How much will I get from CPP?January 29, 2015
By Sheryl Smolkin
A pension from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is an important foundation on which most Canadians will build their retirement income. Therefore it is important to understand how much you will be entitled to at retirement.[i]
The maximum monthly amount you can receive if you retire at age 65 in 2015 is $1,065. Service Canada reports that in October 2014 the average pension for new beneficiaries was $610.57. That’s because applicants only got a full pension if they contributed the maximum amount up to the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) for at least 40 years between ages 18 and 65.
The YMPE in 2014 was $52,500 and it increased to $53,600 in 2015. Therefore this year the maximum CPP contribution for both employers and employees is $2,479.95. Self-employed people must remit up to $4,959.90. If you earn more than the YMPE you will notice a “salary bump” part way through the year once you have made maximum CPP (and Employment Insurance) contributions.
CPP offers protection against periods where you had reduced or zero earnings for general reasons (up to eight years) or child-rearing by automatically dropping a number of months of your lowest earnings when calculating your CPP benefit. You can start collecting CPP at age 60 but your annual pension will be reduced by .58% per month prior to age 65 (rising to .6% per month in 2016). If you take an early CPP pension and go back to work, you must continue to pay into the plan until at least age 65. CPP contributions for working Canadians over age 65 are optional until age 70.
When you are already receiving a CPP pension, contributions between ages 60 and 70 increase your benefit by a lifetime Post-Retirement benefit (PRB). The maximum annual PRB you can earn in 2015 is $319.56 and it will be added to your benefit payments in the next year.
CPP uses a Statement of Contributions to keep a record of your pensionable earnings and your contributions to the Plan. The Statement of Contributions can assist you in your retirement planning.
Your statement shows your total CPP contributions for each year and the earnings on which your contributions are based. If you contributed the maximum there will be a letter “M” beside the year. In addition, it provides an estimate of what your pension or benefit would be if you and/or your family were eligible to receive it now.
You can also request a hard copy of your statement from:
Contributor Client Services
Canada Pension Plan
PO Box 9750 Postal Station T
Ottawa ON K1G 3Z4
Table 1: CPP Contributions and Benefits
|CONTRIBUTION AND BENEFIT LEVELS|
|Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings||$52,500.00||$53,600.00|
|Contribution Rate – Employee/Employer||4.95%||4.95%|
|Maximum Contribution – Employee/Employer||$2,425.50||$2,479.95|
|Year’s Basic Exemption||$3,500.00||$3,500.00|
|RETIREMENT BENEFIT MAXIMUM|
|Monthly pension on retirement during the year at age 65||$1,038.33||$1,065.00|
|OTHER BENEFIT MAXIMA|
|Monthly Survivor’s Benefit|
|Spouse age < 65||$567.91||$581.13|
|Spouse age = 65||$623.00||$639.00|
|CPP Flat Rate Component:
|Monthly Disability Benefit|
|Flat rate component||$457.60||$465.84|
|Lump Sum Death Benefit||$2,500.00||$2,500.00|
|Deceased/Disabled Contributor’s Child Benefit||$230.72||$234.87|
* This figure represents the Year’s Maximum Pensionable earnings minus the Year’s Basic Exemption.
CPP post-retirement benefits a good dealJune 5, 2014
By Sheryl Smolkin
If you decide to start collecting CPP at age 60 but have to continue paying into the plan because you go back to work, your additional post-retirement contributions can significantly increase the amount of monthly pension you receive even while you are still working.
Since 2012, CPP recipients over age 60 who earn employment income must still contribute to the plan until age 65 and may voluntarily make contributions between ages 65-70 if they are earning an income.
Between age 60 and 70 your contributions will generate additional CPP benefits called post-retirement benefits. You don’t need to apply for these additional benefits. They will automatically be added to your monthly cheque following each year after age 60 you contribute.
A sample calculation prepared by Government Benefits Consultant Doug Runchey who worked for 32 years with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada illustrates how post-retirement contributions can add up.
His example is based on a person who in 2014 at age 60 starts collecting a maximum CPP pension of $702 ($1,038 minus the early retirement reduction of 32.4 per cent).
However in January 2015, this individual decides to go back to work. He subsequently earns the maximum pensionable amount of $52,500 (2014 figures) for the next five years before he stops working completely. Using the 2014 maximum CPP contribution level, between ages 60 and 65 he will be required to contribute $2,425.50 each year to the plan (a total of $12,127.50).
Beginning in 2015 at age 61, his pension will be increased each year by an annual, cumulative post-retirement benefit that adds up to $1,350 by age 65.
As a result, his pension of $702 per month at age 60 will increase in yearly increments to $814 monthly at age 65. Therefore, he will receive approximately $2,490 in CPP post-retirement benefits between age 60 and 65. If he lives for another 20 years until age 85, the post-retirement benefit will put an additional $27,000 in his pocket.
“By accruing additional CPP post-retirement benefits of $1,350 per year between age 60 and 65, the person in this example will earn an 11.13 per cent return on the $12,127 in contributions he made for the period,” Runchey says.
He also says that the notional return on post-retirement CPP contributions by a taxpayer earning the CPP maximum pensionable amount each year who chooses to work and contribute to CPP until age 70 will be even higher.
However, Runchey notes that if this taxpayer was self-employed and required to pay both the annual employer and employee contributions ($4,850) from age 60 to 65, the total return on his five years of post-retirement contributions will be cut in half, to 5.56 per cent.
Post-retirement benefits earned in one year are added to benefits beginning in January of the following year, but eligible contributors may not receive the payment until April or May with a retroactive payment to the beginning of the year.
The amount of CPP post-retirement benefits that you can earn between ages 60 and 70 depends on your earnings and the number of years you continue to work and contribute. A Service Canada PRB Calculator will help you calculate how contributing after you begin receiving CPP benefits but before you stop working will increase your CPP benefits at retirement.
If you are over 65 and want to stop contributing to the CPP, you must complete the CPT30 form and give a copy to your employer. If you are self-employed, you must complete the appropriate section of the CRA CPP contributions on Self-Employment and Other Earnings and file it with your income tax return.
You can change your mind and begin contributing to the CPP again but you are allowed only one change per calendar year.