If you're a legal wage earner in Canada and over 18 years of age, you're eligible to receive a pension from the federal government. Find out more about how this applies to you.
Canada pension plans
Everyone in Canada who is over 18 and has legally worked here has contributed money toward the Canada Pension Plan. This is an earnings related social insurance program designed to help people and their families financially after they retire, become disabled or die. It ensures that all contributors are protected.
If your earnings stopped or were lower because you were the primary caregiver raising your children under the age of seven, you can request the child-rearing provision on your CPP benefit. If you're eligible, this child-rearing period will be excluded from the contributory period when calculating your CPP benefit amount, ensuring that you get the highest possible payment. Learn more
How much money you'll receive from the Canada Pension Plan depends on the amount of pension credits you build up. These credits are based largely on the total amount of money you contribute. The higher your annual salary and the more years you work between age 18 and retirement, the larger your pension will be.
In the event of divorce, the pension credits earned as a couple can be evenly split, even if one spouse or common-law partner did not pay into the Canada Pension Plan. A retired couple can also share pension credits for tax purposes, if one of their pensions is significantly higher than the other.
You will begin receiving pension payments when you retire, or any time you become disabled and are no longer able to work. If you choose to retire in another country, you are still able to receive your pension, paid in Canadian dollars, anywhere in the world.
Certain non-refundable tax credits can be transferred to your spouse so you can ensure you are taking full advantage of these credits.
If you're over 65 you may qualify for the Old Age Security Program. If you're between 60 and 65 and married or widowed you may be eligible for an Allowance. If you're living on a low-income, you may also be able to receive a Guaranteed Income Supplement. Information on these and other federal and provincial programs is available through Human Resources Development Canada
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