Government Benefits

CPP payments: How much will you get from Canada Pension Plan in retirement?

CPP payments: How much will you get from Canada Pension Plan in retirement?

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is one of the cornerstones of retirement income planning. Here are the maximum benefits at age 65:


Don’t count on the maximum

When planning for retirement, the first piece of advice I give is not to plan on getting the maximum. When you look at the average CPP payment, it’s just a little over $640 per month, which is a long way from the maximum. In other words, not everyone gets the maximum. At the most basic level, the amount you get from CPP depends on how much you put into CPP.

The best way to figure out how much CPP you qualify for is to get your CPP statement of contributions. Call Service Canada 1-800-277-9914 and ask for a CPP Statement of Contributions. They will provide you with access to your online statement.

How to get the maximum?

Why is it that so many people do not qualify for the maximum amount of CPP? The best way to answer that is to look at how you get the maximum retirement benefit. Eligibility to receive the maximum CPP benefit is based on meeting 2 criteria:

  1. Contributions – The first criteria is you must contribute into CPP for at least 83% of the time that you are eligible to contribute. Essentially, you are eligible to contribute to CPP from the age of 18 to 65, which is 47 years. 83% of 47 years is 39 years. Thus, the way I like to look at CPP is on a 39-point system. If you did not contribute into CPP for at least 39 years between the ages of 18 to 65, then you won’t get the maximum. If so, then you might get the maximum but there is another consideration.
  2. Amount of contributions – Every year you work and contribute to CPP between the age of 18 and 65, you add to your benefit. To qualify for the maximum, you must not only contribute to CPP for 39 years but you must also contribute ‘enough’ in each of those years. CPP uses something called the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) to determine whether you contributed enough. Here’s the YMPE figures for the current and past years:
    • YearYMPE
Basically if you make less than $55,900 of income in 2018, you will not contribute enough to CPP to qualify for a point on the 39-point system. For those of you that make more than $55,900, you will probably notice that part way through the year, your paycheques will go up a little. This happens because you have paid the maximum amount of CPP for the year and no longer have a CPP deduction.
As you can see, it’s not easy to qualify for full CPP especially with the trend of people entering into the workplace later because of education and people retiring earlier.

Related article: New CPP Rules are here

The easiest way to figure out your CPP eligibility is simply get your CPP statement of contributions. Once you have that document, it will list all the years you are eligible to contribute from age 18 to 65. It will show you how much you contributed in each of those years. If you contributed the maximum, it will have the letter ‘M” assigned for that year. All you have to do is add up all the M’s to see if you are eligible for the maximum. If you have 39 M’s you’ll get the maximum. If you have 20 M’s you will get approximately half the maximum (you might get some partial credits for part years).

Planning your retirement needs and income requires some understanding of how much you will get from CPP. Many people either assume they will get the maximum or assume they will get nothing at all because they fear the benefit may not be there in the future. Both these assumptions have significant flaws. Take the time to personalize the planning by understanding how the CPP benefit is calculated and how much you will receive.

Here’s an article give you a more detailed calculation on How to Calculate Your CPP Retirement Pension

For more information on CPP and other government benefits, check out my ONLINE GUIDE to CPP And OAS


  1. Rick Macdonald

    Thanks Jim, your CPP posts are very helpful.

    I still have a question about early retirement that I can’t find an answer for. If you retire at 60 with less than 40 Ms, is the hit then greater than the 60×0.5% = 30% ?

    Here are some examples to show the question:

    Say you graduate from university or whatever at age 24, never having earned income or contributed to CPP. Than you work for 40 years to age 65 and apply for CPP. You subtract the early 7 years where you had no earning/contributions, still end up with exactly 40 M’s, and get the maximum CPP. That’s clear.

    Now, instead, go back in time and start collecting CPP at age 60. We know you get hit 60×0.5% (soon to increase to .6%) and take a 30% hit. Is that the bottom line, or is there an additional hit because for the 47 eligible years, you don’t have 7 zero years, you have 12 (and only 35 Ms out of 40)?

    I’m hoping the answer is that the 0.5% per month hit is the way they calculate the effect of having contributed for 42 years instead of 47, and you still get to subtract the 7 lowest years of the 42 years you worked, and you are scored on 35 out of 35 Ms, not 35 out of 40Ms, and your total reduction is 30%.

    However, I’m guessing this is not how it works. For example, say you start earning/contributing the maximum right at age 18. You work until 60 and take CPP early. You have 42 years of Ms, but you don’t get to subtract the 5 years for age 60 to 65, and you still take a 30% hit for starting at age 60 even though you have 42 Ms.

    My personal example of thinking about retiring today: in 3 years I’ll be 60, have 6 early years of Rs, 33 Ms, and presumably 3 Bs for the next 3 years. Will my amount be 33/40 x MAX x 70% ?

    Regards, Rick

    • goretta jefferson

      I find some inf, i just wanted to know how muchim falling with i know how much i can get out

      • Dave


        You need to start with a Statment Of your Contributions from CPP. Contact a SERVICE CANADA office and they should be able to assist you further.

  2. Rick Macdonald

    I’ve done some more research and I think I can answer my own question now. My last statement is correct. With 6 Rs and 33 Ms, I will get 33/40 x MAX at age 65 and 33/40 x MAX x 70% at age 60.

    Actually, I calculate that my R years contributed 3.44 out of 6 possible “points” for those 6 years, so may calculation uses 36.44/40.

    If I choose to work some more between now and starting CPP benefits, each full year’s maximum contribution adds 1/40 x $960 or $24/month to my age 65 benefit ($16.80/mo if I start at age 60). Not a very good return, especially if I’m self-employed and have to contribute the entire year’s $4435.20 CPP myself. If I start CPP at age 60, the extra $16.80/mo will take 22 years to break even for the $4435 contribution (11 years with an employer contributing half).

    That raises another point. When we say that the break-even point for starting CPP at 60 instead of 65 is at age 77, this doesn’t account for the fact that we would contribute another $12,000 to CPP ($24,000 self-employed) over those 5 years. That pushes the break even point to about 80.5 years (84 self-employed) of age.

    Regards, Rick

    • Doug

      You’ve got at least one point wrong with your own answer on early retirement. If you start your CPP at age 60, you’re no longer looking at your best 40 years out of 47. Instead, you’re looking at your best 35.7 years out of 42 years (using the old 15% dropout for the period from age 18 to age 60). That means that your 33 M’s alone will get you to 92.4% of the max CPP, plus whatever your best 2.7 other years amount to.

      • Rick Macdonald

        Well, at first I found this hard to believe since it works in my favour to the tune of about $69 per month! However, I tend to agree based on these definitions and statements from this web page:

        “Your contributory period begins when you reach age 18 or January, 1966 (the start of the CPP) and continues until you begin receiving your retirement pension, reach age 70 or die (whichever is the earliest).”

        “However, to protect you, some parts of your contributory period can be dropped out of the calculation, such as:
        * 15 per cent of your lowest earning years in your contributory period.”

        I was thinking that the “contributory period” was always a fixed 47 years for everyone.

        My original post had this question:

        “Now, instead, go back in time and start collecting CPP at age 60. We know you get hit 60×0.5% (soon to increase to .6%) and take a 30% hit. Is that the bottom line, or is there an additional hit because for the 47 eligible years, you don’t have 7 zero years, you have 12 (and only 35 Ms out of 40)?”

        I see now that this calculation is not 35/40 but:

        35/35.7 * MAX * 70% (at the old 15% dropout rate)

        which is $658.82

        If this same person waited until 65 to collect but didn’t continue working and made no further contributions, the calculation is:

        35/40 * MAX = $840

        Note that the reduction in this case of not working is not 30%, but only 21.6%, not to mention the more than $10,000 in contributions you don’t have to make from age 60 to 65.

        • Ed

          Why don’t u wait til 70 as the CPP will grow a guaranteed 8% plus per year indexed.

          • Steve Bridge

            Ed, YES! Wait until 70, much smarter.

  3. Jacqueline Sumter

    Would you please be so kind as to inform me of how much money has gone into my Canada Pension.

    • Jim Yih

      You have to call service Canada and get your Statement of Contributions. That is the only way you will know. Good luck!

      • Rudy Fernandes

        You can also apply for a Service Canada account. This will allow you to view, online, your contribution statement as well as an estimate of your pension (along with a ton of other goodies).

        Apply at

      • Kate Morris

        Hi Jim,

        I discovered your website while searching for an answer to my question. I am foreigner who worked for the Canadian embassy in overseas and contributed to CPP for over 9 years. Now, I live in the US and will retire in 4 years, I am eligible for the CPP even though, I will be collecting the US Social Security?
        Thanks so much for your reply.

        • Doug


          Yes, you will be eligible for the CPP even though you will also be collecting US social security.

          • Moss Limbayter

            Doug. That would be correct if Kate has been paying into CPP for those 9 years.

            What I don’t know is. Do people who work for the Canadian embassy in overseas countries even pay into CPP?

            What about the cleaning staff, cooks, drivers etc? Do they pay CPP premiums or is there some other special working agreement?

          • Doug


            The rules as to who can/must/can’t contribute to CPP are governed by Revenue Canada, and I’m not an expert with that part of the CPP.

            I took Kate at her word when she said that she contributed to CPP during those years, and I know that some employment outside of Canada is considered as “pensionable earnings” and requires CPP contributions be made.

          • Andy Civil

            Kate says she’s a “foreigner” — an odd choice of word but I assume she means she’s not Canadian. Didn’t I read somewhere that you need 10 years of something (contributions? residence?) before you qualify? In this case, Kate’s “over nine years” may come up short. In fact, the cynic in me wonders if her employment was deliberately terminated just before the threshold in the same way Walmart employs people for just less than the number of hours per week that would get them benefits.

          • Doug


            The minimum of 10 that you’re referring to deals with the minimum numbers of years of Canadian residence that you require in order to receive the Old Age Security (OAS).

            For CPP, the minimum is one year of contribution, so Kate is fine.

        • Kate Morris

          Hi Doug & Moss,
          I really appreciate your answers and yes, I was contributing because at that time it was required if your work for the Canadian Government no matter where the location is (not sure if they still do that). In my letter of job offer, it says, I am required to contribute to the Canadian Pension Plan. I still have that letter. Not sure if my situation applies to other jobs such as cooks, drivers, etc., I had a business professional type of position.

          I will have to make a phone call to CPP and update when I get an answer so that others could benefit.

          Thanks so much for your help.

          • Moss Limbayter

            Thanks for that Kate, I didn’t know that people working for the Canadian Government embassy etc overseas paid CPP.

          • Javier

            But you have to consider that in order to be paid CPP when living outside Canada, you would have had to contributed for at least 20 years. I see that by working in the embassy -which is considered Canadian territory- you could claim those 10 years, but not more.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Javier – That is totally false! CPP benefits are payable anywhere in the world with no restrictions on how many years of contributions someone has. It’s OAS that is only paid outside of Canada if someone has 20 years of residence in Canada after age 18.

  4. Lisa Horvath

    This information is very helpful.
    What do you know about collecting CPP overseas. If one is planning to retire to Panama would she still be able to collect her CPP?

    I thank you in advance for your time.

    Lisa Horvath BSc. RPC. FLSR.
    Heart to Heart Counselling

    • Jim Yih

      You can collect CPP even if you are living abroad. Here’s the link for more details

    • Blue

      Thanks for sttraing the ball rolling with this insight.

  5. JC

    I am currently working for the local government (City employee) so I have a municipal pension plan to which I contribute as well as to CPP. When I retire, will I get both CPP and the Municipal Pension Plan pension incomes or whatever calculation on the MPP already includes the CPP pension?

    • Jim Yih

      Yes, you should. CPP is independent from your Municipal pension.

    • Dave

      Hi Jim

      I saw a comment where you indicated that the Municpal Pension is independant of the CPP.

      In fact most government pension plans are intergrated with the CPP. If a government worker starts collecting their pension at say aged 60 . It will include a portion called the CPP off set. Typically Government defined benefit plans only fund 1.3 % per year of service after the pensioner reaches aged 65. In other words they stop getting the off set from their pension plan and start getting CPP at 65.

      • Jim Yih

        Hey thanks Dave!
        Here in Alberta, my experience is coordination or integration is an option and not mandatory. The only time it’s mandatory is with Federal Government workers.

        Even on a municipal level it is technically independent because the municipality does not know exactly how much CPP the employee is entitled to. This may be different in other jurisdictions but from our work with these government entities, I view them as independent. Sometimes two people can view terminology differently which could be the case here.

        I really appreciate you posting these comments as you appear to be someone with some experience in this.

        • Dave

          Hi Jim

          The 4 major BC govt pension plans are integrated and I know the RCMP /DND plan and the Federal govt employees are also.

          The amount of the CPP offset is calculated at the time the pension starts and again at 65. Hope this helps

          • Jim Yih

            Thanks Dave! I know the RCMP pension is integrated as it’s a federal pension. Good to know about BC. How do you know so much about CPP? Thanks for responding to everyone here!

          • Dave

            I am a happily retired police officer and drawing a pension from the BC Municipal Pension Plan. When working I was the Pólice Provincial pension rep for a number of years and for a short time, Trustee of the Municipal plan which is the 6th largest pension plan in Canada.

            As far as the CPP is concerned I’ve just taken the time to dig into it, because on the face of it many people just don’t fully understand it… Jim as you point out unless you have 40 years of maximum contributions you’re not going to get the maximum.

          • Maddy

            I am curious about Federal Corrections officers working in BC. Our son still not ready for retirement .. just under 20 years of service, says he will not be getting CPP ?? Is that because it is integrated somewhere else?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Maddy – Yes, your son will be eligible for CPP the same as everybody else; but the federal superannuation retirement pension is integrated with the CPP so that when he turns age 65 his superannuation will be reduced by a formula that approximates the age-65 CPP based on the number of years that he works for the federal government.

      • SM

        I know Ontario’s defined benefit plans were given an option as to whether or not to integrate with CPP upon its inception in 1966. So most public plans in Ontario are integrated with CPP and there is a reduction applied to their defined benefit pension at age 65 – sooner if a disability pension is incepted.
        This is also the reason why members of the plan pay a smaller percentage of their income up to the maximum set by CPP each year and more on their income over this.
        If a plan is not integrated with CPP a member will typically pay a higher percentage of their income over the entire pensionable salary to account for the plan paying a consistent benefit over their entire retirement.
        Different plans may have slightly different integrations rates though depending on plan improvements etc that may have taken place over time.

  6. robert e brown

    hello jim i was wondering if i could collect any type of, funds from cpp,i only worked for two to two and a years,would cpp have a record of my work history, and how many years i paid into, iam now 53 years of age. thankyou for your time jim many tanks, yours truly robert e brown

    • Dave

      You cannot collect any CPP until aged 60 minimum.

      If you paid into it thru your employment CPP will have a record of contributions.

  7. robert e brown

    hi jim i was wondering if cpp,would pay me any thing back, i paid 2 years into it and al so do they have a work history of me? its been a while, iam now 53 years old. thank you for your time robert e brown

  8. Johanna Salomons

    How come CPP requires birth certificates and or social insurance number for children for whom you received family allowance benefits? What if a child is estranged and this information cannot be provided?

    • Dave

      They want the documents to help ensure that you get your entitlement from CPP. If you were at home raising children during your working years, these years can be removed from the total required and you’ll recieve a higher CPP. They want to help you but need the documents to prove things. Surely you have copies of your childrens birth certificates.

      • Lynn Goruk

        I have a problem proving my son entered Canada when I did. My husband, son and I were living in Oregon when we came to live in Ontario. My husband is a Canadian citizen by birth. My son was registered as a Canadian citizen born abroad. He was 18 months old when we entered. There is no record of his entry at Immigration because he was considered a Canadian citizen. This was 1972. There are no OHIP or Baby Bonus records kept that far back. I also traveled to Massachusetts to have another child in 1975. I arrived in my hometown 4 days before her birth and returned to Ontario approximately 1 month later. My daughter’s U.S. birth certificate has parents’ address as Mississauga.I have no record of that crossing either as we crossed the border by car and life was somewhat simpler then. I was at home with a child under the age of 7 from 1972-1992 in all (5 children). So far I have not been able to prove these children were with me in Canada under my care. Proving this information to CPP’s satisfaction will increase my monthly amount by about $30.00. Any suggestions?

        • Carla

          Yes. Request a copy of their permanent school record. This should prove that they were educated and therefore living in Canada.

  9. jas

    Good job in explaining the pension and cpp.
    but Jim I think it is also through the medium of shuch blogs, we, the citizens of Canada need to be made aware how unfair the pension system is.
    Just two examples:
    1. People come to Canada under family class and after 10 years if they reach age 65, can collect close to $1800/month for the couple. And this is all paid in spite of the fact that they have not contributed a penny into the treasury!
    2. Equally disturing is the fact that an MP or MLA becomes entitled to pension after serving for only 6 years!…. think for a moment..only 6 years and we, the millions of ordinary folks have to work for 40?!?!!?

    You keep up the good work in educating the citizens of Canada …and please help to wake them up also.

    • Peter

      You need to educate yourself. That couple you mention gets not one dime of CPP, unless they both worked AND contributed FULLY (to the amount of pensionable earnings), they will get about 25% of the maximum pension; in today’s money about $240.00 each per month. A far cry from your xenophobic estimate and well deserved considering their contributions. Aside from CPP the couple will qualify for 25% of OAS benefits; should we not care for our senior citizens? Who cares where they lived before? Unless you’re a Status Indian, you would not even be here if your attitudes had prevailed in the past

      • Pat

        “should we not care for our senior citizens” You know what Jas means.Canadians from coast to coast are sick of hearing of people coming here from other country’s to retire collecting a pension from us of some kind and all the benefits their entitled to while never contributing a penny here.They are not our senior citizens.You pay for them and stop making the rest of us pay, 25% of OAS benefits and 25% of the maximum pension for not putting in a penny to it.We paid, its our money,STOP giving it away.
        ” Who cares where they lived before? “WE DO, THE HARD WORKING TAXPAYERS that the government TAKES money from and gives to the people that didn’t work here or live here.THIS IS OUR MONEY ,CANADIANS. We care we are broke Canada look around broken infrastructure,hospitals,schools with no money to repair them.
        Status Indians had a great pension plan before we got here and they have contributed so much to Canada since.

        • Moss Limbayter

          Pat… “25% of OAS benefits and 25% of the maximum pension for not putting in a penny to it. We paid, its our money, STOP giving it away.”.

          Everything in that comment is incorrect.

          That 10 year citizen can only get 25% of the maximum CPP if they earned more than the maximum Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) in each of those 10 years, and contributed the maximum to their CPP fund. That means for this person would have had to earn at least these amounts each year:
          2014 52500.00
          2013 51100.00
          2012 50100.00
          2011 48300.00
          2010 47200.00
          2009 46300.00
          2008 44900.00
          2007 43700.00
          2006 42100.00
          2005 41100.00

          That person’s and the employer’s contributions to CPP would be $35,000. That person at 65 could collect no more than 25% of the maximum which would be $259.58 a month. If that person’s income was half of that shown for those 10 years, the pension benefit would be less than $129.79 a month.

          Their OAS monthly benefit would be $139.68 or less, in either case.

          So yes, if this person worked in Canada for the last 10 years, he did contribute to CPP, OAS, and income taxes, and therefore should be able to collect the benefits.

    • Larry

      Yes there is no denying our government is corrupt and under harper it is getting unruly.

      It is very sad severance pay is another one they are reducing or taking away severance pay to the norm but the polititions have been getting it one noted on radio $500,000 the other 5 months work over 100,000 while other put in 20 years and receive 30,000

      They cut raises for years just before they gave them selves a big increase they new what was going on.. Scams reminds me of robin hood..take from the give to the rich..

  10. Terence Boward

    Hi Jim,
    I was reading your articles on early retirement in Canada. I understand that to be entitled for CPP retirement pension the Maximum is 934.17.
    I also know the average is about 500 pm.
    So how much would a person receive as Pension, if he retires at age 60 or Age 65 if he has only made
    1-2 contributions to CPP.
    Or maybe has immigrated into Canada at age 50, maybe worked for 10 years and took early retirement at age 60 or maybe worked 15 years and retired at age 65,
    His annual average earning for all the 10 – 15 years has been about 25,000/- per year.
    In Short what is the minimum CPP pension anybody will receive.

    • Doug

      There is no minimum CPP amount, unless you consider it to be $0.01. The amount of your CPP retirement is based on your average lifetime earnings from age 18 until when your benefit starts (earliest is age 60). A rough estimate is $25/mth for each year that you have worked and contributed at the YMPE (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings). The YMPE has increased from being $5,000 in 1966 to being $48,300 in 2011. When you say earnings of $25,000, their value towards a CPP benefit depends on what year they were earned, and what the YMPE was that year. For years until approx 1986, that amount of earnings would have exceeded the YMPE and would be worth about $25 towards a retirement pension. In 2011, it would be about 50% of the YMPE and would therefore be worth about $12.50 towards a retirement pension.

  11. sam

    i started working in canada -from october 1992 and plan to retire at 60yrs of age –i am now58yrs old -how much pension do i get when i retire at 60yrs -easrly retirement i suppose

    • Dave

      How much you will get depends on how much and for how many years you have contributed.

      You can contact CPP and they will provide you with a record of your contributions and some estimates.

      If you started working in 1992 and make MAXIMUM contributions until aged 60 (2013) you will have 21 years of the 35.7 years required for maximum pension at aged 60. ROUGHLY this would equate to $400.00 per month. If you paid less than the maximum then of course you’re going to receive less. When you start your pension at aged 60 under the CPP you have had a working life of 42 years (18-60)and they allow up to a 15% reduction for years of low employment in school etc so the 42 years is reduced to 35.7 years. CPP at aged 65 is the maximum and it is reduced by 30% if you take it at aged 60… it is further reduced if you have less than 35.7 years of MAX credits. Hope this helps.

    • sam


      • Dave

        Hi Sam,

        The amount you may contribute each year has a maximum. The amount changes slightly each year. For 2012 the maximum employee contribution is $2306.70 and you must have income of $50100 to contribute that (2306.70)amount.

        The number of jobs you have does not change the limits. But if you have 2 jobs, the combined income from both will be used toward reaching the maximum contribution. But again, 2 jobs will NOT allow you to make total contributions above the limits. If you make contributions about the limits they are returned to you through your income tax refund.

        • sam


          • Dave

            Sam – I expect you will be fine and all your contributions will be shown on your statment. You should write to the Canada Pension Plan:

            Provide them your full name
            Social insurance number &
            Date of Birth.

            Ask them to provide you a statement of contributions. If you had 2 different social insurance numbers provide them both in your letter.

          • sam


  12. rimon

    we live abroad. my husband and I have both worked for 2 years in Canada and were told as we paid into the system we are entitled to collect a small amount. how do we go about this???
    thanks 4 the help

    • Jim Yih

      Just contact service Canada

  13. Lon

    I’m looking for if there is a minimum payout as well –
    I’m doing some planning for mother in law who has never worked

    • Dave

      If she never worked she gets nothing. You must have made contributions while working to qualify for CPP.

    • Andrew

      She will only be eligible for Old Age Security (OAS).

  14. Dianna Wreford

    Hi, I have all the details re my pensionable earnings, contributions, etc during the years that I worked.

    Can you point me to a place where I can verify how my CPP was calculated which probvides details of the relevant formulae, etc.

    Or can you give me a ballpark on the following data:
    Contributed to CPP from August 1966 to July 2000 when I retired at age 50. Contributed the maximum from 1971 to 2000 (30 years).
    Took CPP at age 60 in 2010 and was was dinged 30% for that.
    Any ideas on what the total discount would be?

    • Jim Yih

      Thanks for the comment Dianna.

      In 2000, you would have gotten 70% of 75% of the maximum CPP at that time. There may be some adjustments for partial contributions from 1966 to 1971. There may also have been adjustment for Child Rearing Drop out if you had kids.

      Other than that, it’s too hard for me to ballpark so the best thing to do is call Service Canada

    • Dave


      If you took your CPP at aged 60 you had a working life for CPP purposes of 42 years (18 to 60) when you could have contributed. The 42 yrs is reduced by 15% (to allow for years in school or unemployment) therefore to get the age 60 maximum you needed 35.7 years of full contributions. The age 60 maximum is 30% less than the maximum at aged 65. If you only had 30 years of FULL contributions the aged 60 amount would be reduced by 16%. (30yrs /35.7 =84%). There can be some other considerations for child rearing years, if any.

      • Doug

        I agree with Dave’s answer that your 30 years of max contributions would qualify you for 84% of the max age-60 retirement benefit, which would have been 70% of the age-65 retirement benefit. To put some numbers to these percentages, the max age-65 retirement benefit in 2010 was $934.17. The max age-60 retirement would therefore have been $654.29 ($934.17 x 70%) and your benefit should have been about $549.60 ($654.29 x 84%). It would be higher if you did have some partial years of contribution from 1966 to 1971 or if you had children under age 7 during those years.

        • Rick Macdonald

          Just thought I’d point out that Jim’s reply made the same “mistake” that I had made. He said “70% of75% of the maximum”. The 70% is due to the reduction for age 60. The 75% percent is from dividing 30 years of max contribution by 40 years (47-15%), but we’re now saying that at age 60 your contributory period is 42 years not 47. Therefore, 42 minus 15% is 35.7, and the amount is then 30/35.7 or 84%.

          Dianna also has 5 years of partial contribution from 1966 to 1970. These fractions would add to her 30 years and increase the 84% by some amount.

          You can calculate these partial amounts. For example, in 1974 I contributed $85.05 to CPP. Doesn’t sound like much? The maximum CPP contribution that year was $106.20, so I get 80% credit. Today, you have to contribute $1774 to get 80% credit.

          • Doug

            In keeping with percentages, I would say that you’re 100% correct with your comments. The only further comment that I’d like to add is to be a little careful is using contributions to determine your percentage of max, because you don’t pay contributions on the Year’s Basic Exemption (YBE). That means that your contribution of $85.05 in 1974 equated to an Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings (UPE) of $5,425 ($85.05 / 1.8% + $700) which would be 82.2% of the 1974 YMPE of $6,600.

            Now it depends how accurate you want your estimate to be, and there’s not a big difference between the two methods near the max YMPE. But for instance, a contribution of $0.01 would equate to about 10.6% maximum YMPE using the conversion to UPE, whereas it wouldn’t even register as a percentage of max contribution.
            Have I confused or clarified?

          • Rick Macdonald

            I’m not sure which your are saying is the correct calculation so let’s make sure.

            For 1974, the max contribution was $106.20. I contributed $80.05, which is 80.08%. This is the calculation I’ve been using.

            Yes, in 1974 my pensionable earnings was $5425 and the YMPE was $6600. Dividing these gives 82.2%.

            Which are you saying is correct?

          • Doug

            The link seems to have been disrupted, so I’ll try replying here again.
            Using the percentage of your UPE/YMPE would be the correct method, meaning that your 1974 contribution of $85.05 would equate to 82.2% of max YMPE when calculating your retirement benefit.

        • Doug

          The link to your last question seems to be broken, so I’ll try responding here.
          The more accurate method would be using your UPE/YMPE, meaning that your 1974 contribution of $85.05 would equate to 82.2% of the max YMPE for benefit calculation purposes, not 80.0%.

  15. Siria Bonilla

    Hi Jim,
    I have a question, I helped a client due her retirement application, and she was approved but only receives $549.35 dollars. She has worked all her life and that is her allowance. My question is why are some of the members in her church that just came into Canada never worked getting $1,100.00 dollars did I do her application wrong please help.

    • Dave

      If you are aged 60 and have 2 years of MAXIMUM contributions you will likely get about $37.00 per month

    • Dave

      No one who just came to canada and never worked here is getting 1100.00 FROM CPP.

  16. Jenny

    It is not true that you have to maximize your contribution for 40 years in order to qualify for maximum benefits. My husband went on and put in the maximum earnings for 20 years and $0 from age 44 and they still say he will get the maximum CPP. I even called them and they confirm that too.

  17. Rick Macdonald

    Sorry, but this cannot be true.

    There is (or at least there was) a bug in the online CPP calculator such that if you put in $0 for later years the web page puts the maximum value back in. Press BACK and you’ll see it in the form. The best you can do is put in the smallest amount offered ($5000/yr as I recall) and see the reduction.

    I reported this bug to the CRA webmaster but it sounds like it hasn’t been fixed yet. (I didn’t check just now).

    I can’t explain how they confirmed this on the phone. That can’t be right.

  18. Dave

    I agree with Rick MacDonald. The innfo you have received is not correct.

    If your husband has 24 years of max contributions at age 65 he will definately not get maximum.

    Age 65 = 47 yrs working life minus 17 % drop out means you must have 39 years of max contributions to get full CPP at 65. Therefore your husband will get 24/39ths of max.

    • Jim Yih

      Thanks Rick and Dave for your responses. The only way you can get a higher amount without the 40 years is with the Child Rearing Drop out. I suspect that has no relevance here given you would need 15 years of drop out. The issue probably has more to do with this glitch that Rick talks about.

  19. Sara Fred

    My dad recently received his monthly amount estimate.
    The CPP will pay him only 69.76 every month.

    He came to canada in 2002 and has been working ever since. He is 65 now.

    what can we do to increase this amount or what other benefits can we apply to in order to get a larger benefit because this amount is not enough.

    Kindly assist or provide further contacts where we can seek assistance in this regard.

    • Alan Hodgson

      He can get some portion of OAS at 65. OAS is available to everyone, although you have to have lived in Canada for 40 years after the age of 18, and for the full 10 years before you apply, to get the full amount.

      There’s also a fairly generous low-income supplement if that’s all he’s getting, but I don’t know the full criteria needed.

    • Moss

      Jim or Doug; please correct me if I’m wrong…

      Sara Fred. If your dad became a permanent resident or citizen in 2002 and lived here during all that time then that is 17 years of residence in Canada. 17 years qualifies him for partial OAS of 17/40ths of the maximum which comes to an additional $258.17 making his total now $327.93

      Then if his total taxable income (not including OAS) is $69.76 monthly / $837.12 yearly, he qualifies for GIS to top up his OAS from $327.93 to $1,495.71 monthly.

      Then add in the CPP of $69.76 and the monthly total is $1,565.47 including CPP, OAS and GIS.

      These numbers are for a single person.

      • Doug

        Hi Moss – You are 100% correct!

  20. Dave

    CPP is based on what you put into the program and the number of years. He could delay taking the CPP until age 70 which would give him a little more but I think it would still only total about $100.00 per month. Also I believe under the new rules he could also continue working until age 70 and make additional contributions during that 5 yr period again this would give him more.

    Maybe the country he came from has some benefits he could qualify for.

    I know of only 2 other programs in canada for seniors. You must qualify for both. Depending on the Province he lives in there may also be some programs?

    One is Old Age Security “OAS”
    the second is a suppliment based on income “Guaranteed income suppliment.” (GIS)

    I believe for the first one there is a length of time in Canada requirment and the second one is based on income. If you search OAS and GIS you will likely find a Canada website from which you can learn more.

    • Dave

      If you search around this website and go to the seniors section you may find this helpful.

      As I read the eligibility for OAS your dad would need 10 years in Canada before he could apply and then he would get 10/40ths of the OAS amount. I believe the max presently is about 533.00 per month so he would get a quarter of 533. or about $133.00 per month. AND once he starts OAS he cannot accumulate more years in Canada. In other words if he starts at 10 years he can never claim more than 10 years.

      The GIS is income based so more info about his income would be needed to respond in more detail.

  21. daphne page

    I am 65,still working and will begin collecting CPP next month. Will I still have to make contributions to CPP?

    • Dave

      If you start your CPP at age 65 but intend to continue to work.

      1) You do NOT have to continue to pay CPP.


      2). Begining January 2012 If you are 65,continuing to work and collecting CPP you have the OPTION of continuing to pay into the plan. Then when you actually stop working or reach age 70 your contributions made after 65 will provide you an additional benefit.

      The link below should answer any questions you may have:

      • Rick Macdonald

        Just for the benefit of others reading this point, it’s important to know that it will become mandatory to continue contributing to CPP if you are collecting CPP between age 60 and 65. This is stated in the same link that Dave provided above.

        I did a rough calculation once and for self-employed people who worked enough to get nearly the maximum CPP already. They will have to contribute 9.9% towards CPP for those years from 60 to 65 and it may be that you’ll never get the same amount back from any increase in CPP benefits from these extra contributions. As I said, it was a rough calculation only.

      • nazir

        I have a question – please guide me to any other appropriate link/forum where I may get an answer if this is not the right place for my question- thanks
        My wife is taking out a single annuity that is a locked in annuity because the funds will be transferred from her LIF locked in account to the company where the annuity is being set up – it is single life with guaranteed 20 yr for life- now the company is asking to fill out a Form 3
        Waiver of Joint and Survivor Pension
        reading through this document a part of it is
        We also understand that the amount of pension payable to the surviving spouse must not be less than 60% of the pension paid to the member or former member while we are both alive.
        We understand that we may waive our right to the joint and survivor pension provided by section 44 of the Pension Benefits Act by signing this waiver.
        We understand that by signing this waiver, the surviving spouse will not be entitled to any joint and survivor pension provided by section 44 of the Pension Benefits Act.
        We hereby waive our right to a joint and survivor pension provided by section 44 of the Pension Benefits Act by signing this waiver in the presence of a witness.
        We understand that we may cancel this waiver at any time before the date of the commencement of payment of the member’s or former member’s pension.
        So if any one has an answer to this situation – by taking out a locked in annuity and signing this form are we forfeiting our right to receive a survivors pension if one of us dies ?

    • Stephano Ottoni

      I do not see the link but my question is I am 65 still working if I take my cpp now will it still increase til I turn 70?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Stephano – If you take your CPP at age 65 but continue working, you can opt out of making any further CPP contributions OR you can continue to contribute and earn a post-retirement benefit (PRB) for each additional year that you do so.

  22. Susan F

    I have just used the Service Canada calculator and it shows max pension $960 and my pension estimate $880. I printed out my contributions history – for years 1970 to now – 24 M notes, 12 R notes, no note for early years when I had little income (1970-1973) and no note for recent years where income just under 40,000 (2006-2010). I would like to really understand how the calculation is done and I would like to know if there’s anything I can done in the next 5 years to ensure that I get the max.
    Thank you for any further insight.

    • Dave

      I’ll assume that you want to work to 65. If that is the case you have a working life of 47 years (Age 65- age 18) for CPP purposes. The rules allow for a 17% drop out period of when you have zero or low income. (The rule is presently 15% but for this explaination I’ve used the soon to be enacted 17%) Therefore for most people they will need 47yrs – 17% = 39 max (M) years at age 65 to get the maximum pension. I say most people because there is also a potential drop out period for years when your income was zero or low during child rearing years … when children were under age 7 I think it is.

      You have 24(M) years and 12 (R) years. If you take the R years and figure out what percentage of the maximim (each year) you contributed and add the percentages up this will convert your R years to the actual number of M years.

      Example R years
      1)Contribution = 70% of Max
      2)Contribution = 30% of Max
      3)Contribution = 51% of Max
      4)Contribution = 40% of Max
      5)Contribution = 62% of Max
      6)Contribution = 45% of Max
      In the above example for 6 R years they would equal 2.98 M years.

      The only way you can max out the next 5 years is to make the maximum contribution based on your income.

      If I understnad your post, you report that your CPP statment has no record of contributions for 2006-2010 although you contributed on income of about $40,000 each year (06-10) . If my understnding is correct there is an error in your statment and you should contact CPP and or your employer personnal dept ASAP. Something is definately wrong.

      I hope this is of some help.

      • Dave

        ………….Further. I misunderstood the “no notes” for 2006-10) I understand that your statement shows contributions for those years but just no R note.

        Calculate those years like the R years and add them in.

        I believe R means they refunded contributions because you over contributed based on your income and having no R means you contributed just the right amount based on your income.

  23. Rick Macdonald

    A while ago I tried to reverse-engineer the calculation. I got close, I think.

    The short answer is that you’ll get closer to the max if you continue to work and earn the max (around $48000) and contribute the max for the 5 more years that you mentioned.

    You say 2006-2010 have no notes, but does it show your amount of contribution? To begin the calculation, for all the R years divide your contribution by the max contribution for that year to get a fractional M value. Add up all the fractions and add that to your 24 Ms.

    Oh, drop 15% of the years that you worked with the lowest contribution before adding up the fractions. The rules are changing and soon the 15% will be 17%. That means drop 7 years today or 8 years 5 years from now. But that’s if you’re 65. The calculation is then 47-8 = 39 years. If you have 35.4 Ms five years from now, you’ll get 35.4/39 of the max benefit.

    The next part of the estimate calculation is not quite clear, but it works out close. Drop the lowest 6 years of contributions (15% of the 40 years you worked so far = 36) and you get 34 years.

    Given $880 from the estimate, they have estimated you have about 92% of the maximum contribution for the last 40 years. 92% of 36 is 32.6. So, I’m estimating that your number of Ms including 17 years of fractions adds up to 32.6.

    This isn’t exact, but it seems to be in the right direction. In summary, they estimate your percent-of-max contribution for your years working until now, and apply that to the current max “as if you were 65 today”. So, they don’t extrapolate your last year’s earnings, but the ratio as I’ve described.

    You’ll also notice that your estimate will drop by about 50 cents every month until they process your tax return next spring, and then it will jump up a few dollars again.

    Back to your original question. The way you increase your benefit by working and contributing for 5 more years is by making sure you replace previous zero or low contribution years that you see on your contribution history with contributions that are a greater percentage of max. If they average out the same 92% of max contribution, you won’t see an increase.

    Lastly, look and weep at how few dollars you had to earn back in 1970 to earn a full M (an $85 contribution) compared to what you have to contribute today ($2218 contribution).

  24. Rick Macdonald

    Ooops, in one place I have 15% of 40=36 but it should be =34.

  25. Rick Macdonald

    OK, I just about to go to bed so here is the proper correction: 15% of 40 is 6 years. 40-6=34.

    Final Answer!

  26. Susan F

    Thanks so much for your detailed response. It took me awhile to follow some of the steps, but I now have a much better understanding of the final amount estimated. Yes, and some of those seemingly low 1970s contributions prove to be a higher percentage than I would have thought. I have just started looking at the whole retirement scene and will be sure to check back here when I have future queries.

  27. Andrew Todd

    Where a person is on LTD for 20 years are CPP deductions made and credited as if deducted from regular salary? Thanks for your blog, it’s very informative.

    • Dave

      When you say disability are you saying you are receiving a disability pension FROM CPP?

  28. Andrew Todd

    No, no disability under CPP, I was inquiring as to whether LTD payments from an employer’s insurance carrier count as income and have CPP deductions which then count towards a CPP pension.

    • Dave

      I very much doubt that LTD payments would result in the employer/employee contributions to CPP. …. But, you should check further:

      What if anything does CPP say about people on LTD. (Not CPP disability) Does CPP consider LTD payments employment income? (I don’t know)

      Is there a union contract involved. What does it say about workers on LTD. Normally if you have sick days (short term disability) under your contract both Employer/Employee contributions continue to be made to CPP. My experience is that when LTD kicks in CPP contributions stop.

      Who paid the premimums for the LTD policy & what are the terms of the policy?

      Has the LTD – insurance company tried to get you to claim CPP disability pension.

    • Rick Macdonald

      I think the answer is here:

  29. Dave

    “CPP contributions

    Wage-loss benefits paid by an employer, a trustee or an insurance company are not subject to CPP contributions. “

  30. Brian Breivik

    Hi Jim,
    I left Canada in 1992 at age 30 (I’m 49). So my CPP contributions must be very low. I know that UK citizens can make catch up contributions to their government pension scheme and also make contributions from abroad. They don’t need to live and work in the UK to make contributions. Is this also the case for Canadians?

    • Dave

      Sorry I don’t know the specific answer to your question but I did find the information below on the CPP website. I suggest you go to the CPP website and if necessary write to CPP with the specific details of your situation. They will also be able to provide you a statement of any contributions you made before leaving Canada. They would require your Canadian SIN.

      “Canada has social security agreements with many countries to help people qualify for benefits from either country. An agreement may allow periods of contribution to the other country’s social security system (or, in some cases, periods of residence abroad) to be added to periods of contribution to the Canada Pension Plan in order to meet minimum qualifying conditions.”

  31. Jim Clark


    Anyone know of site that will give break-even points for continuing to contribute between 65-70 years while already collecting max CPP and making over max earnings? Or is there some other calculation to help with decision whether to continue contributing (with matching employer contribution) during 65-70 optional years? On the face of it, contributing extra $2300 annually by both employee and employer does not seem to be worth the extra $334 (or so depending on date of birth) per year benefit? Or is it as simple as saying (from the employee’s perspective) that it will take about 7 years to recupe the extra contribution?
    Take care


    • Doug

      Each year of maximum contribution to CPP after starting your retirement benefit will produce a supplementary CPP benefit of approx $25/mth (or approx $300/yr), starting the following year. So, the math is basically as simple as you suggest ($2300/$300 = 7.67 years to make up for the extra contribution). And the makeup period would be twice as long if you were self-employed, since your contributions would be double.

      • Jim Clark

        Thanks Doug. This is the conclusion I came to as well. In exploring this issue, I put together some stuff for our faculty newsletter. It is at:
        One issue that I did not consider enough for some people with high pensions (probably not me) is the possible impact on the OAS clawback. For people in that bracket, some of the additional Post Retirement Benefit could end up being taken back.

        Like others have commented, this is a great site.

        All the best for the new year.

        Take care

        • Doug

          Thanks for the weblink to your newsletter, and thanks for reminder therein that the Post-retirement benefit (PRB) is subject to the adjustment factor based on your age in January of the year that the PRB begins. This means that the amount of the PRB for a year of max contributions would range from a low of approx $18.75/mthly for a 60 year-old to a high of approx $35.50 for a 70 year-old. Since they would both be making the same contribution, this would also mean the make-up period would vary from about 10 years for a 60 year-old versus 5.4 years for a 70 year-old. Good stuff!

  32. Dave

    Try the site below. Not sure if it will answer you directly but its a great site. (I have no connection to it)

  33. caroline

    In 2002, I was working for different employers and ended up over contributing to my CPP. Because I knew I was getting a refund and was waiting for some paperwork, I didn’t file right away. In the income tax booklet, it states that we have 10 years to file the return, and that any over contributions will be refunded. When I filed 5 years later, I was denied the over contribution because apparently there is a 4 year time limit on the CPP portion, information which is not indicated anywhere when filing taxes. Is there any recourse I can take in this matter that you are aware of?

  34. Dave

    I would be interested in reading the booklet that you cite states… 10 years to file a return and that over contributions will be refunded.

    Its my understanding that by law you must file your income tax by April 30th each year and that if your short information, you report that in an explanatory note with your submission. Also, its my understanding that claiming you had a refund coming does not relieve you of that responsibility.

    While I have no expierence dealing with any CPP 4 year limit for refunds,if this is inconsistant with income tax refunds and not a published fact you may be able to argue that on a fairness basis.

    Each year CPP sends out statements. It would be interesting to know what your statements said for the years you had not filed your income tax. Normally the statements would indicate a over contribution “R”. If you don’t have a statement you should start by requesting one.

    The link below is from CPP – Q&A’s and question 20 may be of some further assistance.

  35. caroline

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear, I meant you had 10 years to make any changes to your tax return, and it as stated below from the link you suggested question #4:

    “If, during a year, you contributed too much or earned less than a set minimum amount, you will receive a refund of contributions when you complete your income tax return.”

    Nowhere have I ever read a time limit. I have never received a CPP statement, but I will call on Monday and request a copy.
    Thank you for the link and info, it was most helpful and I will investigate that further.

  36. Dave

    Good luck with your pursuit… hopefully its not a lot of money involved. You also might search the web for the CPP Regulations. This should shed more light on exactly what the 4 years is all about and may identify any exceptions to the limitation period. I expect to overcome the 4 year provision you’ll have to prove that you didn’t have the information to file it in a more timely manner. Although you have 10 years to adjust income tax, CPP is apparently 4 and a refund of over contributions to CPP is not income tax. Q#4 I doubt will be of any help to you in the circumstances you present.

    FYI you can order the CPP statement online. I’ve found they respond quickly … within 2-3 weeks.

  37. Dave

    Link to CPP regs talking about 4 year time limit for refunds.

  38. Calgary Realtors

    Jim – you are a blogging machine! First of all, I’ve learned a tonne from your blog. Secondly, you set the bar for blogging regularity. Very cool Jim.

  39. Doug

    I’m writing to warn yourself and your readers, about a CPP issue that has affected me and affects about 4,000 other divorced/separated male parents each year. The issue is how the Division of Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings (DUPE aka Credit Split) functions when there were children involved in the relationship.
    The DUPE equally shares the CPP earnings (UPE), but does nothing to acknowledge the value of what is known as the Child Rearing Dropout (CRDO). The net result in my case is that my CPP retirement pension estimate at age 65 decreased by about $190/mthly as a result of an 18-year DUPE, whereas my ex-wife’s CPP retirement calculation only increased by about $70/mthly. The reason is that she is able to drop out about 10.5 years under the CRDO provision if those years are less than her “average lifetime earnings”, which is the case for her both before and after the DUPE. I, on the other hand, am stuck with 1/2 max earnings for the 18-year period, only 7-8 of which I can drop out under the general 15-17% dropout provision.
    I am currently appealing this situation at the Federal Court level, and would be glad to hear from others that are affected by this situation.

  40. Sumit

    Hello Jim

    I worked in Canada – BC for 3 years( worker visa), these were the deductions- CPP approx $6000 and EI – $ 2100. Now I am moved back to US.

    I really do not know way forward.
    Do i need to wait till 60 years for pension/ EI amount.? Or i can request CRC pay be back?

    Please guide

  41. Dave

    EI is an insurance program. It does not give refunds and as you have returned to the USA you are not eligible to claim, “out of work benefits”.

    CPP is a pension program. Yes, to claim a reduced pension you must be a minimum aged 60 (Normal age 65 for an unreduced pension). As you have only contributed for 3 years your pension will be small, likely less than $50 per month. You must apply for it as you approach 60 and CPP will send the cheque to where you live. (You do not have to live in Canada to collect it)

    I suggest you start by asking CPP for a statment of contributions; The form and address is on the internet at;

    I also suggest you ask if there is any option to transfer your CPP credits to the USA Social Security System. I don’t know if there is but if there is you might want to consider doing it).

    I presume you filed income tax for the years worked in Canada. IF you made over-contributions to either EI or CPP relative to your wages they would have been returned to you as part of your income tax refund.

  42. sa

    1 am 67 years old . i wll be new family sponsered imigrants. i will come to canada in 2012.
    any one can guide if i will get ant thing from
    canadian pension fund and when

    • Doug

      The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory program, so you aren’t eligible for any benefits unless you work and pay contributions to the plan. Since you are only 67 now, you could make contributions until age 70 and your pension then could be as much as about $100/mth if you contributed at the maximum rate for those 3 years.
      How does this compare to what I would receive if I came to your country at age 67?

      • sa

        If i say that i got family sponsered parents imigration visa .what i will get as social assistane or any financial benefits without breaking my sponsership agreement of 10 years
        How much i will get and when , keeping in mind that i am 67 years old and not duing any work

        • Alan Hodgson

          You don’t get anything if you come here at 67 as a sponsored immigrant. Except free medical care, which could be significant.

          Even GIS won’t pay you anything until you’ve been here 10 years

  43. sa

    are there any financial benefits for retired family sponsered parents in canada and how long we have to stay in canada

  44. joomasa

    MY son has sponsered me as family sponsered parent
    If i come to canada .How much financial assistance i will get from canadian government
    and when i will get it. I am retired person doing no work. i dont want any breach of agreement which we had signed for 10 years with canadian government

    • Alan Hodgson

      You don’t qualify for anything until you’ve been here at least 10 years, afaik.

  45. joomasa

    I am retired Person 65 years old. My son has spondered me as family imigrant I got imigration visa I know we have signed 10 years agreement and undertaking with canadian government. we dont want any breach of agreement. please let me know if there are any finanacial benefits and when i will ba eligible for it and how much i will get
    I am not doing any work

  46. Peter

    There are no financial benefits available to you. Canadian taxpayers cannot support such. Perhaps some exist in your country of origin; do they? Why would you even ask for benefits if you have contributed nothing? Do you have any sense of fairness or is begging a viable means of support in your opinion?

    • Dave


      As you have not contributed to the CPP – Canada Pension Plan and I gather don’t intend to work here from age 67 to 70, you will not receive anything from CPP.

      As your son has apparently sponsored you he must support you.

      What country are you coming from and what pension are you bring with you from that country.

      What agreement are you referring to and what are you expecting to receive?

      • nazirmo

        dave that was a fair and just response to Joomasa’s question

    • nazirmo

      Peter in all fairness your could have replied with – simply there are no financial benefits available to you or you are not entitled to any benefits – please read eligibility rules on the Government’s official website for Canada Pensions. If a new arrival asked me on a forum such as this if they were eligible for a health card or health benefits – I would give them a few details or guide them to appropriate links – not tell them – oh really you want health benefits ? you have any sense of fairness blah blah

      • Moss Limbayter

        nazirmo, to be fair; the answer is no. There are no financial benefits available to people like Joomsa and SA who have never worked in Canada and therefore have contributed nothing to Canada. Canadian taxpayers cannot and should not support such.

        • nazirmo

          I never indicated in my response that I was against the subject matter – all I said was that there is a way to make a point and its validity – not reply in a rude or sarcastic manner – such as Oh you really want benefits ? any one can post a question that is fair and reasonable and any one who receives a reply should have the entitlement to get a reply straight to the point without the sarcastic tone.

  47. Norm Clarke

    I paid maximum contributions and was getting maximum pension when I retired almost 10 years ago. Now I have just found out that the maximum for new claims is more than for my claim. Is that fair, are my costs less.

    • Dave

      You comment is short of details.

      At what age did you retire? What year and month was it? How much was your first cheque before tax (gross amount)? How many years of maximum contributions did you have.

      What is the gross amount of your payment now.

      Your costs are irrelevant.

    • Doug

      The calculation of your CPP benefit 10 years ago would have been based on the average of the YMPE for the year that your benefit started and the previous 2 or 4 years (I can’t remember when it changed from using a 3-year avg to a 5-year avg). Since then, your benefit has been indexed annually according to increases in the CPI, thus you are keeping pace with increases in prices.
      New benefits starting now will be based on the 5-year average of the YMPE for 2012 and the previous 4 years. The YMPE is based on the avg industrial wage in Canada, thus the max benefit for 2012 will be greater than the max 10 years ago, based on the increase in wages over that period of time.
      This means that if prices have increased more than wages in the last 10 years, your current benefit should be more than the current max for new benefits, and the opposite should be true if wages increased more than prices. Make sense?

      • Dave

        Attention Doug,

        Your posts are excellent. The CPP has a normal retirement age of 65 but allows a reduced pension as early as age 60. I’m trying to establish if a spouse would get a monthly survivour pension if;

        the CPP eligible partner/wife/husband died before age 65 having decided to delay starting the CPP until the normal age rather than taking a reduced pension.

        I heard antidotally that the spouse friend of their’s did not get a monthly survivour pension when her husband died suddenly at age 62 and he had not started his CPP. She only got the 2500 death benefit. The spouse/deceased had no dependant children and there were no disability issues. I don’t know her exact age but believe it to be approximately the same as her late husband.
        I’ve tried reading the CPP regs, Website, my own statement, etc but I’m struggling to find a definitive answer. I’ve also faxed the question to CPP Service Canada. If the antidotal story is accurate then this little known fact I expect, would be a significant factor for those needing to decide whether to start their CPP “early”.

        • Doug

          Whether or not a person is in receipt of a retirement pension before they die, has no impact on eligibility to a monthly survivor’s pension for their spouse. The deceased must simply have made enough contributions to CPP (1/3 of the years in their contributory period, subject to a minimum of 3 years and a max of 10 years), an application must be made (separate from the death benefit appln) and the relationship must qualify (legally married or C/L for 1 year). The amount of the survivor’s benefit depends on the amount of contributions by the deceased, the age of the surviving spouse and whether or not the surviving spouse is already receiving his/her own disability or retirement benefit.
          I hope this helps, and thanks for the comment on my posts. Yours are very good also!

          • Jim Yih

            Both of your responses are not only awesome but very much appreciated. You guys have really added value to this original post and have made this a real resource for so many people.

  48. Dave

    Hi Norm,

    When questioning fairness you need to be aware that what you paid into the CPP over the years was not enough to provide you the benefit you are receiving. This was not your fault, you were told what the maximum was each year and you paid it. The government allowed this to happened. Generally speaking the older you are the less you paid and the greater the benefit you recieve. In the late 1990’s there was a plan put in place to correct this situation and now those people paying into the plan have to pay a lot more into the CPP to get the same benefit you are receiving. They are paying. 4.95% of YMPE and you years ago paid a lot lower percentage to get the same benefit. I’m 58, and in fact we screwed our younger generation by not properly funding CPP years ago. When asking about fairness please consider … the rest of the story.

  49. Dave

    Hi Norm,

    When questioning fairness you need to be aware that what you paid into the CPP over the years was not enough to provide you the benefit you are receiving. This was not your fault, you were told what the maximum was each year and you paid it. The government allowed this to happened. Generally speaking the older you are the less you paid and the greater the benefit you recieve. In the late 1990’s there was a plan put in place to correct this situation and now those people paying into the plan have to pay a lot more into the CPP to get the same benefit you are receiving. They are paying. 4.95% of YMPE and you years ago paid a lot lower percentage to get the same benefit. I’m 58, and in fact we screwed our younger generation by not properly funding CPP years ago. When asking about fairness please consider … the rest of the story.

  50. chirag

    Is there any eligibility criteria regarding minimum number of years to work, so that you get
    qualify to get CPP, or if I only work 1 year in my whole life between the age of 18 to 65, still i will get some pension or not at retirement.

    • Doug

      There is varying eligibility criteria as to number of years of contributions for CPP disability and survivor benefits, but just one year of contributions will qualify you for a CPP retirement pension at age 65 (or as early as age 60). For a very rough estimate, each year of contributions at the maximum rate (YMPE) will generate a retirement pension at age 65 in the amount of $25/mth, up to the maximum yearly amount.

      • sa

        if i work there in canada at the age of 68 years and get maximum wage of 1500 canadian dollar per month how much will be deduction from my pay for cpp fund and how much for employement insurance.
        and how i wll get on the completion of my 70 years age

        • Peter

          About $3.76 per month and no OAS; how much would you get where you came from?

        • Peter

          Why do you ask?

  51. sa

    if i work 2 years at the age 69 and 70 with maximum wage of approximately cad 500 per week
    how much will be deduction from my wage for cpp
    conribution and employement insurance
    And what pension i will get after retirement after 2 years at the age of 70

  52. sa

    If i come to canada and work there for two years
    at the age of 69 and 70 at maximum wage of approximately cad 500 per week. how much will be
    monthly deduction from my pay for cpp contribution
    as well as unemployement insurance
    How much i will get on retirement at the age of 70 years

    • Peter

      about $5.03. About $4.79. What would I get in your country?

  53. sherali

    If some on comes to canada and work there for 2 tears 3 monts at the age of above 67 years
    and assuming if he gets a job of approximately 1500 canadian dollar per month how much wll be monthly deductions from his pay for cpp fund enemploement insurance income tax etc
    Any body can advise .Furthermore will he get any
    benefit during this period or at the age of 70

  54. sa

    if i come to canada and work there for 3 years
    at maximum wage of 2000 cad per much will be deduction for cpp contribution as well as employement insurace.can any body advise
    Furtheremore what benefit and how much i will get on my retirement after 3 years at the age of 70
    at present i am 67

  55. Peter

    $74.12/month and yes, you can send it to Lebanon to your parents who get no pension at all. It’s not much but it pays for postage to apply for welfare

    • sa

      why should i send them to lebanon.if i pay something to any body it is my right to ask how much i will get otherwise why is deduction from wage.furthermore i belong to country which name is world and god has made this for all not only for you.i believe that one conrtibution is sufficient to be eligible for cpp fund and i have 3 more years to reach at the age of 70. so why should i not take advantage of it.

  56. sa

    why should i send to lebonon
    if there is no pension benefit for me at 70
    there should not be any deduction from wages
    i am sure you will agree with it

  57. Peter

    Yes, I completely agree. By the way; you’re not taking advantage of “it”; you’re taking advantage of Canada’s generous social programs which we can’t afford. Hopefully, this government will clamp down on welfare fraud and cut other unnecessary programs that people should avail themselves of on their own dime

  58. sa

    Thanks you agreed. Why i am asking such silly questios. I twll you.
    I am not as young as you I have limited time to work. overall every body has to become old. And if someone comes to canada in this old age,he will look for all options.such as job availability for retired old persons,their monthly income,their expenses,their health etc.
    I hope you will not mind it. Advise me should i come to canada for setteling rest of life there
    and are there chances that i can live without social assistance,in otherwords will i get some work which will give me such wages to survive myself without any social benefits
    Hope you will realize my position and advise me

    • Peter

      my advice to you is to stay where you are. Where i s that? We have great unemployment in Canada and I doubt anyone over 60 is likely to get a job; too many young people in line…. Why do you want to come here? Why do you want to leave your country? (What country is that again?). If you decide to come anyway, perhaps I can find you accommodations
      Let me know

  59. sa

    no i dont need any help
    I only wanted to know the difficulties which i will have to face if i come to Canada.Thank you for your advice anf favour

  60. lillian

    I am Canadian, and contributed to CPP my entire working life, up until age 36, then i moved to the USA. When I retire, am i still eligable to collect the CPP that I contributed during the 18+ years that I lived/worked in Canada? What other benefits am i eligable for (Old age pension etc…) as a Canadian living in the USA? thanks very much! :o)

    • Doug

      I agree with most of the points in Dave’s answer, except regarding the 20-year rule for OAS. That is the general rule, but Canada has international social security agreements with many countries (the USA being one of those countries), whereby you MAY be able to use contributions or residence in that other country to “totalize” your residence to meet the 20-year rule. I don’t know enough about the Canada/USA agreement to give you a definitive answer, but here is a weblink that may give you your answer:
      In any case, I would suggest that it’s worth applying when you near age 65, and as Dave says, the rules are constantly evolving.

  61. Dave

    Yes your CPP would be payable outside canada. I suggest you apply for a statement of contributions at;

    RE: OAS – Old Age Pension – The following is a quote from their website. Based on your situation no you would not be eligible to receive it outside Canada as you don’t have the reguired 20 years.
    “Payment outside Canada: Once a full or partial Old Age Security pension has been approved, it may be paid indefinitely outside Canada, if the pensioner has lived in Canada for at least 20 years after reaching 18 years of age. Otherwise, payment may be made only for the month of a pensioner’s departure from Canada and for six additional months, after which payment is suspended. The benefit may be reinstated if the pensioner returns to live in Canada and meets all conditions of eligibility.”

    Also please keep in mind that the OAS payments are currently under government review.

    More information can be found at SERVICE CANADA websites

    • Moss Limbayter

      The OA pension is calculated on length of years living in Canada after you reach 18, and the minimum is 10 years. It is calculated by fortieths. You receive the maximum OA pension ($551.54) after 40 years of living in Canada (after turning 18). If you have 20 years you receive 50% ($275.77), 10 yearss gets you 25% ($137.88), 9.9 years gets you zero OA.

  62. Doug

    I agree with most of Dave’s answer, except for the part about OAS and the 20-year rule. While I agree that’s the “normal” rule, Canada has international social security agreements with many countries (including the USA), whereby you can use contributions (or sometimes residence) in another country to “totalize” and meet the Canadian requirements.
    I don’t know enough about the Canada/USA agreement to give a definitive answer in your case, but here is a weblink that will give you some more details:
    I would further recommend that you apply for OAS when you’re nearing age 65 in any case, because the worst that they can do is deny your application. Good luck 🙂

  63. Jean

    I am 48 and will likely not be contributing to CPP for the remaining 12 years until I turn 60. I currently have (i) 22 M’s (ii)2 years were I was f/t and just barely short of the maximum contributions (iii) 5 years where I worked part-time during school – some but minimual contributions.
    Service Canada stmt says if I was 65 today I would collect $ 943.74 per month and if I retired at 60 it would drop to $ 649.29.
    When I went to the “changing future earnings” section of the online retirement calculator and put is $0 income for the next 12 years it said my CPP at 60 would still be $ 649.29. Is this right??
    I thought it would be reduced because of the 12 years of non-contributions and less than 40 M’s. If so….Any idea what % of the maximum I will get if (a) I start claiming CPP at 60 (b) if I start claiming CPP at 65?
    Using the CPP website retirement planner it says I will have the same

    • Rick Macdonald

      There’s a bug in the online calculator. I reported it but it hasn’t been fixed. It offers to let you enter $0 for future years but then it replaces $0 with the max value, giving you the full amount still. Select the next smallest value, $5000, and you’ll see a drop.

      There are a lot of examples of the math here. From memory (I haven’t reviewed the math for awhile) I think you’d be close to 24/39 * MAX or about $590/month. That’s taking your current contribution adding up to about 24 Ms and using the total number of years in the calculation as 39 (47 – 17%). From there you need to reduce it 36% for age 60, or $378.

      • Doug

        I agree with Rick, except for the age 60 calc. You don’t want to just reduce the age 65 pension by 36% to determine the age 60 pension. Because you’re starting your pension 5 years earlier, the first calc would be 24/35 (dropping out the lowest 17% of your 42-year contributory period), and then reduce that amount by 36%.
        And using the 2012 max of $986.67, that would result in calcs of approx $607 at age 65 or $433 at age 60.
        Furthermore, if the 5 years that you worked while going to school were even 20% of max each, those would add up to one more year of max equivalent, increasing each of your calcs by another approx 4%.

        • Jean

          Thank you for your quick response 🙂 I knew something was wrong with the online calculator telling me there would be no difference. Again, many thanks.

  64. Dave

    Hi Doug – Would you agree Jeans example is a good case to demonstrate that because of the longer contributory period which occurs with waiting to draw CPP she should start hers at age 60 as her maximum entitlement will diminish with age.
    In my own case I have 37.25 years (at age 55) of contributions and won’t be accruing more so my calc shows age 63 (62 yrs 11 months actually) or before is when I should start my CPP.

    • Doug

      Yes, I would agree with that. The CPP is based on what’s commonly referred to as your “avg lifetime earnings” after allowing for various dropout periods. Once you’ve used up those dropouts and you start bring some zeroes into the equation (or anything less than your average), your pension calc starts to go down, and you’re probaly better off taking it sooner rather than later.
      One other interesting twist that has arisen with the new PRB (Post-Retirement Benefit) under CPP, is that the incentive to take it early may even be more so if you’re a maximum contributor and you continue working beyond age 60. If you don’t take it early, your additional contributions can’t increase your avg earnings above the maximum, so your additional contributions aren’t really buying you anything. If you take your CPP early however, your additional contributions will buy you annual PRBs each year that you work beyond age 65. Interesting, eh?

  65. Carl

    Question for Dave – I’ll be retiring this year at 52 with 28.5 years (80 factor) in the MPP (policing as well) although my total work history is 34 years. Like you I will collect a bridge benefit and was planning to wait until 65 to collect CPP. Since I may not be working and therefore not contributing to CPP for the next 13 years, I take it that I will ultimately collect less than the maximum? My CPP contributions have been maxed out for years. So the integration aspect of the plan relates to collecting the bridge benefit and not ensuring that you collect full CPP when you get to that age?

  66. Dave

    Hi Carl

    To get the Max CPP;
    At age 60 (max is reduced for taking it early) you need 34.86 yrs of max CPP contributions.
    working life 42 yrs – 17% (60-18=42-17%= 34.86)
    At age 61 you need 35.69 yrs.
    At age 62 you need 36.52 yrs.
    At age 63 you need 37.35 yrs.
    At age 64 you need 38.18 yrs.
    At age 65 you need 39.00 yrs.

    If you have, say 34 yrs of max contributions at age 60 you get 34/35.69 of the max reduced amount. But if you wait to 65 and have 34 yrs you’ll get 34/39.00 of the max unreduced.

    The amount of your cpp offset coming as part of your mpp will be less than the current max CPP.

    I’m going to create a email address so you can contact me directly and we can discuss you situation…. if you want.

    [email protected]

    • Doug

      I was just curious to know if the CPP offset for your MPP pension was the same as for the federal civil service, which is:
      (# of yrs srvc) x .00625 x (AMPE for yr prior to retirement) / 12 (to get the monthly value).

    • Doug

      I was just curious to know if the CPP offset for your MPP pension is the same as for the federal civil service, which is:
      (# of yrs of srvc) x .00625 x (AMPE for yr prior to retirement) / 12.
      If so, the offset in your case would be $703.00 (28.5 x .00625 x $47,360 / 12).

  67. Dave

    I retired in 2003,
    The off set calc was:
    Max Pensionable earnings for 2002 = 39100
    39100/12 x .007 x (29.7031 # of yrs service)= 677.47

    • Doug

      The offset for the federal public service used to be .007 also, when I too retired in 2003. It changed in 2008 however, with a 5-yr transition to .00625 effective 2012. For the public service, the applicable factor depends on when you reach age 65 and not when you retired, so you may want to check with your Human Resources office to see whether you have some good news also!

  68. Dave

    BC Municipal Pension Plan

    (# of yrs of srvc) x .007 x (MPE for yr prior to retirement) / 12.


    prior yr Max Pensionable Earnings vs. prior yr Average Max Pensionable Earnings.

    .007 vs .00625


  69. Dave

    Thanks Doug,

    I’m going to copy your note regarding the Federal transition from 07 to 0625, to our Retiree Pension Rep who sits as as Trustee on the MPP.

    There was talk years ago (1999-00)that if we had a pension surplus they would consider lowering it from .07 to .06 but with pensions not being in surplus I don’t think it ever occurred.

  70. Dave


    Our Provincial Retiree/Trustee advised me that the .07-.0625 wasn’t mandated and doesn’t affect the MPP.

  71. Doug

    Sorry to hear that!

  72. bill cunningham

    Jim: I have shares in a company share purchase plan through Solium, can I remove those shares and put them into an rrsp without having to pay capital gains on the shares and if so, how do I go about it. They are not in a registered plan. I have read that anything in a non registered plan cannot be transferred into a registered plan without paying the piper so to speak. ( A little knowledge is dangerous). I have also read that they can be put into an account and then transferred into an rrsp. What’s your thoughts on this.

  73. A. Massil

    Hi there:

    My question relates to CPP survivor benefits.

    I understand that the most CPP that a survivor can get as a combined amount is the amount set for the maximum CPP – about $980 per month.

    Is this affected by how much the deceased received prior to death? ie If the deceased received $600 due to taking CPP early, can the survivor still claim a combined pension up to the maximum?

    Hope that makes sense.


    • Doug

      A. Massil
      Sorry about the long delay in answering your question, but since I don’t see that anybody else has reponded, here goes.
      Combined benefit calculations are a bit complicated, but the short answer to your question is that whether or not the deceased contributor received disability or retirement benefits prior to death has no impact on the calculation of either a standalone or combined survivor’s benefit.

      • Dave

        Hi Doug,

        I interpreted A. Massils question as to whether it might be another reason to start CPP early – age 60, as the amount of the notional survivour pension would be limited by the amount of the regular pension the survivour may be getting or entitled to.

        For example wife and husband both age 65 and each is getting (2012) max cpp 987.00 per month. Therefore she would not be entitled to any survivour pension resulting from her husband’s death.

        If however they both had started their pensions at age 60 she would have a unreduced regular pension of (approx) 650.00 per month and, as I understand it, be entitled to a survivours pension, but the total of the 2 pensions could not be greater than (2012) age 65 max of 987.00 AND the amount of the survivour pension would be a roughly proportionally reduced amount because he had started his regular pension at 60.

        Am I correct? Your thoughts?

        • Doug

          If that was the basis of the original question, I agree that you would be mostly correct. That is, if you waited until age 65 to start receiving your own retirement pension at the maximum rate, you wouldn’t be eligible for any additional survivor’s benefit, whereas if you took a reduced retirement benefit at an earlier age you would. As you suggest, that’s another reason why you might want to take your retirement pension early, or at least it certainly changes the math in calculating any “makeup” period.
          So you are right, wheteher or not and the amount of a survivor’s benefit is affected by the amount of the survivor’s own retirement benefit (due to the combined benefit calculation and maximum).
          The only point that you have wrong, is that the amount of the survivor’s benefit (standalone or combined) is not affected by whether or not the deceased contributor was receiving a benefit prior to death, full or reduced. For example (and ignoring the combined benefit rules), using your figures above, a surviving spouse over age 65, of a deceased contributor who was receiving a max reduced retirement pension of $650, would receive a survivor’s benefit equal to 60% of the full unreduced $987 amount, not 60% of the reduced $650 amount. I hope this makes sense.

          • Dave

            Hi Doug

            You always post great info. Thank you, I think I understand it.

            As my wife will get significantly less than me from CPP I need not consider what she would get in potential survivour benefits when deciding to start my CPP at 60 or 65.



          • A. Massil

            Thanks to you both for these responses.

  74. D Murray Armitage

    According to my statement between 1974 and 2011, I have 37 M’s at 55 years of age, including one year when I contributed extra from self-employment earnings, giving me an S as well. I was married for 27 of those years so I am sure my ex-wife will apply for credit splitting for those 27 years. Of those 27 years, she was employed for 24 years and I believe (but cannot prove) that she also earned Ms for at least 18 of those 24 years. Would my credits still show M’s for those 18 years? Are there partial credits for the other 9 shared years when she earned little or no income and would therefore receive one third – one half of my credits? I still have 10 years where I can earn M’s.
    By my rough calculations, at age 65, that would leave me with 25 M’s of my own, plus possible 16 M’s (conservatively) shared and 11 partial credits for a sub-total of 41+ M’s. I ask because the potential shared credits for the 11 years will determine whether I can apply for CPP before age 65 (possibly 5 years prior, if I get partial credit for those years).

    • Doug

      D. Murray
      I think most of your questions have already been answered, but one further wrinkle might exist if there were any children from your marriage. If so, and if those were some of the 9 years where she had little or no income, although a DUPE (Division of Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings) will reduce your earnings for those 9 years (and ultimately your CPP benefit as a result), your ex-wife may be able to drop out those years under the CRDO (Child Rearing Dropout) provision. As a result, she not only doesn’t even use those earnings for her CPP benefit calc, but she can potentially receive a maximum CPP retirement benefit at age 65, whereas you can’t (see my calcs below).
      I am currently appealing this DUPE/CRDO issue at the Federal Court of Appeal level, so I would love to connect with you directly if your marriage did involve children.
      If so, you can email be @ [email protected].

  75. D Murray Armitage

    Where can I find the YMPE figures for 1974 – 2011?

  76. Dave

    Credit splitting – from reading the CPP Website. It appears to me that both spouses would be required to mutually disclose their CPP statements if either was asking for credit splitting. If during your 27 year marriage you each had 18 M’s then there is nothing to split for those years (you each retain 18 M’s). If during 9 of the 27 years you had 9 M’s and your spouse had something less than 9 M’s then those.
    years would be added together and split 50/50.

    This is my understanding from reading the website. FYI – Link below.

    Also at age 65 the max M years used to get the max pension is 39 (I understand your presently 55 so pending changes will apply to you.) age 65-age 18 = 47 years working life – 17% maximum dropout years = 39 years. If your estimate of you x-wife’s income/contributions is accurate then you will only be required to give her something less than 4.5 years.
    If you have 37 M – 4.5 years(or less)then you presently have 32.5 years of credits. You only need to work 6.5 years to reach the maximum 39.

    If you want to start your CPP at age 60 the maximum required years is 35. This is because CPP is calulated when you start it based on your years of working life which varies from 42 to 47.

    • Doug

      This is a good example of where using partial years of max contributions can give misleading results. In your example where 9 years of 1/2 max is equivalent to 4.5 years of M, that is quite true. If you use those 9 years to calculate your retirement pension though, you can never get to a maximum benefit amount.
      To explain this a bit further, using the age-65 whereby you only need the equivalent of 39 M’s to get a maximum benefit, that doesn’t mean that you can use the total of all 47 years to get to that 39 M total. You can only include your best 39 years, meaning that if 9 of those years are at 1/2 M, the most that you could receive is 88.5% of the max retirement pension (30 M + 9 x 1/2 M = 34.5 M / 39 years = 88.46%).
      The only way that D. Murray can get close to max is to continue working until age 65 at M, so that he can drop out 8 of those 1/2 M years under the 17% dropout. His best pension at that time would be 98.7% (38 M = 1/2 M = 38.5 M / 39 years = 98.7%).
      To reiterate, while it’s true that you can add part years to get equivalent M’s for the purpose of estimating benefits, you can only ever use your best 39 calendar years. That means that if you ever use a partial year in your calculation, you can never get to a maximum benefit amount.
      Make sense?

      • Dave

        Got it …. Thanks


  77. Dave

    Attention Bill Cunningham

    Shares to RRSP – To use your words you must pay the piper at the time of the transfer, unless you did it in the first 60 days of the year then you would have a deduction for the previous year and a gain for the current year.

    1) You must have the RRSP room to do this.

    2). If you transfer the shares to your RRSP you are deemed to have sold the shares and must report the gain on your Itax.

    3). You can deduct the value of the shares (RRSP contribution) on your ITax.

    Below is an excerpt from a Financial Post article.

    If you have some winning stock which you want to hold on to, you might consider a transfer of shares to your RRSP.

    Consider the situation where you hold 1,000 shares of consolidated Moose Pasture which just happen to be worth $15.50 a share. You bought the shares at $10 and you think that they will continue to appreciate.

    If you transfer those 1,000 shares of CSM to your RRSP, you get the following result.

    First, you are deemed to have made a $15,500 contribution which will produce a deduction of that amount on your tax return.

    Second, you will be deemed to have disposed of the shares and as a result, you will have a capital gain of $5,500, one-half of which is taxable.

    So, if we leave the transaction at that point, you will have $2,750 added to income and have a $15,500 deduction in.

  78. Patti Fearon

    Hello I am switching the topic here abit-maybe you can help me or direct me to the info I need.

    I have just been approved for CPP Disability & have receive a retro amount direct deposit & will receive a check at the end of the month also direct deposit.

    I will turn 60 next year and I am confused about how this works. If I am on CPP Disability what happens with CPP Pension? Do I apply for this or is it one or the other. Or do I get CPP Pension even if I am receiving disability and get both? Or will one be stopped? Or put in CPP Application at 60 or wait until 65 and apply OAP because I beleive my Disability will stop at that time. Or am I just not understanding.

    Another question my husband is 64 & is receiving CPP Pension & we have just received an application for OAP-will he recieve both?

    Thank you so much & hope I haven’t confused you too. Patti

    • Doug

      If you have been approved for a CPP disability benefit, you cannot receive a CPP retirement benefit at the same time. Assuming that you continue to be disabled until age 65, it will automatically convert to a retirement benefit at that time, at a lower rate. At age 65, you will also become eligible for OAS, assuming you have sufficient residence in Canada.
      As for your husband, yes he can get both CPP retirement and the OAS. They are totally separate programs/benefits.

      • Patti Fearon

        Thanks for a fast & simple reply. I was so glad to find this forum because we received my husbands application for OAP and being as he gets $502 or close I was concerned that might be cancelled. He is his own trucking contracting and who knows how long he will be able to do that. My disability will be ongoing until I’m “done”. Thanks for making it all clear so I could understand. Patti

  79. Dave


    If a person had, for example, 28 M years at age 50 then started CPP disability until age 65 , does the years of disability contribute towards getting a Max regular pension at 65 or would the person just get a pension based on the 28 M years?


  80. Doug

    This is another example of where using years of “M”, becomes a little misleading/confusing. The way that receipt of a CPP disability benefit affects the calculation of a CPP retirement benefit, is that period of time is excluded from their contributory period. In your example of a 50-year old with 28 M years before receiving CPP disability until age 65, their contributory period would be 32 years (from age 18 to age 50), and they would still be eligible for the 15-17% dropout (depending on what year their benefit is approved), meaning that their best 83%-85% years (26.56-27.2 years) would be averaged. Assuming the 28 M’s were acquired in 28 individual years and weren’t a compilation of the whole 32 years, this individual would receive a maximum disability at age 50, which would convert (sortof) to a maximum retirement benefit at age 65.
    The reason that I say sortof is that his retirement benefit at age 65 would be calculated using the average YMPE at age 50 (when his disability benefit started) and escalated to age 65 based on increases in the CPI during that period, whereas it would have been based on the average YMPE at age 65 if he hadn’t been receiving the disability. Same difference if prices and wages are going up at about the same rate, but could be significantly different if otherwise.

  81. Dave

    Thanks Doug, great answers as always.

    Do you happen to know why the maximum disability pension is more $ than the max regular pension… the rational for it?


    • Doug

      I generally like to refer the why questions to the politicians, but in this case I think I know at least part of the rationale. My justifications are:
      – the cost of living is sometimes somewhat higher for a disabled individual (ie., mobility, drugs, care etc…);
      – the CPP retirement benefit can be lower, because it’s only one part of the retirement planning scheme, which also includes OAS, private pensions and personal savings;
      – your retirement can be planned and budgeted for, whereas the disability benefit is unanticipated.
      Not sure if any of these rationale are valid, but they’re all that I could come up with at present.

  82. Dave

    When requesting the child rearing drop out periods, will they simply take all consecutive years or will they selectively take just years which were below average. (during the time the children were under age 7). In other words if you were working part-time you might want some years that were above average included and others which were below average excluded. Will they automatically calulate this to the best advantage of the client or is it necessary for the client to identify the years they want included/excluded when requesting the CRDO provisions.

  83. Doug

    You don’t have to specify what years you want excluded or dropped out under the CRDO, you simply provide the dates of birth and which years you were/weren’t receiving FA or CCTB for them. Qualified years/mths of earnings less than the YBE will then automatically be excluded from the person’s contributory period, and years/mths less than their average will be dropped out before calculation of the benefit, and before the 15-17% dropout. Any earnings over their average that would help their benefit calculation won’t be dropped out under the CRDO.

  84. Laura

    Both my husband and I were attending university, working part-time or working full-time below YMPE during the first 84 months of our child’s life, resulting in lower than ‘M’ for those years. However, some months one was earning more than the other and vice-versa. With the variable income, a month by month review during the 7 year peiod seems to be the only way to determine who had the lower earnings by month and should claim the CRDO. Should we both apply and ask for consideration of each of our earnings over the 84 months to provide the most beneficial outcome for CPP benefits overall between the two of us?

  85. Laura

    One other relevant factor. My husband is about 4.5 years older than me so he would be applying for CPP at age 65, well before I do so. We did get online access recently to see our benefit statements but it is only a year-by-year summary, not a monthly view that is needed for the early years – CRDO periods.

  86. Dave

    Interesting question and well stated. I suggest you write to the CPP and ask them to provide the monthly amounts for the relevant periods for both you and your husband. I would reasonably expect their computers to be able to provide month by month statments in addition to the usual year by year ones

    I’ve looked at the CPP website and it is stated that a couple cannot jointly use the same periods for CDRO but its not stated whether the periods are monthly, yearly or for a childs first 7 years.

  87. Laura

    Thanks for the reply, Dave. I scanned the website and recall it stated somewhere that the benefits are accrued monthly, not annually, so I’m assuming it’s technically doable but they may not be set up to easily ‘cherry pick’ the best months between each parent through this CRDO period. I’ll give it a try as suggested, in writing, and will report back on the response. As I found with my employer’s HR department, you sometimes get the response “If we did it for one, we’d have to do it for the whole world” reaction, only to find out the policies eventually changed to what was asked for a few years later!

    • Doug

      Laura & Dave
      CPP earnings & contributions are NOT tracked monthly and you cannot do what you’re hoping to do. You can (sortof) share the CRDO, but it would generally be best if whichever of you had the lowest annual earnings each year did so (depending on what other years you’re dropping out under the 15%-17% dropout as well.
      All in all, it would be a very difficult calculation (actually many calculations) to determine which years would be best for each of you to claim CRDO. It’s not even legislatively that easy for your husband to claim the CRDO, depending partially on whether the whole CRDO period is pre-1993 or not (as CRDO eligibility prior to 1993 is based primarily on receipt of the family allowances (which was always paid to the female parent, if there was one). There is provision in the CPP regulations however for the male parent to claim CRDO, but here’s the legislative test:

      Family Allowance Recipient

      77. (1) For the purposes of the definition “family allowance recipient” in subsection 42(1) of the Act, family allowance recipient includes

      (a) the spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner of a person who is described in that definition as having received or being in receipt of an allowance or a family allowance in respect of a child for any period before the child reached the age of seven, if that spouse, former spouse, common-law partner or former common-law partner remained at home during that period as the child’s primary caregiver and that period has not already been or cannot be excluded or deducted from the person’s contributory period under Part II of the act.

      So, that means that your husband can qualify for CRDO, IF and only IF:
      a) he remained at home, AND
      b) he was the primary caregiver, AND
      c) you waive your primary right to the CRDO for any periods of time.

      As to any detailed calculations by the dept to help you decide if you want to waive any periods of CRDO eligibility, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for that. I can do some calculations if you want, but you would have to send me both your and your husband’s year-by-year Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings (UPE), as well as your anticipated earnings up to your respective retirement dates (or at least when you want to start receiving your CPP retirement benefits).
      If you want help in this regard, email me at [email protected] and we can correspond that way.

  88. Dave

    Not sure that I understand your point. But, Pension/CPP splitting is available to couples. If it reduces your combined taxes I suggest doing it. If it doesn’t then don’t. It appears that it would be advantages for the person with 3200 per month to shift/split some of it to the husband but you need to know more about his work income and any investments they may have before deciding. Basically the object is to have both partners with equal income for the best tax advantage.

  89. Dave


    If a person receives the “under 65” survivours pension, will the amount be adjusted when they reach 65 to the over 65 amount?

    • Doug

      Yes, an under age 65 survivor’s pension will convert to an over age 65 pension at age 65. It is a fairly easy recalculation if the surviving spouse isn’t receiving his/her own CPP retirement pension, but I wouldn’t even begin to explain the calculation if the survivor is receiving a retirement also (known as a combined benefit).
      So, to calculate a survivor’s conversion from under age 65 to over age 65, you would normally just subtract the flat-rate portion first ($173.82); divide the result by 37.5% and multiply that result by 60%. Using the maximum 2012 survivor’s amount as an example, pretend an under-65 survivor is receiving $543.82. Subtracting the flat-rate of $173.82 leaves $370.00. Dividing that by 37.5% = $986.67 (which not surprisingly is the max retirement pension for 2012). Multiply the $986.67 by 60% would result in a converted over-65 survivor benefit of $592.00.
      The only complication to this calculation is if the person was receiving a “reduced under-65” survivor’s benefit. This happens if the survivor was under age 45 when the contributor died, and if they had no children and weren’t disabled. In that case, their benefit would have been reduced by 1/120th for every month that they were under age 45 at the time of death. In that case, you would have know their reduction factor and “unreduce” their survivor’s benefit before you started the above process.
      Any questions?

  90. Dave

    No questions….that’s great,thanks Doug.

  91. trvino lucy

    hi I’m 63-41 married, my husband full pension but he left with some one a few months ago, is any chance for my to have split pension I leave in Canada for 41 years , thank.s

  92. Dave

    Go to this link and it may be helpful regarding your CPP entitlement. If you want more info regarding your situation generally I think you need to obtain legal advice.

  93. Laura

    I have a question about taking early CPP at age 60 and any possible conflict from the perspective of the BCPension Plan (Municipal) or CPP. The MPP allows for early retirement at age 55 (50 if Police/Fire) that includes a base pension plus a bridging benefit payment that ends at age 65. The bridging amount used to be called the “CPP offset” but I’ve noticed they’ve stopped calling it that in recent years. My financial planner is questioning whether it is possible to receive the bridging benefit amount between age 55-65 plus early CPP at age 60. I can’t see why the two are related since MPP is a private plan and this is part of the package. The Financial Planner who is building a cash flow plan for me asked a tax expert who said they had never encountered the question before. He said: “However, I would believe the client should be transparent and advise the private pension that (s)he is contemplating the early CPP option and see if it will impact the bridging.”

    • Doug

      I’m 99% sure that any decision on when you take your CPP won’t affect your MPP, and you therefore don’t need to tell them one way or the other. I suspect Dave could bring this up to 100%.
      That’s probably even one of the reasons that they have changed what they were calling it from a CPP offset to a bridge benefit. The real issue is that the reduction to your MPP is based on a formula that is meant to approximate the age-65 CPP that you will have earned for the years that you contributed to the MPP. If you worked for the gov’t your whole life and wait until age 65 to apply for CPP, the reduction to your MPP would then be very close to the amount of your CPP, and one would offset the other. If you apply for your CPP early at a reduced rate however, the reduction in your MPP at age 65 may well exceed your monthly CPP at that time, thus it becomes a bridge to age 65 instead of a CPP offset.

  94. Dave


    1). You will stop receiving your CPP offset/ Bridge benefit from the Municipal Pension plan at age 65 and this is not affected by when you decide to start your CPP. Either by taking it early with a reduced amount at age 60 or delaying it to age 70 (which results in a larger amount).

    Just be clear, as Doug said, that if you start your CPP at age 60 the amount of your Federal CPP at age 65 will very likely be significantly less than what you are going to lose when the MPP – Bridge bennfit stops at 65.

    The amount of the MPP – CPP bridge benefit is based on your years of service in the Municipal PP (Not the CPP).

    To use my own case my bridge bennifit in the MPP is based on 29.7 yrs but my eventual CPP will be based on 37.25 max contributory years.

    Hope this helps.

  95. Dave

    PS …. The MPP does not care when you decide to start your CPP and there is no need to consider advising them.

  96. Laura

    Thanks to both Doug and Dave for the responses to my question. With Doug’s assistance, I now have a much better estimate of future CPP amounts to expect at age 60 and at age 65, so that I can make a better-informed decision when the time comes.

    • Doug

      No problemo. I knew that Dave would know for sure about the MPP bridge/offset, and I was mostly sure myself, as that is the same way that my federal superannuation works. Take care!

  97. imran

    What if I have 20 M’s and 20 yrs where I contribute 3/4 of M in each yr. How is the pension calculated?

    • Doug

      Simple math. For an age-65 retirement pension, you get to count (basically) your best 40 yrs, so 20 yrs @ M + 20 yrs @ 3/4M = 35M. Your CPP would then be 35/40 x $986.67 = $863.34. For an age-60 retirement pension you count your best 35.7 yrs, thus 20 yrs @ M + 15.7 yrs @ 3/4M = 31.78M. Your CPP at age 60 would then be 70% of 31.78/35.7 x $986.67 = $614.83.
      I’ve used the pre-2012 dropout of 15% and the pre-2012 reduction formula for early retirement for ease of the above examples, but hopefully this gives you the basic idea.

  98. Mary

    How accurate are CPP Statement of Contributions? It states that my husband would receive $936.11/month if he were 65 today. He is 60.
    He retired on disability from the RCMP in 2007 and has been receiving CPP Disability Benefits which resulted in his RCMP pension being clawed back over $800/month each month since then. Is he eligible to receive the maximum CPP benefits as stated ($936.11/month) at age 65?
    I was told by the RCMP benefits agent that his RCMP pension would not be further clawed back as it already has been adjusted for the CPP Disability benefit since 2007. Thank you.

  99. Dave

    First a comment about terminology. His CPP bridge benefit portion of his RCMP was not “clawed back”, he is not entitled to receive it when he is getting CPP disability. The info from the RCMP benefit people is correct there will not be any further CPP adjustment to his RCMP pension when he turns 65.

    What is the exact amount that your husband is receiving from CPP disability now?
    If it is the maximum and he remains disabled until age 65 he will get the maximum CPP retirement pension at 65. NOTE: the max retirement pension is less than the max disability amount so he probably will start receiving less CPP at age 65 because he will be getting the retirement benefit not the disability benefit.

    I would expect the statement of contributions to be correct BUT the estimates of future pensions may not be as I doubt they have calculated in the disablity factor as they simply have no way of knowing whether he will continue to be disabhled through to age 65.

    • Mary

      Hi Dave,
      Thanks ever so much for your reply.
      He is currently receiving $13,517 gross from CPP Disability per year or $1126 per month.
      He is unable to return to work, so will collect the CPP Disability until he turns 65 and applies for his CPP Pension. His current taxable income is $51,000, so should he be able to collect the maximum OAS Pension also? Thanks again for your advice as we are trying to figure this out to plan for our retirement.

      • Doug

        Dave is very accurate as usual. The only caution that I would add is around what a maximum pension is. If your husband has been receiving CPP disabilty since 2007 and doesn’t turn 65 until 2017, when his CPP disabilty converts to a retirement pension at age 65, his retirement pension will be calculated in 2007 salary dollars and escalated to 2017 based on increases in the CPI. Pretty much the same if prices and wages are going up at the same rate, but a bit different if else.
        For instance, a maximum CPP disability in 2007 was $1.053.77, escalated to $1,124.93 by 2011 (sorry, but I don’t have the 2012 rate handy. This compares to the 2011 CPP disability maximum of $1,153.57. And if he had converted from a disability to a retirement pension in 2011, his retirement pension would have been $922.08 compared to the 2011 maximum retirement amount of $960.00. Probably not enough of a difference to influence your retirement planning, but thought you should be aware anyway.
        Since the calculation of a disability pension is 75% of what the calculated retirement pension would have been, plus a fixed flat-rate portion, the easiest way to claculate what the conversion at age 65 will be is to subtract the flat-rate portion for the year of conversion and divide the result by 75%. In your husband’s case, if $1,126 is his 2012 rate and if he were converting to a retirement pension in 2012, the formula would be ($1,126 – $445.50) = $680.50 divided by 75% = $907.33.
        I hope this helps.

  100. Dave

    OAS is based on time in Canada – basically. If he has 40 years in Canada at age 65 then he will get max OAS which currently is about 6400.00 per year.

    OAS can get “clawed back” For 2012 its starts getting clawed back at 69500.00 so he’s well under that.

    Be sure you’re taking advantage of income tax spliting, his RCMP pension,if you can.

  101. Mary

    Dave,thanks again for your time and advice.
    Take care, Mary.

  102. Crystal Tost - Calgary Real Estate Agent

    Since all real estate agents are self employed we really need to figure other was to save for our retirement. Clearly there is not enough money in the Government system to support us when we are in need of it. We really need to take charge of our own retirement futures by setting money aside now when you are young. Our generation has it really tough in a lot of cases we are taking care of our parents and grandparents financially, we are saving for our children’s education and we have to save plenty for our own retirement. It is a big demand that needs a better solution.



    • Dave

      CPP is based on how long and how much you contributed.

      I suggest you write to CPP and obtain a statement of your contributions. You can obtain the address by doing a web search.

      Max pension at age 60 is a reduced amount because you are taking it earlier than age 65. It seems you will have about 24 years of contributions at 60 but without knowing the specific amounts contributed each year it is impossible to know how much you will receive. —IF— however they were max contributions each year for 24 years, at age 60 your pension will be firstly reduced by 36% and you will receive 24/35ths of the result.

      The max amount per month currently is $987. So this would be reduced by 36% which equals approx $631 and you would receive 24/35ths of $631. Your age 60 pension with 24 years of MAX contributions would be approx $432 per month.

      Hope this helps

      • Doug

        Good reply Dave!

  104. Mark J

    Hi, I worked and paid maximum cpp contributions between 1999-2007 (almost 9 yrs) before returning to the UK. I am a Canadian citizen but if I stay in uk until I retire can I still be eligible to get CPP?

    • Doug

      Just further to Dave’s reply, each year of max contributions is worth about $25/mth towards a retirement pension at age 65 (meaning that you would receive about $225/mth at age 65, for your 9 years of max contributions). If you wanted to take it earlier than age 65 (earliest is age 60), it’s reduced by between 0.5% and 0.6% (the % depends on what year your benefit starts) for every month that you’re under age 65 when you apply for it to start. It is payable for life, regardless where you live.

  105. Dave


    If you have 9 years of max contributions at age 65 your entitlement would be 9/39 of max pension.

    I suggest you write to the CPP and obtain a statement of contributions. You can obtain the address by doing a little web search.

  106. Bill G.

    I moved from the UK to Canada in 1973. Paid into QPP for 3 years then moved to Toronto where I contributed to CPP for another 9 years (max contributions each year). I became a Canadian Citizen in 1979. I moved to the US in 1985. Am I entitled to a Canadian pension? Any idea how much if I contributed for 12 years?

  107. Doug

    Interesting how you mention that you moved to Canada for 3 years, and then moved to Toronto for an additional 9 years. Many of us wonder whether Toronto is really part of Canada, although I understand that Torontorians think they’re all of Canada!
    Now to your question. Yes, you will be eligible for a CPP retirement pension based on your 12 years of contribution. As you may have read elsewhere on this website, each year of max contribution is worth about $25/mth to a retirement pension at age 65. This means that your 12 years of contributions will be worth about $300/mth if you start receiving it at age 65. If you want to start receiving it as early as age 60, it is reduced by an adjustment factor for each month that you are under age 65 (max 60 mths early). The adjustment factor is 0.52% for 2012, and it’s increasing by 0.02% each year until 2016, when it will reach 0.6%.

    • Andy

      If you read Bill’s post carefully he didn’t say that he moved to Canada for 3 years then moved. What he said was he moved to Canada in 1973, and paid QPP for 3 years (in Quebec), then moved to Toronto for 9 years and paid CPP (total of 12 years contributions). He obviously phrased it that way to call out the QPP/CPP periods.

      • Doug Runchey


        I knew what Bill meant, and my answer reflected that all 12 of his years of contributions (3 to QPP and 9 to CPP) will be considered.

  108. rick

    Other than income tax,what other deductions are taken off of a typical Company/Federal pension monthly payout ?

  109. Dave

    Your question is very general and non-specific and so is my answer.

    Depending on the dollar amount of the pension they may not even take taxes.

    Generally however taxes are taken off as per your filing of the appropriate TD1 with the particular pension authority. If you don’t file one then they take the amount of tax relative to the dollar amount of the pension, just like your employer did off your paycheue.

    You may have some medical benefits provided through your pension and the premiums may be deducted.

    I suppose if your were separated/divorced, something could be deducted as per that process to be given to your x. This could also apply if you agreed to split your CPP with your spouse.

  110. Dee

    My husband passed away at the age of 55 therefore I started collecting CPP Survivor’s pension at the age of 55. I just turned 60 so I applied for my CPP pension. Since the combination of CPP pension and Survivor’s benefit cannot exceed the CPP max I figured that it was more beneficial to start collecting at age 60. Now I am wondering if my monthly amount will be reduced when I reach 65 to the amount I would have received at 60 if I didn’t have a survivor’s pension. Does the Survivor’s pension portion stop at age 65?

  111. Doug

    The calculation of combined CPP retirement & survivor benefits is somewhat complex, and it would be very difficult to give you an accurate estimate of how much your benefit will be at age 65. What is certain, is that your survivor’s benefit will be recalculated at age 65 (and that will likely mean a reduction), and that would have happened regardless when you started receiving your CPP retirement pension.
    Secondly, from all of the examples that I have seen, it’s even more to your advantage that you applied for your retirement pension early than if you weren’t receiving a survivor’s benefit.
    I hope this helps, but If you want me to try to give you a more detailed explanation and calculation than above, write to me @ [email protected].

    • Anne-Marie

      I am in a similar situation, but much younger. I started receiving survivor CPP at 47 yrs (retro). I am now 52. I intend on applying for early CPP at 60. I have verified my estimated benefits on my CRA account and I would be over the maximum combining the two (at 60) so it makes senses to collect early, and I do want to retire early. I don’t understand why there would be a recalculation at age 65 and even more confused on why it would be lower (survivor portion) as anything I have read indicates I receive the survivor benefits for life, indexed. My deceased spouse was born in 1957 and died at the age of 54 in 2011.

      • Doug Runchey

        Anne-Marie – Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as adding the two amounts together and seeing that they exceed the maximum. If you apply for CPP at age 60, your combined benefit will NOT be the maximum for an age-65 pension, and it will be reduced further when you turn age 65. Read this article and see if this clarifies things for you:

        If you want me to do some calculations for you (for a fee), email me at [email protected]

        • Anne-Marie Thibert

          Thank you. I did read the article – 3 times! I’m still confused as the explanations and examples do not seem to reflect my situation. My spouse is already deceased and I am already collecting (pretty close to the maximum that anyone could be eligible for). I will try going through it again with actual numbers and let you know. Is your fee $25? (I think I recall reading this above.) I know my retirement is a few years away but I need to know what the impact is with early (60) vs regular (65) so I can make some decisions. Thanks again!

          • Doug Runchey

            Anne-Marie: My fee for the combined retirement/survivors choices is generally $90, due to their complexity. If that fee is too high for you, email me at [email protected] and we’ll see if we can agree on a fee amount.

  112. Edward L

    Could you tell me, please how big is mininum or maximum pension in Canada after finishing 65. I mean (CPP plus OES plus in my case Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)). Of course without RRSP plans (which I have).
    Thanks, Ed L.

  113. Dave

    Before you can receive anything from CPP you must have paid into it.

    The amount you receive is related to how much and for how many years, you contributed.

    You should request a CPP contributions statement from Service Canada. (Search Service Canada for the address).

  114. elaine

    i have been on cpp disability since 1987. last chq was for $1097. i worked from 67 t0 77 with max contributions. had 2 children one in 77 the other in 83. remained home from 77-80 then rtd to work part time til 87 and made contributions.
    i divorced on 89, i am about to turn 65, would it benefit me to apply for income splitting for the 18 yrs of marriage, he was the higer earner during our marriage. does income splitting affect the child rearing provision and if so in what way, how can i calculate what my cpp pension will be

    • Doug

      You ask some very interesting questions. First, let’s look at what will happen if you don’t apply for a “Division of Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings” (DUPE) aka Credit Splitting.
      In that scenario, your disability will automatically convert to a retirement pension in the month after your 65th birthday. The disability benefit is calculated at 75% of your retirement benefit, plus a flat-rate portion ($445.50 for 2012). The easiest way to estimate your retirement benefit is therefore to subtract the flate rate from your current disability benefit ($1,097 – $445.50 = $651.50), and then divide that result by 75% ($651.50 / 75% = $868.67. This should be a very close estimate to what your retirement benefit will be at age 65.
      Your questions regarding Credit Splitting (DUPE) and the Child Rearing Provision (CRP) are much more complex. Firstly, those two provisions do not work well together (at least from a male parent’s perspective). Your earnings will be equalized for the entire period of your marriage, but the female parent retains sole rights to the CRP. In many cases (it sounds like this would apply in your case also), the male parent loses significant earnings as a result of the DUPE, but the female parent doesn’t use any/much of these earnings as they are still lower than here average earnings and are “dropped out” under the CRP provision when her benefit is calculated.
      On the other hand, the simplistic answer is that you personally (as the lower wage earning female parent) have nothing to lose as a result of applying for a DUPE. Just be aware that the net impact to you as a couple, will likely be a loss of CPP benefits (all experienced by your ex-husband).
      In my case, with a 17-year DUPE and 10.5 years of CRDO, my ex-wife’s CPP benefit went up about $50/mth and I went down by about $150/mth.
      I hope this helps!

  115. Dave

    Hi Doug. I have a couple of follow up questions/comments to Elaines interesting case.

    Would the CDRO have been applied when she was awarded a disability pension in 87? for the children born in 77 & 83. If so and she now asks for credit splitting for those years how would this be applied and what would it do to her pension. Of course years when she paid max contributions will nullify any value of credit splitting for those years and the 15% drop out years in the disability calc will still be dropped out – correct?. Also a comment – the 868 you predict at 65 is out of a max of the present 987 per month. I mention this just to clarify that the absolute max pension after 65 (taken at 65) is $987.

    • Doug

      I can’t remember for sure what year CRDO/CRP started, but I think it might have been 1983 or so. In either case, it isn’t awarded automatically, it needs to be applied for separately, so only Elaine (and CPP) would know for sure if it was used to calculate her disability benefit.
      The credit split (DUPE) ignores the CRDO/CRP provision totally, so regardless whether she used CRDO/CRP, their earnings will be equalized. These additional DUPE earnings may increase her disability and retirement benefit calculations, but it may not if those earnings are still less than her overall average and they’re “dropped out” under the CRDO/CRP provision.
      Yes, she also uses the 15% dropout, but it’s 15% of the remaining years, after considering the impact of the CRDO/CRP dropout.
      You’re mostly correct about the max retirement, except the maximum is different for a new retirement pension and one that;s converting from a disability. For new retirement benefits, the maximum is determined by the average YMPE for the current year and the four preceding years. For converting benefits, the maximum retirement is based on what the average YMPE was for the year the disability benefit started (1987), and what increases there have been in the CPI since then. The effect of this is that converted retirement benefits are influenced by increases in the cost of living since the disability benefit started, whereas new retirement benefits are influenced by changes in wages.
      Hope this all makes sense.

  116. elaine

    thanks doug,
    i have one further question, my gis entitlement was determined on my cpp disability amt, i was told to apply for an amendment once the disability amt rolls over to cpp pension and that i would be eligible for an increase in gis , is this clawed back if i am awarded an increase in cpp pension through income splitting. i doubt that the increase thru splitting would be much more than 5o dollars, however the increase in gis would be about 100 dollars. hope i have been clear in my explanation. thank you for your kind and informative response.

    • Doug

      Dave has basically responded to this, but I’ll clarify a bit further. Yes, an increase in your CPP due to the credit split would reduce your GIS entitlement by 5o cents on the dollar. If your assumption of a $50 increase is correct, you would “lose” about half of that amount from your GIS.

  117. Dave

    The GIS amount is income based so if you receive more because of the income splitting then I expect you will receive less GIS. The tables for GIS can be viewed if you google search ….Service Canada GIS Tables….. You will see looking at the tables that the GIS amount declines as you have more other income.

  118. Dave

    Further to my post about GIS tables.

    If you have annual income of 16512 you are no longer eligible for GIS.

    With your CPP income of 868 per month plus OAS of 545 per month this will put your annual income at 16956 therefore I believe you will not be eligible for any GIS. If the CPP credit splitting will add $50 per month you should definitly examine it further.

  119. elaine

    dave, determination of annual income excludes oas, but not cpp

  120. Dave

    good info . thanks

  121. Nancy

    I will begin receiving my ccp payments in jan. I was wondering how much I should have them hold back for tax.

  122. Dave

    It depends on your total annual income. If you go to they have a online calculator which may be of help.

  123. Peter

    Since June 2012 I have regularly checked my CPP estimated benefits on Canada’s My Service Canada website. While, before June, they increased monthly yet since June, however, they have remained stagnant. I am planning to retire early yet am confused by the estimated benefit asserted on the website. It simply cannot be that it remains constant as the number months, along with legislated deductions taken early, decrease

    Here’s what it states:

    “Estimated Monthly CPP Benefits as of 05 Sep 2012.
    Retirement pension
    The maximum retirement pension monthly amount at age 65 for this year is: $986.67
    If your pension were to begin next month, you could receive a monthly retirement pension of: $808.05”

    Why then, as I get closer to the age of 65, (and the deduction of benefit for retiring prior to 65 decreases), does the estimated benefit not increase with each month passing?

  124. Peter

    I am a Canadian citizen, over 65 years of age. I live in Canada for sixteen-and-half years now. During that time I have left the Country only for three trips to my Country of origin for no more than three-four weeks each time and a few (3-4) trips to US for a couple of days every time to take part in scientific conferences.

    Service Canada has sent me a letter saying that it denies me my Old Age Security partial pension (and of course the Guaranteed Income Supplement too) if I do not fill some questionnaires (details in the Attachments, see below).

    The questions in the first questionnaire sent to me on October 12, 2010 seemed to be absurd, intrusive, completely pointless and in no way helping to decide whether I have “resided in Canada” “for an aggregate period of at least ten years” – the only condition for my eligibility for the OAS pension as required by law (section 3.(2)(b) of the OAS Act (R.S.C. 1985, c. O-9)).

    That first questionnaire was accompanied by a letter threatening me that Service Canada will deny me my OAS pension if I do not fill it promptly, and – as follows from the fact that I ought also to certify that I am not lying – in the way of Service Canada’s liking (Attachments: Questionnaires1_2.pdf; pages 1,3).

    I responded on October 18, 2010 that I will not fill that questionnaire unless shown where is it said in the law that I need to do that, and I demanded apologies for threatening me, and also, promises that nobody in Canada will be asked to fill a similar questionnaire ever again. I sent the copy of that letter (by email) to Honourable Diane Finley as Minister in charge of Service Canada, and to Honourable Diane Ablonczy as State Minister (Seniors). (Attachments: Letters.pdf; pages 1,2)

    To that, a questionnaire followed (on November 9, 2010) with 27 questions including the initial ones and containing new, even more absurd ones, like the one asking (twice) if I brought some personal belongings with me to Canada, about my travel arrangements etc. and that I supply documentary proof and witness, certifying all my depositions with a signature, let alone of course my own for completeness and truthfulness. (Attachments: Questionnaires1_2.pdf; pages 4-6)

    I responded with an email to three members of Parliament, who I thought ought to be interested in what’s going on, asking for their intervention and sent a copy to Ms. Finley, Ms. Ablonczy and to Service Canada (Attachments: Letters.pdf; pages 3,4)

    Then I received a letter signed by Ms. Sharon Shanks, Director General, Service Canada Payment and Processing CPP/OAS, (on November 19, 2010), “sort of” in the name also of the Ministers mentioned above (see the letter). This letter informed me that Service Canada will not be able to process my file until I fill the preposterous questionnaires. (Attachments: Letters.pdf; pages 5-7)

    As it turns out Service Canada has been dead serious in its threats to deny me my OAS pension.

    I responded with a letter, saying that I am left with no other choice but to ask the courts about the meaning of the expression “has resided in Canada” and whether that meaning includes the stupidities that Service Canada forces into my throat. (Attachments: Letters.pdf; pages 8-11)

    It is evident that Service Canada is of the opinion that the immigrant senior residents of the Country must accept that it is not Canada, not its People and the Laws that give them their OAS pension but the Conservative Government, the “big white mothers sitting in Ottawa” Ministers Diane Finley (Service Canada) and Diane Ablonczy (Seniors) through their myriad of bureaucrats, whose main responsibility is exactly the production of questionnairs forcing to accept that same fact.

    The poor Official Opposition in person of the Liberal Party of Canada goes out of its ways to support this Government to stay in power out of the mortal fear of new elections that can bring them an even more humiliating defeat than what they had last time. My person, my dignity, my human rights and my OAS partial pension of around $10,000 a year are small change in the “high political interrelations” suiting both “big parties” with their “high political objectives”.

    That as a result of those “complex interrelations” the number of seniors living in poverty may rise is none of their concern.

    The author will have to go to courts to get the pension to which he is entitled by the law.

    Have a look in the other posts, and come back for more. It may not be right away, but there will be more.



    • Doug

      I think Dave’s reply (below) answers Peter’s question a bit better than yours does.
      And being a resident of Canada, you should be aware that the current Official Opposition is not the Liberal Party of Canada.

      • Peter

        As this was initially written in Sep 2010 the Liberals were the opposition when this was first written. But thanks for pointing out the change

        • Doug

          I guess that’s a problem using copy & paste! Have you made any progress on your court appeal of the OAS residence issue?

  125. Dave

    The 808.05 amount is your normal age 65 pension if you start it next month….. AT AGE 65. In other words it is your potential maximum pension based on the amount and number of years you have contributed.

    Any reduction for taking it earlier than 65 will come off that amount.

    • Doug

      I think Dave’s reply is likely 100% accurate, although the wording that you have quoted from the My Service Canada website seems to imply differently. I could validate their calculation if you provided me with your month & year of birth, along with your yearly UPE (unadjusted pensionable earnings) from 1966 until present.
      The reason that it probably increased in June, is that is approximately when your 2011 earnings & contributions would have been added to your CPP record of earnings by Revenue Canada.

    • Peter

      Dave & Doug,

      After wracking my brains over this and furthermore, Dave; considering that it states:

      “The maximum retirement pension monthly amount at age 65 for this year is: $986.67.
      • If your pension were to begin next month, you could receive a monthly retirement pension of: $808.05.
      • If you were 65 today, you could receive a monthly retirement pension of: $928.37.
      • If you apply at the age of 70, you could receive a monthly retirement pension of: $1,318.29”.

      As $808.05 is precisely 87.04% (which equals the deductions incurred by retiring 2 years early at .54% per month times 24 amount to 12.96%) of the above-mentioned $928.37, you are absolutely correct when you state that this would be my pension were I to retire next month AND provided that I am 65 at that time.

      Thus, the problem is not with the calculations; it is with the wording. Considering that the entire page states that Estimated Monthly CPP Benefits as of 12 Oct 2012, as well as that I am born March 1950, I suggest it should state as follows:

      The maximum retirement pension monthly amount at age 65 for this year is $986.67.

      • Based on your reported earnings and contributions between the date that you reached the age of 18 and up to Dec 31, 2012, you could receive a monthly retirement pension of $928.37, commencing the month following your 65th birthday. If you have made or will make additional contributions, your pension amount would increase.

      Having said that I’m at a loss to tackle the wording for “If your pension were to begin next month……..”


      • Doug

        You’re probably correect about most of your assumptions, but it would be nice if they could coordinate their calculations with their explanations.

        • Peter

          Does anyone know a live person that could effect changes to the wording (or calculations) on Service Canada’s website? It is becoming increasingly clear that either or both are incorrect. I have been unsuccessful in my attempts, both, written and verbal, to my PP, Terence Young, Service Canada, CPP communications and Diane Finley, Minister responsible for Service Canada. The person that wrote back on her behalf didn’t even know that it is now more than 1/2% penalty for retiring earlier than 65.

  126. Peter

    Hello Dave & Doug
    Thanks for the quick, and much appreciated responses.
    The wording on the page, dated as of today, is:

    “Estimated Monthly CPP Benefits as of 11 Oct 2012.
    Retirement pension
    The maximum retirement pension monthly amount at age 65 for this year is: $986.67
    If your pension were to begin next month,
    you could receive a monthly retirement pension of: $808.05
    If you were 65 today,
    you could receive a monthly retirement pension of: $928.37”

    This implies that if I retired “next month” (November 2012, at the age of 62 and 8 months), I should receive $808.05. Why then, did it say the identical value in June 0f 2012, July, Aug and September?
    Each month I got older (reducing the reduction for retiring early) and contributed more money to CPP from my paycheck each of those months.
    My birthdate is March 25, 1950
    To Dave: You say the $808.05 is my “age 65” amount. That’s NOT what it says; the Age 65 amount is stated as 928.27

    My contributions are:
    Year Your contributions Your pensionable earnings Notes
    1968 $8.19 $899.00
    1969 $30.15 $2,275.00
    1970 $0.00 $0.00
    1971 $9.15 $653.00
    1972 $19.17 $1,665.00
    1973 $81.34 $5,119.00
    1974 $99.31 $6,217.00
    1975 $60.49 $3,768.00
    1976 $135.00 $8,300.00 M
    1977 $151.06 $9,292.00
    1978 $108.61 $6,574.00
    1979 $0.00 $0.00 B
    1980 $212.40 $13,100.00 M
    1981 $239.40 $14,700.00 M
    1982 $268.20 $16,500.00 M
    1983 $278.98 $17,299.00
    1984 $302.44 $18,802.00
    1985 $361.28 $22,323.00
    1986 $333.88 $21,049.00
    1987 $442.55 $25,792.00
    1988 $478.00 $26,500.00 M
    1989 $468.89 $24,939.00
    1990 $574.20 $28,900.00 M
    1991 $632.50 $30,500.00 M
    1992 $256.81 $11,807.00
    1993 $752.50 $33,400.00 M
    1994 $806.00 $34,400.00 M
    1995 $850.50 $34,900.00 M
    1996 $261.24 $12,829.00
    1997 $726.78 $27,726.00
    1998 $1,094.97 $36,900.00 M
    1999 $642.48 $21,856.00
    2000 $1,329.90 $37,600.00 M
    2001 $1,496.40 $38,300.00 M
    2002 $1,673.20 $39,100.00 M
    2003 $1,801.80 $39,900.00 M
    2004 $1,831.50 $40,500.00 M
    2005 $1,861.20 $41,100.00 M
    2006 $1,910.70 $42,100.00 M
    2007 $1,989.90 $43,700.00 M
    2008 $2,049.30 $44,900.00 M
    2009 $2,118.60 $46,300.00 M
    2010 $2,163.15 $47,200.00 M
    2011 $1,593.80 $35,697.00
    2012 to 2013 $0.00 $0.00

  127. Doug

    I can’t explain the Service Canada calculations, but based on the UPEs that you have provided, I calculate that you would receive $901.57 if you were age 65 today (which you aren’t), which would be reduced by 15.92% to $765.62 if you applied today and your pension started next month.

  128. Peter

    Thank you, Doug
    Did you consider the low periods that can be dropped from the calculations and. if I could impose, what would be my pension in April 2013 (at age 63) if I continue to contribute until then. If I have earnings over max amounts in one year and under in another, can this be averaged out?
    I have been trying to get Service Canada to explain the numbers ….to no avail

  129. Doug

    Yes, I did consider the 86 months that you could drop out if your benefit started next month. I based my calculations on nil earnings for 2012 as indicated above, but will revise those calculations if you tell me what you expect to have for 2012 and 2013.
    It will be easy to recalculate for Apr/13, but I’m heading out the door shortly, and can’t redo them until tomorrow (using whatever you give me for 2012 and 2013 earnings). If you’re interested, I could even send you the Excel sheets that I’ve used for calculating the estimates, if you give me your email address.

  130. Peter

    2012/13 will only be 27k as I was on EI for some months. e-mail is in your direct mail

    • Doug

      Using $27k for your 2012 UPE increases your “age 65” calculation to $906.95, of which you would receive 84.92% (reduction of 29 mths @ 0.52%) = $770.18 if you applied immediately and began receiving benefits effective Nov/12.
      If you wait until Apr/13 to start receiving your retirement benefit (and if your 2013 UPE is also $27k), your “age 65” calculation actually drops a bit to $904.52, but your net benefit would increase to $787.30, as your reduction factor would be 87.04% (24 mths @ 0.54%).
      Not sure what you mean when you say that your e-mail address is in my direct mail, but I’ll try to figure it out.

      • Peter

        The way Service Canada’s website is worded must be wrong for it would mean that, even if not employed, the monthly benefit would have to increase each month because I have fewer month’s deduction as I am aging each month, thus have lower penalty……

        • Doug

          Yup, I agree that there must be a problem with their wording and/or their calculations. It does depend somewhat on what your earnings are though (and those are just updated annually to Service Canada) because although your benefit would increase by 0.52% monthly (this year) for each month that you age; the basic “age 65” calculation is based on your “average lifetime earnings”, and could thus be going down each additional month of zero earnings, depending of course on where you stand with the 15-17% general dropout.
          In any case, I do agree with you that there appears to be a problem with Service Canada’s wording and/or calculations.

          • Peter

            Just to add to this; prior to June 2012 the website gradually showed increased amount each month. That was for about one year. Before that I started to complain that the amount was DECREASING each month for the 8 months that I monitored. They have changed the wording along the way and I am adamant that something is wrong, wording, amounts or both

  131. Peter

    thanks, Doug. I sent my email address for the spreadsheets to [email protected] and admin [email protected]

    • Doug

      That doesn’t help me, since I’m not Jim and I don’t have access to either of those email addresses. If you want to email me directly, use [email protected], and I will email you those spreadsheets.

  132. Yuri

    Hello Jim,
    I found your post very helpful but didn’t find an answer for my case.
    I am 65 years old and I am receiving CPP benefit since April 2012 based on my pensionable earning including the year 2011.
    I am still working but elected to stop CPP contribution after my 65’s birthday in May 2012.
    In the period from January to April 15, 2012 my employer and myself contributed $2,306.70 each or max CPP contribution for the year 2012.
    Should I expect increase in my CPP benefit in the year 2013?



    • Doug

      The short answer to your question is yes, assuming you’re not already receiving the max amount. Once your 2012 earnings & contributions have been validated by Revenue Canada (approx June 2013), that information will be relayed to CPP. Depending on what your earnings history is, max contributions for that 5-month period in 2012 could increase your monthly benefit by about $10, again subject to not exceeding the max benefit amount. Any recalculation will be retroactive to May/12.

  133. Al

    Hi, I tried to read all the comments so excuse me if this has been asked and replied too already. Here’s the scenario (I know its an case but just curious).

    What if an 18 year old was to start in the workforce with a high salary and contributes the max CPP for 40 years. Now he’s 58 and will be working for another 7 years. Is there an “absolute” max that an individual can contribute to the CPP or will the next 7 years of max CPP contributions be something that he pays but will never recoup?

    • Doug

      The answer to your question would have been simpler prior to the 2012 changes. Prior to then, the answer would have been exactly as you said, unless he applied for a retirement pension at age 60, in which case he would no longer be required/allowed to make contributions beyond then.
      Under the current legislation, the answer remains the same (ie., wasted contributions) if he waits until age 65 to start his retirement pension. The answer changes a bit though if he decides to apply for his pension earlier. In that case, contributions are now mandatory until age 65 and optional between age 65 and 70. Contributions made after receiving a retirement pension will qualify for what is called a “post-retirement benefit” (or PRB). For each year of contributions after starting a retirement pension, you will qualify for a monthly PRB as of January of the following year. If contributing at the maximum, the amount of the PRB is approx $25/mth, subject to the actuarial adjustment based on your age as of that January.

  134. nazirji

    December my wife turned 64 – she had opted to receive CPP at 60 I will be 64 in July – I am receiving disability pension
    which as of Jan 2013 is expected to be around $1000 plus per month – wife receives $550 per month
    When we both turn 65 we will receive $500 each OAS per month additional I believe- the question – if I pass away at 66 – what are the amounts my wife would receive ?

    • Doug

      The short answer to your question, is that your wife should expect to receive about $825/month of CPP and her $500/mth OAS, if you pass away at age 66. If those were her only sources of income, she would also be eligible for some GIS (guaranteed income supplement), under the OAS program.
      To explain the $825 is a bit complicated. You didn’t mention, but hopefully you know that your CPP disability benefit of approx $1,000/mth is going to convert to a retirement pension, and it should be approx $730/mth. When you pass away, your wife would normally receive 60% of that amount if she was over age 65 and not in receipt of her own CPP retirement. Because she is receiving her own retirement benefit however, there is a complicated formula to calculate what is commonly called a “combined benefit”. You can call Service Canada to get them to do an estimate for you, but I’d be surprised if they know how to do it, and I’d bet you’ll get 3 different answers if you talk to 3 different agents.
      I’m pretty confident however, with my $825/mth combined estimate.

      • nazirji

        Thanks Doug for your kind response- you are right – when you call service canada they are unable to give the combined estimate but just a few approx figures- this is pathetic – I mean they should be able to give more specific amounts so seniors can prepare God forbid something dire were to occur to one. It also bothers me that not every one turning 65 will have sufficient savings and if they have worked for so many years in Canada- CPP and OAS amounts meant to help Canadians in their retirement -why are they even taxed ? At my age and situation whatever dollars I have saved in RRSPs have been going down because I use it for my annual expenses-and I was able to so far use the interest from GIC investments at 4.2% to supplement the expenses and preserve RRSP savings-the GICs matured earlier this month- and with interest rates so low it would generate not much to create sufficient income to cover annual expenses if I lock in at 2% in a GIC and I cannot at this age take any chance of investing in mutual funds or stocks and such instruments if there is a stock market crash-and then even the miniscule interest income generated from the GICs is taxed. Honestly I don’t know what to do.I feel sorry for single retirees as to how they can survive on CPP and OAS.

        • Doug

          You’re very welcome!
          I don’t really blame the SCC staff for not being able to do the calculations, because they are quite complex. I created an Excel worksheet however that does quite good simulations, and I have found it to be very accurate.
          I agree with what you’re saying about the plight of many seniors, and I can only remind you that the GIS program exists also, if your wife only had the CPP and OAS amounts for income after your death.

      • Nazir Patel

        You stated that wife would receive $825 CPP at 65 but she is receiving $550 at this time as she took her pension at 60 – so how can she receive $825 at 65 ?

        • Doug

          The CPP pays disability, retirement and survivor benefits. I didn’t say that her retirement benefit would increase to $825 at age 65, I said that she would be entitled to a “combined” retirement and survivor’s benefit in the amount of approx $825 after her husband died.

          • nazirji

            OK just one more question – would she receive approx 825 plus another $500 OAS for a possible total of 1325 ?

          • Doug

            Yes, $500 OAS plus $825 combined retirement survivor CPP = $1,325/mth. As mentioned too, if these were her only incomes, she would also be eligible for some GIS under the OAS program.

  135. nazirji

    Hi Doug a hypothetical scenario – if you are able to answer
    A couple owns a home that is worth 500000 at this time – when both pass away it has been willed
    To their three children – when the children sell the home and the sale price is 600000
    What taxes do they have to pay?
    Could the parents do anything while alive so the children are not hit with heavy taxes when they sell
    The house after parents death to split the proceeds

    • Doug

      My area of expertise is CPP and OAS, so I won’t even try to provide you with tax advice. Hopefully someone else can help you with this question.

    • Steve

      Inheritances in Canada are not taxable. The children will pay a probate fee which will depend on the size of the entire estate. In Ontario, for a $500,000 estate, the fee would be appx. $7,000.
      Now they keep the home for a few years and it is sold for $600,000. They would pay income tax on 50% of the capital gain. The amount would depend on their total income. $100,000 * 50% * 20% (a common average tax rate) = $10,000.
      If they use the home as their primary residence for at least a year, there will be no tax owing. There are no capital gains taxes on the sale of a primary residence.
      Hypothetically the parents could sell the home to the children now. The amount would not be taxable as it is their primary residence. They could then use that money to rent the home from the children until they pass away. The estate would consist of any money left over from the sale, which would likely be a smaller probate fee. The sale price and rent paid may be modest, but should be reasonable.

  136. Money Dave

    Jim, another great post. Thank you so much. Your formula for estimating someone’s payout is very useful.

  137. Lojan Siva

    I am a person with hard of hearing (sever prolong) disability. Due to my disability (can’t handle telephone calls) I am unable to find a job.I have been jobless for the past 4.5 years and reaching 55 this October. I have worked in Canada for 14 years.I am living on my wife’s earning. Am I eligible to apply for CPP?
    Please advise.

    Thanks you.

    • Doug

      In addition to having a severe and prolonged disability (a severe hearing loss may or may not meet that definition), you must have contributed to CPP for at least 4 of the last 6 years. If you have now been out of work for 4.5 years, you don’t currently meet that requirement. There is a provision known as the “late applicant provision” however, that might allow you to qualify for a CPP if your disability existed when you last met the contributory requirement. The only way to find out is to apply, and unlike the other reply that indicates applications are routinely denied, I believe that applications are routinely approved if you clearly meet both the contrbutory and the “severe and prolonged” criterea. Good luck!

  138. nazirmo

    I don’t know how many years you have to contribute in order to get the full benefit of a CPP disability income – first it is surprising that although you have been off work for 4.5 years no one has guided you- are you off full time job – did you receive any disability income from any work insurance plan ? This is all very complex – I hope you have a good doctor as doctors reports help a lot when filing for CPP disability income – I recommend that you contact CPP disability specialists that are reliable – if in Toronto and GTA area contact Derry Rangin and Associates – I do not know if they still operate but they have been known to be quite good in the past. They can surely advise you – they know the requirements – I believe that you pay only after they have been successful in getting you your CPP disability income – they can also advise as to whether you are eligible- and finally CPP are known to reject the applicant the first time around – nevertheless CPP is known to suggest that when rejected file an appeal and the second time the chances are you may get approved. Do not bother to do it on your own. Did you suffer from any depression due to your disability problem ? I know that there have been instances where those who had acute depression resulting from their illness having a better chance of getting approval. Good luck

  139. NeilV

    I am 58 years old and have a CPP Earnings and Contributions report. If your exclude the first 4 years the balance is all Ms (or VERY close to being full Ms). I will continue working to 65 and expect to have 43Ms. If partial Ms can be included for those early years it will be closer to 44Ms. What would the CCP benefit be? It would be the maximum but consider the following…

    I am divorced and now am facing a pension credit split. I was married from 1983 and separated in 2007. My ex worked during the early years but was at home from 1989 on. Very roughly I’m looking at 19 years to be split.

    Let’s take out those 4 early years and another 3 from the marriage and look at my best 40 (47 less 15%). By my calculations (adding all those new 0.5Ms) I will have about 32 of 40 Ms at age 65.

    Am I calculating this correctly? Am I looking at 80% of the maximum? I may consider working a few more years after 65 in this case. Does the benefit from working longer come from adding more Ms or from delaying the start of payout?

    Does it matter that for most of the 19 years that will be split my ex was receiving and continues to receive a CPP disability pension? Also does it matter that we had two children, born 1983 and 1986? Does the Child Rearing Dropout (CRDO) impact me?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this matter.

    • Doug

      You have a very interesting situation, and you seem to have a pretty good understanding of the calculations. A couple of points to consider:
      – By 2014, the general dropout will increase to 17%, which will mean you can drop out your lowest 8 years and count your best 39 years, at age 65.
      – A credit split would normally affect you for the years 1983 thru 2006, but any period(s) that your ex-wife was receiving CPP disability are excluded from a split, which it sounds like could help you quite a bit.
      – Your ex-wife would likely be eligible for the CRDO, but those years would normally be split and would be lost to you in any case. Depending on what years your wife received disability however, this may not be a factor in your case
      – Working beyond age 65 would definitely increase your CPP retirement based on the age factor, but there’s too many unknowns right now (credit split, disability, CRDO) to say.
      I could do an accurate estimate for you if you emailed me your statement and the missing details to “[email protected]”.

      • NeilV

        I’ll forward the specifics to your email address. Most of the marriage she was either working (close to full Ms for her) or on a CPP disability. Only a few years of neither. Good news!



    I am retiring on 2018, up to that date, i move from quebec to calgary in 2008, it will be my 2018 will be my retiring year in canada and i worked for 20 years, hhow much approximately would i get from my pensions?

  141. Doug

    If you’ve read this blog faithfully, you’ll know that a maximum age-65 CPP retirement pension for 2013 is $1,012.50 per month. You’ll also know that it takes about 40 years of contributing at the maximum rate to be eligible for that amount.
    So, if you worked for 20 year’s at the maximum earnings ($51,100 for 2013), your CPP retirement pension at age 65 would be about $506.25 monthly. If you didn’t earn the maximum in each of those 20 years, you would have to pro-rate accordingly. And if you’re not age 65 now, you would have to adjust for that accordingly.
    Hope this helps?

    • Jim Yih

      Great answer Doug.
      The easiest thing Jose is to call Service Canada and get your CPP statement of contributions. You’ll get the correct detail that way!

  142. Adam Pearson


    I worked in the US for eight years in my twenties. I paid into the US pension system and obviously won’t be able to collect on that. I heard somewhere that the US and Canada have a reciprocity agreement such that your contributions towards the US pension system can be counted toward your Canadian pension. Do you know if this is true?



  143. Doug

    Yes, there is a social security agreement between Canada and the USA, and here is a weblink to a pamphlet that describes the agreement:
    The agreement can help you meet the eligibility criteria for Canadian and/or US benefits, so don’t give up on eligibility for US benefits quite so quickly!

  144. Nick

    My wife and I both turn 60 next year and are trying to come to a decision on whether to apply for CP now or wait until we are 65. I am already retired and my wife will retire next year. We think we will be able to manage initially without the CP using my wife’s employer pension plan and our RSP savings.

    One of my questions is regarding the CPP benefit calculation and low income years used. I understand that a number of low income years are ignored to determine the CPP benefit. If we decide to wait until age 65 to collect CPP will the 5 years of zero income between age 60 and 65 be included in the benefit calculation? Is this something that should help determining whether to take CPP at 60 or not enough to worry about?


  145. Doug

    The 5 years of zero income/contributions may or may not affect your CPP benefit calculations. It all depends on your earnings for youe entire contributory period.
    If you have at least 39 years of max contributions, 5 years of zero earnings won’t affect your benefits. If not, it will (possibly by as much as $25/mth for each year of zero earnings).
    I could do detailed calculations for yourself and your wife, if you email me at [email protected], along with a copy of your most recent CPP statements of contributions. I charge $25 for each calculation, but at $100 for 2 calculations for each of you, you may “save” that amount in a couple of months, by making informed decisions.

  146. Richard

    I am 61 and started receiving CPP benefits in Jan 2013. I have just received notice that my ex has applied for splitting of credits for the time we were together. (married in June 1975 and divorced in Sept 1991).
    It transpires that in most provinces CPP is not bound by the terms contained in any separation agreements, contracts etc. and will split credits when application is made.
    I think I understand the process: contributions for both parties are combined for full calendar years spent together, then split evenly.
    What i would like to determine is if there is a formula which will allow me to determine even approximately the effect on my monthly benefit.

    • Doug

      There is no simple formula, unless you had max contributions for each of those years and your spouse had zero contributions. In that situation, your benefit would decrease by about $12.50 (reduced by your early adjustment factor) for each year of division. Even that could be mitigated a bit though, by the general (15-17%) dropout. So again, there is no easy formula.
      If you had any children during the period of marriage, the sad thing is that she may not even use the earnings that you lose, as she would likely be eligible for the Child Rearing Dropout for any periods while they were under age 7.
      If you had contacted me (at [email protected]) prior to her application for credit split, I could have done estimates for you both, to determine how much you’ll lose and how much she’ll gain (usually there’s a net loss, and sometimes significant if there were children of the marriage), but once an application has been made, there’s not much point in estimating, as you’ll know soon enough!

      • Richard

        Thank you for your response. My mistake was assuming this was taken care of under the terms of our twenty year old separation agreement. Had I any clue that this was in the offing, rest assured that I would have been providing myself with the estimates you describe. The other sad fact is that had she chosen to enlighten me as to her intentions we could have used this estimate to work out an alternate arrangement more beneficial to her and less painful to me. I think you are correct when you suggest there will be little net benefit to her

        • Doug

          There are limited situations when an agreement would prevent a credit split, and the best source of this can be found at:

          There are about 4,000 men each year who are in your (and my) position of losing much more as a result of the overlap of the credit split and the child rearing dropout provisions.

          One of the key elements of my current business is trying to inform people about this situation before a credit split occurs, and giving them enough information to decide whether to proceed with a credit split or negotiate something else that’s better for both of them.

  147. TR

    Can someone please figure out for me how much I will be able to collect in CPP payments per month if I start drawing at 60 under 2 different scenario’s and assuming under scenario 1 that I pay the maximum into the CPP between now & 60 & then at 60 I stop paying into CPP & start drawing a CPP pension or scenario 2, keep paying the maximum into the CPP until I am 65 but start drawing CPP at 60. Thanks in advance.

    Year Your contributions Your pensionable earnings Notes
    1974 $48.36 $3,037.00
    1975 $72.59 $4,733.00
    1976 $56.59 $3,943.00
    1977 $28.58 $2,488.00
    1978 $121.72 $7,762.00
    1979 $76.31 $4,415.00 S
    1980 $31.38 $2,170.00 S
    1981 $478.80 $14,700.00 M , S
    1982 $536.40 $16,500.00 M , S
    1983 $0.00 $0.00 B
    1984 $338.40 $20,800.00 M
    1985 $379.80 $23,400.00 M
    1986 $329.31 $20,795.00
    1987 $298.48 $18,200.00
    1988 $455.00 $25,350.00
    1989 $497.16 $26,374.00
    1990 $536.89 $27,204.00
    1991 $526.24 $25,880.00
    1992 $564.72 $26,719.00
    1993 $549.16 $25,266.00
    1994 $537.94 $24,090.00
    1995 $492.24 $21,631.00
    1996 $597.84 $24,851.00
    1997 $643.84 $24,440.00
    1998 $670.28 $24,440.00
    1999 $995.18 $31,934.00
    2000 $1,109.42 $31,940.00
    2001 $1,240.46 $32,348.00
    2002 $1,336.86 $31,940.00
    2003 $1,779.03 $39,440.00
    2004 $1,778.86 $39,437.00
    2005 $1,778.86 $39,437.00
    2006 $1,778.86 $39,437.00
    2007 $1,798.79 $39,839.00
    2008 $1,856.34 $41,000.00
    2009 $1,856.34 $41,000.00
    2010 $1,975.14 $43,400.00
    2011 $2,113.74 $46,200.00
    2012 $2,306.70 $50,100.00 M

    • Doug

      I can definitely do these calculations for you, but I no longer do them for free, as I was getting swamped. I now do it as a business and for a fee of $25 per calculation (or per scenario). If this interests you at all, email me at [email protected].

      • TR

        Thanks for your interest & your offer. I decided to give it a whirl at doing the calculation myself using the link above “How to calculate your CPP retirement pension” (I think you are the author) & while I must admit it was no fun I think I got my answer to my first option using the instructions. I also calculated how much I would receive at age 65 if I continue working, do not apply for early CPP & continue paying into the CPP to the maximum allowed until 65 & then apply for CPP at 65. I know the age 65 calculations was not one of my options that I asked about but once I got the answer to option one it was not much more work to get the age 65 benefit amount. As for option 2, I called the CPP office & learned that if I start drawing at age 60 but continued contributing into the plan, I will in effect be locking in my CPP benefit the day I start drawing & the continued contribution would in fact be starting a new plan called ” Post-Retirement Benefit” plan which is a completely new plan although the payment will be included in the same check/payment with the CPP. I have not as of now been able to figure out how much this Post-Retirement Benefit will be? The service agent I talked too, talked in round figures with no specifics on how to do the calculations but said each year I paid the maximum allowed into the Post Retirement Benefit plan it would add about $300 per year of benefits so in 5 years it would be around $1500 more per year at 65. Does the $300 per year of increased benefits make sense to you?

        • Doug

          That’s great that you were able to use my other article to calculate your own benefits! (even if it means that I lost you as a potential paying client).
          As for calculating the PRB, the $300 est for max earnings is fairly accurate, IF YOU ARE AGE 65.
          The actual formula is 0.625% of your contributory earnings annually, adjusted based on your age in January of the year following your earnings.
          Example – If you applied for your CPP at age 60 in Dec/12, and earned max for 2013, your PRB for 2014 would be approx $233.53 ($51,100 x 0.625% x 73.12%).
          Note – The 73.12% is the reduction factor for a 61-year old in 2014.

          • TR

            Hey Doug

            Thanks for the info on the PRB. I understand that you charge for doing calculations for customers so if you do not answer my question below I will understand. If I had known in advance what I was getting into I would have gladly paid the $25 but I am a bit stubborn & once I got started I decided to see it through to completion.
            My question is which last 5 year average YMPE would be appropriate to use in my APE calculation. The scenario is….I will be 60 years old in June 2016 & plan to draw a CPP pension the following month which is the earliest possible as far as I know. Should I add $51,100/2016 + $51,100/2015 + $51,000/2014 + $51,100/2013 + $50,100/2012 = $254,500/5 = $50,900 last 5 year average YMPE, or since I will be drawing a pension half way through 2016 I was thinking maybe I should use only one half of the 2016 YMPE & one half of the 2011 YMPE which would also be using 5 years. One half of 2016 $25,550 + $51,100/2015 + $51,100/2014 + $51,100/2013 + $50,100/2012 + one half of 2011 $24,150 = $253,100/5 = $50,620 last 5 year average YMPE . Thanks in advance.

  148. TR

    Sorry I forgot in the above….born June 14/1956

    • Doug

      As to what to use for the average YMPE, your actual benefit calculation will average the YMPE for 2012 thru 2016, regardless what month in 2016 your pension starts. Since the YMPE is unknown for 2014 thru 2016, and so that the answer makes sense relative to today’s cost of living however, I believe that it makes more sense to escalate the earnings up to just a 2013 value (using the average YMPE for 2009 thru 2013.
      You can make arguments either way, but I believe looking at your future pension in today’s dollars makes the most sense. Otherwise if you were looking 20 years in the future with an annual 5% inflation, you might predict a pension of $2,000 monthly and feel rich, whereas it would still just purchase the equivalent of $1,000 in today’s prices.

      • TR

        Thanks for all your help. If I bump into anyone that wants to know their CPP amount I will send them your way. I thought it would be safe to use the 2013 YMPE number for 14-16 because using the 2013 number for those years would mean there was no inflation between now & then & I think I’m safe in saying there will likely be at least a little between now & then so if anything the pension number I end up calculating will be conservative. I figure I will just multiply the pension amount I calculate buy the following year’s inflation adjustment to keep up. Anyway, as you said “You can make arguments either way”.

        • Doug

          TR – Sounds like a deal!

  149. TR

    For anyone interested in calculating your PRB, the link attached will do it for you…

  150. Kevin

    OK, I never figured I would be able to draw much from the CPP since I have worked in the US since about 1987. However, I have recently relocated back home to Canada. I’m 56, and figure I’d like to retire around age 70, God willing. What are my options? I’ve made a good enough living. Nothing exhorbitant. Do I draw from both the US and Canada when and if I retire?

    • TR

      I am no expert but I believe as for the CPP, I think it is mandatory to start drawing your CPP at age 70. You can start drawing as early as 60. As for how much you can expect to receive, that will depend on how much you & your employer have contributed to your plan through the years up until you start drawing & how many years contributions were made & when you elect to start drawing your CPP (In your case that apparently will be 70). If you call the CPP office & ask them for your contributions, you can email Doug at this email address [email protected] & he will calculate your pension if you give him all the relevant info. He does charge a small fee.

      I am no help as far as your US pension. gl

    • Doug

      I’m only vaguely familiar with the U.S. social security, but I’m fairly sure that you’ll qualify for soemthing from them, if you had 26 years of good contributions to there.
      You will also be eligible to CPP based on any contributions you made before you left Canada, as well as any contributions you’re now making since your return. As TR says, you can choose to start your CPP as early as age 60 (at a reduced rate) or as late as age 70 (you’re not obligated to take it at age 70, but you can’t contribute past age 70 in any case, and there’s no actuarial increase after age 70, so there’s no reason to delay beyond age 70).
      You’ll also be eligible for OAS at age 65 based on your residence in Canada after age 18 until you left in 1987, as well as since your return. OAS is payable at the rate of 1/40th for each year of residence in Canada between age 18 and when you apply, so you should be eligible for just over half of the full basic OAS (which is presently about $540 monthly). You can also defer your OAS to age 70 if you wish, and either accumulate 5 more years of residence to increase your partial pension or you can count those years under the “voluntary deferral of OAS” and get an actuarial increase instead.
      As TR also said, I can do accurate calculations for both your CPP and your OAS if you wish, but I do charge a fee for that service.

  151. Pat

    Is there any point in continuing to contribute to CPP on self employment earnings when you are receiving CPP & OAS?


    • TR

      Go to this site for info …


      • TR

        The link is no longer working. Sorry

    • Doug

      Here is a link to an article that I wrote on this very subject:

    • TR

      The link seems to no longer work for the PRB calculator & the government CPP calculator has been changed to the “Canadian Retirement Income Calculator” & you can no longer enter your future estimated earnings so in fact the updated calculator is actually a big step backwards.

      • Doug

        TR – Here’s an updated link to a different PRB calculator. I noticed the new CRIC calculator doesn’t allow you to enter future earnings also, but I wasn’t sure whether it was better to provide wrong results (the old CRIC) or no results (the new CRIC).

        • TR

          You said “Here’s an updated link to a different PRB calculator” but I don’t see a link?

          You said “I wasn’t sure whether it was better to provide wrong results (the old CRIC)” so I am assuming the old calculator was not giving correct answers?

          • Doug

            TR – Sorry about that! Here’s the PRB link now:
            And as for the calculating errors of the old CRIC, here’s the link to an article that I wrote about that:

          • TR

            Thanks Doug

            I followed your link to the PRB & it really isn’t even a calculator any more as it once was.

            I also read with interest & dismay your take on the old calculator.

            I have now retired at age 58 & I know for sure what my future employment earnings will be & when I plan on starting to receive CPP so I will take a crack at doing the math as you have detailed. It will be interesting to see how the numbers differ from the SOC statement & against the new & improved online calculator (sarcastic).

          • Doug

            TR – If you want a 2nd opinion on your CPP calculation, email me at [email protected] and I can do so for a small fee.

  152. Dan

    Following calculations above by Jim, Doug, Rick and others I checked my own contributions @ Service Canada site and want clarification from anyone who knows.
    The way I understand this, since age 18 (1975) I now have 36 ‘M’ years + 2 non ‘M’ years (75% ‘M’, and 90% ‘M’)up to end of 2012. I plan to retire @ end of July 2016 at age 59 (my CPP contribution will be fully paid up for 2016).
    So if I apply for early CPP @ age 60 in July 2017 I will then have 40 ‘M’ years + .75 ‘M’ + .90 ‘M’ + one year of no contributions (2017) for a total of 41.65 ‘M’ years of 43 possible years. Then dropping lower 15% then I would have 36.6 ‘M’ years out of 36.6, for a full pension reduced by 36% for early claim (7.2% per yr after 2016).
    If this is true then by the same math that means that I would have gotten the same benefit if I only had 36.6 ‘M’ years instead of 41.65 because of 15% dropoff. Thus I have contributed for 6 more ‘M’ years than was necessary.
    Have I got this right?

    • Doug

      You’ve got it 100% correct! You count the best 83% of your contributory months, and any contributions beyond that are wasted (at least for you). On the other hand, should you decide to wait until age 65 to apply, those years would come back into play, and you could receive a maximum age-65 retirement pension with 39 “M” years.

      • Dave

        One small point, which I learned from using Doug’s detailed calculations.

        The M during the year of your 18th birthday is not really a true M. It is a prorated M. In my case the statement says M but as my birthday is in May and you start counting the month after your 18th Birthday the actual maximum contribution is 7/12 of the maximum available to someone over 18.

        So when using the detailed monthly calculation a bit a caution here.

        Am I correct Doug?

        • Doug


          You are absolutely correct on that point! The exception would be if your birthday was in December, and then your contributory period would start in January and it would be a full year.

  153. Dan

    Doug, thanks for your feedback above on my question. Good point of clarification in regards to delaying until 65. So many choices!

    • Doug


      No problema! If you’re comfortable playing with the numbers yourself, goodonya. If not, and you want any help, email me at [email protected]

  154. Dave

    Hi Doug,

    If someone receives their first cpp payment in December and the January CPI adjustment is 2%. Is the 2% prorated?

    • Doug


      They would get the whole 2% increment, with no prorating!

  155. Andy

    I immigrated in 1998, worked for five years and I’m now a homemaker. I’m 55 years old, Canadian, and I have money to invest. I earn dividends and pay tax, but have no employer. Should I look at voluntarily contributing to the CPP, or is that not possible, not necessary, unwise or a bad investment?

    • Doug

      Andy – Unfortunately, you cannot make voluntary contributions to the CPP. You can only contribute on pensionable employment or self-employment earnings, as defined by Revenue Canada.

      You will however, be eligible for a CPP retirement pension as early as age 60, assuming that you made contributions when you worked for those 5 earlier years. You should also be eligible for a partial OAS, as you will have about 25 years of residence in Canada by age 65.

      • Andy

        Thank you so much for the reply, Doug, you have saved me a pile of heartache wondering if I should do this; being told I can’t even do it anyway makes things a whole lot simpler… !

  156. Bertie

    Can I collect a disability pension from CPP? and if so how do I go about doing that? I suffered an aneurysm and stroke when I was 21 years old. I started working when I was 12 years old and was working and going to school when I became ill, I had lost all of my memory. I was told by the Surgeon it would take 10 years for me to recover (it took 35) and I would not work again.
    I went back to work but could not keep a job. I have never received any help from anyone since my illness, now I am diagnosed with spinal stenosis, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
    When I was at Seneca College, I remember a student there who had come from India and was in the Country only 6 months. He was working and lost 3 of his fingers on the job (he was not a Canadian Citizen) and he was receiving $600 a month from Canada Pension for life and they paid for him to be retrained. I remember reading his letter from CPP back then because his English was not very good and he had asked me to read what it said and meant. This happened before my aneurysm and in the 70’s and I am recalling this correctly as if it was yesterday.
    A few years back I saw a news article on television where a BC (where I now live) woman had an aneurysm like me but she did not suffer a stoke like I did, and she recovered immediately without any medical issues like I have/had. She also received paid retraining and a pension from CPP. Yet I have received nothing from anyone or Government department since my aneurysm and subsequent stroke for 36 years. WHY?
    Can anyone answer my question and comment on what I have written.

    • Doug


      You don’t say whether you have ever applied for CPP disability, but that is always the first step. Unfortunately, there’s limited retroactivity, so the most that you could receive now is one year’s back payment.

      In order to be approved at all, your disability must meet the legislative definition of “severe and prolonged” AND you must have made enough contributions to CPP. Those contributory requirement have changed over the years, but are currently 4 out of the last 6. If you don’t have enough contributions to meet that criteria, you can still be approved if you met the criteria at an earlier date, and have been continuously disabled since then.
      Here is a weblink from Service Canada that gives you more information on CPP disability, including how to apply:

  157. Dave

    Bertie, I defer to Doug on all things CPP but as he has already responded I’ll add my 2 bits here, as an addition to your invitation for comments.

    I’m sorry that you have such horrible health problems but the example you give of the fellow who lost the fingers, despite your clear recollection, DID NOT get a CPP Benefit of $600 per month for life (1970’s)and or retrained by CPP.

    If a worker lost 3 fingers they may have received some retraining and some payment from a Workers Compensation program, something totally different than CPP and certainly not $600 per month in the mid 70’s.

    Unfortunately including in your bogus example that the worker was from India and not a Canadian citizen does nothing to engender me to want help you. Further, surely if/when you saw a TV article describing a situation like yours, that peaked your interest. WHY didn’t YOU get off your but and look into it.

  158. nazirji

    Caroline this is not the forum to plug this nonsense – and although there may be a few god’s chosen ones who can help – 99 % of these who proclaim to do this and that for those facing emotional problems are crooks – they will take your money and run- I suggest people who are facing problems have faith in God and say a simple prayer seeking God’s guidance – it is God’s will

  159. Narain

    Hi, I’m 76 and still work for a large retail store. I’ve lived in Edmonton for 10 years. Because I’m above 65 I never contributed to CPP. On my payslip EI and tax are my deductions. Because of my age I want to cut my hours and collect pension.

    Is there a calculation on income vs pension payout ie. the more I earn the less pension I qualify for?

    If so, what is the max income, to qualify for max pension?

    Is old age pension the only pension I qualify for?

    Ps:my wife is in the same situation, 76 and working in a daycare and wants to work less too. Our income is $13/hr each @ 40 hrs/week

  160. Dave

    If you have never contributed to CPP (Canada Pension Plan)then you will not be eligible to receive any.

    OAS – Old Age Security – Age 65 – is a maximum 550 per month and is based on how long you have been in Canada. 40 years to get the maximum. It begins to get “clawed back” once you have $71,000 of annual income and is totally clawed back if you have approx. 110,000 annual income.

    If your income is low then you may also be eligible for some guaranteed in come supplement.

    Have you ever contributed to CPP?
    How long have you been legally in Canada?
    Are you presently collecting OAS?
    What is your annual income.?

    • Narain

      Thanks Dave,

      Yes, I have and I’m getting back $36.41 and $8.72 for wife on CPP.

      Been here for 10 years, legally.

      I applied for OAS and we are getting $137/month each, back paid from Aug 13.

      My annual salary is $26k and my wife earns $26k annual salary.

      • Dave

        You may be able to claim some small guaranteed income supplement (GIS) if your income drops below a certain amount . Ask the people at Service Canada – Old Age Security.

  161. martha

    Hi Jim or Dave: Awesome site with a lot of good info. Would be good to know when this was written – I hope I’m not too late to ask a serious question. I have a friend who is 62, forced into retirement after 40 years of retail service in Montreal [store closed, he’s in Quebec, English speaking, no job prospects]. Anyhow, he’ll be taking CPP [QPP]early and was told he’ll receive $580 a month. But how is he supposed to live on that alone, when his rent alone is $900? All research online shows he can’t get GIS or OAS until he’s 65. Is that right? If so, what do early retirees do during those gap years – how do they live? He has no savings since he’s lived paycheque to paycheque his whole life. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks!

  162. Doug


    You’re right about OAS and GIS not starting until age 65. I’m afraid that there are no other federal benefits (aside from EI) unless your friend is a widower, in which case he might be eligible to apply for the Allowance for a Survivor (which is an offshoot of the OAS/GIS program).

    CPP by itself was never intended to be enough to live on, and the only other suggestion that I have until he’s age 65 would be provincial welfare, assuming that he has no RRSP or other savings to live on in the interim.

    • Martha

      Hi Doug:
      thanks so kindly. I couldn’t find a response to that query anywhere online for months so it’s super helpful and I’ll let him know. I wonder how people live those 3 years. You’re probably right about the welfare – if he can’t find work, he’ll have to apply. Can he take his CPP and supplement with welfare? Do they allow that?
      thanks so much for your help.

      • Doug


        I’m not an expert on welfare, but I suspect they’ll allow him and possibly even require him to apply for any other benefits that he might be eligible for. On the other hand, his welfare will likely be reduced because of any other benefits, but possibly not on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

  163. nazirji

    I am trying to understand this – CPP disability pension that one is receiving at 60 and when they turn 65 it becomes a regular pension – why so ? I mean if the disability has not changed – why the pension does not continue as disability pension ? and if in fact the disability pension ceases to be paid out at 65 as regular pension – does that pave the way for the recipient to go out and seek any form of paid work ?

  164. Doug


    The CPP disability benefit is comprised of a flat-rate portion (approx. $450) and 75% of a contributor’s calculated retirement pension. The flat-rate portion is like welfare, as it isn’t dependent on the amount or earnings the contributor had before their disability (except that they had enough years of contributions to meet the minimum contributory period).
    The CPP is designed as only one part of Canada’s social security system and OAS eligibility (currently about $550 for full basic OAS) presently starts at age 65, so that is at least part of the rationale for discontinuing the flat-rate portion of the CPP disability at age 65 and paying 100% of their CPP retirement pension.
    You are correct in saying that would “pave the way for the recipient to go out and seek any form of paid work”, but that makes a bit of a mockery out of the fact that they were receiving CPP disability only on the basis that they were “incapable of pursuing any substantially gainful occupation”. Are you suggesting that has suddenly changed at age 65 when their CPP disability benefit stopped?

  165. nazirji

    No I am not suggesting that disability has changed at 65 – I just used that age as it is the age at which one receiving CPP disability changes to regular pension- and if one was receiving a disability pension before turning 65 – about mockery I mean if the disability of the person has not changed why can’t it continue as a disability pension until if and whenever their condition gets to a point where they are able to work ( I presume full time ) or part time with pension adjustment.

  166. Andy

    I know someone (in another country) who’s on disability and she’s afraid to get even the most insignificant paid work; and your angle Doug is *EXACTLY* why she can never do it. She’s afraid that someone will point and say “Hey, gainful employment!” and she’ll have to prove her status all over again. The key word is “substantially”. Employers require reliability, and although I’m sure many disabled people can do the odd useful task, most would be useless as employees because they’d call in sick more than 50% of the time. My friend attended a conference ON HER DISABILITY and they paid her for her attendance – without her permission, and without forwarning; she was frantic, and annoyed at the organisers’ failure to understand the basic parameters of her situation.

    • Doug


      I can appreciate the concerns of your friend, and anyone else who is on a disability benefit. The legislation is very vague on what “substantially gainful” means.

      I won’t claim that it’s perfect, but that is the reason that CPP implemented several initiatives to clarify their requirements and to encourage people to make an attempt at returning to whatever level of work they are capable of.

      Here is a weblink that explains some of these return to work initiatives, as well as detailing how CPP disability interprets “substantially gainful” and other elements of the legislation :

  167. Lorna

    My husband and I were both 61 in the fall. CPP at age 60 for him was $677 and for me $594. We will continue to work to at least 65 to receive the max CPP. Many friends have taken CPP at 60 at the lifetime reduced rate to CPP of 31.2%. They have defined pension plans, we do not. We may have to sell the house to have enough income to live as currently we still have 15 years left on a mortgage. Everyone says we are crazy not to take CPP early. We can’t do this, as, at age 65, the CPP would be too low for us to live on with a 31.2 % reduction. Currently my husband has an RRSP of $164,000, a work pension only since the year 2009 that will pay him $400/month at 65, plus his age 65 – CPP(2012 CPP calculation was $984 and OAS $537). I only have $36,400 in a defined contribution plan since 2005 and that has gone down and finally up with the stock market as has my husband’s RRSP. I have a (2012 CPP calculation $888 and an OAS of $537.) Are we crazy not to take CPP now. We figure if we took CPP now it would only up our income tax and severely lower our age 65 CPP income. Also, if able, we were going to try to keep working until age 67. Would we gain by this or are we working for no real increase in CPP even if we continued to contribute. Your advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Doug

      I believe that the decision as to when to start your CPP is very much an individual one, so if you think you can’t afford to take it early, you’re right!!
      As to whether you should delay beyond age 65. At a minimum, your CPP will increase by at least 8.4% for each full year that you delay beyond age 65, and it could increase by more than that if your over-65 earnings are better (in relative terms) than some of your earlier years.

  168. Dave

    Attention Doug;

    Can you tell me how the delayed… to age 70 CPP is calculated. When is the age 65 pension calculated? By this I mean is the age 65 pension calculated at 65 and then the annual CPI added plus the annual 8.4% or is the age 65 calculated at 70 using the then average YMPE and the 8.4%annual then added. It seems when I take a quick look at the CPI versus the avg YMPE that the YMPE is increasing at a greater rate than the CPI . If this continues it may provide some reason to delay the start of CPP. (The recent CPI was .9 for existing pensions but the avg YMPE (2013 versus 14) went up by about 2.5%.)

    Thanks in advance

    • Doug


      If you delay your CPP retirement pension until age 70, the calculation would be based on the 5-year average YMPE ending with the year that you turned 70.

      I agree that for 2014, the increase for new benefits using the increase in the average YMPE turned out to be more than the CPI increase for existing benefits. It isn’t always that way though, and it would be a bit of a gamble to base any long delay on that factor.

      It is a reason though, why it’s sometimes better to delay until January of the next year versus December of the current year, or vice versa. It’s all in the numbers!

  169. Rodrigo gonzalez

    hello, I have a question,,,this one is gonna be the same for thousands people is this country, we came old to this country, so no way to get a good pension. Now, what is good,,decent? what about my wife, she is being taking care the kids all these years…Just sorry? When you start working at 40 years old and you are making just enough to live,,,wow ,,, will be hard…

  170. Wondering

    I am 58 and I can’t find work. I am Canadian, a single female and have lived and worked in Canada all my life. I had one child in 1977. I never earned a lot of money. My estimated monthly CPP benefits today are $163.80 if I start collecting at 60, and $255 at 65. I can collect a public service pension of $230.00 at 60, or a little bit more at 65. I believe I will have to start collecting the public service pension at 60 if not sooner. I may have to start collecting the CPP at 60. Currently I receive about $900.00 a year in interest and this amount will go down over the years. I live in BC but may move back to Ontario. I own no property.

    I’m wondering how much I will receive in CPP, OAS and GIS at 65 considering that I will receive the small public service pension. I’m hoping you can do a calculation to help me.

    • Doug


      First of all, I’d suggest that you confirm the CPP estimates. I doubt that either of them considers the “child-rearing dropout”, which could increase the estimates if your earnings were low when your child was under age 7. Secondly, if the estimate of $255 at age 65 is based on your CPP statement of contributions, that assumes that you will continue working for the next 7 years at your same current lifetime average earnings. If not, that estimate will change (up or down accordingly).

      Putting those issues aside, if you applied for both your CPP and your public service pension at age 60, your estimated monthly income at age 65 would be approximately $1,455 (OAS of $550, GIS of $500, CPP of $164 and public service pension of $230.

      • Wondering

        Thank you very much oir the help. I appreciate the clearer picture this response gives me.

  171. Glen Hawco

    Is all this CPP money we get before or after taxes or do we get it all

    • Jim Yih

      CPP is taxable income.
      Typically tax is not withheld at source unless requested which is why some people think it must be tax free. That is not the case.

      • Moss Limbayter

        Retirees abroad are subject to a 15% to 25% Non-Resident Withholding Tax, depending on the country you retire to. You will either get a tax refund or pay the difference when you do your taxes at the end of the year.

  172. Michael at Apex Financial

    Hi Jim,

    Just curious if you would advise people to top up their CPP contributions or invest elsewhere with that money?

    • Doug


      CPP contributions are required on any salaried or self-employment earnings, but there is no option to “top up” your CPP beyond that.

  173. Darryl Jones

    I started collecting my CPP January 1, 2014. I heard their is a bug in the program, if you start collecting before the previous years employers information is received. I read you are to call & ask for a recalulation. Do you know the correct term?

    Thank you,

    • Doug


      It’s not really a “bug in the program”, it’s just the reality that your earnings and CPP contributions information isn’t collected by Revenue Canada and passed to Service Canada until after your employer submits their T4 data and/or your income tax return has been submitted and assessed.

      The issue is that Service Canada used to run a program called “mass conversion to final” every year that would identify these earnings and recalculate any affected benefits. If they’re still doing that at all, they’re doing it badly any missing many benefits (see this link: )

      If you had earnings in that final year that you think should increase your pension and if your benefit isn’t automatically recalculated, you can call Service Canada and just ask that your pension be recalculated to include the last year of earnings.

      The problem that some people have is that when they call to request that they’re told “of course your pension calculation includes all of your earnings”, when this isn’t always the case.

      If you get this type of response, for a $25 fee I can do a calculation for you to ensure that you’re receiving everything that you’re entitled to.

    • Doug Runchey


      Once your 2013 earnings show up on your CPP statement of contributions, you can simply call Service Canada and ask them to recalculate your pension to include those earnings.

      If you think you’re getting the runaround from them, for a fee of $25 I can do a calculation for you to make sure that you are receiving the right amount. All that you need to do is email a copy of your CPP statement to me at [email protected].

  174. Clau

    I would like to know how it will work for people that did contribution while working for another company and after they became independent workers and have their own small company, do they still get the CPP base only on the years they contributed while they were employed plus the ones they contributed as a self employed

    • Doug Runchey


      Your CPP calculation will be based on your combined contributions as an employee for any companies, as well as any contributions you make as a self-employed person.

  175. Rodrigo gonzalez

    wife taken care the kids at home,,,they will have any benefit in the future?

    • Doug Runchey


      The CPP pays benefits for/to children only up to age 18 (or up to age 25 if attending school), only if one of the parents who worked and contributed becomes disabled or dies.

      If your wife has ever worked and contributed to the CPP, she will be able to claim the child-rearing dropout when she applies for her CPP, and her pension will be larger as a result.

  176. Natasha

    is there any way to report someone who is abusing CPP? we just got a new neighbor who just immigrated her from turkey with his wife and 3 children. He is 68 years old and trying to get CPP… but he JUST immigrated here… so how is he able to gain CPP? can he even gain CPP? are immigrants who have never contributed to society or put in money into CPP allowed to receive pensions? this seems grossly unfair if they are because then arn’t they receiving “free money” from their fellow tax payers?

    • Doug


      There’s no need to worry about your neighbor abusing CPP in the way that you describe, as CPP benefits are only ever paid on the basis of how many contributions a person has paid into the plan.

    • Moss

      Natasha, it is impossible for them to abuse CPP because they can’t get it. Your new neighbors have not worked in Canada, so they are not eligible.

      Likewise they are not eligible for OA because they have not lived in Canada for a minimum of 10 years.

  177. tajinder kaur sehmi

    Dear Sir,

    I read one of your comments saying the first thing when you retire you recommend not to take the maximum. I am 63 years old and will be retiring November 30, 2016, at age 65. My current salary is about $50,000.00. I have worked for the govt. for 39 years (as of Nov 30 2016). I am supporting siblings with health issues (unable to work); have a bad situation with a condo townhouse that put a special assessment on each homeowner of $25,000.00, have been paying half my pay cheque on this special assessment,cannot sell this lemon due to the special assessment,will continue to have to pay off this debt after retirement, for another 10 years at least. I will be getting an OPSEU pension as of November 30, 2016 but it would be crucial for me to get as much as I can from CPP – but I am intrigued by your comment not to take the maximum… which amount I will need together with my pension in order to make ends meet.

    • Doug


      I’m a little confused by your statement. I can’t see anywhere above where anyone has recommended that you not take the maximum CPP?

      Jim’s article simply suggests that you shouldn’t count on receiving the maximum CPP pension, unless you have contributed at the maximum level for a sufficient number of years (39 years of max at age 65).

  178. Darcy Sokolosky

    As of Jan.4,2017 I am able to retire with an unreduced bridged pension of approx. $2600($1740 + bridge $876) payable to age 65. On this date I will be 56.If I were to continue working at another employer would I still receive this amount to age 65 and what type of taxes would have to be paid on this money or could I shield it somehow where I wouldn’t have to? If I were to collect OAS I would have to wait til 67 therefore would it be advisable to collect the CPP before 65? Thanks!

    • Dave

      If you have a spouse you can split the income on your income taxes.

      Be aware if you do take your CPP early it will be at the reduced amount forever and it will be significantly less than the amount of your bridge benefit which stops at 65. For this reason I would advise you not to start CPP early unless your financially strapped and have to.

      Subject to the rules of your existing pension you will get the pension and bridge benefit if you go to work elsewhere.

      Also note that your bridge benefit is calculated on your years of service for which you contributed to that pension plan (probably one employer). It does not include CPP contributions made before you were in the pension plan or after you start drawing your pension. So going back to work and making CPP contributions will provide you more CPP.

  179. Keitha Dolphin

    My father has worked for canada post for 27 years. He past away two weeks ago. What happens to his pension now?

    • Dave

      I’m sorry for your loss.

      I’m referring only to his CPP.

      Try this link

      Was he single?
      Is there a spouse/wife? (How old?)
      Are there Children under 18?

      The executor should apply for the $2500 max death benefit.

      Can Post is a large org and will no doubt have good info from their HR dept and Union.

  180. by tksehmi

    Doug re above question I WD like to ask you does the survivor child get a lump sum or a monthly sum after fathers death. My smy same question except I lived in Toronto all my life a d contribute d thru govt employer to both

    • Moss Limbayter

      tksehmi. I am commenting on survivor benefits regarding CPP only. You need to contact your fathers pension plan to learn about their surviving children provisions.

      Surviving adult children do not get anything from their parents CPP.

      This is from the Government website.

      “Survivor’s Pension:
      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.”

      “Surviving Children:
      Benefits for Children under 25
      The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) children’s benefits provide monthly payments to the dependent children of disabled or deceased CPP contributors.

      The child must be either:

      under age 18
      between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a recognized school or university.”

      “How much can a child get?

      The monthly children’s benefit is a flat rate that is adjusted annually. In January 2013, the rate is $228.66. Consult the table of current Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payment amounts.”

      Death Benefit:
      The estate will get the CPP Death Benefit.

      “How much is the death benefit?
      In January 2013, the average death benefit paid was $2,280.52 and the maximum is $2,500. Consult the table of current Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payment amounts.

      The amount of the death benefit depends on how much, and for how long, the deceased contributed to the CPP.”

  181. desarrollo web

    Good morning, I have a question, What about housewives unlisted? Do they have no right to a pension? Thank you

    • Doug

      CPP benefits are based on contributions made on earnings from employment, so if a housewife never made any contributions she wouldn’t be eligible for a pension from CPP. She would however be eligible to an OAS pension.

      If she did ever work outside the home and make some CPP contributions, she would likely qualify for the child-rearing dropout (CRDO) provision under the CPP for any years that she was a housewife looking after children while they were under age 7. The CRDO won’t create eligibility if she made no CPP contributions, but it could increase entitlement if she did make some contributions.

  182. Shane D

    Hello, I have a question on behalf of my wife.

    1. My wife is a Canadian but I married her and whisked her away Down Under ( Australia ) to live in 1989. I could shot for this – but I think that made her about 27 at the time. Based on that she worked and I suspect ( but she cannot recall ) contributed to the Canadian Pension for her working career there ( around 8 or 9 years I expect )

    2. Living in Alberta and working for a government organisation she also thought she might have contributed to something called the Alberta Pension. It is a long time ago and we don’t have any paperwork

    So the question – as we start to age – is Annette entitled to any part of an Aged Pension from Canada. We are realistic in that she hasn’t contributed for a long and time and the contributions small.

    I know that isn’t a lot of information to go on but I was wondering where we should inquire ( and how ) – or if there is any merit in doing so at all.

    Strangely enough our daughter ( recently turned 19 ) took up her Canadian citizenship and is working in Edmonton. Is there is any advice I should give her as something that I can see is likely to take advantage of living and working in two countries?

  183. Jason

    How long do you receive a pension for? The rest of your life? Also, if you retire early, is the reduced payout permanent for life, or does it go back up to 100% payout once you turn 65?

    • Doug


      Yes, the CPP retirement pension is payable for life. Unfortunately, if you take it early the reduction is also for life.

  184. Dave

    Attention Doug

    Feb 17th , 2015 Re: CPP Disability

    I understand there is a backlog of 18 months to get a decision on whether the claimant qualifies for CPP disability payments. Do you know if the person is age 60 will they immediately start paying the reduced (non disability )amount or do they make you wait for the disability decision before paying any CPP. (In other words does accepting the initial lower age 60 amount then preclude your disability claim from proceeding).

    My relative who is only 60, is seriously ill with a life threatening bone marrow condition, which causes extreme fatigue and requires many blood transfusions while awaiting a transplant that is unlikely to happen. The prognosis is not good and they can no longer work. I don’t know the exact numbers but expect the relative likely only has about 20 years of contributions at about half of max so the CPP will not be large and money is very tight.
    Do you know if a Member of Parliament could help expedite the disability decision.

    • Doug


      If your relative wants to receive the reduced CPP retirement pension amount while awaiting a decision on their CPP disability application, they have to complete a separate application for the retirement pension.

      Unfortunately, I doubt whether contacting your MP will expedite the process.

      • Dave

        Hi Doug

        I just read this :

        “Dying Alberta man fights with social security tribunal for disability benefits”

        Globe & mail.
        Lee-Anne Goodman
        OTTAWA — The Canadian Press
        Published Wednesday, Feb. 25 2015, 8:59 PM EST
        Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 25 2015, 9:01 PM EST

        The article says the person started their CPP at 60 and is getting 500 per month but if they had received Disability CPP it would of been nearly 3 times as much. This doesn’t seem correct (the 3 times as much). Any comment?

        Also he’s been led to believe that because he started his regular CPP he’s not eligible for the Disability amount.

        I didn’t post the whole article thinking you could find it on line and read it rather than me copying it all here.

        Any comments?


        • Doug Runchey


          A sad story indeed!

          The correct answer is that his disability pension would have been slightly less than double his early retirement pension amount. If he started his CPP at age 60 in 2012 (when the reduction factor was 0.52% per month), he would have received 68.8% of his “calculated retirement pension”.

          If his reduced retirement pension was $500, his calculated retirement pension would have been $726.74 ($500/68.8%).

          His disability pension would have been 75% of his calculated retirement pension plus a flat-rate portion ($445.50 for 2012), making it $990.56.

          It’s true that he won’t be eligible for a disability pension if he became disabled (or at least met the definition of disabled for CPP purposes) after he started receiving his retirement pension. If he was disabled prior to starting his retirement pension though, he could be eligible for a disability pension instead of the retirement pension.

  185. M baig

    I started,collecting social security benefits at age 66 in the U.S.I worked for 20 yes in Canada and applied for CPP which I starter getting at age 67.
    My question is,would,my CPP benefits be less because I am also
    Collecting Social security?would CPP take my benefits in the US
    In calculating how much I can get in CPP,benefits?


    • Doug Runchey

      M baig

      No, your US social security does not affect the amount of your CPP benefits. Your CPP benefits may however affect the amount of your US social security under their “Windfall Elimination Program”:

  186. Dave

    Trying to figure out how much my relative’s survivors pension will be.

    He age 66 started CPP at age 60 and currently (2015) receives 438.31 per month.

    She age 60 was receiving * disability * CPP of 733.91 per month (2015). Unfortunately she has died.

    I’m sure all the answers are here in the RH website. Just hoping Doug will help!

    • Dave

      Doug ….Following your instructiions….. I arrive at 193.02.

      His calc pension = 438.31 taken age 60 with 30% reduction = Calc pension 626.16.

      Her calc pension = (733.91- 465.84 /3*4)= 357.43

      Option A = 357.43 * .6 = 214.46.
      Option B1 = 128.68 ( Her option A amount – 214.46-40%)
      B2 = 375.70 (His calc amount – 40%)

      Answer 128.68 + flat rate amount 64.34 = 193.02.

      Am I Correct?

      ……. and he’ll lose half of that amount because he gets GIS. More correctly I guess he loses some GIS.

      • Doug Runchey


        You came up with almost the correct amount of the survivor’s pension (I got $128.67) until you added in the flat rate of $64.34 (where does that number come from?). The flat rate only applies if/when the surviving spouse is under age 65.

        The only other step you forgot is to calculate the “special adjustment” that will be made to his retirement pension. Because the survivor’s pension was reduced by $85.78 (40% of $214.46) he will have a special adjustment of $25.73 (30% of $85.78) added to his retirement pension, making his grand total combined benefit $592.72.

        You’re right that he’ll lose approx. half of this CPP increase through a decrease in his GIS, but that won’t occur for another year or so.

        • Dave

          Thanks Doug,

          I mistakenly called the Special Adjustment – Flatrate and the 64.34 is 30% of the 214.46 amount. I now see my error ,should be 214.46 – 60% *.3 = 25.76.

          I guess the silver lining is that your correct amount versus my erred amount will be halved because he’ll get more GIS…. LOL!

          By the way a shout out of Kudos to the CPP – Service Canada Staff. Her disability pension was approved in about one month and he’ll get several months of retro active pmts which will help with the funeral expenses.

          With regard to the survivor calculation am I correct in thinking that a person receiving their own CPP would never receive the full 60% survivor allowance from their spouses pension?

          Although some may see this as simply a nuance of the CPP plan I think it is flatly deceitful.

          • Doug Runchey


            You are 100% correct that nobody will receive the full 60% survivor’s pension if they’re receiving their own CPP retirement pension.

            It’s always either limited to an amount that when added to their retirement equals the maximum, OR it’s reduced by the lesser of 40% of itself or 40% of the calculated retirement pension.

  187. piters


    • Doug Runchey

      Peter – I’m a little bit confused by your question. If CPP means a CPP retirement pension and CPPD means a CPP disability pension, you can’t possibly be receiving both of those benefits at the same time. You can however, receive a CPP survivor’s pension at the same time as either a CPP retirement pension or a CPP disability pension, so I think the answer to your question is “Yes”.

  188. Ernest Roth

    I plan to retire abroad. Will I still get my CPP and OAS ?

    • Doug Runchey


      CPP is payable anywhere in the world, and OAS is also payable anywhere in the world as long as you have resided in Canada for at least 20 years after turning age 18.

    • Moss Limbayter

      Go to

      Non-Resident Tax Rates by Country

      If you live outside Canada, a non-resident tax is withheld from your monthly Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) payments.

      The standard non-resident tax rate is 25%. However, Canada has tax treaties with some countries that affect the amount of non-resident tax withheld.

      Check the table in the website in the link, it shows the tax rate that applies to your country of residence as well as any applicable exemption.

  189. Philip

    Great blog kudo’s.
    So many great questions fantastic replies, some questions seem to be repeated only because I’m assuming people didn’t read the whole blog haha.
    I’m sure many are like me never made over $35000 missed some years in university and what now, can not and will not expect max pension. Right now at age 58 turning 59 next month I’ll apply for pension at 60 and will get a measley $300 a month as a reduced amount.
    Question: here in beautiful BC the lottery has a Set for Life scratch ticket if you win it you get $1000 a week for life but can take alump sum payout of $675,000. Will Service Canada ever consider instead of paying monthly CPP, OAS, GIS giving us the option of a buyout instead of monthly payments? If avg person takes pension at 60 and you live 30 more years gov of Canada pays out maybe $400,000 I’d rather have option to get $200,000 or fraction less then monthly payments!

  190. Dave

    2016 YMPE is 54,900.

    • Doug Runchey


      And as a result, the new maximum age-65 retirement pension for 2016 should be $1,092.50.

  191. Sarah

    I have just been approved to receive a monthly survivor’s pension based on my recently deceased husband’s CPP contributions. I am 42 and no longer live in Canada.
    1. Will I receive the survivor’s pension for the rest of my life?
    2. Will I also be eligible for his retirement pension when he would have been 65, or when I am 65, or is that effectively what I am receiving now?
    3. I only worked in Canada for 5 years. Will I be eligible to receive my own retirement pension when I am 65?

    • Doug


      In answer to your questions:

      1. Yes, your CPP survivor’s pension is payable for life.

      2. No, you won’t receive his retirement pension when he would have been 65, but your survivor’s pension will be recalculated when you are 65.

      3. Yes, you will be eligible for your own CPP retirement pension at age 65 or as early as age 60 at a reduced rate.

      • TR

        Hi Doug

        Could you explain in more detail answer #2 to Sarah? Thanks

        • Doug Runchey


          Here’s a link to an article that I wrote about the calculation of a CPP survivor’s pension:

          • TR

            Doug, thanks for the link & wow that is a lot to take in. I confess I have not taken the time to completely understand the math & am not sure I will even try but in your example you mention “based on a calculated retirement pension” several times. What if the deceased person has not reach 60 yet & therefore no calculation is yet possible. Does that mean the surviving spouse will never be eligible for a surviving benefit & what if the deceased person has reach 60+ but decided to delay collecting a CPP pension? Thanks

          • Doug Runchey

            TR – Eligibility for CPP survivor’s pension is not dependent upon the age of the deceased or whether he/she was receiving a CPP retirement pension before they died. The term “calculated retirement pension” simply means the amount of retirement pension that someone would have been eligible for if they were age 65 when they died.

          • TR

            Thanks again Doug for your reply. So if I understand correctly, using the scenario of the deceased having contributed to CCP & being the age of 55 when they deceased, the surviving spouse who would be 50 at the time of their spouse’s demise would receive the flat rate amount plus 37.5% of the amount the deceased would have been entitled to draw at age 65?

  192. JOHN

    My wife is an American citizen receiving US social security survivor benefit.She is a Canadian permanent resident.
    She has made no contributions to CPP. Will she be able to collect CPP Survivor benefits on my demise. I started receiving CPP benefits at age 60 at about 95% of the maximum.

    • Doug


      Yes, she will be eligible for your CPP survivor’s pension when you die. Her eligibility is based solely on your contributions, and has nothing to do with her contributions, her citizenship or where she lives.

  193. Arthur

    I contributed to CPP until 1997. Then I went on disability and am receiving CPP disability benefits since then. When I reach retirement age, how will that affect my pension since I have not made payments to CPP since 1997. Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey


      The period of time that you’ve been receiving a CPP disability pension is excluded from your contributory period. This has the same impact on your retirement pension calculation as if you had continued to contribute to CPP until age 65, at the same level of earnings as your lifetime average earnings level prior to being disabled and then indexed to inflation.

      If you tell me the amount of your current CPP disability pension, I can estimate what your CPP retirement pension will be at age 65.

      • Arthur

        My CPP disability is $1125

        • Doug Runchey


          Your CPP retirement pension at age 65 will be approx $878.88, plus any annual cost-of-living increases before then.

  194. Alan

    Hello Doug
    You mentioned in one of your articles that if you are receiving a survivor benefit, it drastically changes the picture as to the best time to start collecting CPP. No kidding. I just turned 64 and recd my CPP application in the mail. I have always thought that the longer you wait to take out your pension the more the amount you will receive. What a shock to find that the blending of my Survivor benefit and CPP brought my monthly amount close to the maximum 24 months ago and that if I start taking my pension out now the monthly amount would be higher that at age 65 when everything gets re-calculated. I spoke with the CPP office and posed this question several times. “How is the average Canadian who is working and contributing to the plan supposed to know that the blending of the 2 pensions will bring you to the max benefit possibly 2-3 years earlier (assuming 39 yrs contribution) than age 65? The only answer I got was that CPP should be doing a better job informing people of this fact. I was told that I can back claim for no more than 11 months if I take my pension now. If I was aware of this information 3 years ago it would have completely altered my decision as to when to start taking my CPP benefits.

    Have you had a lot of other people contacting you with a similar experience?

    Also can the max 11-month back-claiming be appealed using the argument that my only fault was that I didn’t know?

    Can CPP be held accountable for not informing me of this info? Any advise would be helpful.

    • Doug Runchey


      You’re still getting a mixture of fact & fiction from the CPP office.

      First, there is no retroactivity for a CPP retirement pension unless you apply after age 65.

      Second, if you apply for your own CPP before age 65 you may well receive even more than the $1,065 maximum while you’re under age 65, but if so the calculation of your combined benefit will change when you turn age 65 and it will be less than the maximum of $1,065 at that time.

      Third, depending on the current amount of your CPP survivor’s pension, you may want to seriously consider not applying for your own CPP until you turn age 70.

      If you want to email me at [email protected], I can do some calculations for you (for a fee) to help you make this decision.

  195. Chas

    Lucky to live in Canada or what. With the CPP/OAS/GIS.Especially with people like Doug Runchey to be there for us.Thanks Doug..Thanks Canada

  196. Marie N.

    This year, 2016, the maximum CPP retirement payment is $1,092.50. Last year’s maximum was $1,065.00. The Government of Canada’s website said that the increase for 2016 would be 1.2% for those already receiving benefits, which is the amount that my CPP Disability cheque increased by. However, the new maximum amount increased by 2.58%. Why is there this discrepancy?

    Thanks for the clarification.

    • Doug Runchey

      CPP benefits in pay (such as your disability pension) are indexed to price increases as measured by the CPI, which resulted in a 1.2% increase from 2015 to 2016. CPP benefits not yet in pay (such as the yearly maximums) are indexed to wage increases as measured by the 5-year average YMPE ending with the year that the benefit starts.

  197. Sherry Burgess

    To: Retire happy
    Re: The Canadian Pension Plan

    My CPP began with the Government of Canada during 1993 the year that I started working as an Engineering Assistant for Civil Aviation with Transport Canada at the Toronto Regional office on Yonge Street. My address at that time was Mississauga then I changed my address to Victoria, BC. Currently I am at the same original address that was associated with my Transport Canada job with the government of Canada. Though I have tried to update the information the statements don’t arrive. How do I get my most current CPP information. Is there an email with a particular contact person who is known to be reliable for this topic? Thank you.
    Sherry Burgess

    • Doug Runchey


      Call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and ask them to mail you a current statement to your current address.

  198. michael brown

    Hi Doug,
    I am planing to live in the caribbean where the weather is much better , i want to put in my papers for CPP at 50 yrs old, will i be eligible?

    • Doug Runchey

      Michael – You can’t start receiving your CPP retirement pension until age 60, at the earliest.

  199. John

    CPP estimated my amount.
    For applying at age 60 it is $142 a month.
    For applying at age 65 it is $219 a month.
    I want to know from people how close was their estimate in your experiences.
    Did you receive more …less..or the same amount as they estimated?
    And based on my estimates…do you think I should take the early rate?
    Thank you…

    • Doug Runchey

      John – How old are you now? Are you still working and if so what is your current annual salary? If working now, when do you plan to retire?

  200. Dave

    CPPD converting to Normal age 65 CPP

    Person received max CPPD (971.26)starting in 2003 – age 52 and it will convert to a normal age 65 CPP later this fall.

    YMPE in 2003 was 39900 and CPI escalation totalled 24.4% (2004-2016) ( The CPI was from your tables and I’m not sure whether they are to be compound or do they just get added up)

    Am I correct thinking the Normal age 65 CPP will be 1034.07.

    • Doug Runchey

      Dave – The CPI increases would be compounded, as they would each be applied yearly to the escalated amount. But I get the age-65 retirement pension to be $1,020.02 for 2016.

      • Dave

        Thanks Doug. Using the AYMPE (rather than YMPE) for 2003 and compounding the yearly CPI I now get the result you provided.

  201. Clau

    Very nice after working like a horse my all life barely making to pay living expenses not able to saved…I want to know how are we going to afford to live a descent life.

  202. Dave


    Calculation of age 70 CPP.
    If CPP is delayed until 70 what AYMPE is used, the one at age 65 or 70?

    Obviously if you start at 60 they would use that years AYMPE as the future is not known.

    There appears to be a trend of the industrial wage amount outstripping the CPI which may be another small plus to delaying CPP.

    • Doug Runchey

      Dave – You would use the AYMPE at age 70. You’re right that could be a factor, but it’s speculative.

  203. Helen

    My husband has 39 M’s on his CPP statement of earnings and contributions yet, despite that, he still doesn’t qualify for the maximum.

    He was laid off in 2015 so only had $11,984 in pensionable earnings that year, and no earnings at all in 2016 (the year he turned 65). When they calculated his pension they used the final 5 years of earnings, so his reduced income in 2015 resulted in a reduced pension.

    When he called in to ask why that one year affected the result, he was told that as he had no income from 1969 to 1975 those years had been used as the drop off years that were not used in the calculation. So, despite having contributed the max each and every year from 1976 to 2014, he did not qualify for the maximum CPP.

    • Doug Runchey

      Helen – There’s something wrong here! If your husband had 39 M’s from 1976 thru 2014 inclusive and started receiving his CPP at age 65 in 2016, his CPP should be the maximum of $1,092.50. If he received anything less than $1,092.50, email me at [email protected] and I’ll look into it for him.

  204. Helen

    Following Doug’s response, we called again to Service Canada and spoke to a different (and much more helpful) agent. It turns out that my hubby IS going to get the max payout, and the confusion was caused by the fact that the amount showing on his “My Service Canada” account is an AFTER TAX figure, and not the actual amount.

    Unfortunately that fact is not made clear on the web page. Even the agent didn’t figure it out at first, until he compared the number we told him was showing on the “My Service Canada” account page with the number that was showing in his records. When he realized they were different, he guessed that it was because of the withheld tax.

    When you apply for CPP you indicate on the form whether or not you want tax withheld and, if you do, the amount you’ll receive after tax is what is showing on you “My Service Canada” account webpage.

    • Doug Runchey

      Helen – Thanks for posting this message!

  205. Raj


    I turned 65 in October this year (2016) and will start receiving CPP from next month. I have 2 questions,

    Is there an online calculator that I can use to verify if the amount CPP is paying me is correct?

    CPP’s calculations are based on contributions made up to 2015. However I have already paid the max contribution amount for 2016. Would they recalculate my CPP payment next year after they receive the update for 2016 from my employer?

    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Raj – Here’s the method to calculate your CPP: , and here’s an article that explains how your 2016 earnings will be handled:

      • Raj

        Thank you, Doug!

        • Ellen

          One of the steps in calculating your CPP says “multiply that result by the average YPME for the 5 year period ending in the year that your CPP will start”. How do I get this information for future years? I don’t intend to start collecting CPP until 2022, but it seems the YPME info is only available up until 2017. Am I misinterpreting this?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Ellen – I do all my calculations using the 5-year average ending with 2017, and just know that the actual amounts will be indexed to future YMPE increases.

  206. Julian Ganton

    Once you start collecting CPP, do you collect it until you die? Say you lived to be 90, 100 or 110 years old… Would you keep collecting until you kicked the bucket? Are there restrictions on how much you collect the longer you live?

    • Doug Runchey

      Julian – Yes, you keep collecting until you die, with no restrictions.

  207. Angie

    Is an employee who hasn’t maxed out his CPP contribution for the year make voluntary contributions?

    • Doug Runchey

      Angie – No, you can only contribute to CPP on earnings from employment or self-employment.

  208. Deborah


    If I contributed to both QPP & CPP, but no longer live in Quebec can I collect both pensions when I turn 65?


  209. scott

    “If you have 39 M’s you’ll get the maximum. If you have 20 M’s you will get approximately half the maximum (you might get some partial credits for part years).”

    What do you mean that you “might” get some partial credits? Would you not definitively get those partial credit….for instance….if you had 2 years where you contributed 50% of the maximum then would it not pretty much add up to one full “M?”

    • Doug Runchey

      Scott – At age 65 you will count your best 39 years of earnings, so if you have 20 M’s you will also count your next-best 19 partial years. And yes, 2 years of 50% are worth exactly the same as one full “M”.

  210. poppy

    I don’t know what the difference is btw CPP and old age pension but I can back up the complaint that JAS made about coming from abroad and being able to get a pension, call it any name you want.Both couples never worked a single day of their 10 years in Canada .They were too old to begin with and needed knee replacements and hernas right away.One couple started getting $1800 per month in 2007 and its ongoing .They spend 6 months in Canada…..Brantford and 6 months in Chicago .Probably have a pension from the US too. The other couple arrived in 2001 to join a daughter who had married here.They recieved the pension in 2011 of $2200 per month. They spend 4 months abroad spending their time living large and distributing their largese . So why the insisting that the rest must pay this and must pay that.Sorry…….you can get the same if not more by just arriving at 60 .

    • Doug Runchey

      Poppy – I don’t believe the numbers in either of your examples.

    • Moss


      If they never worked in Canada they get no CPP period.

      If they were not permanent residents for more than 10 years, they get no OAS pension period.

      If they were not permanent residents for more than 10 years, they get no GIS period.

      They may have income you aren’t privy to.

      If you believe they are somehow cheating the system, report your suspicions to the correct authorities.

  211. Ellen Coffey

    I retired at 56 in 2013. I contributed the maximum in 2013, 13% of the maximum in 2014 and 55% of the maximum in 2015, but I don’t expect to contribute any more going forward. My SOC shows that I have contributed the maximum for 31 years, plus I also had one year where my contribution was 98% of the maximum. I have 2 children (born July 1987 and June 1989) and during the years 1988, 1989 and 1990 I made no CPP contributions. In 1987 I contributed 31% of the maximum and in 1991 I contributed 83% of the maximum. I am not in need of the money now but I am trying to decide if it would be financially better for me to take my CPP early. Any advice?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ellen – If you email me at [email protected], I can do some calculations for you (for a fee).

  212. Bill Ho

    I will retire next year at 65 and my monthly CPP benefit will be about $500. I’ve been living in Canada for 35 years so my OLD AGE SECURITY benefit will be about $400. Please tell me what would the GUARANTEED INCOME SUPPLEMENT be in my case; what is the minimum monthly amount a Canadian pensioner gets. I am separated from my wife for many years & she is a high salary earner; will my estranged wife’s financial status affect my guaranteed Income supplement. I appreciate your advice

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Bill – If you will have 35 years of residence in Canada after age 18 and before age 65, your OAS will be approx. $506.21 (35/40ths of $578.53). If CPP is your only other income, your combined OAS/GIS would be $1,109.62 and thus your GIS would be $603.41.

      • Bill Ho

        Hi Doug. Thank you for your calculation on OAS of $506.21 for me. I was born in May, 1953 & just received the application forms for CPP & OAS from Service Canada. In the CPP letter, it says if my CPP benefit were to begin today I would receive $486.95 per month. CPP is my only income aside from OAS when I retire in May, 2018 next year after 35 years in Canada & my GIS would be $603.41 as you calculated ragardless of my CPP benefit. Once again, many thanks for your help.

  213. Bill Ho

    Hi Doug. Could you give me your opinion on this: my CPP is $500 & OAS is $506 ( I’ve no other income ). How much would I approx. be qualified for GIS? Could my GIS be $603 as you mentioned ( I’ve learned that CPP + OAS + GIS can not exceed $1400/month. Am I correct?) Thank you

  214. Dave

    I’m not Doug but my brother has CPP of 600 and his combined OAS/GIS is more than 1000.
    He pays no tax (I do his taxes) and he also gets the GST credit of about 125.00 (3 months)

    Your 1400 amount is not correct.

    • Moss

      If there is no other income, the total of OAS + CPP + GIS WILL be $1,442.62 a month for a single pensioner.

      If there is no other income, the total of OAS + CPP + GIS WILL be $1,098.70 monthly per pensioner for married or common-law partners who are both OAS pensioners.

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Moss – You are giving out wrong information! Read my other reply for more details.

  215. Bill Ho

    Thank you Dave for your reply. It gives me the peace of mind.

    • Moss

      Hi Bill, this is all you need to know. The government has set the minimum monthly income for a single OAS pensioner for 2017 at $1,442.62 a month.

      If your CPP and OAS total $1,440.00 a month…
      – You will get $2.62 a month in GIS which brings the total to $1,442.62.

      If your CPP and OAS total $1,000 a month…
      – You will get $442.62 a month in GIS which brings the total to $1,442.62.

      If your CPP and OAS total $100 a month…
      – You will get $1,342.62 a month in GIS which brings the total to $1,442.62.

      YOUR income is $1,006 monthly…
      – You will get $436.62 a month in GIS which brings the total to $1,442.62.

      * The government has set the minimum monthly income for married or common-law partners who are both OAS pensioners for 2017 at $1,098.70 monthly per pensioner.

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Moss – You totally misunderstand the GIS rate tables if this is what you believe. The amount of $1,442.62 is for OAS/GIS only (it doesn’t include CPP). Any CPP received (or any other taxable income) reduces the GIS by approx. 50 cents on the dollar, so that in Bill’s case of receiving CPP of $500 monthly his OAS/GIS will be approx. $1,109.62 monthly.

  216. Bill Ho

    Hi Doug. Thank you for your comment on my case. I’ll retire next year in May 2018: my monthly CPP would be approx. $500 (according to Service Canada) , my OAS would be approx.$506 (35 years residing in Canada, according your calculation) May I ask if my GIS would approx. be $603 as you’ve calculated ( I’m separated, having NO other income). On what basis did you arrive at this figure $603? So if I retire next year I’d get CPP $500 + OAS $506 + GIS $603 = $1609/mo.( the reason I ask you is to make sure if I’d be receiving about $1442/mo as Moss said or I’d be receiving $1609 as you calculated. The difference is only about $167/mo & I can find some part time work to cover it) I thank you for your comment on this.

  217. Dave


    Forget what Moss said. He is wrong.

    Doug is the expert and 100 % right.

    I also gave you a specific example about my brother and I again confirm that he gets over 1600 per month as you will. Total oas gis and cpp.

    If you go to the online tables you should be able to see this for yourself.

  218. Dave

    Look at the left column go to $6000.00 (which is the other income in your case $500.00 per month x 12 months). Look at the right column and you’ll see the combined OAS/GIS amount that Doug told you. 1109.62 per month. Then add the 500 cpp and you’ll see you get 1609.62.

    You of course are a year away from 65 so the amount will be slightly higher when you reach 65.

  219. Bill Ho

    Thank you very much Dave & Doug for your expert advice.

  220. Moss

    Sorry everyone, you are 100% correct. I don’t know why I added OAS into the income, I knew that (at least I did a couple years ago…). I was confusing the minimum income that a pensioner would receive whether or not there was any other taxable income.

    Table 1 – income $5,856.00 to $6,143.99 shows OAS / GIS pension at $1,109.62 Then add the $500 CPP pension and the total is $1,609.62.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Moss – Now you are 100% correct also!

  221. Bill Ho

    It’s wonderful to have a forum where knowledgeable persons willingly offer their opinions in order to help others. My sincere thank-you to Doug, Dave & Moss.

  222. Dave

    Moss, I’ve made mistakes here too and had to stand corrected.



  223. Moss

    Thanks everyone. Blindly cutting and pasting can really throw a wrench into the works.

  224. joe

    I start working at age 19and now I am 55 years continue working to 63 and use RRSP for two years.
    what I get from CPP/OAS /GIS pension total.
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Joe – Were you earning at or above the CPP maximum each year that you worked? How much RRSPs will you withdraw between age 63 and age 65? Will you have any other income at all after age 65?

  225. Joe

    Hi, No other income after 65,
    Only RRSP. By time I will 64 years for RRSP I will have about $225.000 OR more.For income for last 12 years 2005 36000 2006 36500 2007 36500 2008-2012 38000 2013 39000 2014 40000 2015 42000 2016 43000 2017 44000. about more or less.
    I came to Canada when I was 18 years old.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Joe – At age 65, your OAS is approx. $580 per month or $7,000 per year. Your CPP is based on your best 39 years of earnings, so if you have another 27 years of similar earnings (compared to the YMPE), your CPP will be approx. $880 per month or $10,600 per year. For GIS, I’m assuming that you’re single? Assuming that you withdraw $18,000 or more RRSP in your 64th year, you won’t get any GIS until you’re 66. At that time, if you made no RRSP withdrawals in your 65th year, you could be eligible for GIS of approx. $300 per month or $3,600 per year. If you do withdraw any RRSP money, your GIS will be reduced by approx. 50 cents on the dollar (meaning that if you withdraw $7,200 or more RRSP, you won’t receive any GIS).

  226. Joe

    I am Marriage.
    For me better to withdraw all my RRSP before retirement right?

    Thank you Doug.

  227. Dave

    Joe. We have limited information, but there might be a strategy whereby you’d start using your RRSP’s at retirement and delay taking OAS until age 70.

    In this way you would get your RRSP out at a low tax rate while allowing your OAS entitlement to increase at 7.2 % per year (36% at age 70). If you then had no RRSP remaining, only your CPP would reduce your GIS entitlement.

    If your currently making and living on about 40000 per year I would think your estimated 225000 in RRSP at retirement time would allow this strategy to work.

    You don’t indicate whether you own or rent but not having a mortgage in retirement is important and if you have one reducing it should be a priority . Also I hope you’re using a TFSA account it may be better for you rather than contributing to RRSP where your tax advantage is likely negligible because of your modest income.

  228. Joe

    Hi Thank you for your Reply.
    By the time I retire I in 2027 at age 65 you think government with change retirement age to high?
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Joe – I don’t think the age of eligibility will change before 2027, but it’s not impossible.

  229. Darryl B

    Whats the formula for this? I am 39, assuming I have 25 years let and I will get an M for each year.

    Currently I have 16 years contributed, and 9 M’s. I will have 41 years contributed by 65 and 34 M’s.

    What % of the maximum would I receive?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Darryl – At age 65, CPP is based on your 39 “best years” (relative to the YMPE). your 34 M’s will guarantee you 34/39ths or 87.18% of the maximum. Figure out which are your next-best 5 years (use this table for the YMPEs: ). Figure out how many M-equivalents those next-best 5 years would total, divide that number by 39 and add the result to 87.18%. For example, if the 5 next-best years are equal to a total of 2.5 M’s, they would be worth 2.5/39 or 6.41% and your total CPP would be 93.59% of the maximum for the year that you turn age 65.

  230. Joe

    Hi Doug-For couple lives in Canada for 40 years.
    What is the maximum income you can get.CPP OAS GIS Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      The maximum CPP retirement pension for 2017 is $1,114.17 monthly and the maximum OAS is $585.49 monthly. If a married couple were both receiving max CPP, they would have too much combined income for GIS, so the maximum they could each receive is $1,114.17 + $585.49 = $1,699.66 monthly.

  231. Jean-Marc Michaud

    What happens to someone that takes early pension at 60, but then loses his or her job……since they do not contribute in the system , will their pension be lost or lowered in amount?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jean-Marc: No, once a CPP retirement pension is in pay it won’t be affected by any subsequent periods of non-working.

  232. rita manzo

    Hi, What happens if I retire at 62 and also have 39 M’s? Can I get max CPP or do I get penalized because I’m 62, even though I contributed 39 M’s?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Rita – If you have 39 M’s, you will always get the max CPP for whatever age you take it, but if you take it early at age 62 it will be 78.4% of the age-65 maximum. If you wait until age 65, you will get 100% of the age-65 maximum.

  233. rita manzo

    Hi, Doug, Thanks for your reply. I am retiring at the end of June 2018 at age 62 and I turn 63 in October. Should I wait until the end of my birthday month to apply for CPP or apply at the end of June when I retire. Or do you think I should hold out until I turn 65?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Rita – There’s no right answer here. The main thing is to know how much your CPP at each of these dates/ages, and to choose the one that best matches your other incomes and expenses. I can help you with the numbers (for a fee) if you want. If so, email me at [email protected]

  234. Judy

    I am 56 born in 1961. I had been married 18 yrs then divorced. I did get the CPP split. Is that included in the amount I receive at retirement or do I have to wait for an event- like survivors? And I have gone to the Canada website and do not know how to get help from Canada Service, and the phone did not give the option. any suggestions I would like to know what I could expect. Just a few years to retirment. Any heko would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Judy – If the credit split has been done already, it should show the initials “CS” under Notes on your CPP statement of contributions. In this case, the amount of your retirement pension will include the earnings that you obtained through the credit split. You should be able to access this info through the My Service Canada Account website at: or by calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and hitting “0” at the prompt.

  235. Ray

    Hi Doug

    I am 70 years old and retired and tired to stay home. I would like to be back to work. I got my oas and gis as well my CPP. If I start working again, is my OAS and GIS will be affected as well my spouse… Please advise



    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – If you have extra income from any taxable source, it will reduce your and your wife’s GIS. There is a delay in when this reduction occurs though (unless you’re being paid GIS on your estimated current-year income, which you would be aware of). For example, if you have employment earnings anytime in the 2018 calendar year, it will reduce your GIS for the period from July 2019 through June 2020. GIS is normally reduced by approx. 50% for every dollar of extra income that you have (for married couples, this generally means that your GIS is reduced by $1.00 per month each, for every $48 of annual income that you have). An exception for employees though (it doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed), you can earn up to $3,500 in salary without any reduction in GIS at all.

      OAS is not affected by returning to work, unless your total net income exceeds the OAS clawback threshold (approx. $76,000).

  236. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    What about my wife Pension …? As she is 62 years and received Pension..”.I don’t have any other extra income

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – Sorry, based on your first question I assumed that your wife was also receiving OAS/GIS. Since she’s between age 60 and 65, she’s presumably receiving the Allowance then? If so, my answer is similar but the proportion that it affects your GIS and/or her Allowance varies a bit based on what incomes you each have. By extra income, I simply meant this new job that you’re considering, but the same answer would apply to any other new taxable income source. So, to answer you meaningfully, please tell me what incomes you each have from all sources.

      • Ray

        Hi Doug,

        What about my wife Pension …? As she is 62 years and received Pension..”.I don’t have any other extra income



  237. Ray

    Hi Doug

    I have a monthly income of 1256.45$ and my wife receive 758.49$ ….all these incomes are from OAS/GIS



    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – My answer stays about the same. If you go out and get a job, your GIS and/or your wife’s allowance will decrease (collectively) by approx. 50% of whatever you earn (except for the first $3,500 of employment earnings, which are exempt for GIS purposes). For example, if you took a part-time job that earned $10,000 per year, you would lose approx. $3,250 as a result in a decrease in your GIS and/or her allowance.

  238. Austin R.

    Thanks for the info. One question…can I top up past years where I didn’t pay the max or contribute fully?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Austin – The short answer is “No”, unless you had unreported income from employment or self-employment that you would now like to declare and pay CPP contributions on.

  239. Austin

    Thank you.

  240. Dave

    2019 YMPE 57400

    2019 AYMPE 55420

    2019 Max CPP 1154.58

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dave – Very good! The only thing that I would add is that the maximum of $1,154.58 will truly only apply to pensions starting in January 2019. For pensions starting February 2019 or later, that maximum amount could be exceeded by the “enhanced CPP” formula if they have pensionable earnings in 2019. As a result, the maximum for a CPP retirement pension starting at age 65 effective December 2019 could be as high as $1,155.90 (a whopping increase of $1.32 for the enhanced CPP for 2019).

  241. xcybermail

    I immigrated to Canada in 2002 and from 2003 to 2018 I have contributed the maximum limit to CPP as my earnings have exceeded the YMPE amount for each year.

    I expect to continue paying the maximum into CPP till the year I turn 65 (Which will be 2030).

    So I’ll have contributed the maximum into CPP for 27 years when I turn 65. The CRA page does not calculate the expected CPP pension payout in this scenario. Can someone help me calculate this and show how you arrived at the figure?

    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      In real simple terms, a CPP retirement pension is based on your best 39 years of earnings/contributions. If you will have 27 years of max earnings, that means that your CPP will be 27/39ths of the max. This simple formula will be complicated a bit by the “enhanced CPP” changes which begin in 2019, but if you want a more accurate estimate that includes those changes, email me at [email protected] and I’ll do a more accurate calculation for a $30 fee.

  242. Alma Ayala


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Alma – You pay your CPP contributions to Revenue Canada as part of your income tax return.

  243. Stephano Ottoni

    Maybe you can help
    I am retired, I retired at 55 March 2015 with 36 years service, I worked full time and I receive a company pension plan
    I will wait until 65 to collect my CPP
    But since I have not worked for ten years how will my pension plan be effected?

  244. stepahno ottoni

    another question if I want to take my CPP at age 65 and continue working will it increase if I decide to work til 67?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Stephano – If you take your CPP at age 65 but continue working, you can opt out of making any further CPP contributions OR you can continue to contribute and earn a post-retirement benefit (PRB) for each additional year that you do so.

  245. Kelly Manning

    Edge Cases are sometimes useful for giving a reality check on calculations or limits. If I paid the maximum CPP, by June every year. shouldn’t I expect to receive the maximum CPP benefit?

    OTOH my pot head living in Mom’s basement (until evicted for physical and Financial Elder Abuse) brother has spent the past 4 decades working just enough to collect EI and stay stoned the rest of the year. Now he whines about bottom run OAS and wants it boosted to $2,000 per month. I told him to be happy he never married, since a wife could demand half of his OAS.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Kelly – I won’t comment on your brother, but “Yes” if you contributed the maximum to CPP for at least 39 years, you will receive a maximum CPP benefit.

  246. Ginger

    Hi Jim,
    I’m 63 yrs old, French citizen and live in Paris/France.
    I worked in Toronto/Ontario for 24 months in 1988-1990, being a Canadian resident.
    I would like to know if I am eligible for some pension when I reach 65 yrs. Doesn’t matter the amount, just curious, other countries provide it. If yes, where I could go and ask for details?
    Many thanks

  247. Donna Alexcee

    I have a question, when a person turns 65, has never worked in his/her life, would they be eligible to collect pension and how much will he/she get

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Donna – If a person has never worked in Canada, their CPP at age 65 will be zero.

    • Moss

      Certainly no CPP but there would be OAS. And depending on your spouse’s income and whether you had other income, you may be also eligible for GIS

  248. Wendy

    I worked from 18 years to 48 years and contributed to CPP but have not contributed for 11 years now (57 years) Is the CPP statement income accurate? .. since my income last 11 years has been zero? Because so many years have passed will the estimate be based on the projection of zero income in the future?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – No, the CPP estimate won’t be accurate. It “pretends” that you’re eligible now, which has the same effect as projecting your current lifetime average earnings through until age 65.

  249. Denis

    Hi Jim, my question. I retired at 55 and don’t plan on collecting CPP until 70. Willi I be penalized for 15 years of zero contributions as part of the calculation? I did have 35 years of max contributions. If I am penalized at which age should I collect? Thanks

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Denis – You will definitely not be penalized for the 5 years of zero earnings between age 65 and 70, because those 5 years can all be dropped out under the “over age 65 dropout” provision. Similarly, you can drop out 8 of the 10 zero-earnings years from age 55 to age 65 under the 17% general dropout provision. Unfortunately, that means that the other 2 years of zero earnings will reduce your CPP calculation somewhat. If you want me to quantify how much of an impact this will have, and when you might be best to start collecting your CPP, email me at [email protected] along with a copy of your CPP statement. My fee for this service is $125 plus GST for the 11 calculations from age 60 thru to age 70.

  250. Yeah right

    I have a hard time believing that 20 M’s and 19 more years of contributions that fall just shy of maximum, would knock you down to half of maximum payout.

    • Doug Runchey

      Yeah you are right. Who ever said that would happen?

  251. Ken

    Hello, I retried Feb 2019 and applied CPP benefit on Jan 2019. I now receiving a monthly CPP benefit. Is my benefit including 2018 contributions? Because 2018 contributions was not available until June 2019.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ken – Your 2018 earnings probably weren’t included. You should call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to ask them to do a recalculation. If you’re unsure, you can email me at [email protected] and I’ll validate your calculation for a $30 fee.

  252. Jamie

    Hi, I retired a couple of years back at 62 with a company pension, I have not taken CPP yet, my intention is to take it at 65. At the time of my retirement I had previously always paid max to CPP and thus I believe I am in line for the max payments at 65 (as far as I can tell from the Services Canada website). However after retiring I did take a part time job at $20k a year which I am still working at … I am wondering if this can have any negative affect on what I can receive at 65?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jamie – If you have 39 years or more of max earnings/contributions, you will receive a max CPP (excluding the enhanced) regardless what you earn between age 62 and 65. If not, 20K earnings are better than zero earnings.

  253. Ginger

    I am back to this forum since I’ll be 65 years old in January 2021and I’d like to apply, if eligible, for CPP and/or OAS. As a reminder, I was Canadian resident and worked in Toronto between 1988-1990 and since then I’ve been living in France (French citizen). I’d like to know the appropriate entry point to the Canaddian administration handling these issues, so that to know if I am eligible, for what plan(s) and, if case, to advise the follow-up. I’ve searched for an email contact but failed to find one. Would you kindly give me a hand? Many thanks

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