Pre-retirement checklist

Stay on track as you plan for retirement.


When it’s time to apply for your pension, you have some important decisions to make. These decisions will affect the financial future of you and your loved ones. Take time to review the available resources and gather the documents you’ll need.

Looking for more information? Visit the links in the Related Content box for more details on the topics in the checklist.

One year before you retire

Get a pension estimate. Use the Personalized Pension Estimator in My Account to explore your pension options instantly.

Take a webinar or online course. Approaching retirement is offered as a 75-minute instructor-led webinar or 45-minute online course.

Consider your beneficiaries. Think about who you will name as your primary beneficiary and alternate beneficiaries. Your spouse is automatically your primary beneficiary.

Learn about retirement health coverage. You can access extended health care and dental coverage through the plan when you apply for your pension.

Maximize your pension. You may be able to transfer prior service from another plan or buy back service for an approved leave. There are deadlines to apply.

Confirm your age and identity. Submit verification documents to the plan in My Account. Go to Personal Information in your My Account profile.

  • If you changed your name, submit documents to show proof of your new legal name.

Tell us if you have or had a spouse. We need to know if you have a current or former spouse. Go to the Spouse Information section in your My Account profile.

Tell us how to divide your pension. This is necessary only if you are separated from a spouse and they have a claim to a portion of your pension. Upload your separation agreement or court order in your My Account profile.

Contact Service Canada. You may be eligible for the Canada Pension Plan and/or old age security pension. These may provide other sources of retirement income. Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.

Book a one-on-one appointment with us. Ask a trained representative questions you have about your individual situation.

Talk with an independent financial advisor. They can help determine which pension option is best for your financial situation.

Inform your employer. Contact your employer in writing to arrange your last day of paid employment.

90 days before your pension effective date

You can begin your pension application 90 days before you’d like your pension to begin. Make sure you apply at least 30 days before your pension effective date (the date you’d like to retire).

Apply for your pension online in My Account. Or request a paper application package. Visit Applying for your pension, under Pension Basics for next steps.