Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Definition

What is the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)?

The Canada Pension Plan is one of the three tiers of the Canadian government’s retirement income system, which is responsible for providing retirement or disability benefits. The Canada Pension Plan was created in 1965 to provide a basic set of benefits to retirees and disabled contributors. If the beneficiary dies, the survivors receive the benefits provided by the plan.

Key points to remember

  • The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is Canada’s social security system and provides elderly or disabled citizens with a basic level of income for life after age 65.
  • Like the United States social security system, the CPP requires mandatory pay-as-you-go contributions from all workers, including the self-employed.
  • Benefits will only be distributed to those who are eligible, who apply for them and whose applications are approved by the government.
  • The maximum monthly CPP payment is less than one-third of the maximum Social Security payment, regardless of currency conversion.
  • The taxes taken from your paycheck for CPP are slightly more than 5%. If you are self-employed, you will also pay the employer’s share.

Understanding the Canada Pension Plan

Almost everyone who works inside Canada is eligible to contribute to and receive benefits from the Canada Pension Plan, or CPP. CPP is a deferred income retirement vehicle that has been around since 1965, when it was introduced as a complement at old age security.

Standard benefits are reserved for those reaching the full retirement age of 65. However, there are provisions for people between the ages of 60 and 65, those with chronic disabilities, and survivor benefits for those who lost someone before reaching retirement age.


In all provinces except Quebec, which has its own Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), the CPP taxes wages in a way that is split between employer and employee, although the net effect is reduce employee wages by the combined taxable amount. Payroll taxes begin at age 18 and end at age 69, even if the individual worker has already started collecting benefits. In general, CPP tax rates and income thresholds are lower than those of the United States Social Security system. the corresponding benefits also tend to be significantly lower.

These taxed Canadian wages are placed in a investment fund managed by the CPP Investment Board, which in turn invests the funds in stocks, bonds and other assets. These assets included private and public equity interests, as well as real estate.

When people reach retirement age, their benefits are determined by the number of years they have contributed the minimum required amounts. To qualify for the maximum benefit, they must not only have contributed to the CPP for 40 years, but also have contributed a sufficient amount in each of those years.

The Canada Pension Plan pays a monthly amount, which was intended to replace approximately 25% of the contributor’s earnings on which the original contributions were based, but in 2019 the monthly maximum was increased to 33.3%. It is indexed to Consumer price index. Several rules govern the amount a person will receive upon retirement or disability. This amount is based on the person’s age and the amount of CPP contributions made while working. CPP benefits are considered taxable income. This is why some households choose to share income, which can reduce taxes.

How to apply for CPR

CPP benefits are not sent to anyone, even eligible individuals, until an application has been completed and submitted. If an application is denied, an appeal can be made to the Pension Appeals Board of Canada. Individuals living in Canada but residing in Quebec are not eligible for CPP benefits since the provincial government of Quebec has withdrawn from the program. Instead, Quebec offers the Quebec Pension Plan.

Before applying, Canadian citizens should have their Social Insurance Number (SIN) and banking information ready. If you want to take advantage of pension splitting, you must also have your spouse’s or common-law partner’s SIN. You must also provide your children’s SINs and proof of birth if you plan to request provision to raise children in your application. Do not apply until you are sure you are ready to start soon. The maximum period during which you can apply before the start of the pension is six months.

To apply for the Canada Pension Plan, you can complete the application online unless you fall into one of the categories that require you to complete a paper application and either mail it or bring it. at the Service Canada Center nearest you, along with various other documents, as specified by the application information.

If you complete it online, there are two steps to the process:

  1. Complete your application online and submit it electronically.
  2. Print the application signature page, sign it and mail it to Service Canada.

CPP reforms

The Trudeau government and its provincial governments have worked to improve the Canada Pension Plan to provide Canadian workers with a higher income in retirement. These changes were driven primarily by the decline in the share of the workforce covered by an employer-sponsored defined-benefit pension plan, from 54% of men in 1976 to 37% in 2011.

Further motivation has been provided by the Ontario provincial government, which has launched the Ontario Province Pension Plan, a supplemental provincial pension plan that is expected to come into effect in 2018. However, this regime was eventually replaced by the CPP and never came into force.

These improvements to the Canada Pension Plan will be fully funded, which means that benefits will accumulate slowly each year as people work and contribute. In addition, the enhanced Canada Pension Plan will be phased in over seven years, starting in 2019. When it matures, the enhanced CPP will provide a replacement rate of one-third (33.33%) covered gains, up from the 25% provided before the bonus.

In addition, the maximum amount of income covered by the CPP will increase by 14% by 2025 (projected by the Chief Actuary of Canada at $79,400, compared to the normal limit projected of $69,700 the same year in the 28th CPP Actuarial Report).

The combination of the increase in the replacement rate and the increase in the earnings ceiling will result in up to 50% higher pensions, depending on their earnings over the years.

CPP vs Social Security

The CPP is constantly compared to the US Social Security program, but there are a few key differences. The main ones are that the United States is concerned about the long-term sustainability of the Social Security program, while Canada is not concerned about the CPP. Social Security payments tend to be much higher than CPP, but it’s important to remember that healthcare for seniors can be extremely expensive in the United States.

The taxes you pay in the systems also differ. While employees in the United States pay 6.2% in Social Security, their northern neighbors pay just under 5.7%. If you are self-employed in either country, you must pay the employer’s share in addition to your own.

In the United States, you can benefit from social security from the age of 62, while in Canada, you must be 65 (barring extenuating circumstances).

The biggest difference, however, is in the amount of a monthly payment. In the United States, the highest monthly payment you can receive is $4,194. This assumes you waited until you were 70 to file for Social Security. In Canada, the maximum is C$1,253. When converted to dollars, that’s less than $1,000 per month.

How much RPC will I get?

The amount of CPP you receive will be determined by the amount you contributed during your working years. The maximum in 2022 is CA$1,253.59, which is well below the Social Security maximum. However, the average monthly amount paid for new pensions at age 65 is C$727.61. It is less than 600 US dollars.

What is Maximum RPC?

The maximum CPP for 2022 is C$1,253.59. This is the absolute maximum payout amount.

What is the CPP deduction?

The CPP deduction is the amount deducted from your employee’s pensionable earnings. As an employer, you are required to contribute an amount equal to the CPP contributions you deduct from your employees’ earnings. This does not change with the recent CPP enhancement.

How long does it take to get approved for CPP disability?

It takes about 120 days to get a CPP disability claim approved. This does not take into account the time required to prepare the application. However, if the condition is serious, the agency will attempt to make a decision within 30 days; in case of terminal illness, the process is accelerated up to 5 working days.

How much income tax will I pay on my CPP?

CPP income is taxed because it is considered income. You can have federal income tax deducted from your payments by applying through Service Canada. If you do not take the deductions from the remittances, you will be required to pay your income taxes each quarter.

The essential

The Canada Pension Plan, or CPP, is the main government-sponsored income tool used by retirees in Canada. They may have other retirement accounts to draw on, but the CPP quietly accumulates over your working life into a pension that, unlike the US social security system, shows no signs of future insolvency. .