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Bridging Benefits are Family Property

Posted by on Oct 6, 2010 in Retirement | 0 comments

In Cashin v. Cashin, 2010 NSCA 51 (June 6, 2010) the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal confirmed the decision of the trial judge that bridging benefits (temporary payments made by a pension plan until Canada Pension Plan benefits become payable at age 65) are family property to be split on marriage breakdown.

With early retirement the husband was entitled to a “bridging benefit” supplementing his pension until receipt of CPP. The judge held that the benefit is a matrimonial asset.

The husband appealed saying bridging benefit is akin to wrongful dismissal damages or otherwise not a matrimonial asset.

The appeal was dismissed with costs.

The Honourable Justice Nancy Bateman ruled that the benefit is a service-based benefit earned during the marriage as part of Mr. Cashin’s employment package (see Yaschuk v. Logan, [1992] N.S.J. No. 99 (Q.L.)(C.A) per Chipman J.A. at page 5) and not an asset acquired after separation. Therefore it does not fall within the s. 4 exceptions.


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