Frequently asked questions—Retired member—Canadian Armed Forces pensions

Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions related to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Pension Plans.

You may want to know

How do I change my bank account information?

To change your direct deposit information, please complete the Direct Deposit Form (PWGSC-TPSGC 8438) and send it to the address on the form.

How do I change my mailing address?

To change your mailing address, contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

When will my Canadian Armed Forces pension first become indexed?

Normally, on the first of the month of your birthday, between the ages of 55 and 60, depending on how many full years of pensionable service you have to your credit.

  1. Age 55, if pension is based on 30 or more years of pensionable service
  2. age 56, if pension is based on not less than 29 years of pensionable service
  3. age 57, if pension is based on not less than 28 years of pensionable service
  4. age 58, if pension is based on not less than 27 years of pensionable service
  5. age 59, if pension is based on not less than 26 years of pensionable service
  6. age 60, if pension is based on less than 26 full years of pensionable service

The first increase will never commence later than age 60. If, prior to your normal entitlement age, you become disabled and are in receipt of Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefits, contact the Government of Canada Pension Centre to apply for early indexing.

Is anyone else entitled to indexing?

The following are entitled to indexing:

  • annuitants whose number of complete years of pensionable service when added to their age totals 85
  • all survivor/child pension recipients, regardless of age
  • persons who are under 60 years of age, disabled at the time of release, and meet the minimum pensionable service threshold (only if they were released on or after 1 April 1991) and
  • annuitants who, prior to their normal entitlement date, become entitled to Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefits and apply for early indexing

For more information about indexing, refer to the Indexing page.

What is the bridge benefit?

The bridge benefit is a monthly amount payable to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) annuitants in addition to the normal monthly benefit payable under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA). This additional component exists to ensure a stable retirement income is paid from the time the annuity or annual allowance commences and continues until the annuitant reaches age 65, dies or becomes entitled to a disability pension under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) / Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

For more information about the bridge benefit, visit the Bridge benefit page.

What happens to my Canadian Forces Superannuation Act pension when I reach age 65?

The bridge benefit ceases being paid at the end of the month following the month of your 65th birthday.

What happens to my annuity if I start to receive Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits?

If you are receiving a reduced pension, and you become eligible for a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Québec Pension Plan (QPP) disability pension, you are eligible to receive an unreduced pension equal to the pension you had accumulated at the date you released. The unreduced pension is payable while you are disabled.

If you are receiving a pension and are under age 65, the bridge benefit is no longer payable once you become entitled to a CPP or QPP disability pension. If you continue to receive a bridge benefit, you will eventually have to pay it back.

Your pension is indexed immediately, when you become entitled to a CPP or QPP disability pension.

It is your responsibility to inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre if you become eligible for a CPP or QPP disability pension.

Upon my death, what are the benefits payable to my survivors?

Your surviving spouse or eligible common-law partner (of the same or the opposite sex) will be entitled to a survivor pension if he/she:

  • was married to you at the time of your death or when you reached age 60, whichever is earlier or
  • had been living with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year at the date of your death, and, if you are over age 60, has cohabited continuously with you since before you reached age 60

Your eligible children (or child) will receive a child pension. This includes adopted children or stepchildren, conceived before you reached age 60 or stopped being a member of the plan, whichever happens later, and who are younger than age 18 or between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full-time attendance at a school, or educational institution.

Your survivor and children may be eligible to apply for coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan (PDSP).

For more information about survivor benefits, visit the Survivor/Child(ren) life events.

If I marry after age 60, will my spouse automatically receive a survivor benefit in the event of my death?

If you are in receipt of a pension under the Regular Force Pension Plan, you may choose to provide an Optional Survivor Benefit (OSB) for your new spouse if you get married after age 60. However, you must submit your application for OSB within one year of the date of your marriage and you must agree to reduce your current level of pension in exchange for providing a survivor pension to your new spouse at the time of your death.

If you choose to provide this survivor pension, you choose between providing a survivor pension of 30%, 40% or 50% of your own pension. Your pension would then be reduced depending on the survivor pension you choose.

The OSB is not yet available for common-law relationships.

The Reserve Force Pension Plan does not have a similar provision and therefore, Optional Survivor Benefits are not available under that plan.

For more information regarding OSB, refer to the Getting married/Common-law life event.

In the event of my death, will my spouse's survivor pension be affected at age 65?

The survivor pension is based on the annuitant's lifetime pension plus the bridge benefit. The survivor pension is not affected by any entitlement that person may have under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

What do I do to report the death of a Canadian Armed Forces pensioner or a survivor?

The death of a Canadian Armed Forces pensioner or survivor should be reported by calling the Government of Canada Pension Centre.

Can I receive my Canadian Armed Forces Pension if I am living outside of Canada?

Yes. If you reside in one of the countries where arrangements exist, payments are made in the currency of the country in which you reside. The amount deducted for income tax is determined by your country of residence in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guidelines. You must complete the Foreign Direct Deposit Form if you want your Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) pension deposited to a financial institution outside Canada.

When will I receive my T4A, Relevé 1, Relevé 2 or NR4 slips for my Canadian Armed Forces pension?

The T4A, Relevé 1, Relevé 2 are mailed by the end of February of each year. The NR4's will be received on or before the last day of March following the calendar year to which the slips apply.

Why is the amount shown on my T4A different from the amount that I received at the bank?

The T4A shows the gross amount of pension income, including amounts deducted for income tax, the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB), Canada Savings Bonds, etc. The amount that you actually receive is a net amount equal to the gross pension minus any applicable deductions.

How do I increase the tax deduction amount from my Canadian Armed Forces pension?

If you wish to increase the amount of tax deducted each month from your pension beyond the basic personal amount, complete the TD1 Personal Tax Credits Return form as well as the corresponding provincial form found on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website or the Forms page.

When will I receive a pension statement?

You will receive a yearly statement for the first payment of each year, which will be mailed to you at the end of the month of January.

You also receive a supplementary statement for any adjustment of $2 or more.

Date modified: