Last updated: December 1st, 2023 | Reviewed by Stuart Dollar

RPP contributions

A registered pension plan (RPP) is a pension that’s set up by your employer. Both you and your employer can make contributions to an RPP. In most cases, you can decide how much you want to contribute, and your employer will match your contributions up to a certain limit. 

Please note there are two types of RPPs: defined contribution pension plans (DCPP) and defined benefit pension plans (DB). At Sun Life, we offer only defined contribution pension plans. The information on this page refers only to DCPPs.

How do I contribute to an RPP?

You can contribute to this plan through payroll deductions. When you do this, your employer matches your contributions by a specific amount. For instance, if you contribute up to 5% of your earnings to an RPP then, in most cases, your employer will match that 5%. This essentially gives you money  from your employer to help you save for your retirement.

How much does my employer contribute to my RPP?

An RPP requires a minimum contribution from the employer for each employee in the plan – generally 1% of your pensionable earnings up to a maximum pensionable earnings ceiling of $66,600 in 2023 (indexed to inflation) – whether you contribute to your pension or not. After that, most employers will match your contributions up to a certain percentage of your annual salary. 

What is the maximum RPP contribution limit?

Everyone has their own personal contribution limit. Visit the Government of Canada’s website to see the annual limits and refer to your Notice of Assessment to find your personal limit.

Am I required to contribute to an RPP?

It depends on your employer. Some employers require employees to contribute a minimum percentage of their salary to an RPP whereas others give their employees the option to contribute to an RPP.

Are RPP contributions the same as RRSP contributions?

No, RPP contributions are not the same as RRSP contributions. However, any amount that you and your employer contribute to your RPP reduces the amount you can contribute to your RRSP. Learn more about the differences between an RPP and an RRSP.

What happens to my RPP if I change employers or leave my job?

You get to keep all the funds you’ve contributed, along with any investment growth on those contributions. You’ll also get to keep the money your employer has contributed, plus any investment growth – this is provided you've worked for them for at least the applicable vesting period. That's two years under many RPPs, though some RPPs have different vesting schedules. If you leave before completing the vesting period, whether you keep your employer's contributions (and if so, how much) and whether you keep the earnings on those contributions, depends on the pension plan and on applicable federal and provincial legislation. It's best to check with your pension plan administrator.

If you’re leaving a pension plan for any reason, please consider connecting with an advisor who can walk you through all your options. 

Plan for your future

A Sun Life advisor can help you figure out how an RPP can impact your overall retirement plan. They can also answer any questions you have.

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Leaving your employer?

Sun Life Choices offers exclusive investments and retirement savings when you change jobs or retire. 

Call Sun Life Choices at 1-877-893-9893