What you need to know while receiving Canada Pension Plan benefits

Once you are receiving Canada Pension Plan (CPP) pensions and benefits, you need to know the following.

Payments

See payment dates and payment amounts for CPP.

Direct Deposit

With direct deposit, your CPP payments can be automatically deposited each month into your bank account in Canada or the United States.

Receiving payment outside Canada

CPP payments are made anywhere in the world in the local currency where possible and, if not, in Canadian dollars. If you live in the United States and have your payment deposited directly to a US financial institution, the funds are automatically converted into US dollars.

See receiving payment outside Canada

Cost-of-living increases

CPP benefits are adjusted in January each year if there is an increase in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Your monthly payment will not decrease if the cost of living goes down.

A disability and the retirement pension

If you are under the age of 65 and deemed disabled before the effective date of your retirement pension, you may be able to convert your pension to a disability benefit.

If you become disabled after receiving your retirement pension, you are not eligible to convert your pension to a disability benefit.

Changes to the Canada Pension Plan

Changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) began in 2011 and will continue to be implemented until 2016. If you started receiving a CPP retirement pension before December 31, 2010, and you remain out of the work force, the changes to the CPP will not affect you.

Income tax

CPP payments are considered to be taxable income.

To voluntarily request that federal income tax be deducted each month from your CPP payment, complete the Request for Voluntary Federal Income Tax Deductions form (ISP 3520).

If you do not request monthly tax deductions, you may have to pay your income tax in quarterly installments. For more information, contact a Canada Revenue Agency Tax Services office.

Living outside Canada

If you live outside Canada and are not considered to be a Canadian resident for income tax purposes, a non-resident tax is with held from your monthly CPP payments. The tax rate is 25% unless reduced or exempted by a tax treaty between Canada and your country of residence. If you have tax-related questions, contact Canada Revenue Agency's International Tax Services Office.

T4 and NR4 tax information slips

Early each year, you will receive a T4 or NR4 tax slip showing the amount of CPP payments you received during the previous year. You must include this slip when you file your annual income tax return.

T4 tax information slips are for residents of Canada, while NR4 tax information slips are for those living outside Canada. You can view your tax information slips online with My Service Canada Account as early as February 1 each year.

If you have not signed up to view them online, we will send your CPP tax slip by mail, in February of each year.

When to notify Service Canada

To keep your files up-to-date, you must contact us when:

  • you need to correct inaccurate or incomplete information or provide information not previously disclosed
  • you move
  • your banking information changes
  • your marital status changes
  • a child under 18 entitled to receive a Canada Pension Plan children's benefit enters or leaves your custody
  • a beneficiary dies

Find out what else you need to know when receiving a CPP disability benefit, including returning to work and retraining programs.

Note:

If you live in Canada, you can use My Service Canada Account to change your address.

Can someone else contact Service Canada on my behalf?

If you want to authorize a person to give and receive information to Service Canada on your behalf, you will need to print the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form (ISP1603CPP), complete it, and mail it to us at the Service Canada office mentioned on the page Returning the form. This form does not provide authority for the person to apply for benefits on your behalf, change your payment address, or request/change the withholding of tax.

If an individual is incapable of managing his/her own affairs, another person or agency (a Trustee or someone with a Power of Attorney) may be appointed to act on the individual’s behalf. Contact us for the appropriate documentation.

Can I make a change on behalf of someone else?

To make changes on behalf of another person, you must submit a Certificate of Incapability - (ISP 3505CPP), completed by a medical professional. You must also complete one of the following forms:

Other benefits you may be eligible for

See Pensions in Canada and related benefits.

If you have lived or worked in Canada and in another country, you may be eligible for Canadian benefits or benefits from the other country under a social security agreement.

You can also try the Benefits Finder tool to find other programs and benefits to which you may be entitled.

What if I don't understand or don't agree with a decision?

You may request a reconsideration of any decision that affects your eligibility or the amount of your Canada Pension Plan benefit.

Cancelling or stopping a CPP pension or benefit

If for any reason you would like to cancel your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) pension or benefit, you can do so up to six months after it starts. You must request the cancellation in writing. You must also pay back all of the pension and related benefits you received. To cancel your benefit, contact us.

When a CPP beneficiary dies, their pensions and benefits must be cancelled. Find out how to cancel CPP benefits on behalf of the deceased person.

Protecting your information

Your information is protected by:

Accessing your personal information

You can ask to see or have copies of any information about you that is in a federal government file. The Treasury Board publication "Info Source: Sources of federal government information" and the forms to request the information are available in government offices, public libraries and federal constituency offices. If you live outside Canada, these publications may be available at Canadian embassies and consulates.