Government income sources

Canada and Quebec pension plans

Canada and Quebec pension plans (CPP/QPP) are government pension plans designed to provide necessities in retirement such as food, shelter and clothing. They’re intended to replace roughly 25 per cent of your pre-retirement earnings and only up to a monthly maximum.

To have more than those basics in your retirement years, it’s important to have other savings, such as personal investments, or a workplace plan, which could be a pension plan, group retirement plan or group savings plan.

How much will you get?

Calculating the exact amount you’ll receive from the CPP/QPP varies from person to person. To determine the amount you’re eligible to receive, contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914, or residents of Quebec can call the Régie des rentes at 1-800-463-5185.

The amount of your monthly payment depends on several factors, including:

  • How long you contributed
  • How much you contributed, based on your income
  • The age you decide to start receiving benefits
  • If you continue working after you start collecting CPP/QPP

The standard age to begin receiving CPP/QPP payments is 65. You can choose to take a reduced pension as early as age 60 and the permanent reduction in your pension payment is calculated based on the number of months until your 65th birthday.

Starting your pension after age 65 can result in a higher CPP/QPP amount per month. It will increase a set percentage for each month you delay receiving it, up to age 70.

For retirement planning purposes, it’s important to note that only some people qualify for the highest payments. The average monthly amount is typically about 60 per cent of the maximum.

Other Government of Canada benefits

Old Age Security (OAS) is an income supplement to help Canadians during retirement. The amount of the OAS pension you’ll receive is fixed and regularly updated to reflect changes in the cost of living. Factors such as your personal income and the length of time you’ve lived in Canada, determine your OAS payment. To find out if you qualify for the OAS pension, you can visit the OAS page on the Service Canada website.

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is an additional OAS benefit. You may qualify for this payment if your retirement income is low. Your GIS payment is based on your household income and marital status.

The government has made changes to the age of eligibility for the GIS and OAS benefits that affect people born after 1958. For more information on this change can be found on the Guaranteed Income Supplement page on Service Canada’s website.

More information

More information about CPP and other government retirement benefits is available at www.servicecanada.gc.ca or by calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914. Information on QPP and other retirement benefits in Quebec is available at www.rrq.gouv.qc.ca or by calling 1-800-463-5185.

Sources: Statistics Canada, Government of Canada website