You can share your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension with your legal 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 legal spouse or common-law partner.
Sharing your pension may result in tax savings.
Step 1 Do you qualify
To qualify for pension sharing of retirement pension(s), you must meet the following conditions:
- be living with your legal spouse or common-law partner, and
- either you or your legal spouse or common law partner must be receiving, or have applied for, a retirement pension
According to the CPP legislation, a common-law partner is a person of either sex who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 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 1 of the following forms:
Spouses or common-law partners who are separated
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
Step 2 How much could you receive
There are 2 ways to share a pension:
- if only 1 of you contributed to the CPP and/or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), you can share the 1 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 2 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.
Step 3 When to apply
Pension sharing starts as soon as we approve your application. A pension-sharing arrangement cannot be backdated.
Step 4 Who should complete the application
If you and your spouse or common-law partner meet the eligibility requirements and would like to share your CPP retirement pensions, either you or your legal spouse or common-law partner can apply.
Step 5 Apply
If you are applying for or are already receiving a CPP retirement pension, you can apply for pension sharing.
To apply online:
Apply using a paper application
To apply using a paper application:
- complete the Application for CPP Pension Sharing of Retirement Pension(s) (ISP1002)
- include certified true copies of the required documentation, and
- mail the form or drop it off at a Service Canada office
Step 6 After you apply
Once we receive your application and any supporting documents, we will contact you if we need more information. We will send you a letter once we have completed our review to let you know if you are eligible.
When pension sharing stops
Pension sharing stops in whichever month occurs first:
- the month following the month Service Canada approves a cancellation request submitted by both you and your spouse or common-law partner
- the month you divorce
- the month the spouse or common-law partner who has never paid into the CPP (or QPP) begins contributing, or
- the month one of you dies (contact Canada Pension Plan as soon as possible to notify us of the date of death of the CPP pensioner/beneficiary)
To cancel pension sharing
To cancel a pension sharing arrangement:
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.
Review your application status
If you have not heard from us by the time you expect your first payment and you would like to find out the status of your application, you can contact Canada Pension Plan.
If you disagree with a decision
You may request a reconsideration of any decision that affects your eligibility or the amount of your Canada Pension Plan benefit.
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