Government Benefits

CPP for the over 65 and still working

There are really two decisions that you are faced with concerning the CPP for the over 65 and still working:

  1. Should you apply to receive your CPP retirement pension at age 65 or wait until you stop working, or even until age 70?
  2. If you decide to start your CPP retirement pension at age 65, should you continue contributing to the CPP?

In this article, I’ll try to give you enough information so that you can decide when to start receiving your CPP retirement pension. I’ll deal with the decision as to whether to continue contributing to CPP beyond age 65 shortly, in a separate article.

Some of the factors to consider in deciding when to start your CPP retirement pension are:

  • How badly do you need the money now?
  • What are your future income streams?
  • How long do you expect to live?
  • What is the “breakeven point” for waiting versus applying now?

Related article: Should you take CPP early?

The breakeven point past 65

To determine your breakeven point for yourself, you must have a good understanding of how CPP benefits are calculated.

Related article: How much will you get from CPP?

To calculate an exact breakeven point, you would need the following:

  • Your current CPP record of earnings and contributions, which is available online:
  • A good estimate of your future earnings up to age 70
  • An accurate way of calculating your CPP retirement pension under various scenarios (you can try using the online calculator at service Canada, or you can leave a comment below.

Before deciding when to start your CPP retirement pension, an individually calculated breakeven point is important if any one of these factors applies to you:

  • Your CPP record of earnings shows nil contributions for more years than you can “drop out” in calculating your retirement pension.
  • Your earnings after age 65 will be significantly lower than your previous “average lifetime” earnings.
  • Your earnings after age 65 will be significantly higher than your previous “average lifetime” earnings.

For most people, however, an approximate breakeven point is sufficient, and that can be determined using the following table (which uses the maximum CPP entitlement for 2015 as the “Monthly CPP”):

Approximate CPP Breakeven Points for Ages 65 to 70








Monthly CPP $1,092.50 $1,184.27 $1,276.04 $1,367.81 $1,459.58 $1,551.35
Adjustment factor n/a +8.4% +16.8% +25.2% +33.6% +42.0%
Amount of increase n/a $91.77 $183.54 $275.31 $367.08 $458.85
“Foregone” income n/a $13,110 $26,220 $39,330 $52,440 $65,550
Breakeven (months) n/a 143 143 143 143 143
Breakeven (age) n/a 78 79 80 81 82


  • Monthly CPP: Maximum amount of monthly CPP retirement pension that anyone would be entitled to receive in 2016, at the age indicated.
  • Adjustment factor: 0.7% for every month delayed past age 65, to a maximum of 42% at age 70.
  • Amount of increase: Amount of monthly CPP retirement pension received at delayed age, minus amount that would have been received at age 65 ($1,092.50).
  • Foregone income: $1,092.50 times number of months delayed.
  • Breakeven (months): Foregone income divided by amount of increase.
  • Breakeven (age): Age at which CPP starts plus number of breakeven months/12.

Related article: CPP Breakeven points for taking CPP early

A case study

If Alfred is eligible for a maximum CPP retirement pension at age 65, he can choose to apply immediately and receive $1,092.50 monthly.

If he chooses to wait until age 70, his monthly CPP retirement pension would be $1,551.35 (an adjustment of 0.7% for each of the 60 months that he delayed, for a net increase of 42.0%).

He would have foregone the opportunity to receive $65,550 in CPP retirement pension (60 months @ $1,092.50 monthly), in exchange for an increase of $458.85 in his monthly CPP retirement pension.

The number of months it would take him to break even is calculated by dividing the amount of pension forgone by the increased amount that he would receive if he started receiving CPP at age 70:

$65,550 / $458.85 = 143 months

Age 70 + 143 months/12 = 82 years old.

His breakeven age would be 82. At age 82, he would have recouped all of his foregone pension and he would be ahead $458.85 monthly, from that age forward. If he dies before age 82, he would have been better off in strictly dollar terms if he had applied for his CPP retirement pension at age 65.

As you perhaps noted in the above table, the number of breakeven months remains constant at 143 months. This basically means that if you don’t apply for your CPP retirement pension at age 65, you will have to live for approximately 12 years after whatever age you do apply for it to start, in order to catch up on the CPP retirement pension that you have “foregone”. After those 12 years, you will be further ahead by having delayed the start date of your CPP retirement pension beyond age 65.


  1. Gary Jones

    Does the .7% adjustment apply to the CPP amount that you would have gotten @ age 65, or to the CPI adjusted CPP amount for the year in which you choose to finally start taking CPP?

    If CPI averages 2% annually the $1012.50 value at age 65 would have increased to $1959.25 by age 70. An extra $946.75 per month.

    If that is the case the breakeven months would be reduced to 64.

  2. Doug

    Thanks for the questions!
    The .7%/mth adjustment applies to the calculated retirement pension for the year in which you choose to finally start taking CPP. That could be different from your calculated age-65 retirement amount, either because your earnings during that “wait period” increased or decreased your average lifetime earnings, or because the 5-year average YMPE (not CPI) had increased during that period of time. You could try to factor the YMPE increases into your breakeven calculation, but it would be quite complex, and could be less accurate if you don’t guess accurately.
    I don’t follow the math on your 2nd question? Increases in the CPI affect benefits in pay, not future benefits (as explained above). That means that if you want to factor in CPI changes, you would have to apply that 2% annual increase to the “forgone CPP benefits” that you would lose by waiting until age 70, which would increase not decrease your breakeven calculation. Even so, I don’t see how a 2% annual increase would ever get you up to an amount of $1959.25?
    Overall, you are correct suggesting that increases in the CPI (and the YMPE) should be taken into account if you wanted to calculate a truly accurate breakeven period. Unless you have a crystal ball however, I would question the value in doing so. You also run the risk of comparing apples to oranges however; as it’s one thing to tell somone what amount their pension will be in the future, but that wouldn’t be relative to today’s purchasing power.
    Again, thanks for the questions!

    • Chris W. Rea

      FWIW, on this last comment: I found that on average the growth in the YMPE exceeded the CPI. Over the past 5 years, CAGR for the YMPE was 2.62%, vs. 1.64% for CPI. (10 yrs: 2.50% vs 1.75%. Inception: 5.07% vs. 4.26%.)

      The difference arises because YMPE growth is driven by the increase in the average industrial wage, a measure different than the CPI that’s used to increase a benefit that already started.

      So in theory there _may_ be a small additional benefit to postponing CPP beyond the increase afforded by the more obvious 0.7%/month late retirement increase.

      That being said, this excess historical growth in the YMPE over the CPI is small, variable, and certainly not guaranteed.

  3. Don Martin

    What this doesn’t do is include the potential interest earned when taking CPP at age 65. If you assume some rate of interest and invest what you receive from CPP then the break even point is moved out, a lot.

    • Doug


      You’re right that including potential investment interest would extend the breakeven points, but if you’re going to do that you should probably also factor in CPI increases which would reduce the breakeven points.

      For the purposes of this article, I think that ignoring both factors makes it more applicable to the majority of situations.

  4. Gladys Cook

    Are you available for a consultation.

    I will be 65 next March, wish to collect my OAS and CPP.

    My advisor wants me to wait till I am 70.

    I am not comfortable with this.
    Gladys Cook

  5. Doug


    Yes, I’m available for a consultation by email @ [email protected] or by phone at (778) 427-7709, or in-person if you happen to live near Courtenay on Vancouver Island.

    I’d love to hear from you!

  6. Stan N

    Hi Doug,
    In your break even calculation above should you not also include the savings of the contribution in CPP premiums you would not make after 65 i.e. $2479.95 for 2015 and for the next 4 years till you are 70.
    If you are entitled to receive the maximum CPP at 65 there would be no benefit to keep contributing the 4.95%.
    Would that not be another approx. $10,000.00 in savings and extend the break even year further?

    • Doug Runchey


      You raise a good point, but I was trying to keep the mathematics simple and everyone who is working beyond age 65 might not necessarily be earning over the YMPE and paying the max contribution of $2,479.95.

      For instance, you might have someone who’s eligible for a max retirement pension at age 65 but who wants to continue working part-time until age 70 earning only $20,000 per year. They would be able to drop out those years under the “over 65 dropout provision” and still receive 142% of a max CPP at age 70.

      Their break even calculation would again be a little different from your example.

  7. John Neal

    While your article is both clear and helpful it does not discuss the impact of income taxes.

    For example if you have high taxable income (Line 260 on T1 General 2014) from age 65 to age 70 and then retire at age 70 and have much lower taxable income starting at age 70 I believe it takes less than 12 years to break even.

    • Doug Runchey


      I agree with you 100%, and thanks for mentioning that aspect.

  8. Brian

    There is another advantage with postponing your CPP until later (even up to age 70) that I have not seen mentioned. If your other sources of income are not fixed payments for life then letting CPP grow and starting it at 70 gives the advantage of a guaranteed higher monthly payment for as long as you live, even if you live much longer than expected. It reduces your risk of living too long.

    For me that is much more important than the risk of dying early before having reached the mathematical break-even point.

  9. Robert Marcoux

    If someone continue to work part-time at age 70 and over, do they have to continue contributing to the CPP or is it supposed to stop automatically. I have started to receive CPP at 65 and worked full and part-time between the age of 65 and 70 and always continued to pay CPP during those years. I plan to continue working part-time as the income is still very good and I work from home.

    • Doug Runchey


      You cannot contribute to CPP after the month of your 70th birthday.

  10. Alan


    I’m 65, still working FT, and just received my first CPP monthly payment. I plan on working for another 2 years. My question is am I allowed to request to CRA to stop the CPP deductions being taken off from my employer? Are there any implications pro or con in doing so, or is this even allowed?

  11. Paul

    Working at age 70 for $12000/yr equals $425 cpp deduction.
    CPP benefit is $10,317 + Survivor benefit $766 OR $923.62/mo.
    Will increase in CPP benefit be recoverable or am I just wasting my money. based on age 80 lifespan??

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Paul – Employment earnings of $12,000 for the year that you turn 70 will result in a monthly PRB of approx. $8.60. So, at a cost of approx. $425 you will receive approx. $103 per year and you will be ahead if you live until age 75.

  12. Baljinderpal S Gill

    I already contribute maximum at age of 65 and working until 70 still contributing. I did not know that contribution is worthless. My question is how can I get this money back from CRA to refund my contribution.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Baljinder – You cannot get a refund of this contribution.

  13. John

    I am coming up to 65 and plan to continue full time work. I am not planning to take CPP yet. Am I required to still contribute to CPP?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi John – Yes, if you aren’t receiving your CPP you must continue to contribute to CPP until age 70 if you are still working. It’s only if/when you are receiving your CPP retirement pension that contributions are optional between age 65 and 70.

  14. Tony Roper

    Great article and comments from everyone. I am 66 and opted to receive CPP at age 65. I also opted to continue my CPP contributions. However, I am still working with a good salary and saving the whole of my pension (OAP & CPP). After reading this I will opt out of my CPP Contributions and save the contributions. Men only live to be 82 in Investment Brochures! Am I missing something?

  15. Dave Mason

    Great article!

    I understand that if you would receive the maximum CPP at 65, then there is no point in delaying receiving CPP.

    However, because I had to give some of my CPP points to my ex, at 65, I would only be getting $905 rather than the $1174 that I theoretically could get. So the question is should I delay starting CPP because I will increase my contribution base as well as the age-at-starting number.

    I think the answer is yes, because the combination seems to skew the trade-off towards delay.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dave – I’d have to see your lifetime record of CPP earnings and contributions in order to quantify my reply, but it sounds like you’re right that you would increase both your “calculated CPP” as well as increasing your CPP due to the age-adjustment factor. Contact me at [email protected] if you want me to do a calculation for you (for a fee).

  16. Sam

    Hi Doug

    My understanding is that CPP pension is based on best 39 years of contributions.

    A couple of questions:

    1) Best 39 years are based on the Calendar years OR from the month one is born? I assume the latter is correct.

    2) if 1) is yes, then if one works past 65 till 68. Is s/he be allowed to pick the Best 39 years between 18-68?

    3) if one arrived in Canada in August at the age of 27 & say earned $12k in 4 months, then these $12k would be divided by 4 OR by 12 to compute monthly earnings for the 1st year? If it’s 12 then it’s not fair as the person was not even in Canada for the 1st 8 months.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sam – In response to your questions:

      1) Yes, your starting year would be a partial year unless you were born in December.

      2) Yes, you would use your best 39 years from age 18 to 68 in this situation.

      3) The earnings would be averaged over 12 months in this situation, because whether you’re living in Canada for the whole year is not relevant for CPP purposes.

      • Sam

        Thx very much, Doug, for your prompt reply.

        Just a little clarification.

        1) If one is born in June and prefers to Exclude this partial year, then CPP pension would be based on 39 Best CALENDAR years afterwards?

        2) May I request my cpp pension calculations done on June-May year OR these are always based on Calendar year Except the 1st partial year?


        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Sam – A couple of quick points of clarification before I answer your questions. First, 39 years is only relevant to the basic portion of the CPP calculation and not the enhanced portions which begin in 2019, because the enhanced portions are based on your best 40 years. Second, 39 years are relevant only if you take your CPP at age 65 or later, otherwise it would be something less than 39 years.
          1) Yes, if you drop out the partial year that you turned age 18, you would use your best 39 calendar years.
          2) You can start your CPP effective whatever month you want, and that final year would also be a partial year unless you start your CPP effective January.

          • Sam

            Thanks very much for your detailed answers. Very much appreciated!!

  17. Carol

    If I collect my CPP at age 65 but continue to work until I am 69 – and make contributions will I receive the amount I would of received at 69

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Carol – The short answer is “No”. Each year of additional earnings/contributions will create a post-retirement benefit (PRB) which will be paid in addition to your regular retirement pension, but they won’t be as much as you would receive if you wait until age 69.

  18. Della

    I started collecting CPP at age 60. I turn 65 this month. Is is beneficial to me to keep paying or opt out now?

    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Della – In general, if you’re an employee I would recommend that you keep contributing to CPP right up to age 70, but if you are self-employed I would opt out at age 65.

  19. Pierre Belair

    Hello Doug
    I live in Montreal, Quebec, I am presently 69 yrs old, (July 1951), still working and not receiving Canada pension, my question is, I have made more than the (claw back clause) amount ($75,000) in the last 9 yrs, and always contributed the maximum annual amount for Canada pension.. How much monthly amount can I expect to receive next year as of July turning 70 yrs old. Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Pierre – CPP and QPP are not identical. but they are both based mainly on your best 39 years of earnings. So, depending on what your earnings were in your next-best 30 years of employment earnings are, your CPP/QPP could be anywhere between a low of about $380 per month to a high of about $,650 per month.

  20. Lillian

    I just turned 65 and I am working. I don’t want to draw my CPP benefits until age 70.
    Can I stop my CPP contributions now at age 65 if I am not receiving CPP benefits now.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lillian – The short answer is “No”. The long answer is also “No”.

  21. Jim Robinson

    I will turn 70 in March 2022 and am still working. Each year post the age of 65 have maxed out on CPP contributions and will likely get close in 2022 before my birthday to maxing out again. As well have maxed out in the required number of years for the max CPP benefit. I don’t need the cash flow from CPP/OAS. Is there any reason to defer CPP beyond age 70 or should I apply to for it to commence immediately after my birthday?
    For OAS should I also defer even though my 2022 earnings will likely exceed the clawback level or again is there no benefit to deferring? Earned income in 2023 are unknown.
    Any suggestions?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jim – For CPP, there’s not much point in delaying beyond age 70 unless you have good reason to think that your 2023 income will put you in a lower marginal tax bracket. If so, you might want to wait until early 2023 to apply (sometime before the end of March 2023), because you can get retroactive benefits back to April 2022 at that time and keep more of it. For OAS, delaying your application until early 2023 might make similar sense. BY receiving almost two years worth of benefits in 2023, you would also increase your maximum top clawback threshold to almost $200,000, such that hopefully you retain at least some of your OAS.

      When you mention that you might get close to the maximum CPP income in 2022, you should be aware that your personal maximum will only be 3/12ths of the YMPE, since you turn age 70 in March 2022.

  22. kevin

    I liked John Neal’s and Brian’s comments above. I think the break even point will be affected/lessoned by income taxes. I also put a high value on the guaranteed government income and the COLA CPP gives me. Even though I have a HOOP pension plan (and appears to be safe) it’s not guaranteed by the government of Canada.

  23. Marian Sexton

    I’ve never understood bridge retirement. I thought the cpp deductions were added to my cpp when I finally do retire. Now I think I get a payout once a year. Which is correct? I plan on retiring when I turn 70 and started collecting cpp at 60. Since then my pension has remained the same. What am I missing?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Marian – I’m not sure what you mean by “bridge retirement”, but if you started receiving your CPP at age 60 and you have continued working ever since, then you should have had a post-retirement benefit (PRB) added to your regular CPP benefit each year. This would have occurred sometime between April to June and it would have been retroactive to January of the year following the earnings/contributions. These PRBs would have been on top of the yearly CPI increase, so your CPP has certainly not remained the same as it was at age 60.

  24. Sharon

    I am a single woman who just turned 65 and am eligible for the maximum CPP benefit. Am planning on working until 70 and do not need the CPP/OAS funds at the moment. Would it make more sense for me to defer CPP/OAS to 70 rather than start to collect now and instead invest those funds (I have room in my RRSP to shelter completely from tax). Both of my parents are 87 though all four of my grandparents passed away in their early 80s.

    Also, I find the post-retirement benefit confusing, as I will be contributing the maximum CPP premium for those five years (65-70) (approx $18,000) though it certainly doesn’t seem worth it if the maximum annual PRB is less than $2000.

    • Doug Runchey

      YOu won’t receieve any PRBs at all unless you start receiving your CPP retirement pension.

  25. Carrie

    Hello Doug, thank you for all this wonderful information.
    I had been under the misconception that we could say NO to contributing to CPP at 65 but not actually start to take until a few years later. We farm, so had plenty of years where we certainly did not contribute our maximum and had thought we’d wait and receive extra at 70! Apparently that is not so. Is it not logical that if the CPP fund has “our” money for extra years that they’d pay interest on it (the 7% that now seems like the dream it is)!

    Secondly, I have a sister turning 65 this year. From reading your articles, I believe since she is no longer working and contributing to CPP that though her CPP payments will be small at 65 since she never maximized her payments, they will only get smaller with more Zero income years and therefore she should start taking the largest she can get THIS year.
    Thanks so much.

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