Q&A: Applying for CPP

Question: I’ll be 60 in about two years and I am still working, my question is: Is it wise to apply for CPP at the age of 60 or wait till 65? What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying at the age of 60? Is there any disadvantage on applying at age 65? – E. in Manitoba

Gordon Pape answers: If you are still working and don’t need the extra income, you are probably better to wait before applying. If you apply before you are 65, your pension is reduced by half a percentage point per month. So if you were to start drawing CPP on your 60 th birthday, the pension would be 30% less than what you would be entitled to at 65. You will also pay a hefty rate of tax on the pension since it will be added to your employment income for the year.

There’s another problem with applying early. You must stop working (at least temporarily) or earn less than the maximum CPP retirement benefit if you want to draw benefits before age 65. You’ll find more information at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/isp/pub/factsheets/retire.shtml#c

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