Canada Pension Plan – What you need before you start

4. What you need before you start

To apply for your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension online, you must sign in to your My Service Canada Account and submit your application online. If you have not yet registered for a My Service Canada Account, you will require a Personal Access Code.

When you apply online for your CPP retirement pension, you must confirm your personal information and provide:

  • your banking information to sign up for direct deposit; and
  • the date you would like your pension to start;

You can apply a maximum of 12 months before the date you would like your pension to start.

If you are 65 years plus 1 month or older, you can request retroactive payments for a maximum of 11 months, or back to your 65th birthday plus 1 month—whichever is shortest.

Please note the initial launch of this simplified CPP retirement pension online registration system is designed to issue CPP retirement pension benefits by direct deposit to the beneficiary’s bank account, since a majority of CPP retirement pension recipients request direct deposit as their form of payment. The registration system will be updated to allow for selection of CPP retirement pension payments by paper cheque.

If you prefer to receive your CPP retirement pension payment by paper cheque before the system update is in place, please complete the Application for a Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension and mail it or bring it to the Service Canada Centre closest to you. Mailing addresses are provided on the form.

Combining Canada Pension Plan pensions and benefits

If you are already receiving a CPP survivor's pension and you apply for the CPP retirement pension or disability benefit, you will receive a combined monthly payment.

Similarly, if you are already receiving a CPP retirement pension or disability benefit and you apply for the survivor's pension following the death of your spouse or common-law partner, you will receive a combined monthly payment.

The combined benefit is not the sum of the two pensions. For example: a person receiving a full retirement pension would not also receive a maximum survivor's pension.

Note the following restriction to the payment amounts:

  • The most that can be paid to a person eligible for both the disability benefit and the survivor's pension is the maximum disability benefit (which is more than the maximum survivor's pension).
  • The most that can be paid to a person 65 or over who is eligible for both the retirement pension and the survivor's pension is the maximum retirement pension (which is more than the maximum survivor's pension).

See the table of current CPP payment amounts.

Note: Post-retirement benefit

The rules for combining benefits do not apply to the Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB). If you receive the PRB, it will be added to your CPP retirement pension, even if you receive the maximum retirement pension.

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