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Home  ->  Seniors -> CPP Survivor Benefits

Canada Pension Plan Survivor Benefits

There are three types of benefits that can be paid upon the death of a CPP contributor:

  1. a one-time lump sum Death Benefit which is paid to the estate of the deceased, to a maximum of $2,500 (not indexed). See link below re tax reporting of the death benefit.
  2. a monthly Survivor's Pension payable to the legal spouse or common-law partner of the deceased contributor
  3. a monthly Children's Benefit payable to dependent children of disabled or deceased CPP contributors.  The children must be under 18 years of age, or between the ages of 18 and 25, and attending a school or university on a full-time basis.

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:

bulletone-third of the calendar years in the contributory period, or
bulletten years, whichever is less.

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).

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.

CPP Benefit for Children of Deceased Contributor

The children's benefit may be payable if a child has lost at least one parent who was a CPP contributor.  The April to June 2023 children's benefit is a maximum monthly payment of $281.72.  See below for links to further information, including current rates.

See also CPP Benefit for Children of Disabled Contributor.

Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) Survivor Benefits

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. Resources

Child Rearing Drop-out Provision, which could help you meet the contributory requirements for death benefits.

How Can You Minimize Taxes of a Deceased Taxpayer? for information on the taxation of the CPP death benefit.

CPP Disability Benefit Resources:

Contact Canada Pension Plan

CPP Survivor Benefits

CPP Benefits for Children Under 25

CPP and OAS monthly payment amounts and other statistics

Revised: October 26, 2023


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