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Retirement is the period of life where people put less time into work, some opting out completely and others continuing on a casual basis. It’s the time to reap the rewards you earned during your main working years, whether that’s through savings or a government pension plan. 

Similar to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) provides those eligible with a retirement pension. This additional income stream is meant to help supplement any work pensions and personal savings that you have during your older years.

Key Takeaways

  • The Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) is a public program that requires mandatory contributions from Quebec workers. 
  • QPP payments are issued monthly on the last day of the month. 
  • To be eligible for QPP payments, you must have made sufficient contributions to the QPP. 
  • You claim the QPP payments during retirement (age 60 and up), if you have a disability, or if you’re spouse has passed. 

What Is QPP?

The Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) is a program administered by Retraite Quebec. It’s similar to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) that operates through Revenue Canada. Instead of making contributions to the CPP, Quebec workers make contributions to the QPP. This money is held in a massive pension fund which the government uses to pay current pensioners. 

Because of the fund’s size, it accrues substantial interest. The government also invests this money to help it grow to the necessary size to support the retirement of the current workforce. If you’re eligible, you can claim your QPP payments whether or not you still reside in the province. 

When Are The QPP Payment Dates For 2024?

While most pension benefits are issued monthly, the exact day differs each year. For 2024, the dates are as follows:

  • 31 January
  • 29 February
  • 28 March
  • 30 April
  • 31 May
  • 28 June
  • 31 July
  • 30 August
  • 27 September
  • 31 October
  • 29 November
  • 30 December

How Much Can You Get Under The QPP?

The amount you can claim is based on your employment earnings and the age when you apply for the pension. That said, these are the maximum amounts you can claim: 

Type of QPP BenefitMaximum Pension (Monthly)
Death benefit$2,500 (single payment)
Retirement at age 65$1364.60
Retirement at age 60$873.34 
Retirement at age 72$2,166.98
Disability pension (age 60 – 65)$583.29
Spousal survivor over age 65$822.14

For more info, visit RetraiteQuebec.

Are You Eligible For QPP Payments?

To be eligible for QPP payments, you need to have contributed sufficiently to the Quebec Pension Plan for at least a year.   

Contributions are made to the QPP when you are over 18 and earning an income over $3,500. Anyone earning less than $3,500 is exempt from contributions. 

When Can You Claim QPP Payments? 

You can apply for QPP when you’ve reached the age of 60. However, to get the full QPP amount, you’ll need to wait till you are 65. 

  • Applying before 65 – Those who apply earlier will receive a reduced amount of up to 0.5% to 0.6% for each month before you turn 65. 
  • Applying after 65 – if you apply after 65, your pension amount will increase by 0.7% for each month that passes until you’re 70. 

Can You Claim QPP While Working? 

Even if you continue to work after retirement, you can claim the value of the pension while you work and continue to contribute. 

Provided you paid into the QPP during your career, you can begin to receive benefits at the age of 60, though most choose age 65.

How Much Do You Have To Contribute To QPP? 

The QPP contribution rate is 12.8% (This amount includes both the basic plan (10.8%) and the additional plan (2%). The contributions are equally split between you and your employer.

QPP Contribution
Contribution Rate 12.8%
Maximum contribution as an employee$4,038.40
Maximum contribution (for each employee) as an employer$4,038.40

The Additional Plan 

In January 2019, the Government of Quebec made some changes to the QPP to help provide additional financial security for retirees. The change includes an “additional plan” where additional contributions will be made. 

With the additional plan, the retirement pension will increase based on the years contributed to the additional plan. Where the old QPP replaced 25% of your income, with the additional plan, retirees can expect an income replacement rate of 33.33%. 

The contribution rate for this plan is 2% and is equally funded through individuals, and their employers, based in Quebec. If you’re self-employed, you’ll have to pay both the employer and employee amount. 

How Do I Apply For QPP Payments? 

The application process for QPP payments is straightforward, requiring five steps as follows:

  1. Authentication: You need to access My Account to apply for QPP. To create a My Account you will need a clicSÉQUR account. 
  2. Estimation: Complete an online application and the website will calculate the estimated amount of your pension. While it isn’t a fixed amount, it does provide a reasonable idea of what to expect. 
  3. Submission: Once you complete your application, and review its contents, submit it for review to the pension program officials.
  4. Confirmation: Check the status of your in My Account.
  5. Tracking: To keep tabs on the process of your application, navigate to your account online and review the status.

Check out these tax considerations for seniors.

Type Of Financial Coverage QPP Offers

QPP is a pension plan that is available to people and families who made sufficient contributions to the plan. There are different types of benefits, including:

Retirement

A retirement pension is calculated based on the income you have earned since your 18th birthday. It also varies based on the age you start claiming the pension. The earliest you can claim your pension is 60, the latest 72, while the standard age is 65. The later you apply for the QPP the more money you will receive each month. 

Disability

Those who have not reached retirement age may be eligible for a disability pension if they have a permanent and severe disability. The medical professionals working for the government must sign off on the diagnosis. Additionally, you must have contributed a sufficient amount to the pension. The contribution amount depends on your contributory period (which is the time after your 18th birthday and the day you become disabled).   

Under this benefit, you can also get additional support if you have a child under the age of 18. Whether or not your child is employed, you can receive extra support.

Death

The death benefit from the QPP can result in a one-time maximum payment of $2,500 to an individual or charitable organization that paid for the funeral expenses. If the funeral costs were less than $2,500, the heirs of the estate will receive the remaining funds. An application and proof of payment are required to receive the QPP death benefits. Please visit the Retrait Quebec website for more information and a list of accepted expenses. 

Survivors

Surviving spouses of individuals who significantly contributed to the Quebec Pension Plan are eligible to receive a basic income each month, for life. As long as Retraite Quebec recognizes the living spouse as the surviving spouse of the deceased. The regulations account for both marriages, civil unions, and common law relationships. There are special rules for those who are legally separated or when the death occurs within the first year of marriage.

Under this benefit, the surviving spouse can receive a monthly benefit. The amount is based on age, whether or not you have children or a disability.  

Final Thoughts

The Quebec Pension Plan allows those who worked in the province and made sufficient contributions, to reap the benefits during their golden years. Regardless of whether you choose to retire in Quebec or elsewhere, provided you contributed to the plan, you are eligible for the pension.

If you’re beginning to plan for retirement, or are approaching the age of 60, it’s important to plan for how the pension income will impact your finances. Provided you account for any possible tax burden, the money can allow you to enjoy retirement however you choose.

QPP FAQs

Can you receive QPP if you’re still working?

Yes, you can receive QPP if you continue working during your retirement. There are criteria for participation, however. You must be at least 60 years old and have made sufficient contributions to the plan throughout your career.

What are retroactive retirement pensions?

If a contributor to the pension plan has not applied for benefits and is either 65 or older, they are entitled to retroactive payments. This means the QPP will pay the pension amount for up to 12 months before the application filing date. While the pension cannot begin before the 60th birthday, it ensures that those who reach retirement age have full access to their funding.

When can I apply for QPP payments?

The standard application period is one to three months before the date you wish to receive your first payment. While applying early is prudent, the QPP does not accept applications submitted more than 12 months before the desired payment start date.

Is QPP taxable income?

Yes, the QPP benefits you receive are taxable income. The exact amount of tax you pay on the retirement pension varies based on your cumulative income for the tax year. Many reduce the QPP tax burden by sharing the income with a spouse (provided both parties are over 60 years of age). To do this, you must apply for this sharing option through Retraite Quebec.

At what age can you apply for QPP?

You can apply for your QPP one month after your 60th birthday. Waiting until you are 65 (or older) will increase your pension entitlement. If you are 60 or older, you can begin to receive pension benefits, even if you are full- or part-time employed.
Corrina Murdoch avatar on Loans Canada
Corrina Murdoch

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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