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Reducing Household Taxes Through CPP Sharing

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If you are collecting or have applied to collect your Canada Pension Plan retirement pension benefit…

Did you know you can share CPP income?

Unlike pension or RRIF income, CPP income can’t be split by the taxpayer on their tax return – splitting is applied for through Service Canada.

It also isn’t split 50/50 like traditional pension splitting. Want to know more? Our colleagues at Wellington-Altus have recently posted the answers to many questions you might have about CPP sharing.

If you are collecting or have applied to collect your Canada Pension Plan retirement pension benefits (CPP) and have a spouse or common-law partner (CLP) in a lower tax bracket, you may want to consider sharing your CPP benefits with them. Let’s look at the “why, how, what and when” of CPP sharing.

Why share your CPP?

CPP sharing can potentially reduce a family’s tax bill and result in tax savings where one spouse/CLP is receiving higher CPP benefits than the other and is in a higher tax bracket. The strategy effectively shifts CPP benefits to the lower income spouse/CLP who is taxed at a lower tax rate. CPP sharing does not change the total CPP benefits received, rather it changes who reports the CPP benefits and the tax paid on them.

How does CPP sharing work?

A common misconception is that CPP sharing is a completely discretionary split (like eligible pension income splitting) or even a 50/50 split of CPP between spouses. Rather, where only one spouse/CLP has contributed, or where both spouses/CLPs have contributed, the individual with higher CPP benefits shares a portion with their spouse/CLP following a specific formula.

In either scenario, the amount of CPP benefits that can be shared is determined by the “joint contributory period” and the number of years the couple lived together in proportion to their “joint contributory period.”

Calculating the “joint contributory period”

The “joint contributory period” begins when the older spouse/CLP turns 18 and ends when both members of the couple start receiving their CPP retirement pension. If one spouse/CLP has never contributed to CPP, the “joint contributory period” ends when that spouse/CLP turns 70 or the application for pension sharing is received, whichever is earlier.

What CPP Benefits can be shared? An example:

Miesha and Rory have been CLPs for 20 years and Miesha is three years older than Rory. Rory has just turned 65 and applied for CPP, while Miesha began collecting three years ago, also at age 65. Rory is in a higher tax bracket than Miesha and is anticipated to always be.

Their joint contributory period is 50 years – starting when Miesha turned 18, until this year when Rory turned 65 and applied for CPP.

Absent any CPP sharing, Miesha’s CPP benefit is $500/month and Rory’s CPP is $1,000/month. Here is how CPP sharing is calculated based on their situation:

CPP chart

As $200/month of their CPP can be shared, half of that amount ($100/month) can be subtracted from Rory’s CPP and added to Miesha’s CPP. Over the course of one year, Miesha will report $1,200/year more and Rory will report $1,200/year less than if they did not elect to share their CPP, providing the couple with tax savings.

When can CPP sharing occur?

CPP sharing can occur when both spouses/CLP are 60 years of age or over, are living together or involuntarily apart, and one or both have contributed to CPP. An individual may begin sharing their CPP as soon as they apply for their CPP retirement pension.

Do both spouses have to wait until age 65 to begin sharing CPP?

No. CPP sharing may begin as soon as age 60, the earliest age that CPP can be paid, provided both spouses are concurrently receiving CPP, or if one spouse does not have any CPP entitlement, whichever is earlier.

Can CPP sharing be backdated?

No. CPP sharing starts as soon as the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approves the application.

When does CPP sharing end?

CPP sharing is temporary and will end the earliest of:

• The month in which either spouse/CLP dies;

• The month spouses divorce;

• The twelfth month after spouses/CLPs separate; and

• The month following receipt of a written request signed by both spouses/CLPs.

Where can I find more information?

Service Canada has a number of forms that must be completed to request CPP sharing or to cease such, depending on the couple’s situation. The Service Canada Information Sheet – How to apply for Pension Sharing of Retirement Pension(s) Canada Pension Plan provides details on how to complete the forms and what supporting documentation needs to be submitted. The forms can be accessed via this link:

The opinions contained herein are the opinions of the author and readers should not assume they reflect the opinions or recommendations of Wellington-Altus Private Wealth. Assumptions, opinions and information constitute the author’s judgement as of the date this material and subject to change without notice. We do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of this material, and it should not be relied upon as such. Before acting on any recommendation, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice. Graphs and charts are used for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect future values or future performance of any investment. The information does not provide financial, legal, tax or investment advice. Particular investment, tax, or trading strategies should be evaluated relative to each individual’s objectives and risk tolerance. All third party products and services referred to or advertised in this presentation are sold by the company or organization named. While these products or services may serve as valuable aids to the independent investor, WAPW does not specifically endorse any of these products or services. The third party products and services referred to, or advertised in this presentation, are available as a convenience to its customers only, and WAPW is not liable for any claims, losses or damages however arising out of any purchase or use of third party products or services. All insurance products and services are offered by life licensed advisors of Wellington-Altus. 

Amy Sweeney



Amy was born and raised in Squamish, is David’s oldest daughter and now the newest member of the Sweeney Bride team. Many may recognize her as she has worked periodically for the team for over 20 years. For the past five years, she has gained administrative experience and more running her own business as a Kinesiologist after completing a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia in 2016. Now, Amy is officially ready to join the finance industry. Currently residing in North Vancouver, Amy spends all her “free” time raising Dave’s two wonderful grandchildren.
Liam Hill


Associate Investment Advisor

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Liam moved to the Sea to Sky region in 2013, leaving the beaches behind to embrace the mountains. He hasn’t looked back since and enjoys exploring the wilderness by both land and sea.

Liam’s unique strength lies in his capacity to adapt and fine-tune strategies to match the ever-changing financial world. He’s a passionate advocate for adaptability and flexibility, believing these traits are crucial for securing financial well-being.

Liam holds the Canadian Securities Course qualification and is currently pursuing the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation.

He shares his industry knowledge and business skills to empower individuals, families, and businesses on their path to financial success.

Liam is committed to educating our clients about the financial services industry and helping them make the most of available resources to achieve prosperity.


Administrative Assistant

Sharon worked for Sweeney Bride from 2014 to 2016 and recently rejoined the team as an Administrative Assistant in 2021. She has years of administrative experience in a variety of industries including working in legal and accounting firms. She enjoys being detailed, organized and efficient. When not hard at work, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her dogs, playing co-operative strategy board games and relaxing while sipping a nice Craft beer.

Carrie Freitag


Administrative Assistant

Carrie is the newest member of our team and is our Administrative Assistant. She has previous industry and administrative experience and her fascination with the finance industry is rapidly growing. Carrie moved to BC in 1994 from Ontario and never looked back. While not working she loves hanging out with her two kids, awesome cat Leo, and enjoys a competitive game of 21, and her gardens.

Katie Norton



Katie is a Business Administration graduate who joined the Sweeney Bride team in 2016. She takes care of on-boarding as well as managing account administration for our existing clients. She works hard to ensure the clients feel supported throughout the on-boarding process and is always available to answer questions.

A BC resident since 1997, Katie and her husband moved to Squamish to raise their two girls. They enjoy all of the outdoor activities and natural beauty that Squamish has to offer.

Liz Woodsworth


Office Manager

Liz joined the Sweeney Bride team in 2015 as office manager. She is the gatekeeper in the office and is the face that greets you as you come through the door. If she can’t help you, she will ensure you speak with someone who can. Liz is a long-time Squamish local; when not in the office she spends her days soaking up all that this town has to offer while chasing her two active boys. Liz brings her valuable organizational skills and enthusiastic attitude to the team. 

Janet Bride


CFP®, CIM® | Senior Wealth Advisor

Janet Bride is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth and co-founder of the Sweeney Bride Strategic Wealth Advisory team.

With over 15 years’ experience in the Industry Janet holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, and Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) designations and is also Insurance licensed.

Janet grew up in Ontario and moved out to beautiful British Columbia in 1995 with her husband, Paul, who is an adventure travel photographer. Her passion is to travel the world. Always interested in exploring different cultures and landscapes, she is grateful to have traveled to over 50 countries across 6 continents. She also enjoys continuous learning, spontaneous adventures with family and friends, and an active lifestyle in the Sea to Sky. Janet is proud to be a Big Brothers Big Sisters Alumni member since 2004.

She is highly motivated by helping people reach their financial dreams by creating comprehensive financial plans for individuals & families. While using a holistic approach to wealth management, she specializes in tax strategies and her goal is to encourage savings and help build our client’s wealth for a healthy and prosperous future.



CFP®, CIM® | Senior Wealth Advisor

Dave Sweeney is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth and co-founder of the Sweeney Bride Strategic Wealth Advisory team.

With over 31 years’ experience in the Industry Dave holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, and Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) designations and is also Insurance licensed.

Dave has lived in Squamish for most of his life. Married to his wife Donna, since 1987, they proudly have 3 lovely daughters, Amy, Danielle and Jamie. With his time in Squamish, it has allowed him an opportunity to become involved in many valuable groups.

Dave is a retired Captain of Squamish Fire Rescue after 35 years of service. Another passion was sports and he has been a coach for Squamish Youth Soccer Association where he dedicated 10 years to coaching girls Rep teams. Additionally, he is a former member and Treasurer of the Sea to Sky Community Services Board. Dave is a frequent contributor to Mountain FM’s Mountain Monitor, providing general advice and financial commentary.

Dave continues his volunteer work as Treasurer for both the Squamish Hospital Foundation and the Squamish Downtown Business Improvement Association. He is also a sitting Board member of the Squamish Community Foundation.

Professionally, Dave started his Financial Planning practice in 1994. After living through both his parents’ demise and witnessing what a lack of understanding they had, he realized what sound planning techniques could do to ensure that an untimely death did not destroy one’s lifetime work. For over 20 years, he has made it his passion to assist others in not facing the same plight.