At what age should I take my CPP/QPP?

The normal age for retirement under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) is 65. This is when you are eligible to receive the full pension you qualify for based on your years of participation and level of contribution into the plan. You are entitled to begin receiving your pension as early as 60 and as late as 70, however, the benefits are permanently reduced by about 6.5 per cent for each year before age 65.

Consider the following points when deciding when to start taking your CPP (or QPP) benefits:

  • If you take your CPP/QPP entitlement earlier, at age 60, you will receive 36 per cent less each year permanently than if you wait until you’re 65.
  • If you wait until 70 to collect CPP/QPP, the annual pension will increase by 42 per cent permanently, relative to taking CPP/QPP at age 65. There is a small death benefit subject to eligibility of up to $2,500 regardless of whether you take CPP/QPP early or late.
  • You can receive your CPP/QPP as early as age 60 without retiring, which will allow you to supplement your income as you transition into retirement, but will have tax implications.
  • Every situation is unique and the above should not be taken as individual advice. If you are uncertain of your circumstance, it is best to consult your situation with a qualified financial advisor.