The CPP post-retirement benefit – deciding whether to continue contributing

October 19, 2023by Akmin

One or two generations ago, retirement was an event. Typically, an individual would leave the work force completely at age 65 and begin collecting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits along with, in many cases, a pension from an employer-sponsored registered pension plan.

Transitioning into retirement is now much more of a process than an event – often a complex process involving decisions around both finances (present and future) and one’s desired way of life. It’s now the case that almost every individual’s retirement plans look a little different than anyone else’s. Some will take a traditional retirement of moving from a full-time job into not working at all, while others may stay working full-time past the traditional retirement age of 65. Still others will leave full-time employment but continue to work part-time, either out of financial need (especially over the past couple of years) or simply from a desire to stay active and engaged in the work force.

The flexible nature of retirement plans is reflected in changes made over the past decade to Canada’s government-run retirement income programs, particularly the Canada Pension Plan. It’s possible to begin receiving CPP benefits as early as age 60 and as late as age 70, with the amount of benefit increasing with each month that receipt of benefits is deferred. Many Canadians now choose to begin receiving their CPP retirement benefits while continuing to participate in the work force, part-time or full-time.

At one time, beginning to receive CPP retirement benefits meant that, even for those who chose to remain in the work force, no further CPP contributions were allowed. That changed in 2012 with the introduction of the CPP Post-Retirement Benefit. The availability of that benefit means that those who are aged 65 to 70 and continue to work while receiving CPP retirement benefits must decide whether or not to continue making CPP contributions. Such individuals who make the choice to continue to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan will see an increase in the amount of CPP retirement benefit they receive each month for the remainder of their lives. That increase is the CPP post-retirement benefit or PRB.

The rules governing the PRB differ, depending on the age of the taxpayer. In a nutshell, an individual who has chosen to begin receiving the CPP retirement benefit but who continues to work will be subject to the following rules:

  • Individuals who are 60 to 65 years of age and continue to work are required to continue making CPP contributions.
  • Individuals who are 65 to 70 years of age and continue to work can choose not to make CPP contributions. To stop contributing, such an individual must fill out Form CPT30 ( A copy of that form must be given to the individual’s employer and the original sent to the Canada Revenue Agency. An individual who has more than one employer must make the same choice (to continue to contribute or to cease contributions) for all employers and must provide a copy of the CPT30 form to each employer.

    A decision to stop contributing can be changed, and contributions resumed, but only one such change can be made per calendar year. To make that change, the individual must complete section D of CRA Form CPT30, give one copy of the form to their employer(s), and send the original to the CRA.

  • Individuals who are over the age of 70 and are still working cannot contribute to the CPP.

Overall, the effect of the rules is that CPP retirement benefit recipients who are still working and who are under aged 65, as well as those who are between 65 and 70 and choose not to opt out, will continue to make contributions to the CPP system and will continue therefore to earn new credits under that system. As a result, the amount of CPP retirement benefits to which they are entitled to will increase with each successive year’s contributions.

Individuals who are currently considering whether to continue contributing the CPP will now have to take into consideration changes being made to CPP contribution rules beginning January 1, 2024.

The basic structure of the CPP provides that anyone who is over the age of 18 and earns more than $3,500 per year must make CPP contributions equal to 5.95% of their income between $3,500 and a specified income ceiling. That income ceiling is known as the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings and is set at $66,600 for 2023.

Beginning in 2024, however, there will be two levels of required CPP contributions. Individuals who have annual income of less than the YMPE (likely to be around $70,000 for 2024) will continue to make CPP contributions of 5.95% of earnings between $3,500 and $70,000.  However, those whose earnings exceed that $70,000 income ceiling must pay 4% of those additional earnings, up to a second earnings ceiling. That second earnings ceiling – to be called the Year’s Additional Maximum Pensionable Earnings, or YAMPE – is likely be around $80,000 for 2024.

The effect of the upcoming changes is that individuals who will have income of more than around $70,000 during 2024 must pay an additional CPP contribution of 4% of their income between $70,000 and $80,000 (in addition to the 5.95% contribution to be made on income between $3,500 and $70,000). The increased contribution will, of course, be reflected in the amount of PRB the individual receives; however, each individual will have to consider how much he or she will have to pay in additional CPP contributions and whether those increased costs are justified by the amount of any increase in future benefits. It’s important to note, as well, that anyone who chooses to continue making CPP contributions will be subject to both levels of CPP contribution requirements – it is not possible to “opt out” of making second-level CPP contributions.

Where an individual does choose to continue making CPP contributions while working and receiving CPP retirement benefits, the amount of any CPP post-retirement benefit earned will automatically be calculated by the federal government (no application is required), and the individual will be advised of any increase in their monthly CPP retirement benefit each year. The PRB will be paid to that individual automatically the year after the contributions are made, effective January 1 of that second year. Since the federal government doesn’t have all of the information needed to make such calculations until T4s and T4 summaries are filed by the employer by the end of February, the first PRB payment is usually made in a lump sum amount, in the month of April. That lump sum amount represents the PRB payable from January to April. Thereafter, the PRB is paid monthly and combined with the individual’s usual CPP retirement benefit in a single payment.

While the rules governing the PRB can seem complex (and certainly the actuarial calculations are), the individual doesn’t have to concern themself with those technical details. For CPP retirement benefit recipients who are under age 65 or over 70, there is no decision to be made. For the former, CPP contributions will be automatically deducted from their paycheques and for the latter, no such contributions are allowed.

Individuals in the middle group – aged 65 to 70 – will need to make a decision about whether it makes sense in their individual circumstances (and considering the possible impact of the additional contribution requirements which will take effect in 2024) to continue making contributions to the CPP.  To assist in that decision, the Canada Revenue Agency provides a very helpful online calculator which enables individuals to obtain an estimate of the amount of PRB which they will receive. That calculator is available on the CRA website at

As well, while every situation is different, there are some general rules of thumb which will be useful in determining whether or not to continue making contributions to the CPP. Generally speaking, continuing to contribute makes the most sense for individuals whose current CPP retirement pension is significantly less than the maximum allowable benefit (which is, for 2023, $1,306.57 per month), as making such contributions will mean an increase in the individual’s CPP retirement benefit each month for the rest of their life. Conversely, for individuals who are already receiving the maximum CPP retirement benefit, or even close to it, there is likely insufficient benefit to be derived from continuing to contribute (especially for those who will be subject to the additional contribution amount requirements beginning in 2024, or who are self-employed and must therefore pay both the employer and employee contribution amounts).

More information on the PRB generally is available on the CRA website at

The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.