CPP retirement pension: Overview
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension is a monthly, taxable benefit that replaces part of your income when you retire. If you qualify, you’ll receive the CPP retirement pension for the rest of your life. To qualify you must:
- be at least 60 years old
- have made at least one valid contribution to the CPP
Valid contributions can be either from work you did in Canada, or as the result of receiving credits from a former spouse or former common-law partner at the end of the relationship.
You must apply
CPP payments are not automatic. You must apply. You should apply in advance of when you want your pension to start.
Our goal is to pay your CPP retirement pension in the month of the start date you choose.
The amount you receive each month is based on your average earnings throughout your working life, your contributions to the CPP, and the age you decide to start your CPP retirement pension. Your contributions to the CPP are based on your earnings.
The standard age to start the pension is 65. However, you can start receiving it as early as age 60 or as late as age 70.
If you start receiving your pension earlier, the monthly amount you’ll receive will be smaller. If you decide to start later, you’ll receive a larger monthly amount. There’s no benefit to wait after age 70 to start receiving the pension. The maximum monthly amount you can receive is reached when you turn 70.
There are different factors that can affect how much you'll receive, such as time taken off from work to care for young children. Find out more about how much you could receive. You can also work while receiving a CPP retirement pension.
How long will it take to process your application
We begin to process your application once we receive your completed application form. It will take:
- 7 to 14 days for online applications
- normally within 120 days for applications delivered at a Service Canada Centre
- normally within 120 days for applications sent by mail
It could take longer to process your application if Service Canada does not have a complete application.
You may also qualify for other CPP benefits
In addition to the CPP retirement pension, you may also quality for other CPP benefits listed below. Like the CPP retirement pension, you will need to apply for these benefits (except for the Post-retirement benefit if you already receive the CPP retirement pension).
As of 2019, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is gradually being enhanced. This means that today’s workers, the seniors of tomorrow, will have higher benefits and greater financial stability through a small increase in the amount they contribute to the CPP.
The CPP enhancement only affects those who work and contribute to the CPP in 2019 or after.
The enhancement adds 2 additional components to the CPP. These components are not a separate benefit, but a ‘top-up’ to the base CPP.
The CPP now consists of:
- the base (or original CPP)
- the first additional component, which was phased in between 2019 and 2023, and
- the second additional component, which will be phased in between 2024 and 2025
The CPP enhancement will increase the amount working Canadians receive in the:
- CPP retirement pension
- Post-retirement benefit
- Disability pension
- Survivor’s pension
It will not affect eligibility for CPP benefits. Learn more about the CPP enhancement.
Frequently asked questions
What is the CPP?
A monthly, taxable benefit that replaces part of your income when you retire. If you qualify, you’ll receive the CPP retirement pension for the rest of your life.
How much is CPP at 60?
At age 60, your CPP amount depends on your contributions and your average annual earnings.
How much do you get from CPP?
Your CPP amount depends on the age you started your pension, your contributions and your average annual earnings.
How many years do you need to work to get CPP?
Everyone is entitled to CPP regardless of how many years you have worked. How much you receive depends on your earnings as well as your contributions.
Who is eligible for the Canada Pension Plan?
To qualify for the CPP, you must be at least 60 years old and have made valid contributions.
How do I apply for my Canada Pension?
If you qualify for CPP, you can apply online. You can also mail or drop-off a completed form to a Service Canada office.
Should I take my Canada pension at 60 or 65?
Deciding when to start collecting CPP should be based on your finances, health, life expectancy and taxes. The main reason to delay CPP is that you will receive a larger benefit.
When should I apply for CPP benefits?
The standard age to start CPP is 65. You can start receiving as early as age 60 or as late as age 70. You should apply in advance of when you want your pension to start.
How long does it take to receive CPP after applying?
It takes approximately 7 to 14 days for online applications, 120 days for applications delivered by mail or in-person to a Service Canada Centre.
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