In most cases, your spouse (or your beneficiary or estate if you don’t have a spouse) will be entitled to the cash value of the pension benefits you earned to your date of death.
If the benefits are going to your spouse, they may be able to receive them as a deferred pension or transfer the amount directly to their own RRSP or LIRA tax-free. Otherwise, payments are made in cash and are taxable.
Your plan administrator can help you understand the process and designate a beneficiary for your plan, if you wish to do so.
Learn more at our Pension & savings plans hub.