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Understanding CPP and OAS After a Spouse’s Passing: All You Need to Know

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What Happens to CPP and OAS When A Spouse Dies? All You Need to Know About It

What Happens to CPP and OAS When A Spouse Dies?

News: Losing a spouse can have noteworthy financial consequences, particularly concerning government benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS). This article delves into the impact of a spouse’s death on CPP and OAS, offering comprehensive information to equip you with the essential knowledge on this matter.

What are CPP and OAS?

The Canadian government offers financial support to residents through programs such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS). These initiatives aim to aid individuals during retirement by furnishing them with monthly income, determined by their eligibility and earnings.

What Happens to CPP and OAS When a Spouse Dies?

Upon the death of a spouse, government authorities terminate both Old Age Security (OAS) benefits and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits. These monthly payments cease in the month of the spouse’s death. The individual typically receives these benefits through direct deposit, and any OAS benefits received after the spouse’s passing must be promptly returned.

Understanding CPP and OAS

The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) operates on the principle of individual contributions made during one’s working years. It is tailored for employed Canadians who actively contribute to their pension plan over the course of their careers. In contrast, Old Age Security (OAS) is a universal benefit bestowed by the Federal Government upon all Canadian citizens aged 65 and above, irrespective of their individual contributions.

CPP Benefits

Individuals can access CPP benefits by making monthly contributions from their wages. This program is designed for employed Canadians who actively contribute to their pension plan throughout their working years. CPP benefits are exclusively available to individuals and families who have made contributions, and the survivor’s benefits are determined by the deceased individual’s own working history.

OAS Benefits

Conversely, Old Age Security (OAS) serves as a financial assistance program for low-income and moderate-income residents of Canada. OAS is accessible to every citizen aged 65 and above. The OAS pension comprises allowances, survivor allowances, and the guaranteed income supplement, offering financial aid that is contingent on the recipient’s age.

What Happens if the Spouse Dies Outside of Canada?

If a spouse passes away outside of Canada, the surviving individual must furnish specific proof of death for Old Age Security purposes. This includes a death certificate certified by the Federal Government, documentation from the funeral home and burial provided by the funeral director, a medical certificate, and a statement from medical professionals. Additionally, any funds received after the death in the case of Old Age Security must be returned by the surviving spouse.

CPP Benefits After the Spouse’s Death

Under the Canada Pension Plan, an individual’s benefits persist based on their family situation. Following the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse continues to receive CPP benefits, albeit with a potential adjustment in the monthly payment amount. Previously calculated for a family of four, the payment is revised for a family of three after the spouse’s passing. CPP benefits hinge on the individual’s contributions over their working life.

In summary, the death of a spouse impacts CPP and OAS benefits differently. CPP benefits endure for the surviving spouse, albeit with adjustments, while OAS benefits are discontinued. It is crucial for individuals to comprehend the repercussions of their spouse’s demise on their government benefits and make any necessary adjustments to their financial plans.


Q: Is there ongoing provision of CPP benefits following the passing of a spouse?

A: Indeed, CPP benefits persist and are extended to the surviving spouse even after the death of their partner.

Q: What is the status of OAS benefits in the event of a spouse’s demise?

A: OAS benefits come to an end upon the death of a spouse.

Q: Do CPP and OAS benefits share similar characteristics?

A: No, CPP and OAS are distinct retirement benefits with varying eligibility criteria and payment structures.

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