Are you receiving as much CPP as you should?
The answer, based on many cases that DR Pensions Consulting has seen, is "Maybe not." In the process of calculating CPP benefit estimates for clients, we uncovered several cases where the benefits they were receiving were not correct. We were able to get the benefits adjusted and the clients received cheques for retroactive pay.
"Just to let you know that your CPP calculations were right on the dot! I called them on Feb. 5th and today I received a letter reflecting your CPP benefit calculation amount plus $223.82 retroactive from Feb 2011 to Feb 2013. Thanks!" A.S.
"They agree with you — they have adjusted my pension to $700.16 — exactly as you said it should be. And, I'm getting $133.81 back pay! Thanks so much for your help — and persistence." G.B.
Does this apply to you?
When Service Canada calculates your CPP benefit, it doesn't have your current year earnings and contributions information, and sometimes not the previous year's. Service Canada should receive that information after Revenue Canada processes your tax return and should recalculate your benefits. However, based on a number of cases that DR Pensions Consulting has seen, this recalculation doesn't always happen. If the following circumstances are true for you, you may be eligible for an adjustment to your CPP benefit and retroactive pay:
- You started receiving CPP in 2014 or earlier
- You were working in the year that your benefit started or the previous year
- You haven't received a retroactive adjustment to your benefit since it first started
Another circumstance that has recently resulted in underpayments is where people are missing child-rearing provision (CRP) credits. This can be in the case of a retirement, disability, or survivor's pension. For example, in the case of a CPP disability pension, when people apply, they sometimes don't fill out the child-rearing provision form because their children are grown up and they presume it's not relevant. In fact, time spent out of the work force raising children in the past is relevant to a disability application and not filling out the form may result in an underpayment.
What you can do
You can call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and ask them to ensure that your benefit calculation includes the last year or two of earnings and contributions. If you want an independent assessment of whether you're entitled to an adjustment and how much that adjustment should be, you can contact DR Pensions Consulting. We have two services:
Benefit validation: We calculate whether your CPP benefit is correct. You can then contact Service Canada to request an adjustment.
You will need to provide us with your Statement of Contributions from the Service Canada website (www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/online.mysca.shtml).
If you have applied for CPP pension sharing with your spouse, you must both request a benefit validation.
|We charge $30 for this service, plus 10% of any retroactive adjustment of $100 or more; it takes from one to three business days.|
Full benefit audit: You need to fill out and mail a Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person form that will allow DR Pensions Consulting to communicate with Service Canada on your behalf, and an Information sheet that we will provide; we do the rest. We contact Service Canada to get your Statement of Contributions information, calculate your benefit, and if it is incorrect, we will contact Service Canada to inform them of the need for recalculation.
If you have applied for CPP pension sharing with your spouse, you must both request a full benefit audit.
|We charge $90 for this service, plus 10% of any retroactive adjustment of $300 or more; it takes from two to three months, depending on Service Canada response times.|
Note that in neither case is there a guarantee that you will receive an adjustment or retroactive pay.
Other firms provide a service similar to our full benefit audit, charging up to $150 and 20% of any retroactive payment.