Insurance and AD&D coverage, you must remove them from this coverage.

UBC does not allow former spouses or partners to remain as dependents and continue receiving coverage through the UBC Benefits Plan, even if this is part of your divorce agreement/court order.  If you are required to continue benefits coverage for your former spouse, you will need to arrange for a private plan and pay the provider directly. You can purchase coverage for extended health and dental plans from many different insurance companies, including UBC’s provider, Sun Life. For more information on Sun Life’s individual insurance products, visit Sun Life My Choice Plans or call Sun Life directly at 1-877-893-9893.

You can find forms for removing someone from your UBC Benefits Plan on our Forms page.

If you are separated and not yet divorced, your spouse can remain covered under the benefit plans as long as you remain legally married. However, if you are separated and enter a new common-law relationship, you can enrol your new partner only if you remove your former spouse from the plan.

Change the beneficiary for your life insurance and pension

You may want to change the beneficiary on your life insurance and your UBC pension plan. To do, submit a form to change your basic life insurance beneficiary and/or optional life insurance beneficiary to Payroll. Keep a copy of the form for your records.

Naming a new beneficiary for your pension can be more complex. Please contact the UBC Pensions Administration Office to discuss your situation and learn about the steps required.

Update your contact information

If your address or emergency contact will be changing as a result of your separation or divorce, be sure to update your information in Faculty & Staff Self-Service.