If you stopped working or received lower earnings to raise your children, you may be able to use the "child-rearing provision" to increase your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits.
Caring for young children can mean leaving the work force or working fewer hours. If your earnings stopped or were lower because you were the primary caregiver raising your children under the age of seven, you can request the child-rearing provision. If you are deemed eligible, the child-rearing period will be excluded from the contributory period when calculating your CPP benefit amount, ensuring that you get the highest possible payment.
Note: Primary caregiver
For the CPP, the primary caregiver is the person who was most responsible for the day-to-day needs of the children for the specified periods.
Am I eligible?
The child-rearing provision may apply to you if:
- you have children born after December 31, 1958;
- your earnings were lower because you either stopped working, worked fewer hours or took a lesser paying job to be the primary caregiver of a dependent child under the age of seven;
- you or your spouse or common-law partner received Family Allowance payments or were eligible for the Canada Child Tax Benefit (even if you did not receive the benefit).
Either spouse or common-law partner can request the child-rearing provision, but it cannot be used by both parents for the same period of child-rearing.
Why should I request the child-rearing provision?
You should request the child-rearing provision because it may increase the amount of your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefit.
The child-rearing provision could also help you meet the eligibility requirements for a CPP Disability Benefit, should you need it. In the event of your death, it could help you meet the contributory requirements to provide benefits to your estate and survivors.
How and when should I request the child-rearing provision?
You should request the child-rearing provision when you apply for any Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefit.
- The application form for the CPP retirement pension (ISP1000) includes a section on child-rearing (section 11A).
- For all other CPP benefits, you will need to complete the child-rearing provision form (ISP1640) separately.
If you are already receiving a CPP benefit, you can still request this provision. Complete the child-rearing provision form (ISP1640) and mail it to Service Canada as indicated on the form.
What documents do I need to provide?
You must provide one of the following for each child:
- the child's name, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number
- the child's birth certificate (the original or a certified true copy)
You may also be required to provide proof of the date of entry into Canada for children born outside Canada.
Julie was employed until her daughter Elizabeth, was born in 1983. Julie stayed at home with Elizabeth until she started school in 1989.
When Julie applies for her retirement pension in 2016 at age 65 and requests the child-rearing provision, the CPP will exclude the period from the month following Elizabeth's birth in 1983 to 1990 in its calculation of Julie's pension benefit amount.
Julie will receive a CPP Retirement Pension of $735 per month. Without the benefit of the child-rearing provision, her pension would have been $650 per month.
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