The average Canadian taking Canada/Quebec Pension Plan benefits at age 60 instead of waiting until 70 can expect to lose more than $100,000 of secure lifetime income, according to a new research paper by Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing and the FP Canada Research Foundation.
The paper found a $1,000-monthly benefit in today’s dollars at age 60 increased to $1,112.50 if the individual waited until age 61 and to $2,218.75 if they delayed until age 70. By using only their registered retirement savings plan/registered retirement income fund savings to bridge the income gap, more than half (51 per cent) of Canadians could delay their benefits by at least a year and more than a quarter (27 per cent) could delay for more than 10 years.
“For retiring Canadians who intend to use their RRSP/RRIF savings to increase their retirement income, delaying the [CPP/QPP] is a financially-advantageous investment strategy in terms of risk and rewards, with less worry about sustaining a secure income throughout retirement,” the paper said.
Also included in the paper were the results of a 2018 Government of Canada poll that found approximately two-thirds of Canadians nearing and beyond the age of CPP/QPP eligibility didn’t know or understand they have the option to delay the start of these benefits.
While more than 95 per cent of Canadians have consistently taken CPP at age 65 or earlier, less than one per cent have delayed until 70, said Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, director of financial security research at the institute and author of the paper, in a press release. “Delaying Canada and Quebec Pension Plan benefits for as long as possible is the safest and most inexpensive approach to get more secure, worry-free pension income that lasts for life and keeps up with inflation.”