Did you know that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is getting bigger? Every year since 2019 CPP has been expanding and it will continue to expand for the next 40+ years until 2065. By the end, CPP will be HUGE!
CPP is an important retirement benefit. The old “base” CPP aimed to replace 25% of pre-retirement employment income. The new “expanded” CPP will increase this amount to 33.33% and will cover a larger amount of pre-retirement of income. The result is that CPP will be over 50% larger in the future.
If we follow the rule of thumb* that suggests that we need 70% of pre-retirement income in retirement, then for the average Canadian the new expanded CPP could provide nearly half of retirement income in the future. When combined with OAS this means that over half of retirement income could be covered by CPP and OAS combined.
And if we consider that the maximum annual CPP payment could be over $7,000 per year higher in the future (and over $14,000 per year for a couple), that could mean the average Canadian needs to save hundreds of thousands less for retirement.
In this post we’ll look at the current maximum CPP payment, the maximum CPP contribution, the current contribution rate, and how these will change in the future as CPP expands. We’ll also look at how the current “base” CPP will grow by over 50% in the future…
If you’re preparing for retirement, then you may have looked up your CPP estimate to get an idea of how much you might receive from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in the future.
But did you know that your CPP estimate is probably wrong?
If you’re wondering “How much CPP will I get” then its important to know that your CPP estimate is based on some pretty big assumptions. Unless you’re about to start CPP tomorrow, your actual CPP could be much different than your estimate.
When Service Canada creates your CPP estimate there are a few important assumptions they’re making about your future income and years of work. These assumptions are necessary to create an estimate of your future CPP benefits because CPP benefits are based on contributions which in turn are based on employment income.
But if your future employment income is different than their assumptions this could lead to your actual CPP being much lower or possibly much higher than estimated.
In this blog post we’re going to look at the three major assumptions that impact your CPP estimate and why the amount you receive from CPP could be thousands per year different than what the estimate suggests. We’re also going to look at how you can use a CPP calculator to get a better estimate of your future CPP benefit.
If you currently have children, or if you’re planning to have children soon, or if you know someone with children, then this blog post could help you increase the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) by $1,000’s or even $10,000’s.
The Canada Child Benefit is a generous government benefit. It’s available to families with children aged 17 and under. This benefit is based on taxable income and can be maximized with some careful planning.
By using just two common accounts, the TFSA and the RRSP, we can maximize the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and also minimize income tax.
The net result is $1,000’s or $10,000’s in additional Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and potentially $100,000+ in additional net worth over the course of a financial plan.
In this blog post we’re going to go through a specific example of how one family can boost their Canada Child Benefit by over $55,000, and when combined with income tax reductions, improve their overall net worth by $300,000+
When is the best time to start CPP benefits? In some cases, delaying CPP until age 70 is a wise choice. But in other cases, it might be best to start CPP at age 60.
In this blog post we’re going to look at six good reasons to start CPP at age 60.
Starting CPP at age 60 will mean a smaller monthly benefit but it also means getting CPP income earlier. Starting CPP at age 60 will decrease the size of the benefit by 36% versus the calculated amount at age 65, but even this reduced amount can be $10,000 per year or more!
This reduction in CPP benefits is called the actuarial adjustment and it’s 0.6% for each month that CPP starts before age 65. The maximum reduction is 36% if CPP starts at age 60 but this same rule applies to any start age in between. Start CPP 2-years early at age 63? That’s a 14.4% reduction (24-months x 0.6% per month). Start CPP 3.5-years early at age 61.5? That’s a 25.2% reduction (42-months x 0.6% per month).
Despite the reduction in monthly benefits there are a few very good reasons to start CPP at age 60…
Income splitting is often talked about in reference to high-income earners, but what about the average Canadian family? How does the average Canadian family split income and minimize tax? A spousal RRSP is one way for the average Canadian family to easily split income in retirement.
For high-income earners there are income splitting strategies like spousal loans or “income sprinkling”. Spousal loans are for families with lots of non-registered savings and a large difference in marginal tax rates between spouses. “Income sprinkling” can be used by families who own a corporation (although with the new TOSI rules has changed dramatically).
But what about your average Canadian household? Are there are income splitting options for them?
One very easy and accessible type of income splitting is a spousal RRSP. Unlike other income splitting strategies this one is very easy to set up, it doesn’t require a lawyer, and it’s easy to understand.
The big benefit of a spousal RRSP is that the average family can use it to “equalize” their registered assets before retirement. This allows for a more equal distribution of income in retirement and a lower overall tax bill for a household.
In addition to lower income tax it also opens up more opportunities to maximize government benefits in retirement.
But you might be wondering, isn’t it possible to split income after age 65 anyway, why would I need a spousal-RRSP?
While it’s true that after age 65 income splitting is much easier to do, it’s still a best practice to try to equalize registered assets before age 65. This allows for the maximum flexibility when creating a retirement drawdown strategy, especially when retiring early.
Equalizing registered assets can be extremely beneficial, especially before the age of 65 when there are fewer income splitting opportunities, for this reason we sometimes want to look at using a spousal RRSP to help split income in the future.
Retirement planning is complex and includes many important considerations like retirement spending, income tax planning, income splitting, maximizing government benefits, deciding when to take CPP and OAS etc. etc.
All of these individual parts work together to create a great retirement plan. They are so important that even a small mistake can mean lower retirement spending or a higher chance of running out of money in the future. It could mean $10,000’s in extra tax or $10,000’s in reduced government benefits.
With a typical retirement plan spanning 30-40+ years it’s easy to understand how small change in assumptions can have a big effect on a retirement plan.
There are also many small decisions to consider when planning retirement, like when to convert RRSPs to RRIFs, when to start CPP, when to start OAS, how much to draw from investment assets, which investment assets to draw from first etc. etc.
In this post, we look at some of the important parts of retirement planning. What they are, what you should consider, and some additional resources to help.