How to get your CPP early

Note: CPP rules have changes at the beginning of 2012. This article was updated in 2013

To qualify for CPP, you must be over the age of 60 and you must have made at least one valid contribution (payment) into Canada Pension Plan. How much income you get depends on how much you put in and for how long you contributed into CPP. Remember that CPP is a contributory plan which means that all benefits are funded by financial contributions made by employees and employers. CPP is not funded by general tax revenues. In other words, how much you get is dependent on how much you put in.

At the age of 65, you qualify for the normal retirement amount but it is important to note that the benefit does not start automatically. You must apply for it. Service Canada recommends that you apply for your pension six months before you want your CPP to begin. If you want to collect CPP before the age of 65, you must also apply.

Related article:  How much will you get from CPP?

Do you have to stop working?

At one time, in order to collect CPP early, you had to stop working.  This has changed in 2012.

CPP has not opened the door for many Canadians who are over the age of 60 and still working.  All of these people can now collect CPP as early as age 60 and continue to work.  If you continue to work, you will have to keep paying into CPP but every contribution you make will increase your benefit in the future.  Basically, you can apply to collect CPP if you are working.  If you do, you will still pay into CPP but paying into it means a bigger benefit.

The deterrent to taking CPP early

Opening the door to early CPP means more Canadians are going to draw early.  Why wouldn't you take a raise in pay?  To deter all Canadians from taking CPP early, they are going to penalize you if you take it early and give you a lower benefit.  The reduction depends on the year in which you collect CPP:

  • 2012 – 0.52% reduction for every month prior to your 65th birthday (31.2% total reduction)
  • 2013 – 0.54% reduction for every month prior to your 65th birthday (32.4% total reduction)
  • 2014 – 0.56% reduction for every month prior to your 65th birthday (33.6% total reduction)
  • 2015 – 0.58% reduction for every month prior to your 65th birthday (34.8% total reduction)
  • 2016 – 0.60% reduction for every month prior to your 65th birthday (36.0% total reduction)
After 2016, the reduction formula stays at 0.6% monthly or 36.0% at age 60.

You must apply

Logistically, getting CPP early is simply a matter of completing an application form if you are over 60 years of age.  You can visit your nearest Service Canada office or visit their website.

Should you take CPP early?

I have written extensively on this topic so rather than re-write everything, here's links to some relevant information:

For a comprehensive list of information on CPP, visit my Online Guide to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age

Written by Jim Yih

Jim Yih is a Fee Only Advisor, Best Selling Author, and Financial Speaker on wealth, retirement and personal finance. Currently, Jim specializes in putting Financial Education programs into the workplace. For more information you can follow him on Twitter @JimYih or visit his other websites and Clearpoint Benefit Solutions.

213 Responses to How to get your CPP early

  1. Hi,
    I was born at July 22, 1948. I retired last year. I received some amount of the retirement money from my company this year. In order to avoid paying the higher income tax, I didn’t apply the early CCP this year. Would you please tell me the date of January 1, 2012 (age 63.5) or July 22, 2012 (age 64) to apply the eary CCP is better?
    Thank you!

    • Ray
      I don’t know whether you’ve already made this decision or not, but here are the numbers. For 2012, the reduction factor for early retirement pensions increases to 0.52% for every month that you’re under age 65 when your pension starts. That means that you would receive 90.12% of something effective Jan/12 or 93.24% of something if you wait until July/12. The basic math is that if you wait until July, you are passing up on 6 mths @ 90.12% to gain 3.12%, meaning it will take 14.4 years to make up the difference. You are therefore ahead if you take the CPP in Jan/12 (from a CPP perspective) if you die before Apr, 2026 and you would be ahead by waiting until July/12 (or any other date in 2012) if you live beyond Apr, 2026.

  2. Hi my name is rino fregoli ,i am a canadian citizen living in the U.S ,i paid into CPP, for 10 years before moving to the U.S ,apllied for early retairment at 60 ,last February in Canada ,my DOB 08-26-1950,how much would i get ,and how long will it take to get an answer?Thanks Rino

  3. how long after i have been accepted does it take fo the first cheque to arrive. this is an early cpp at age 63

  4. I am a canadian citizen,living in the U.S ,since 1977 ,but workd 10 years in Canada from 1967 to 1977 ,want to retaire early at age 60 ,my d.o.b. 08-26-1950,how much would i get per month if eligiable?Thanks

    • Rino
      I don’t know how to break this to you, but if you were born in 1950, you’re already age 61? Too late to retire at age 60!
      To answer your question though, it will depend on what your earnings were for each year. If they were at the YMPE or greater, you can count on approx $25/mth for every year that you contributed to CPP, reduced by the adjustment factor for taking it earlier than age 65. If your earnings were at 1/2 YMPE, your CPP would be about half of that amount, etc.

  5. If you have paid into CPP for 40 years plus at the max contribution rate by the time you reach 60 – do you still take the penalty for applying early.

    • Brad
      A long time in replying, but the short answer to your question is YES, your CPP benefit will be reduced by the appropriate age factor regardless how many year of contributions you have made, max or otherwise.

  6. I am born in September 1953. I am in Canada for 16 years, working continuously. Now, I want to take my cpp this year i.e. September 2012. Could you kindly tell me how to apply and where to get the application forms? I would appreciate your return answer on the above email address.
    Thank you

    • Eliza
      If you were born in Sept/53, the earliest that you can qualify for a CPP retirement pension is Sept, 2013, not 2012. You can however, submit your application up to a year in advance, if that’s what you are meaning.

  7. Just wanted to say you can get your pension at sixty you lose 30%, you can still work and you pay monthly cpp, and each month your cheque increases. This is a fact

  8. Rick
    I hate to break it to you, but the only fact that you have correct is that you can get your CPP retirement at age 60. The reduction factor for 2012 is now 31.2% (0.52%/mth), and this factor will increase by 0.02% annually until 2016, at which time it will be a 36% reduction (0.6%/mth).
    Sorry, you are also correct that you will continue to pay CPP if you’re still working, but it does not increase your cheque monthly. Contributions made after receiving your CPP retirement pension in any year starting 2012, will be used to calculate a separate post-retirement benefit which will be paid monthly, beginning January of the following year.
    These are the facts!

  9. I started collecting my CPP 3 years ago when I turned 60. I get approx $350 per month CPP. I still work 20 hours a week and my employer has started to deduct CPP again. Is this correct? Have the new rules changed to force payment into the plan again? Thank you.

  10. Leona
    Yes, the rules have changed. Effective January 2012, anyone under age 65 who is working, must pay into CPP regardless whether they are already receiving their CPP retirement benefit or not. In your case, the additional contributions that you make in 2012 will be used to calculate a separate post-retirement benefit (PRB) which will be payable effective Jan/13 for life. When I say payable effective Jan/13, you probably won’t receive your firts PRB cheque until June or July (it will be retroactive to January however), as the amount of your PRB cannot be calculated until your 2012 tax return is processed.
    For a rough estimate, if your earnings in 2012 were $50,000 or greater, your PRB would be about $25/mth (payable in addition to your regular $350/mth) if you were age 65 as of Jan/13. If you earned less than $50,000, your PRB would be reduced accordingly, and if you are under 65, the “normal” reduction factor would apply, based on your age as of Jan/13.
    The same thing will be repeated for 2013 and subsequent years until you reach age 65. If you’re still working beyond age 65, contributions become optional.

  11. Hi again ,and thanks for the information ,but i have onother question ,i submitted the application in feb 2012 i am 61 y.o they have accepted my application ,and decided to pay me $140.06 per month plus march,april,may,and june $560 ,but olly sent me $545 why is that?And how is their calculation on $140.06 per month?I am a Canadian still cityzen living in Michigan from 1977,with greencard,worked in Toronto ,from 1967 to 1977,10 years ,and paid into the CCP system ,my question again is ,how do they come up with only $140.06per month?Thanks Rino Fregoli

    • Rino
      I can’t explain the $545 vs $560, unless you either asked for a tax withhold, or unless that is automatic because you are living outside Canada. I suggest that you contact Service Canada for clarification on that point.
      The $140.06 calculation is a complex calculation whereby they:
      – escalate all of your earnings up to a 2012 value;
      – average those earnings over your entire contributory period from when you turned 18 (1969) thru Feb/12, allowing for the lowest 16% of those years to be “dropped out”;
      – your age 65 retirement pension would be 25% of that monthly average;
      – your age 61 retirement pension would be the above amount, reduced by 0.52% for every month that you were under age 65 as of when your retirement pension began.
      A relatively simple way of estimating your retirement pension would be to determine the total number of years of max CPP earnings you had and multiply that nnumber by $25 to determine your age 65 estimate. You would than reduce that figure by the same reduction factor as described above, for starting your pension early.
      The max CPP earnings (or YMPE) varies by year, and ranged from $5,000 in 1967 to $9,300 in 1977. If you contributed at the YMPE for all 10 years, your age-65 retirement pension would be about $250, and that amount would be reduced to approx $187.60 at age 61.
      The same 10 years at 1/2 YMPE would earn you approx $125 at age 65, reduced to approx $93.80 at age 61. It appears that you contributed at an average of about 3/4 YMPE for each of the years from 1967-77.
      If doing this simple estimate doesn’t come near to your $140.06 amount, I would recommend contacting Service Canada, and ask them to provide you with a list of your CPP earnings by year, and how they calculated your benefit amount. It’s now unheard of that CPP earnings are mmissed due to an error in your SIN or surname on your T4 slip, or if an employer never submitted your contributions thru Revenue Canada.

  12. I am a Canadian citizen and have contributes to CPP for six years, and paid Canadian taxes as non-resident Canadian for another 4 years. I have been living and working in the past ten years. I am sixty years old. Can I receive CPP benefits, and what is the process. Will greatly appreciate your response.

  13. Albert
    Yes, you are eligible to receive a CPP retirement pension as early as age 60, and with as little as one year of contributions.
    Here is a weblink that allows you to apply online:
    or you can drop in to any Service Canada Centre to apply in-person.

  14. Thank you, Doug. I mis-typed earlier. I lived and worked in Canada for five years and paid taxes and CPP contribution in Canada as a resident. Then for next four years I paid non-resident taxes, as I mostly lived and worked abroad. Thus I have not lived in Canada for ten years, and I am short of making CPP contributions for full ten years.

    For the past ten years, I live in the US. I was not very clear on those. Do I still qualify?

  15. Albert
    Yes, you will still qualify for a CPP retirement pension. As mentioned, even one year of contributions is enough, regardless where you live.
    The amount of your pension will be relatively small however, with the max estimate being about $25/mth at age 65 for each year of earnings and contributions at the max (YMPE) rate. At best therefore, your five years of contributions would qualify you for $125/mth at age 65, or a reduced amount of approx $86/mth at age 60.
    If your earnings during those 5 years was less than the YMPE, your CPP benefit would also be proportionately less.

  16. If you retired from GM after October 1, 1997, you know that your pension option decision time is coming to a close. On June 1, General Motors announced their plan to lessen their pension liability by approximately 26 billion dollars. This leaves you with the power to choose between a one-time lump-sum payment, continuing with your current monthly payment, or taking a new form of monthly benefit. You need to decide which option you’ll go with by July 20, 2012. Before you do, it’s important to understand the complexity of each and every option so that you can choose which is best for you. You can watch this informative video which outlines the three available options by following this link: Additionally, it’s highly encouraged that you seek the advice of a seasoned financial planner.

  17. I am a New Zealand citizen, came to Canada on a work permit, I paid into CPP for the last 6 months and now I have to move back to New Zealand…….Am I entitled to my CPP contributions? And how do I get it?

    • Richie
      There is nothing in the CPP that would allow a refund of your contributions, but you should check with Canada Revenue Taxation, to see if there’s any kind of tax treat between Canada and New Zealand that might allow this.

  18. I am just wondering if someone is collecting CPP now and they are still continuing to work as well, is there a limit they are allowed to make before they will lose their pension and if there is what is the limit?

    • Tanya
      No, there is no limit to what you can earn when you’re collecting a CPP retirement pension. If you are making CPP contributions on those earnings, your existing CPP will remain the same, but you will become eligible for a new “post-retirement benefit” or PRB.

  19. Hi,

    I am Canadian citizen, I worked in Canada for 10 years and contributed to CPP. Now I got green card and planning to move to USA for good.

    Can I take my CPP in lum sum? as i need money to cover my moving expenses.



    • Tahir
      No you can’t take your CPP in a lump sum, but your CPP contributions will sit there until you eventually become eligible for a retirement pension (as early as age 60), or possibly disability or survivor benefits.

  20. I am turning 55 in this October and no job or any income since I lost the last job 4 years back. I have hearing impairment disability and hard to find a job. My wife is supporting and it is getting harder. I heard I could retire at 55.
    I would like to make an appointment with cpp office to discuss?or what do I do? Please advise me. I can’t handle phone I have to see someone in person to get an advise.
    Thank you.

    • Lojan – Unfortunately, you aren’t eligible for a CPP retirement benefit until age 60, at the earliest. You may qualify for a CPP disability benefit now, but only if your hearing impairment renders you “incapable regularly of persuing any substantially gainful occupation”. If you feel that description applies to yourself, I recommend that you go to your nearest Service Canada site ASAP, and complete a CPP disability application.

  21. I am 62 and just started receiving CPP last January. I started a full time job now making good money. Can I cancel my CPP until 65?

    Thanks for any response.


    • Alan
      You can request cancellation of your CPP retirement pension within 6 months of receiving your first payment. So if by “last January” you mean January 2013, yes you can cancel your application (and repay your benefits) in order to reapply at some later date.

      Are you sure that you know all the math involved in that decision though? What will your new retirement pension amount be at age 65, and what is your “breakeven age”, at which time you will be better off having delayed? If you don’t cancel your retirement, how much of a post-retirement benefit (PRB) will your new job create, and how does that impact your breakeven calculation?

      If you want accurate answers to these questions and don’t know how to do the calculations yourself, email me at [email protected], and I can do them for you. I charge $25 per calculation, but it might help you to make the right decision.

  22. Does applying for early cpp in the month of birth(march 2013), affect when payment will start? How long will i wait before payment starts? Thanks

  23. George
    Applying in March won’t affect the effective date of your CPP retirement pension, but it will likely affect when you receive your first payment (if so, it will be retroactive).
    A CPP retirement pension is effective the later of:
    – the month following your 60th birthday;
    – the month after your application is received; and
    – the month that you ask for it to start
    April/13 is the answer to the first 2 points, so as long as you asked for it to be effective Apr/13 (or the earliest month eligible), that’s what it will be.
    Assuming there’s no problem with your proof of date of birth, it normally takes 2-3 months to process a retirement pension appliaction, so I suspect you’ll receive your first payment in May or June (again, retroactive to April).

  24. Hi Doug,
    I am a PR and had been living and working in Canada for more than 20 years .Presently I am collecting my CPP in Canada. If I leave the country and give up my PR status can I still continue to collect my CPP benefit?

    Thank you.

  25. Jimmy – I’m not sure what a PR is (permanent resident?), but it really doesn’t affect my answer. CPP benefits are payable anywhere in the world, so neither where you live, nor your PR status will affect that.
    If you’ve got at least 20 years of residence in Canada as you suggest, you will also be eligible for at least a partial OAS benefit once you reach age 65, and it will also be payable anywhere in the world since you have over 20 years of Canadian residence.

    • If a retired Canadian Citizen who is collecting CPP in Canada and had lived in Canada for the past 20 years. If he denounced his citizenship and plan to move to a third country permanently for his personal reason. Can he still collect his CPP payment
      as he is not a Canadian citizen anymore?


  26. I recieved my first monthly early cpp payment today ( april 26 2013). Is this payment for May or is it April?. My birthdate is March 2. I stated that i wanted my first payment in April.Are the payments retro active? I think they owe me for April and May?, However they only sent one payment? Could you help clear this up, thank you

  27. George
    Payments are generally made the 3rd last “banking day” of the month, so the payment you received now is for April, and your next payment will be at the end of May.

  28. Hi I was just curious I’m turning 55 next yr. by Jan. and I would like to apply for early retirement and also paying CPP since 1989 so it’s been 24 yrs. working in Canada and I am a Canadian citizen, I hope you can help me

    • Evangeline
      I can probably help you, but you would need to provide a bit more information first.
      If you’re wondering about OAS, it’s based on residence in Canada. From what you say, you’ll have at least 34 yrs of residence in Canada by the time you turn 65, so you’ll be eligible for at least 34/40ths of the full basic OAS (approx $540 currently) which would be about $459 monthly at age 65.
      For CPP, I’d need to know whether each of your 24 yrs of contribution are at maximum earnings (2013 YMPE is $51,100) or not. The earliest you can start your CPP retirement pension is age 60, regardless when you actually retire. If you start it earlier than age 65, it’s paid at a reduced rate.
      Probably your best starting point for estimating your CPP is by checking your “My Service Canada Account”. If you want something more accurate, you can email me at [email protected] and I can do some calculations for you (for a fee).

  29. Hi Doug,I am collecting my CPP every month. I am planning to become a non-resident and live in another country and not returning to Canada. I understand that firstly I have to sent in a NR73 form if approved then a NR5 form and after that I have to file section 217 of the income tax every year.
    But my accountant do not seems to have any experience on this matter.
    Do you have a recommendation for someone in Toronto that know the international tax law?

    thank you

    • Jimmy

      I’m afraid that you’re way outside my area of expertise, and I can neither confirm the process that you’ve described nor recommend anyone in Toronto that might know the appropriate international tax laws.
      Sorry 🙁

  30. I have a question re CPP disability. I started collecting my CPP when the laws changed in 2012. I was just over 60, but continued to work until Feb/13. I had to file for LTD with my health insurer I was covered under due to health reasons, and now they are making me apply for CPP disability to offset their monthly payments to me. Will CPP disability be approved for me or denied?

  31. Linda

    The only way that your CPP disability application could be approved would be if you were disabled prior to when your CPP retirement pension started, and that would be pretty difficult to establish if you were still working at the time that you started receiving your retirement pension.

    On the other hand, you have nothing to lose by applying for CPP disability (other than the time and effort to apply), and some LTD companies will offset if you refuse to apply.

    You may be interested in this other article that I wrote for RHB recently:

  32. My sister has just begun to receive CPP disability at the request of Sunlife. Apparently they want to off set their costs. My question is can she leave the country while receiving this? I know you can’t while collecting EI, but I am wondering if this also is the case for CPP disability.


  33. Brenda

    There are no restrictions on leaving Canada as far as ongoing eligibility for CPP disability benefits. The only things that affect CPP disability are ceasing to be disabled or turning age 65.

  34. I was born in March 1952, my husband was born in 1946 and he is currently receiving a small amount from CPP as he only contributed a few years in Canada, he also receives old age pension and a pension from the States.We want to retire in Panama but have no savings, I was thinking of applying for my CPP now and keep working for a year in order to save some money to get us there and a bit of a buffer.I think that I worked and contributed 85% of 40 years.Would that make any sense.

    • Helene

      I would need to see your entire CPP statement of contributions and do some calculations in order to give you a meaningful answer. Even with earnings in 85% of the 40 years, your “calculated pension” could increase or decrease with the additional year of working (depending on whether that year is more or less than your lifetime adjusted average earnings.

      If you’re interested in having me do some calculations for you, you can email me at [email protected], but I do charge a fee for this service.

      One other thing to consider is whether your husband has the required 20 years of residence in Canada so that his OAS will be payable if/when you leave.

  35. On CPP disability since I was 45. I am 59 now. Question is at age 65 CPP disability turns into CPP will I collect the same amount on CPP as I did on CPP disability or will they top it up with OAS. Thanks.

  36. Paul
    Your CPP disability benefit will convert to a retirement pension at age 65, and it will be at a lower amount. Here’s a link to another article that I wrote, which gives the formula to estimate your retirement pension using your disability rate: .
    Assuming that you have at least 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18, you will be eligible for the full basic OAS of approx. $550, which will more than offset the decrease in your disability to retirement conversion. In addition, you may become eligible to GIS if you have limited income.

  37. Question – I am 6 months away from turning 60 – am I able to prepare and forward my application now so that benefits can begin shortly after reaching that age.

    Warmest Regards


  38. Hi Doug, thank you for all the information. I am a bit confused from what I read here vs what is on the Service Canada website and perhaps I am mixing up acronyms. CPP vs OAS? Are they the same? And, if so, it seems to me that if we want to retire outside of Canada (after putting in 30+ years into the CPP program), we will loose it all if we reside outside for longer than 6 months at a time. Does one need to keep resident status in order to collect? We were thinking of moving to Australia, so splitting time 6 months here and 6 months there really isnt an option. Any direction you can give would be helpful! Thank you.

    • Jessica
      You wouldn’t be the first person to be confused between OAS and CPP, so don’t feel special.
      There is no connection between CPP retirement pension eligibility and where you reside, so if you have even one year of contribution to CPP you will be eligible to CPP wherever you reside.
      There is a connection between OAS eligibility and residence in Canada, but if you have at least 20 years of residence in Canada after age 18, you will again be eligible wherever you live.
      What you might be confused with is GIS eligibility. GIS is intended for low-income OAS recipients and is only paid if you are resident in Canada. You are allowed to have temporary absences up to a max of 6 months, but you need to maintain a permanent residence in Canada at all times.

  39. Hi Doug- I’m 50, so still have some time to figure all this out but I have a question I am hoping you could answer. I am a Canadian and worked 19 years there with max annual CPP payments. I will likely spend my remaining working years in the US or other countries but plan to return to Canada in my early 60’s to retire. My wife worked briefly in Canada ( less than 5 years) but has not worked since we moved to the US.
    My question: would one or both of us be eligible for SS and CPP or do we have to select?

    • Kelly
      You will both be eligible for CPP retirement pensions, based on even one contribution. At age 65, the pension is based on your best 39 years, so you should be able to expect around 50% of max (approx. $500 in 2014 dollars). Your wife on the other hand should expect no more than 12% of max for her 5 years of contribution, unless she took some time off to raise children in Canada while they were under age 7, and then she might get a bit more.
      I’m not an expert on the U.S. social security, but here’s a link that might help you with that:

  40. Hi, can you help me please, I am 49 ,came to canada on 87, citizen and paid to cpp back on 1989 , 90 and 1997 and 2 years Below basic exemption. and became disabled from that time and on ODSP. with lot of medical support document ( Gucher’s, nerupathy, MS) I recently applied for cpp disability. do I need lawyer

    • Saeid
      From what you describe as your CPP record, you don’t likely have enough years of contribution to qualify. If that’s true, a lawyer won’t likely be able to help you at all.

  41. Sam
    I’d need to know how much your pensionable earnings were each year to give you a meaningful answer. I suggest that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and ask them to send you a copy of your CPP statement of contributions (SOC).

  42. Question: I am helping my father in law apply for Cpp. I am wondering about the how much tax should he request to be deducted? And I am confused as to the children born after 1958. He.does.have one. What difference does that make?

    Thank you!

  43. Sonja

    As far as tax withhold, that depends on what other sources of income he might have and what tax bracket he would be in. A lot of people ask for a tax withhold of about 20% of whatever they’re expecting, but it’s purely an individual decision.

    The question about children born after 1958 is designed to find out if he’s eligible for the “child-rearing” dropout (CRDO) provision:

    If he was never the primary caregiver for a child under age 7, he can ignore that question.

  44. Question: If I start collecting my CPP and then start working again am I required to contribute to EI? It doesn’t make sense that it’s required; if I get laid off I wouldn’t be able to collect EI given I am receiving CPP benefits.


    • Brian

      I won’t pretend to be an expert on EI, but I suspect you would indeed have to pay EI contributions if you start working again. At the same time, I don’t think there’s anything that prevents you from receiving EI just because you’re already receiving your CPP.

  45. Hi Doug,
    I am 44 year old, registered nurse. Contributed to CCP for less than 5 years. Planning to move to another country, will I be able to get refund for my contribution?

    • Tina

      You won’t be able to get a refund of your CP contributions, but you will be eligible for a CPP retirement pension at age 65, or a reduced pension at age 60.

  46. Hello
    I lived and worked full time In Toronto Canada, from
    2000 to 2014. I’ve just moved back home to the UK.
    Will I be able to get my pension contribution? If so when?
    Please advise what I’m to do as I now live permantly back in the UK.
    Thank you

    • Zoey

      You can’t get a refund of your CPP contributions, but you will be eligible for a CPP retirement pension at age 65, or as early as age 60 at a reduced rate.

  47. Is there a maximum period of time that a Canadian can be out of the country before losing their CPP? If so, how long do they need to go back into Canada and stay, before they leave again?


  48. Hi there I want to apply my cpp age of because im suffering for stress condition I want stop working and look after my son back to my country bec my husband I are always arguing is it possible for me to get my cpp early thanks!!!

  49. Hi there is that possible for me to apply my early retirement at the age of 44. I work 15 years in bc the reason I want to retire early because im suffering for stress condition now I want to go back to my country philippines to look after my bec my husband and I are always arguing I need space to get better thank you!

    • Arlene

      Unfortunately, the earliest that you can apply for your CPP retirement pension is age 60. However, if your stress condition meets the requirements for a CPP disability pension (ie., severe and prolonged), you can apply for that at any age.

  50. Hi Doug. I am seriously thinking of moving and working in another country. I am 52 no. So… would I, at 60 be able to collect cpp and old age pension etc at 67 if I continue to pay into the cpp system?

  51. Vanessa

    You should check with Revenue Canada to see whether you can continue to contribute to CPP if/when you leave Canada.

    Regardless whether you continue to contribute or not, you will be able to collect your CPP retirement pension at age 60, wherever you are living at that time.

    You will be eligible for OAS only if you have at least 20 years of residence in Canada after age 18, or if you qualify with less years of residence under an international agreement. The amount of your OAS would be 1/40th of the full basic OAS (currently $551) for every year of such Canadian residence.

  52. Hi Doug…..I turned 60 on Dec 31, 2013 and to this point have not elected to take CPP benefits. My question relates to the percentage reduction on my benefits. Is it based on 32.4 per cent because I turned 60 in 2013, or is it 33.6 per cent because the earliest possible date I could have collected benefits was January 2014?….thanks

    • Craig

      Good question!

      If you had applied for your CPP retirement pension to start in January 2014, it would have been reduced by 33.6% (60 months times the 2014 reduction factor of 0.56%), despite the fact that you turned age 60 in 2013 when the reduction factor was 0.54%.

      Since you didn’t apply then however, it will instead be determined by the reduction factor for the year that your pension does start, multiplied by the number of months that you’re under age 65 at that time.

  53. My sister has just been told she has terminal cancer. She is 59 yrs old 60 in September/2014, They have stated she has not long to live , has no drug plan and is need of additional income to support her drugs to come. Is there a way she can start to collect her CPP early to aid her with the pain she is about to endure? thanks.

    • deb

      Your sister should apply immediately for a CPP disability pension. The amount of a disability pension is always more than a retirement pension and it can begin at any age, whereas a retirement pension is payable no earlier than age 60.

  54. Hi Doug,
    I’m turning age 59 this May, widow and unemployed for last 10 months. Am I eligible to apply for early retirement at age 59?

    Thanks for your advice.

  55. Hi Doug,
    I moved to Canada in 2012 and has been contributing towards my CPP since then. I plan to move back to my home country permanently in early 2015.
    1. Is there a way to withdraw my CPP contributions once I have left Canada.
    2. Is there a way to lower the CPP contributions while I am in Canada for another year.
    Many thanks for your advice in advance.

    • Soni

      You can’t “withdraw your CPP contributions” ever, but you will be eligible for a retirement pension based on those contributions when you reach age 60.

      The only way to lower your CPP contributions is to lower your earnings, and that’s probably not a realistic option for you?

  56. Hi
    I was living in Canada as a refugee and I was denied and I left the country in 2011.From my salary there was the deduction to CPP.I would like to know how can I refund those deductions since Im no longer residing there.Presently Im working in Qatar and Im from Srilanka.Please I need your advice on this matter.
    Thanks and Kind Regards
    Mohamed Feroze

  57. Hi Doug
    Im a Srilankan and I was living in Canada for nearly 10 years and I was refused asylum and I voluntarily returned back to my country.There was some deduction from salary to CPP.Is it possible to refund my deduction or will I will be able to get my pension after 60 since I made a contribution to the CPP or is it possible to continue to contribute to CPP and get my pension at 60 even Im in Srilanka.Kindly advice me on this matter

    • Mohamed

      You can’t get a refund on your CPP contributions, but you will be eligible for a retirement pension at age 60 as you suggest. There is no option to make additional contributions to CPP now that you’re living back in Srilanka.

  58. I just am leaving Canada, I am now back home in Ireland, I lived here four years and I worked on the visa employee, I would like to find out if I can apply for a transfer of my premiums on my account in Ireland or their paying out. What will happen to my money?

    • Kate

      You can’t transfer your CPP contributions anywhere else, but you will be eligible for a CPP retirement pension once you reach age 65 (or as early as age 60 at a reduced rate).

  59. Hi,

    I am 60 and have started collecting allowance for the spouse.
    I would like to know if I can apply for early CPP and whether
    my allowance will stop once my CPP is approved. I will appreciate your response.


    • Zoe

      Yes, you can definitely apply for your CPP early, but it will reduce or eliminate your allowance for the spouse.

      I’d need to know how much your allowance is, how much your CPP would be and whether you anticipate any other changes in your income by age 65 to give you any qualified recommendation on what you should do.

      • Hi, Doug,
        Thank you for your quick response.

        My allowance is 455.00 per month and my anticipated
        CPP will be only be under 40.00 as I only worked part time here and there. Plus I don’t expect any changes by age 65.

        • Zoe

          If your Allowance is currently $455, that means that you had other income in 2013 of approx. $11,900 in 2013. If you apply for your CPP now, of approx. $40 per month, your Allowance will decrease by about $20 per month.

          The main decrease won’t happen until July 2016 though, as that will be when your Allowance is based on your 2015 income, which will be your first full year of receiving CPP.

          So I recommend applying for your CPP now.

  60. Hey there,
    Thanks for the advice. I’m a young Australian who worked in Canada for two years, and I now reside outside of Canada. Do internationals have to wait until we’re 65 as well to claim the money put into our Canadian pension plans while we worked in Canada?
    And is there a place online that explains this clearly to internationals?
    Thanks for your help,
    – Brenna

  61. Brenna

    There is no special treatment (pro or con) under the CPP for “internationals”. The standard age for a CPP retirement pension is 65, but you can apply as early as age 60 (at a reduced rate) or as late as age 70 (at an increased rate).

  62. I have a question concerning PRB. Once you start receiving it is it forever? I mean say your CPP is $500/monthly and then you get another $100 for PRB from additional contributions and then you stop working all together. Does your pension stay at $600/monthly? Does it go back to $500?

  63. Hi Doug,
    Thanks for your reply. As stated by you I will be eligible to get pension when I reach 60. My question is how can I apply for my pension, since Im living in Srilanka.Is it posible for me to go to Canadian embassy and apply or whats the process for me to apply?

  64. Hi Doug,I am a Canadian citizen porn outside Canada in Syria for a Canadian father ,I lived and worked in Syria my hole life and know i want to come back because the situation in Syria .I am a retired teacher , my annual income is less than 2000$ and i haven’t made any contributions to the Canada Pension Plan,can i apply to the Canada pension plan .

  65. I plan to retire from my full time job in june of 2015 and work part time for the next 2 years which will bring me to 60 years old will I still qualify for the 40 years for cpp although some of that time is part time

    • Karen

      If you apply for your CPP at age 60, your amount will be based on your best 35 years (approx.) of earnings, and then that amount will be reduced by the age-adjustment factor.

  66. My husband passed away Oct 3 and his CPP and OAS were deposited to our account on Oct 29. Are these payments for this month and do I get to keep them or are they for November?

    • Susan

      My condolences on the death of your husband!

      Your husband is entitled to these last payments for the month of his death. If payments continue to be deposited at the end of November, they would have to be repaid.

  67. Hi Doug:
    Not sure if I can ask my question, but I’m doing it anyways.
    I turned 63 last month and wish to apply for my CPP. Been employed since Jun 1996, and intend to carry on working till 65 or longer (if my employers are agreeable). What will my CPP be?

    • Ummi

      It’s impossible to estimate your CPP amount without knowing what your earnings were each year since 1996.

      The best thing to do is to request a copy of your CPP statement of contributions from Service Canada online at; or by phone at 1-800-277-9914

      Once you have that statement, I could then do some calculations for you (for a fee) to help you decide whether you’re better off starting your CPP now or waiting until you retire.

  68. I am a Canadian Citizen but moved to the USA as a teen. I have worked for 40 plus years and paid into Social Security in the States. Am I eligible for Canada pension and/or disability if I move back to Canada. I have never worked in Canada.

    How would that effect any Social Security Benefits here in the States.
    Could my US citizen husband move to Canada with me?

  69. Sharon

    You won’t be eligible for a CPP retirement or disability pension until you have at least one valid year of CPP contributions based on working in Canada. The amount of any such pension would be quite small however.

    If you move to Canada, you will start to earn eligibility to OAS at the rate of 1/40th of the full basic amount for every full year that you reside in Canada.

  70. Hi, Just came across this very informative website and have a question not necessarily associated with retirement per se

    I’ve been in Canada for over 4 years now as a temporary resident, working all this while with a work visa

    I’ve taken the decision to quit my job and leave Canada this year

    Someone already asked the question about transferring your pension contributions overseas (which is not possible from the reply)
    My question is – Is it possible to withdraw my pension contributions before I leave? I’m leaving permanently and have no intentions of returning to work

    I was told that this is possible – would be grateful if someone could clarify if its true and who I need to contact to initiate this process (if it is)

    • Alex

      No, you can’t withdraw your CPP contributions ever. You will be eligible to a retirement pension from CPP when you turn 65 (or reduced as early as 60), but it won’t be a lot.

  71. If you can apply early like 12 months early and are approved does that mean that if they make changes in the plan during those 12 months that you won’t be affected by it

    • Karen

      I think the short answer is likely “No”. For one thing, any significant change is announced years in advance. If some change was implemented more immediately, it would likely depend on your start date rather than your application date.

  72. I have been paying into CPP since 1976. I expect that 2015 will be my last year to work. Please tell me what your charge would be to calculate what I will receive from Canada Pension. At the end of this year I would have been paying into it for 39 years. At the end of this year I would be 58 years old. I have my statement of Canada plan contributions as updated as far as 2013….

    • Karen

      My standard fee is $25 per calculation, but I also offer many package rates that reduce the cost-per-calculation significantly. I’ll email you with the details.

    • Sheila

      Can I assume that this is for purposes of claiming the child-rearing dropout provision?

      I hesitate to suggest the obvious, but is talking to your son now an option?

      If not, I suggest that you provide whatever details you can to Service Canada and ask them what other evidence they might require or accept.

  73. hi, I was born January 1, 1958. I didn.t apply for early retirement when I turn 55, which is the age of early retirement during that time. Can I Apply for early retirement using the 55 law. The early retirement now is 60.

    • Manuel

      If you’re talking about CPP, it has never been payable any earlier than age 60 unless you’re disabled.

  74. Hi, I have been diagnosed, with cancer with no surgical option, and no chance of getting rid of it. It has been almost 5 years, and I have been working as much as possible, because I have 6 children to support. I am now 42, and continue to pay maximum CPP, even though there is basically no chance I will ever collect it. Do I have to wait until I am unable to work because of the pain, or is there an option to collect now….or stop paying into it since I will likely never be able to collect any…?

    • Darren

      Unfortunately there’s no option to collect your CPP (or stop paying into it) until your cancer prevents you from working. At that point, you could be eligible for a disability pension (which is more that a retirement pension) plus a monthly benefit of approx. $235 for each child that’s under age 18 or between 18 and 25 and attending school fulltime.

      These benefits for the children would continue after your death, plus your spouse would become eligible for a survivor’s pension.

  75. Hi Doug,
    My husband and I – we are planning to retire in Ecuador 2022.
    Do we have to return to Canada every 6 month in order to keep our CCP and OAS pensions?
    Thank you in advance for your answer

    • Roxana

      CPP is payable anywhere in the world, so you can move to Ecuador or anywhere else without having to return to Canada.

      OAS is also payable anywhere in the world IF you have resided in Canada for at least 20 years after turning age 18. If not, you would not be eligible for OAS unless you reside permanently in Canada, although you would be allowed to have temporary absences of up to 6 months each. An exception to this is if you have sufficient residence or contributions in a country that Canada has a social security agreement with (we have no such agreement with Ecuador), in which case your OAS would continue to be payable.

      If you’re eligible for GIS, it is payable only if you reside permanently in Canada, although again temporary absences would be allowed.

  76. Hi Doug….if I have been collecting CPP for close to a year now and am working full time, if I were to get laid off would I still be eligible for CPP and unemployment?

    Thank you for any advise you can offer me.

    • Chris

      If you are already receiving a CPP retirement pension, any further earnings & contributions will increase the amount of your CPP by adding post-retirement benefits (PRBs).

      I’m not an EI expert, but I’m sure that you can qualify for EI even though you’re receiving CPP, as long as you’re still looking for work.

  77. Hi, I worked in canada on work permit from August 2011-July 2015 and have moved to U.S. I made contributions to CPP. Will I be able to get it back or can take some kind of benefit like a downpayment towards my home or etc? Please advice

    • Vishal – I’m sorry, but you cannot get a refund of your CPP contributions. You will however be eligible for a CPP retirement pension when you reach age 60.

    • Tony

      If you apply for your CPP at age 60, you can use the general (17%) dropout to eliminate your lowest 7.14 years (86 months) of earnings. That means that if you already have more than 2.14 years of low earnings between age 18 and 55, those last 5 years of zero earnings will affect your CPP at least somewhat. If you’re interested, I can do a calculation for you (for a $25 fee) to see what you will get at age 60. If so, email me at [email protected]

  78. i’m 63 i want to retire and start collecting cpp i payed 28 years of contributios how much will i be getting for this early retirement x month i will be appy to know before i will apply

    • Tony – If all 28 years of contributions were at the maximum earnings amount (the YMPE), your CPP at age 63 would be approx. $683.42. If not, you should contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to ask them to give you an estimate.

  79. My husband passed away on July 1, 2015 he was 63 years old. He was getting 100.00 a month for his CPP pension, I called the regie and they took my name and address to change the check in my name. Will they send the check to me in the full amount or do I need to apply for it when he was going to be 65. I am now living in the U.S. we were married for 13 years, and we both lived in Canada.
    Any advice would be helpful.
    Thank you Martha

  80. Hello, I am 57 yrs and I retired at the age of 55yrs. I plan to apply for my Canada pension as soon as I am eligible. I have paid into Canada pension for approximately 40yrs. Does the fact that I have not worked for several yrs prior to applying affect my eligibility or entitlement?

    • Nora – If you apply for your CPP at age 60, you’ll be able to “drop out” a little over 7 years of your lowest earnings when your retirement pension is calculated. Those last 5 years of zero earnings from age 55 to 60 will have little to no effect on your CPP if you have earnings in most of the other 37 years from age 18 to 55.

  81. I stopped working at 63,I have paid the maximum for 39 years.
    if I wait till 65 to take cpp ,will I still get the maximum

    • Don

      Yes, if you have 39 full years of maximum contributions, you will get the maximum CPP retirement pension at age 65.

      • Doug,
        Tks for your answer.One more.
        What is the minimum amount of time required to apply for CPP ,if I wanted to take it in Sept 2016.Could I apply within 3 months and be ok.

        • Don

          The processing time for CPP applications seems to vary quite a bit. I recommend that you apply at least 6 months in advance.


  83. I am turning 60 soon so need to figure out if I should apply for CPP early or not. I currently receive a survivor benefit of about $300. According to Service Canada if 65 now I would be eligible for 38 cents shy of the maximum. What does that do to the Survivor Benefit whenever I decide to take CPP and how does the Special Adjustment factor in?

  84. Hi Doug, I applied last year for early CPP and am working full time still. I turned 60 in December should I not be hearing from them soon, was upset to find out that my husband’s old age came in but mine didn’t. How long does it usually take before you receive any type of payment. Thanks!

    • Sandi

      If your 60th birthday was in December, your first CPP payment will be at the end of January.

      You should receive a letter before that though, so if you haven’t heard anything yet I would suggest calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to see what’s up.

  85. Hi Doug
    Jan 04/2016′

    What documents do I need to submit with my early CPP application?
    I will be 60yrs old May/16′. The toll free line has been
    busy for almost 2 weeks now. I cannot get through.
    I’ve been advised to go to the closest Service Centre to get
    some one on one help.

  86. Hi Doug,
    Feb 18, 2016

    I’m from the Philippines and a temporary resident in Canada because I’m working in Canada from 2006 until 2015. I contribute CPP from then on when I start working because I can saw it on my payslip. I am now 60 years old but still a non-resident and I take a vacation to the Philippines. DO I have the rights to get my CPP benefits?

    Thank you so much!

    • Alex

      Yes, if you made CPP contributions for even one year you would be eligible for a CPP retirement pension as early as age 60, even as a non-resident.

        • Hi Doug again! I would like to ask some questions about applying my CPP. Based on what I have read person living outside Canada can’t process online so what is the best I can do since I am here in the Philippines now. Thanks!

  87. I have a question about survivor benefits to children if their parents die what regulation is there regarding the age of the parents or the age of the children to be eligible or not eligible

    • Karen

      Children’s benefits are payable to the surviving parent until age 18, and payable directly to the child if they’re between age 18 and 25 and they’re in fulltime attendance at school or university.

  88. Hi Doug,

    Thank you for this very informative site. I am planning to retire at age 58, however, I have only resided in Canada for 18 years. CPP contributions = 18 years as well. Does this mean I can only receive CPP but not OAS, unless I permanently reside in Canada for two more years or there is a social agreement between my country and Canada?


    • Lyn

      Yes, you will need to have at least 20 years of residence in Canada in order to receive OAS outside of Canada. The exception to this requirement is if you qualify under an international social security agreement, as you suggest. What other country(ies) have you resided/contributed in.


    • Carolyn

      Your CPP will depend on your “average lifetime earnings”, as well as what age you start receiving it. You can get an estimate online at: or by calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

      Your OAS will be approx. $570 per month at age 65, and you may also be eligible for some GIS if you have “low income”.

  90. I am 65 and working full time making $86000. I have not applied for CPP or OAS. I will not get the full CPP or OAS as I have not lived in Canada for the length of time to collect them.
    My questions are:
    Should I apply for both OAS and CPP? Should I just apply for one and if so which, CPP or OAS?
    Should I continue to contribute to CPP or not? My employer contribute too if I do, so I think I should, right?
    The reason I ask these questions is because I don’t want to apply for these benefits and be clawed back. I am single.
    And when is the best time for me to retire, which month of the year. My birthday is in March.
    Thank you

    • Jasper – The answer depends mostly on your life expectancy, but on the surface I would probably recommend that you wait to apply for both OAS and CPP until you retire or when you turn age 70. There is no “best month to retire” from a CPP or OAS perspective.

  91. Hi: I Came to Canada in 2006 and been working full-time contributing maximum to CPP. I looked at CPP statement of contribution and it said, if I were 65 today I would earn $546.25 in monthly pension as against $1092.5 maximum. How is that I only contributed 10 years (25% of 40 years) , yet get 50% of maximum benefit? I always think I should retire early at 50. Looks like extra years are not as much valuable when it comes to CPP.

  92. Hi I lived in BC Canada for 20 years paying CPP I was only had permanent residence status I have out of living out side Canada for 16 years will I be able to collect my pension from Canada when i retire in 9 years

    • Russ – Yes, you would be eligible for a CPP retirement pension anywhere in the world, even if you contributed for only 1 year. CPP is normally payable at age 65, but you can collect as age 60 at a reduced rate. You may also qualify for some OAS if your 20 years of residence in Canada was all after age 18 or if you live in a country that Canada as an international social security agreement with.

    • Assuming that you applied at least 6 months in advance, your first cheque should arrive by the 3rd last banking day of December.

  93. Hi Doug I’ll be 61 on May 4th this year 2017 and I’m working full time making $60,000 per year. My wife is working part time and earns around $20,000.00 per year my wife just turned 54.

    We had some RRSP savings but had to use it all to pay off debt from a failed business.

    The business was suppose to be our retirement nest egg.

    Just wondering if I should collect my CPP early or not



  94. Hi, I’m confused as to when I’ll get my first cpp cheque. I turned 60 Feb 16th. Will I get it end of February (24th) or end of March?

  95. Hi Doug,

    I need your help with this calculations:

    I became 65 in Aug 2014, and I kept working and paying my Year Maximum CPP contributions until now… I will stop paying the YM CPP in May 2017.

    I applied to receive my CPP starting this April 2017, retroactive to May 2016.

    Service Canada sent me a retroactive Post Retirement Benefit of 3 months (Jan to March 2017) for 24.99 monthly, total: 74.97

    I contacted My Service Canada and they explained to me that this is the only PRB I will receive (24.99 monthly) included in my $798.93…. I am thinking: where all the other YM CPP contributions payments went?? (from September 2014 and ongoing till now)?

    I will appreciate your response,


    • Hi Ana – The term “post-retirement benefit” applies to earnings/contributions made after the effective date of your CPP retirement pension, not after you reached age 65. The earnings/contributions up to and including April 2016 would have been used in the calculation of your regular CPP retirement pension, not a PRB.

  96. Hello Doug,

    I would appreciate your clarification about the following,

    Before applying to CPP I phoned Service Canada to obtain an estimation of my Monthly amount retroactive to May 2016. The representative told me it will be 793.84 plus 27.85 (PRB) = 821.69

    When I explain that I came to Canada on 28 Dec 1989, and I had 4 young kids (thus, I was barely contributing during the first 5 or 6 years), he said that 1990, 1991 and part of 1992 (the year my youngest became 7) will be deleted, as well as some of the other years with very low contribution, to help raise the monthly CPP allowance…. Then he told me the estimation of 793.84 plus 27.85 = 821.69 as my CPP monthly cheque.

    But now I was informed that my CPP will only be 798.93.

    Today, the Service Canada worker asked me to fill and send the “Child Rearing Provision” form… she said that form will prove that I receive the Child Tax Benefit for a child under 7 and then they will delete some years from my CPP contributions Table (therefore, raising my Monthly CPP)

    Did I understand correctly??

    Thanks for your response!


    • Hi Ana – If your question is whether you have to complete that form in order to claim the child-rearing provision, the answer is probably “Yes”.

  97. Hi there, how long after you apply would you receive your payments. I applied June 26, 2017…. would it be July or August…

    Thanks for a great web site! 🙂


  98. Hey Doug, just wanted to update you… Surprise! Phoned Service Ontario and they say the CPP wll deposited for the 27th of July!

    Impressed with the Gov’t for a change 🙂

  99. I have a friend with mental illness – I think any paid work she may have performed would have been prior to the establishment of CPP, and since then has been on disability pension – is she eligible for any CPP payments?

  100. I have stage 4 cancer can I get my cpp early. I am 48 years old and yes I have been paying into cpp for 18 or more years.

  101. Hi, I’ve been trying to figure out if it is best for my husband to claim his Canada pension at 60 or 65. He is now 57 so I don’t have the exact amount he would receive at 60 and he has recently started earning a little more than he did most of his life. The issue is i receive a very small Canada pension disability, and my husband has been a minimum wage earner most of his life. He is now a couple of dollars over minimum wage. We should be receiving so little money when he is 65 that we will get the suppliment. I am 8 years younger so will get the allowance when he is 68. He would keep working until he was 65. Most people claim it is better to wait until you are 65 to get the most money but wouldn’t the extra money we would get from the supplement make up for the cut to his Canada pension. It’s important we get the most money overall that is possible to receive.

    • Hi Tammy – I agree with you. If you know that you will be eligible for GIS, it’s generally best to take your CPP earlier. This is because the GIS would be decreased by approx. 50% (or more) of any higher CPP that you would receive if you waited, which would effectively double the normal “breakeven age”.

  102. I wonder if anyone can answer this. I am 59 years old, already retired and trying to decide whether to take CPP at 60 years old or to wait. Suppose I could take $660 per month at 60 or $925 at age 65. Is the future amount of $925 a month subject to indexation between now and the time I turn 65?

    • Hi Bernard – Yes, the $925 amount will be “indexed” according to the five-year-average YMPE ending with the year that you reach age 65, whereas the $660 would b e indexed annually according to increases in the cost-of-living as measured by the CPI.

  103. Hello, I’m scheduled to start CPP age 65 early next year. The Statement of Contributions shows my worst year of the last 40 will be slightly less than my 2019 contributions. On retirement, my wife will be taking my position in the company, so there is no loss of income. My question is should, my wife take over starting January 1 to maximize her contributions for 2019 or is there some small value to my CPP benefit by my working for a couple of months. Due to the rolling CPP age limit, my wife will be able to contribute for 7 more years.

    • Hi Chuck – Part of one year isn’t going to make a significant difference to either of your CPP benefits, but if you want to know the exact impacts and which option would give you the greatest net benefit, I’d need to do detailed calculations for both of you. My fee for this service would be $90 plus GST. If you’re interested in this, email me at [email protected]

      I’m not sure what you mean by the “rolling CPP age limit”, but everyone can contribute to CPP up until age 70.

  104. Hello,

    I wondered if you could tell me how to calculate how much CPP I would get when I retire. I’m going to be 56 this year and may consider applying for early CPP when I’m 60.

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