Splitting CPP benefits with your spouse or common-law partner

The Canada Pension Plan Act permits you to assign a portion of your retirement pension to your spouse or common-law partner.

For example, suppose you’re entitled to $10,000 in annual CPP benefits, but your spouse or common-law partner is entitled to only $4,000. This assignment will generally result in each of you receiving $7,000 annually. If your spouse or common-law partner is in a lower tax bracket than you, shifting this income to his or her hands helps lower the total family tax bill. The number of months you have lived together is a factor in determining how the benefits are split.

If you both receive a CPP retirement pension, the assignment must be made for both retirement pensions. But if only one of you receives a retirement pension, the assignment can only be made if the other spouse or common-law partner has reached 60 years of age and is not a contributor to the CPP.