The death benefit is equal to the sum of
(a) the contributions you have made plus your employer(s) contributions, with interest, and
(b) any voluntary contributions you may have contributed to the Plan, with interest.
If you have a spouse and she or he has not filed a spousal waiver, your spouse may elect to transfer the sum of (a) and (b) to a locked-in RRSP or, under certain statutory conditions, to another pension plan or use it to purchase a deferred life annuity or Life Income Fund. He or she can also use it to buy an annuity to provide lifetime retirement income. The voluntary contributions are not subject to locking-in regulations, and so can be transferred to a regular RRSP, or taken in cash.
If you do not have a spouse, or if your spouse has filed a spousal waiver, your beneficiary (or your estate) will receive the total sum of your account with interest to date of pay-out. This money will be taxable.