March 18, 2024

Those taking CPP at 60 worry about their health, finances: Wealth Professional

We frequently hear or read that waiting to take the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) later in life – say, age 70 – will lead to a greater monthly payment.

Yet, reports Wealth Professional, most people choose to start CPP at age 60, despite the fact that they will get a 36 per cent reduction on their payments.

“An informal survey conducted by The Globe and Mail found that the most popular age to take one’s CPP benefits is 60, with 34 per cent of the respondents saying so. This was followed by those aged 65 with 19 per cent and those aged 70 with 16 per cent. This coincided with the data from Statistics Canada that also found that nearly 40 percent of Canadians who were born between 1940 and 1950 began to take their CPP benefits at the age of 60,” Wealth Professional notes.

That’s despite having payments at age 60 decreased by “0.6 per cent every month (before age 65), amounting to 7.2 per cent annually and a maximum reduction of 36 per cent at age 60,” the magazine continues.

The article quotes recent research from Toronto Metropolitan University’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA) as saying “those who take their pensions at 60 instead of waiting until they turn 70 can possibly lose a total of $100,000 (in) retirement income.”

The NIA report found that a mere one per cent of us wait until age 70 to get the maximum benefit, which represents 42 per cent more than what you would get at age 65, Wealth Professional reports.

There are plenty of good reasons why people don’t wait for a greater benefit, the article continues.

The Globe and Mail survey found that the reasons behind this included the need for financial coverage of living expenses, having health problems or family history of health issues with the expectation of not having a long retirement, as well as the uncertainty of life. Some were also concerned about the possibility of the CPP being compromised in the future, with many citing the departure of Alberta from the CPP for the Alberta Pension Plan,” the magazine reports.

Some used the “why turn down money on the table” argument, taking CPP at 60 and then hoping “they will be able to make more than the government will be providing them down the line,” the article notes.

Some felt taking a lower CPP payment would keep them in a lower tax bracket, the article adds. Those waiting to start CPP at age 65 and beyond “stated that the reason behind this was to increase the payout of their benefits.”

If you don’t have a workplace pension plan or personal retirement savings, you would have to keep working until 65 or 70 to get the greater benefit. If you aren’t working after 60 one would think the CPP would be an immediate need.

Since, as the article says, the maximum CPP benefit in 2024 is $1,364.60 per month at age 65 (that’s before taxes), you might want to be able to bolster that modest amount with your own savings. If you’re not sure how to grow your savings, fear not – the Saskatchewan Pension Plan is ready to help. You decide how much to contribute, and SPP does the heavy lifting of investing your hard-saved dollars in a professionally managed, pooled fund run at a very low cost.

When it’s time to collect, you have the options of choose a lifetime annuity payment each month, or the flexibility of SPP’s Variable Benefit, where you decide how much to take out in income.

Check out SPP today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.


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