Eligibility for survivors' benefits
Did the deceased contribute sufficiently to the Québec Pension Plan?
We take into account all the contributions made by the deceased before and after he or she began receiving a retirement pension under the Québec Pension Plan. A person's death gives entitlement to survivors' benefits if he or she contributed to the Plan:
- for at least a third of his or her contributory period and for a minimum of 3 years
For example, if a person dies at age 29, his or her contributory period is 12 years, that is, from age 18 to the year of his or her death. The death will give entitlement to survivors' benefits if the deceased contributed for at least a third of his or her contributory period, that is, 4 years (12 years x 1/3 = 4 years)
- for 10 years.
Deceased persons who had a severe impairment during their contributory period can give entitlement to survivors' benefits even if they did not accumulate enough years of contribution. However, the following 3 conditions apply:
- The deceased must have contributed for a quarter of his or her contributory period, for a minimum of 3 years.
- The deceased must have received an Amount for a Severe and Prolonged Impairment in Mental or Physical Functions (or an equivalent deduction).
- The deceased must not have been receiving a retirement pension or a disability pension under the Québec Pension Plan or the Canada Pension Plan.
If the deceased did not contribute for the required number of years, a death benefit can still be paid if he or she:
- made contributions of at least 500 $ to the Plan
- did not receive a retirement pension or a disability pension under the Québec Pension Plan or the Canada Pension Plan.
The amount of the death benefit is equal to the contributions made, up to a maximum of 2 500 $.
What is the contributory period?
Whether or not a person works, the contributory period begins in the month following his or her 18th birthday, or on 1 January 1966 if he or she turned 18 before that date.
The contributory period used to calculate the benefits ends at the end of the first of the following months:
- the month preceding the one in which payment of a retirement pension under the Plan begins
- the month of his or her 70th birthday
- the month of death.
It is possible that certain months will not be taken into account when calculating the contributory period, which could give entitlement to a benefit or even increase the amount if they are:
- months during which the contributor received a disability pension under the Québec Pension Plan or the Canada Pension Plan or an unreduced income replacement indemnity from the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST)
- as of 1966 (the year in which the Québec Pension Plan came into effect), any months during which the contributor received, in his or her name, family benefits paid by the Québec government or the Canadian government for a child under 7.
Other eligible contributions
- If the deceased contributed to the Canada Pension Plan, we take those contributions into account when determining entitlement to benefits and calculating the amount of the pension.
- If the deceased participated in the pension plan of a country with which Québec has a social security agreement, those years of contribution can be added to his or her participation in the Québec Pension Plan, possibly granting eligibility for survivors' benefits.