When Should You Take CPP

While we have to leave this very personal decision in your hands, here are some general guidelines.

If your expenses will be high during your early retirement years, consider collecting a pension early from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). By starting a reduced CPP retirement pension early, you may receive it for a longer period of time. However, by waiting until age 65, you'll receive more each month.

When considering your decision, it's also important to note the following:

  • If you're under age 65, working and receiving a CPP retirement pension, you have to make mandatory contributions to CPP. If you're over age 65, working and receiving a CPP retirement pension, additional CPP contributions are voluntary.
  • You can collect a CPP retirement pension any time after age 60, even if you're still employed.
  • If you take CPP before you turn 65, the amount of the reduction increases incrementally. In 2019, the reduction is 0.6% for each month you are under age 65 or 7.2% for each year you are under age 65.

For more information, visit the CPP's website or contact your local Service Canada office. They can provide you with estimates of your reduced and unreduced CPP retirement pension.

You must apply for your CPP retirement pension through the Government of Canada (usually six months before you want to start receiving it).