4. Learn what else affects your CPP amount

When figuring out how much your will be, the CPP leaves out up to 8 years of your lowest earnings. This will help you if you had years when you didn’t work or had low earnings. They also exclude any months when you got .

Periods of raising children

If you stopped working or worked less so you could take care of your children, you may be able to increase how much you get. This is because of the CPP child-rearing provisions.

These provisions let you leave out the months you were taking care of your children when figuring out the amount of your CPP retirement benefits. The child-rearing provisions may apply if:

  • you have children who were born after December 31, 1958
  • you made less money because you were the primary caregiver of a dependent child who was under the age of 7
  • you or your spouse or received Family Allowance payments in the past or were eligible for the Canada child benefit

You have to apply for the child-rearing provisions when you apply for your CPP retirement pension.

Pension sharing

If you’re married or have a common-law partner and one of you earns more money than the other, you may pay less income tax if you share your CPP retirement pension.

Pension sharing is like splitting your income so that the spouse or common-law partner who pays more income tax can share their CPP retirement pension income with the other. This reduces the overall amount that the couple pays in income tax.

If only one spouse or common-law partner contributed to the CPP, the couple can share one pension. If both contributed, they can share both pensions in a way that reduces the amount they have to pay in income tax.

The portion of your pension that’s shared is based on how many months you and your spouse or common-law partner lived together while one or both of you contributed to the CPP.

You must apply for pension sharing when you apply for your CPP retirement pension or once you start getting it.

Credit splitting

If you’re separated or divorced, the that you and your spouse or common-law partner made while you were living together can be divided equally. This is called credit splitting. It can help the spouse or common-law partner who made lower or no CPP contributions qualify for CPP benefits or get a higher amount of benefits.

You have to apply for a credit split. And your former spouse or common-law partner has the right to challenge your request and appeal any decision about credit splitting.

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