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How are Canada Pension Plan credits split?

The Canada Pension Plan contributions you make when you are married could come into play if you go through a divorce in the future. This is what the law refers to as credit splitting.

Here is something you need to know: credits can be split even if one spouse did not make any contributions to the Canada Pension Plan.

While there is a lot to understand, here is the one question you need to answer: Are you eligible to request a credit split during your divorce?

Eligibility is based on a variety of factors, including when you divorced. Along with this, your status, such as if you were married or common-law partners, will also come into play.

Here are some situations in which a credit split is not permitted by law:

-- For the period before one of the spouses turned age 18 or after one of them reached age 70.

-- For any period during which one of the spouses was considered disabled for the purpose of QPP or CPP.

-- When the total pensionable earnings of both parties was not greater than twice the year's basic exemptions.

If nothing else, this information shows that splitting Canada Pension Plan credits during a divorce is anything but simple. The law takes into consideration many details, some of which people do not fully understand.

If divorce is on the horizon, you should learn more about the Canada Pension Plan, including whether or not credits should be split. This is the best way to learn more about your situation and to guarantee that you are treated fairly.

Source: Government of Canada, "Divorced or separated: Splitting Canada Pension Plan credits," accessed April 11, 2016

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