Pensions – Information for individuals

Help topics for pension plan members, how to unlock pension funds, publications, forms and lists.

Unlocking pension funds

The information and documents included below are intended to help Albertans understand their pension plan or locked-in account and the law that applies to it.

When you cease membership in a registered pension plan, you are given the option of transferring your funds from the pension plan into a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA).

The Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and Regulation prescribe 5 unlocking provisions that can provide owners with access to these funds, from a LIRA or Life Income Fund (LIF):

  1. Access due to considerably shortened life
  2. Access by becoming a non-resident of Canada
  3. Access to small amounts
  4. Access by 50% unlocking
  5. Financial hardship unlocking

Accessing Pension Funds brochure

For detailed information about the 5 different provisions for unlocking pension funds, see:

Financial Hardship Unlocking program

Effective September 1, 2014, the Financial Hardship Unlocking (FHU) program was changed, and the Government of Alberta no longer administers this program.

Any Application to Unlock Alberta Funds Due to Financial Hardship must be submitted to the financial institution that holds your locked-in account.

Your financial institution will review your application, based on the rules established by the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and Regulation.

PDF form issues

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

  1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
  2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

If you are still having problems opening the form, contact PDF form technical support.

Note: once completed, send this form to the Financial Institution that holds your Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) or Life Income Fund (LIF). This form is NOT sent to the Alberta Superintendent of Pensions.

Seeking compensation

If you believe that you have lost money because of an error, disagreement or the possible misconduct of your representative or financial company, you may be interested in the following guide, produced by the Joint Forum of Financial Market Regulators:

Publications and forms

Public sector pension plan joint governance

As some public sector pension plans transitioned to registering under the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA), certain exemptions were provided in order to ensure preservation of plan design during the transition. These exemptions are included in the Employment Pension Plans Regulation and Exemption (Public Sector Pension) Regulation, and are not detailed on this page (please refer to the EPPA; and Regulations).

Learn more about joint governance of public sector pension plans.

Related websites

Private sector plans (current and former members)

Disclaimer: Links to other websites are provided solely for your convenience. The Government of Alberta does not control, endorse, or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy and timeliness of other websites, and is not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. Read our complete disclaimer.

Sign up for updates

Subscribe to get our pensions publications by email


Pension plans registered under the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA)

Connect with the Office of the Alberta Superintendent of Pensions:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-8322 
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

Alberta Superintendent of Pensions
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Financial Sector Regulation and Policy
402 Terrace Building
9515 107 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2C3

Public sector pensions

Contact the following for information on:

Previous Overview
Next Forms