Your DB pension at retirement

Most plans set retirement at age 65, but you can retire earlier and still receive a pension.

The retirement age for most defined benefitBenefit Money, goods, or services that you get from your workplace or from a government program such as the Canada Pension Plan.+ read full definition (DB) plans is 65. That means you can retire and receive your pensionPension A steady income you get after you retire. Some pensions pay you a fixed amount for life. Others save up money for you while you are working. You use that money to create income after you retire.+ read full definition at that age or later. Many plans also let you retire early, typically from age 55, but your pension may be reduced because you are receiving a pension earlier and collecting it longer.

Some plans let you receive your full pension before age 65 if you have reached certain milestones, for example:

  • age 60 with 10 years of service,
  • age 55 with 30 years of service, or
  • “factor 90” (if your age plus your years of service with your employer equal 90 or more).

Check your plan’s age and service milestones carefully before you make a decision to retire early. You could avoid a reduction to your pension if you wait until key milestones are met.

Pension for your spouse

If you have a spouse at the time of your retirement, your spouse will continue to receive 60% of your pension if you die first. This is called a “survivor pension” and is a mandatory requirement of most plans. However, you and your spouse may waive your spouse’s right to the survivor pension. You may also have the option of increasing it to a higher percentage.

Key point

Check your plan’s early retirement rules – you may be able to retire before age 65 with a full pension.

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