The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a government-sponsored pension plan that provides retirement, survivor, and disability benefits to eligible Canadian residents. The CPP is one of the largest social security programs in Canada and is an essential part of the country’s retirement income system.
Why it is important: The CPP is an important source of retirement income for millions of Canadians, helping to ensure that they have a stable and secure financial future after they stop working. The benefits provided by the CPP can help to supplement other sources of retirement income, such as personal savings and employer-sponsored pension plans. The CPP also provides survivor benefits to eligible spouses and children of deceased contributors, as well as disability benefits to eligible contributors who become disabled.
History: The Canada Pension Plan was introduced in 1966 as a joint federal-provincial initiative. The plan was established to provide a basic level of retirement income for Canadians who did not have access to employer-sponsored pension plans. Over the years, the CPP has been expanded and improved to provide a more comprehensive and generous set of benefits to eligible contributors.
Tables: The following table shows the maximum monthly retirement benefit that a retiree can receive from the CPP in 2022:
|Age at Retirement||Maximum Monthly Benefit|
The following table shows the maximum monthly disability benefit that a contributor can receive from the CPP in 2022:
|Maximum Monthly Benefit|
Calculations: To determine the amount of retirement benefits a retiree can receive from the CPP, the following calculation is used:
Monthly Benefit = (Yearly Average Pensionable Earnings / Contributory Period) * (1/40) * (Percentage Factor)
For example, if a retiree has a yearly average pensionable earnings of $60,000 and a contributory period of 40 years, their monthly benefit would be calculated as follows:
Monthly Benefit = ($60,000 / 40)
- (1/40) * (Percentage Factor)
Percentage Factor = 0.065 (65 years is the current normal retirement age)
Monthly Benefit = ($60,000 / 40) * (1/40) * (0.065)
Monthly Benefit = $1,110.83
Examples: Let’s take an example of two individuals, Jane and John, to illustrate how the CPP works.
Jane started contributing to the CPP at the age of 25 and stopped contributing at the age of 55. She had an average yearly pensionable earnings of $40,000 over her 30 years of contributing.
John started contributing to the CPP at the age of 35 and stopped contributing at the age of 65. He had an average yearly pensionable earnings of $60,000 over his 30 years of contributing.
Assuming they both retire at the age of 65, their monthly retirement benefits from the CPP would be as follows:
Monthly Benefit = ($40,000 / 30) * (1/40) * (0.065)
Monthly Benefit = $733.33
Monthly Benefit = ($60,000 / 30) * (1/40) * (0.065)
Monthly Benefit = $1,100.00
- Secure: The CPP is a government-sponsored program, which means that it is backed by the government and therefore considered a secure source of retirement income.
- Portable: The benefits provided by the CPP are portable, meaning that they can be taken with you wherever you go, whether you move within Canada or to another country.
- Predictable: The CPP provides a predictable source of retirement income, which can help retirees to plan their finances and ensure that they have a stable and secure financial future.
- Generous: The CPP provides generous benefits to eligible contributors, including retirement, survivor, and disability benefits.
- Mandatory Contributions: Contributing to the CPP is mandatory for eligible workers, which means that a portion of their income is deducted each pay period.
- Inflexible: The CPP does not allow contributors to choose the amount of benefits they receive, or the age at which they will start receiving benefits.
- Limited Investment Options: The CPP does not provide contributors with any investment options, which means that they cannot choose how their contributions are invested.
- Reduced Benefits for Early Retirement: Retiring early can result in reduced benefits, as the benefits are based on the number of years of contributions and the average pensionable earnings over the contributory period.
The Canada Pension Plan is an essential part of the country’s retirement income system and provides retirement, survivor, and disability benefits to eligible Canadian residents. While there are some cons to the CPP, such as mandatory contributions and limited investment options, it remains an important and secure source of retirement income for millions of Canadians. To determine the amount of benefits you may be eligible for, it is recommended that you consult with a financial advisor or visit the CPP website for more information.