Seniors -> CPP survivor benefits
There are three types of benefits that can be paid upon the death of a CPP contributor:
Contributory Requirements: For the survivors of a deceased CPP contributor to be eligible to receive a benefit, the deceased must have contributed to CPP for at least 3 years. If the "contributory period" (see next paragraph for definition) of the deceased was longer than nine years, they must have contributed to CPP in:
The contributory period is the period in your life when you are allowed to contribute to CPP. This period starts with the date you turn age 18 (or January, 1966, whichever is later - this is when the CPP program started). The contributory period ends when you start to collect CPP, turn age 70, or die (whichever is earliest).
The children's benefit may be payable if a child has lost at least one parent who was a CPP contributor. The 2016 children's benefit is a maximum monthly payment of $237.69. See the Government of Canada information on CPP Benefits for Children Under 25.
You can estimate the Survivor Benefit available to your spouse or common-law partner by referring to your CPP Statement of Contributions, which is available online. You can also request that the statement be mailed to you. For purposes of the CPP, common-law partners are two people, regardless of sex, who have lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.
Information on survivor benefits from the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) can be found on the Quebec government Quebec Pension Plan Survivor's Benefits page. This includes the death benefit, surviving spouse's pension and orphan's pension. The QPP Statement of Participation provides estimates of survivor benefits, and can be accessed online. You can also use the previous link to request online that a statement be mailed to you.
See also our article on the Child Rearing Drop-out Provision, which could help you meet the contributory requirements for death benefits.
The table of current monthly average and maximum rates can be found on the Service Canada website.
To contact Service Canada re CPP questions, see Contact Canada Pension Plan.
Revised: December 12, 2016
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