Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to receive the CPP for the remainder of your life, you must be at least 60 years old and have made at least one contribution to the plan.
Those contributions can either have been made by you while working in Canada, or can be in the form of credits received from a former spouse or common-law partner after your relationship has ended.
How old you were when you started your pension, the amount and length of time you’ve contributed to your CPP and your average earnings during your working life will all affect the value of your pension.
Pension payment amounts can vary quite a bit from person to person, however in 2021, the maximum monthly amount was $1,203.75, and the average monthly CPP payment among retirees was $619.44.
For more details on CPP payments, click here.
Did You Know?
On your My Service Canada Account, you can access all the documents you need to get an estimate of your CPP. You can either pull up your CPP Statement of Contributions and calculate your estimated CPP earnings yourself using this calculator, or request an estimate based on their calculations.
Eligibility For Those Who Have Lived in Multiple Countries
If you’ve lived or worked in Canada and another country outside of Canada, then you could still be eligible for CPP.
The only condition is that this country must have a social security agreement with Canada – in other words, an agreement that ties together the pension programs of both countries for the individuals that have lived or worked in both countries.
That way, your periods of contribution in the foreign country could be counted as contribution periods in Canada for the purposes of increasing your CPP payments.
For the list of countries that have a social security agreement with Canada, click here.
If you’re living outside of Canada by the time you want to receive your CPP payments, you can do so just as you would if you were living in Canada.
As a non-resident, you will only be charged a withholding tax on your CPP.
Working While on CPP
So long as you’re under the age of 70 years old, you can continue to contribute to your CPP if you’re still working.
Every contribution you make while still working will be added to your CPP post-retirement benefit and paid the following year, increasing the overall value of your CPP.
Also, if you are over the age of 65 and are still contributing to your CPP, any higher earnings you get will replace periods of lower earnings from your past.
This will help increase your pension amount further.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I get CPP if I never worked?
Yes, you can. Even if you’ve never worked, you could still be eligible for CPP if you received credits from a former spouse or common-law partner at the end of your relationship.
- How much is CPP at 60?
The following factors will affect how much CPP you will receive in each year:
- How old you were when you started your pension
- The amount and length of time you’ve contributed to your CPP
- Your average earnings during your working life
When someone asks how much their CPP amount will be, there isn’t a cut and dry answer – it can vary a lot from person to person. But in 2021, the maximum monthly amount was $1,203.75, and the average monthly CPP payment among retirees was $619.44.