Receiving your retirement pension
When does my pension begin?
Unless you ask for a specific start date, the retirement pension is effective the month after we receive your application.
From age 60 up to 65:
- If you apply to receive your retirement pension when you turn 60, your pension will start the month after your 60th birthday.
- If you apply to receive your retirement pension after you turn 60 but before you turn 65, your pension will start the month after we receive your application (or at a later date, if you specify one).
From age 65 on:
- You can start receiving your pension the month after your 65th birthday (or at a later date, if you specify one). You can also choose to receive back payments for a maximum of 12 months (11 months plus the month we receive your application). However, such retroactive payments can go back no further than the month after your 65th birthday. Please note that choosing to receive back payments if you are under the age of 70 means your retirement pension will begin at a lower rate. The adjustment is permanent.
- After age 70, your benefit amount no longer increases, and there is no reason to wait to apply for your retirement pension.
Do I get cost-of-living increases?
Yes. We will increase your CPP pension payments to reflect increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index. We adjust payments in January of each year, if needed.
Starting in 2013, any Post-Retirement Benefit you may receive will also be indexed and will be adjusted in the same way.
Your monthly payments will not decrease if the cost of living goes down.
When will I receive my payments each month?
If you are like most CPP recipients and you choose to sign up for direct deposit, your payment will be deposited automatically into your bank account on the third to last banking day of the month. Otherwise, your payment will be sent to you by mail, usually during the last three banking days of each month. See “Signing up for direct deposit” for information on how to sign up for direct deposit and avoid payment delays.
When would I receive my Post-Retirement Benefit?
Unlike other CPP benefits, you do not have to apply for the Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB). If you made contributions toward the PRB, it will be paid to you automatically the year after your contributions, effective January 1.
For example, if you contribute toward the PRB in 2012, you will receive the benefit in 2013 and it will be added to your CPP retirement pension. Because the PRB will be based on contribution information provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, you will receive it later in the year, with monthly payments paid back to January.
The PRB will be added to your existing CPP retirement pension. Each year you make contributions, your retirement income will increase the following year, even if you are already receiving the maximum CPP retirement pension amount.
Can I receive CPP payments outside Canada?
Yes, we can make payments anywhere in the world.
What if I change my mind after I start receiving my pension?
If for any reason you change your mind after you start receiving your CPP retirement pension, you can cancel your pension up to six months after it starts. You must request the cancellation in writing. You must also pay back all the benefits you received.
If you want to cancel your retirement pension and you worked while you were receiving it, any CPP contributions you made toward the Post-Retirement Benefit will not be refunded to you if you earned more than the year's basic exemption of $3,500. These contributions will go toward your future CPP retirement benefits under the plan, and not to the Post-Retirement Benefit.
What if I become disabled after I begin receiving my CPP retirement pension?
Your CPP retirement pension may be replaced by a disability pension. You may be eligible to receive a disability benefit if:
- you stopped work because of a disability;
- you are under the age of 65;
- you have been receiving your CPP retirement pension for less than 15 months; and
- you have been deemed to be disabled, as defined by the CPP legislation, before the effective date of your retirement pension.
If you meet the above criteria and you are granted a disability benefit, you must make a written request to cancel your retirement pension in favour of the disability benefit.
Any retirement pension payments you have already received may be deducted from your disability benefit.
What happens to my disability benefit when I turn 65?
When you turn 65, if you are receiving a CPP disability benefit, it will automatically change to a retirement pension. Your CPP retirement pension will likely be less than your disability benefit. However, at 65 you can also apply for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and, if your income is low, you may be eligible to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Your spouse or common-law partner may also be eligible for the Allowance. You will automatically receive an OAS application form at least six months before you turn 65.
For more information on the CPP disability benefit, visit the CPP disability benefits section of the Service Canada Web site, or contact us to order the booklet called Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits.
For more information on the OAS, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Allowance, visit the Old Age Security Programs section of the Service Canada Web site or contact us.
How do I stop making CPP contributions at age 65?
If you receive your CPP retirement pension and you do not work, you do not contribute to the CPP.
If you are working and receiving your CPP retirement pension, you make mandatory contributions to the CPP up to the age of 65. Once you reach age 65, contributions become voluntary and you can choose to stop making contributions. To do so, if you are an employee, you must complete the Canada Revenue Agency’s Form CPT30, Election to Stop Contributing to the Canada Pension Plan, or Revocation of a Prior Election. If you are self-employed, you do not use this form. Instead, you must complete Schedule 8 of your income tax return.
For more information about stopping CPP contributions from age 65 to 70, visit the Canada Revenue Agency Web site or call 1‑800‑959‑8281.
At age 70, your contributions will stop automatically.
When do CPP retirement pension payments stop?
The last payment is for the month in which the recipient dies. Please contact us as soon as possible to notify us of the date of death of the CPP pensioner/beneficiary.
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