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Separation and Divorce or Death of a Spouse: Property Division

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Canada Pension Plan credits

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a pension plan that most workers and employers contribute to. You earn CPP credits based on what you and your employer contributed to the plan. When you retire or can't work because of a disability, you can apply to get your pension. The amount you get depends on your CPP credits or how much you contributed.

If married or common-law spouses lived together for at least one year, the CPP pension credits that they both earned while they were together can be added up and then divided evenly between them if they separate. This is sometimes called a credit split or a "Division of Unadjusted Pensionable Earnings" (DUPE). If you earned less than your spouse, this may help you qualify for a pension. Or, it might increase the amount of your pension if you already qualify.

Usually there is no time limit to apply for a DUPE if you were legally married. But if your spouse died after you separated and you did not get divorced, you must apply within 3 years of their death.

If you were in a common-law relationship, you must apply within 4 years of separating unless both of you agree in writing to remove this time limit. Also, you must wait until you have been separated for at least one year, unless your spouse died in that first year after you separated.

To apply, contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914. You can also apply online at www.canada.ca.