If you are facing divorce in your 50’s, it’s imperative that you have an understanding what you may be entitled to in Canada Pension Plan benefits. You should review your latest statements regarding your projected CPP payments. You can request a current statement of Contributions from Service Canada. The expected amount may not change significantly depending on how long you continue working and making further contributions.
Depending on your separation agreement, you may need to consider applying for CPP benefits earlier than age 65. Recently, there have been significant changes to CPP pension amounts. Your monthly CPP retirement pension amount will decrease by a larger percentage if your take it before age 65. Before the changes, your CPP monthly pension was reduced by .5% for each monthly before age 65 that you began receiving it. From 2012 to 2016, the government will gradually change this early pension reduction from .5% to .6%.
What that means is if you start to take your CPP pension at age 60, your pension amount will be 36% less than it would have been if you had taken it at age 65.
In addition, the Canada Pension Plan credits which a couple built up during the time they lived together can be divided equally between them.
Knowing what your Canada Pension Plan income will be is key to understanding if you will be OK financially after a later life divorce. Figuring it out is complex. You need the help of a financial divorce specialist to help you make sense of it all.