Did you stay home to raise your child?
If you or your spouse stayed home to raise a young child, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) can take that time into account when determining your pension benefits.
The CPP has a “child-rearing provision” to benefit parents who left their job or worked fewer hours to raise a child, covering the years from birth to age seven. Normally, periods of low income result in a lower pension amount. But this provision excludes the months you had lower or no income as a stay-at-home parent – resulting in a higher CPP benefit.
You can apply for the child-rearing provision when you apply for CPP benefits. If you’re already receiving CPP payments, you can still request the provision.
Note to Quebec residents: The QPP offers a similar provision. The period that the QPP pension amount is based on can exclude the months when your child was under age seven and your employment income didn’t exceed the basic exemption.