- Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- Old Age Security (OAS)
- Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- Employment Insurance (EI)
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefit is a monthly payment based on your contributions. Every working person over the age of 18 in Canada outside of Quebec earning more than $3,500 per year (a minimum amount ) has to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). If you work for someone, you pay half the required contributions and your employer pays the other half. If you are Self Employed you make the whole contribution.
Service Canada keeps a record of your earnings and the contributions you have made using Statement of Contributions. Everyone can check this statement for accuracy and contact Service Canada if you disagree.
CPP payments are considered to be taxable income.
To voluntarily request that federal income tax be deducted each month from your CPP payment, complete the Request for Voluntary Federal Income Tax Deductions form (ISP 3520).
CPP retirement pension does NOT start automatically.
You must apply for it and you must meet the following:
- be at least a month past the 59th birthday;
- have worked in Canada and made at least one valid contribution to the CPP
- want the CPP retirement pension payments to begin within 12 months.
You can apply by:
- Signing in to your online My Service Canada Account You can create an account if you do not have one. (you should hear decision within a month) or
- Complete the paper Application for a Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension and mail it or bring it to the Service Canada Centre (should hear from them within three months).
65 is the standard age for beginning to received CPP
60 - 64 is considered early retirement when one can take a reduced CPP pension (by up to 36% at age 60 or by 0.6% for each month, 7.2% per year.)
70 or after reaching age 65 - one takes an increased pension (after age 65, the pension may be larger, by up to 42% if taken at age 70)
The amount of your pension will depend on how much and for how long you have contributed to the CPP and on your age when you want your pension to start.
You can apply a maximum of 12 months before the date you would like your pension to start.
If you are 65 years plus 1 month or older, you can request retroactive payments for a maximum of 11 months, or back to your 65th birthday plus 1 month—whichever is shortest.
It is important to consider a number of things before deciding when to take CPP. To help you make a more informed decision, consider the following:
- The age when you plan on taking CPP will affect your monthly pension (as indicated above)
- Will you continue working while receiving the pension;
- Do you have savings and/or Private pension plan;
- What are you retirement plans and the lifestyle you would like after retirement;
- Health, family health history or any disabilities;
- Other income such as business investments, rental income, etc.
In addition to your CPP application you can apply (or you might be asked to apply by Service Canada) for other CPP benefits and provisions such as:
Pension sharing You may be eligible to share your CPP retirement pension with your spouse or common-law partner.
Credit splitting The CPP contributions you and your spouse or common-law partner made during the time you lived together can be equally divided after a divorce or separation.
Child-rearing provision You may be eligible to increase your CPP retirement pension if you had zero or low earnings because you were the primary caregiver raising your children.
Foreign benefits If you have lived or worked in Canada and in another country, or you are the survivor of someone who has lived or worked in Canada and in another country, you may be eligible for pensions and benefits from Canada and/or from the other country.
Survivor benefits If you are the estate, surviving spouse, common-law partner or child of a CPP contributor, you may be entitled to receive CPP survivor benefits.
For someone who worked in another country, Canada has international Social Security Agreements with over 50 countries. It will help you qualify for pensions or benefits from Canada and/or from the other country if:
- you have worked in Canada and made at least one valid contribution to the CPP; and
- you have valid periods in a partner country that are creditable under the legislation of that country.
Click here for more details on international social security agreements
A spouse is a person to whom you are legally married.
According to the CPP legislation, a common-law partner is a person of either sex who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.
To prove that you are in a common-law relationship, or that you and your spouse lived in a common-law relationship prior to your marriage, you will need to fill out the
Yes, you can share your Canada Pension Plan retirement pension with your spouse or common-law partner. To do so, you must be receiving your pension, or be eligible to receive it, and be living with your spouse or common-law partner. Sharing your pension may result in tax savings.
You must apply to share your pension.
There are two ways to share a pension:
- If only one of you contributed to CPP you can both share the one pension.
- If both of you contributed, you and your spouse / Partner may receive a share of both pensions. The combined total amount of the two pensions stays the same whether you decide to share your pensions or not.
The portion of your pension that can be shared is based on the number of months you and your spouse or common-law partner lived together during the period that you both contributed to CPP. This period is the time when either one of you could have contributed to the CPP.
Your Statement of Contributions has all the details about your contributions.
For a more detailed explanation on pension sharing and how to apply click here
If you are applying for or are already receiving a CPP retirement pension, you can apply for pension sharing.
Documents you need:
- If you apply for pension sharing at the same time as you apply for your CPP pension, you will need your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and your original marriage certificate or proof of your common-law relationship
Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form – dual signatures or
Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form - single signature
- If you and your spouse or common-law partner are already receiving a CPP pension, you do not need to provide your SIN, only your original marriage certificate or proof of your common-law relationship is needed
Complete the pension sharing form on screen, print it and then mail it, with the necessary supporting documents, including any certified true copies, to the Service Canada office listed on the application form.
Can spouses or common-law partners who are separated apply?
Spouses or common-law partners cannot apply for pension sharing if they are voluntarily separated at the time of application.
If spouses or common-law partners separate after the pension sharing is approved, the following applies:
- When the pension sharing involves CPP retirement pensions only, the pension sharing ceases the 12th month following the month in which the spouses or common-law partners start to live separate and apart.
- When the pension sharing involves both CPP and QPP retirement pensions, the pension sharing ceases the earliest of, the 12th month after the spouses or common-law partners separated, or the month in which a legal separation took place.
Yes, your pension benefits can be combined. For example. if you are already receiving a CPP survivor's pension and you apply for the CPP retirement pension or disability benefit, you will receive a combined monthly payment.
The combined benefit is not the sum of the two pensions (the amount will depend on your contributions and working years).
Example: Marie is on CPPD. Her husband passed away 2 months ago. She applied for the survivor's pension. Her amount now is the maximum disability benefit (which is more than the maximum survivor's pension).
This only applies in situations when the contributions made by you and/or your spouse / partner can be equally divided after a divorce or separation even if one spouse or common-law partner did not contribute to CPP
Benefits of CPP credit splitting
- may help you qualify for CPP benefits
- can affect the CPP benefit amount for both you and your former partner
- depends on when you were divorced or separated
- if you re-married or are in a new relationship, you can still ask for CPP credits to be split with your former spouse / partner
How to apply for CPP credit splitting
- CPP Credit Split form (ISP1901) must be completed
If you stopped working or worked fewer hours to be the primary caregiver for your young children under the age of seven, you can request the "child-rearing provision".
If you are eligible, the child-rearing period will be excluded from the contributory period when calculating your CPP benefit amount, ensuring that you get the highest possible CPP payment.
Am I eligible?
The child-rearing provision may apply to you if:
you have children born after December 31, 1958;
your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, worked fewer hours or took a lesser paying job to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven
you or your spouse or common-law partner received Family Allowance payments or were eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit).
Either spouse / partner can request the child-rearing provision, but it cannot be used by both parents for the same period of child-rearing.
Why should I request the child-rearing provision?
it may increase the amount of your CPP benefit.
May help you meet the eligibility requirements for a CPP Disability Benefit, should you need it.
In the event of your death, it could help you meet the contributory requirements to provide benefits to your survivors.
How and when should I request the child-rearing provision?
You should request the child-rearing provision when you apply for any CPP benefit.
- The application form for the CPP retirement pension includes a section on child-rearing. For all other CPP benefits, you will need to complete the child-rearing provision form separately.
If you are already receiving a CPP benefit, you can still request this provision. Complete the child-rearing provision form, and mail it to Service Canada as indicated on the form.
What documents do I need to provide?
You must provide one of the following for each child:
the child's name, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number; or
the child's birth certificate (the original or a certified true copy)
You may also be required to provide proof of the date of entry into Canada for children born outside Canada.
Julie was employed until her daughter Elizabeth, was born in 1983. Julie stayed at home with Elizabeth until she started school in 1989.
When Julie applies for her retirement pension in 2016 at age 65 and requests the child-rearing provision, the CPP will exclude the period from the month following Elizabeth's birth in 1983 to 1990 in its calculation of Julie's pension benefit amount.
Julie will receive a CPP retirement pension of $735 per month. Without the benefit of the child-rearing provision, her pension would have been $650 per month.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) survivor's pension is paid to the person who, at the time of death, is the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor.
If you are a separated legal spouse and the deceased had no common-law partner living with them, you may qualify for this benefit. The amount you receive as a surviving spouse or common-law partner will depend on:
- whether you are also receiving a CPP disability benefit or retirement pension (see Combining Canada Pension Plan Pensions)
- your age
- how much, and for how long, the deceased contributor has paid into the CPP
As the survivor, you are responsible for applying for your monthly pension. If you are incapable of applying, you may have a representative (such as a trustee) apply for you.
You should apply as soon as possible after the contributor's death. If you delay, you may lose benefits. The Canada Pension Plan can only make back payments for up to 12 months.
To apply, you must complete the Canada Pension Plan survivor's pension and children's benefits application form (ISP1300) and mail it to us.
When will my survivor's pension start?
The survivor's pension starts at the earliest the month after the contributor's death.
As soon as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) has all the information and documentation, your application will be processed.
Will I lose my pension if I remarry?
No. Your pension will continue even if you remarry.
A Statement of Contributions shows your total Canada Pension Plan contributions for each year and the earnings on which your contributions are based. It also provides an estimate of what your pension or benefit would be if you and/or your family were eligible to receive it now.
How to get a statement of contributions
If you have a "my service Canada account", you can view and print your statement of contributions from your account. Otherwise, you can contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and request a copy.
For more information on Statement of Contributions, click here
You become entitled to an Old Age Security (OAS) pension by living in Canada for at least 10 years after the age of 18. The OAS pension starts at the age of 65 and are paid from the general Government of Canada funds. (no contributions needed)
To receive a CPP retirement pension, you must have worked and made contributions to the Canada Pension Plan.
Both you and your employer make equal contributions. If you are self-employed, you pay both portions. The CPP retirement pension can start as early as 60 or as late as 70.
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