Q&A: Top up CPP?

Question: I was a stay-at-home mom while raising our family and have been working part-time in a self-employed capacity for a number of years. Because of this decreased income, my CPP benefits will be significantly less than the maximum. Is there any provision for topping up CPP contributions, similar to how some part-time employees (teachers, for example) have the option to make extra contributions to their pensions? – P.S., Delta BC

Gordon Pape answers: Unfortunately, there are no top-up provisions in the CPP. However, there is what is known as the “Child Rearing Provision” which may offer some relief for you. It can be used by anyone whose earnings either stopped or were lower because they were raising children under the age of seven. In these cases, application can be made to the CPP to exclude that period of time from the calculation of the retirement benefit. The effect should be to increase the amount of the payment you will receive. For more details about this go here.

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