Jul 23 2012

Keep Tabs on Your Canada Pension Plan (CPP Benefit) Estimate

Keep Tabs on Your Canada Pension Plan (CPP Benefit) Estimate

When I do a retirement income plan for a new client or update an existing client’s plan for their annual review, it’s always best to get accurate information.  I have found many clients don’t know the following.

  • how much their personal CPP benefit will be,
  • when they’re eligible to start  or options to defer to a later date,
  • where to find out .

This article provides a step-by-step overview. 

In the case where there is no information readily available, I start with the government website which shows two numbers and do an estimate. Click on the Canada Pension Plan website for the latest information or call them at Toll-Free: 1-800-277-9914.

CPP Benefits at age 65 for 2012 showing the average and maximum payments at age 65.

Here is a snapshot on the right showing two numbers that can be used for estimating. The first is the Average Benefit that is currently being paid to those 65 years of age. The maximum amount refers to the CPP benefit that someone would receive who made maximum contributions through their working career.

Many are aware that they can begin to take benefits as early as age 60 and as late as age 70. Once you start receiving CPP it will be indexed for inflation and it’s also important to note that it’s fully taxable as income.

How to Request Your CPP Benefit Estimate

Step 1: Request your Personal Assessment Code by going to the Service Canada Website. Once completed the code will be mailed to you. Expect to wait a few weeks.

Step 2: Once you receive your personal access code, you need to register with Service Canada and then get an  access key and password. 

I have taken a snapshot of the Service Canada Account

Your Service Canada Account

and highlighted with red arrows the two selections

  1. Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contributions
  2. Estimate My CPP Benefit.










Your CPP Estimate

CPP Sample Output

Several key pieces of information  can be seen right away. If you decide to begin to receive CPP as early as age 60,  I’ve highlighted that section in yellow to the right. (click on the document to the right to enlarge it).

The amount of CPP you’ll receive is also shown for the following.

  • Amount if you start at age 65,
  • amount if you start at 70,
  • disability benefits or,
  • amount in the event of your death. 




Working with your Financial Planner and The Retirement Income Plan


If you work with a financial planner and Jack and Jill's CPPthey do   retirement income planning they’ll want this information to add to the your plan. To the right, I’ve circled Jack and Jill’s CPP estimate and shown where I put it in the Otar Retirement Calculator. Amounts shown are annual payments.


Click here to download a hardcopy document if you don’t want to use the internet method described above.

If you have more questions or comments about CPP click here to contact me.






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