Skip to content

Finances FYI: When Can You Start Collecting CPP?

Money is a concern for most people during all stages of their lives. From when we are young and learning how to spend our allowance to having to pay our first rent and even buying our first home.
3-2B When Can You Start Collecting CPP
Although you can apply as early as 60 years old there are advantages and disadvantages for applying before the average age of 65. Credit: Pixabay

When we age, money can still be a concern especially when the time comes to plan retirement. One of the questions that comes up is: when should I get my Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)?

What is CPP?

The Canadian Pension Plan is government lifetime funding to replace part of your income when you retire. In order to qualify you need to be at least 60 years old and have contributed to the CPP from the work you did in Canada or as a result from getting credit from a spouse or partner. Even when you qualify you need to apply for it. You should be applying before you need the pension to start. You can set the month and the date you want it to start. The Canadian Pension Plan is paid monthly and is taxable.

When should I apply for the Canadian Pension Plan?

The start date for CPP can vary depending on your needs at this time of your life. Although you can apply as early as 60 years old there are advantages and disadvantages for applying before the average age of 65.

If you decide to collect your pension when you turn 60, there are pros and cons. Some of the reasons you should consider taking early CPP:

  • You need the money now.
  • Poor health conditions.
  • Life expectancy. We may not know when our time is coming but if you decide to live wild and free in your golden years you many want to consider getting CPP early.
  • If you are investing, then this may be a good way to contribute to your funds.

The downside of getting the CPP at an early age is, there is a reduction of pay. The maximum CPP in 2022 is $1,253.59. If you take the pension at the age of 60 your payments decrease 36 per cent and you will receive $802.30. There needs to be a balance of the need and the want, so choose carefully.

You can wait until 70 to apply

Similar to applying for CPP early, you can also apply later in life, up to the age of 70. There is no benefit to waiting to apply after the age of 70 as there would be no further contributions. There are some benefits to waiting:

  • Maximize CPP – there is an increase of payments by 42 per cent, roughly $1,709.33.
  • If you have a family history of longevity.
  • You are still working past 65.

Planning your retirement is something that should not be done lightly. There should be planning and understanding what will happen with your future. Consult with a professional advisor and create a plan that meets your needs.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. The editorial content and views expressed in the articles are not those of and the Alberta Securities Commission. Learn more.