Pension Sharing

You can share your Canada Pension Plan retirement pension with your spouse or common-law partner. To do so, you must be receiving your pension, or be eligible to receive it, and be living with your spouse or common-law partner.

Sharing your pension may result in tax savings.

You must apply to share your pension.

How does pension sharing work?

There are two ways to share a pension:

  • If only one of you contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and/or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), you can share the one pension.
  • If both of you contributed, you and your spouse or common-law partner may receive a share of both pensions. The combined total amount of the two pensions stays the same whether you decide to share your pensions or not.

The portion of your pension that can be shared is based on the number of months you and your spouse or common-law partner lived together during your joint contributory period. This period is the time when either one of you could have contributed to the CPP and/or QPP. Your Statement of Contributions has all the details about your contributions.

Note:

When does pension sharing start?

Pension sharing starts as soon as we approve your application. A pension-sharing arrangement cannot be backdated.

When does pension sharing stop?

Pension sharing stops in whichever month occurs first:

  • the month after the month Service Canada approves a cancellation request submitted by both you and your spouse or common-law partner – Cancellation of Pension Sharing form (ISP1014)
  • the month you divorce
  • the month the spouse or common-law partner who has never paid into the CPP (or QPP) begins contributing
  • the month one of you dies (contact us as soon as possible to notify us of the date of death of the CPP pensioner/beneficiary)

What happens to my CPP retirement pension when pension sharing ends?

We adjust your pension to the amount you were to receive before the pension-sharing arrangement.

If you contributed less to the CPP than your spouse or common-law partner or if you never worked, the amount of your retirement pension could decrease.

If you contributed more to the CPP than your spouse or common-law partner, your retirement pension amount could increase.

How and when do I apply?

If you are applying for or are already receiving a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension, you can apply for pension sharing.

Documents you need:

Complete the pension sharing form (ISP1002) on screen, print it, then mail it, with the necessary supporting documents, to the Service Canada office listed on the application form.

Can spouses or common-law partners who are separated apply?

Spouses or common-law partners cannot apply for pension sharing if they are voluntarily separated at the time of application.

If spouses or common-law partners separate after the pension sharing is approved, the following applies:

  • When the pension sharing involves CPP retirement pensions only, the pension sharing ceases the 12th month following the month in which the spouses or common-law partners start to live separate and apart.
  • When the pension sharing involves both CPP and QPP retirement pensions, the pension sharing ceases the earliest of, the 12th month after the spouses or common-law partners separated, or the month in which a legal separation took place.

Can I cancel pension sharing?

Yes. To cancel a pension sharing arrangement, complete the cancellation of Pension Sharing form (ISP1014) on screen, print it, sign it and mail it to us.

Pension sharing will stop the month after the month Service Canada approves your pension sharing cancellation request.

What is a spouse or a common-law partner?

A spouse is a person to whom you are legally married.

According to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) legislation, a common-law partner is a person of either sex who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

To prove that you are in a common-law relationship, or that you and your spouse lived in a common-law relationship prior to your marriage, you will need to fill out the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form – dual signatures (ISP3004CPP) or the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form - single signature (ISP3104CPP).