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Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE)


Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is a financial term used in Canada that represents the maximum annual earnings on which Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions can be applied. The YMPE value is established each year by the Canadian government and is dependent on average wage changes in the country. Earnings above the YMPE are exempt from additional CPP contributions and do not increase the individual’s pension benefits.


Y – “wye”;M – “em”;P – “pee”;E – “ee”;Phrase: Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings: /jiɹz ˈmæksɪməm ˌpɛnʃənəbl ˈɝnɪŋz/Year’s – /jiɹz/;Maximum – /ˈmæksɪməm/;Pensionable – /ˌpɛnʃənəbl/;Earnings – /ˈɝnɪŋz/;

Key Takeaways

  1. Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is a financial threshold used in Canada to determine the maximum amount of income that can be used to calculate pension contributions for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
  2. YMPE is adjusted annually according to the average wage growth in Canada, ensuring that the pension plan remains relevant and sustainable for years to come.
  3. Employers and employees are required to contribute a percentage of income up to the YMPE towards the CPP. Any income earned above the YMPE does not require CPP contributions.


The Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is a crucial term in business and finance as it denotes the maximum annual income an individual can contribute towards their pensions, specifically to Canada’s public pension plan called the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The YMPE is established and regularly adjusted by the government with a goal to ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the CPP. This figure is ultimately influential in determining the amount someone can receive as retirement, disability, or survivor benefits. Being aware of the YMPE is essential for both employees and employers as it helps in planning retirement contributions, creating an effective savings strategy, and understanding entitlements to government-sponsored pensions and benefits. Overall, the YMPE contributes to longer-term financial security and retirement planning for the working population.


Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is an essential component in determining the maximum amount of earnings upon which an individual’s pension contributions can be made. The primary purpose of establishing the YMPE is to facilitate a fair and adequate distribution of resources that ensures both the long-term sustainability of pension plans and the financial stability of retired personnel. In this manner, it serves as an essential tool in safeguarding the pension system and ensuring it meets the needs of retirees in a manner that is both feasible and equitable.

While the YMPE may vary from country to country and can be subject to yearly adjustments based on fluctuations within the economy, it plays a crucial role in calculating the benefits derived from national pension programs, such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). By setting a cap on the earnings eligible for pension contributions, it prevents disproportionately high contributions being made by high earners, mitigating inequalities within the pension system and ensuring a more balanced distribution of resources. This enables a more secure and predictable stream of benefits for those who depend on the pension plan for their post-retirement financial stability.

Consequently, the YMPE acts as a pivotal component in maintaining a pension system that serves the interests of the broader population while preserving its long-term sustainability.


Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is a term commonly used in the Canadian pension system. It refers to the maximum amount of earnings on which contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) can be based. YMPE is adjusted each year to reflect changes in the average wage levels in the country.

Real world examples of YMPE:

1. Calculating CPP contribution rates: In 2021, the YMPE was set at CAD 61,600. Employers and employees in Canada are required to contribute a certain percentage of their earnings to the CPP, up to the YMPE. In 2021, the CPP contribution rate was 5.45% for both employees and employers. So, if an employee earned CAD 65,000 in 2021, their CPP contributions and their employer’s contributions would be calculated as 5.45% of CAD 61,600 (YMPE), which would equal CAD 3,354.80.

2. Setting benefit payment limits: CPP retirement benefits are determined based on an individual’s earnings throughout their working years. However, the benefit payment cannot exceed a certain percentage of the YMPE to maintain fairness and sustainability. In 2021, the maximum monthly retirement pension payment was CAD 1,203.75, based on a percentage of the YMPE.

3. Impact on higher income earners: Those who earn more than the YMPE do not contribute to the CPP on their earnings above the YMPE, and those additional earnings are not considered when calculating their CPP benefits. For example, if an individual earned CAD 100,000 in 2021, their CPP contributions and assessed benefits would only be based on the first CAD 61,600 of their earnings, as that is the YMPE for that year.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE)?

Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is an annually adjusted limit set by the government to determine the maximum amount of an employee’s earnings on which pension contributions can be collected, for government pension plans such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

How is YMPE determined?

YMPE is determined by using a formula set by the government, which considers various factors such as wage growth, inflation, and changes in the consumer price index. The government typically releases the updated YMPE figures each year.

Why is YMPE important?

YMPE serves as the maximum earnings threshold on which contributions to a government-sponsored pension plan like the CPP are made. Both employees and employers contribute to the CPP based on a percentage of the employee’s earnings, up to the YMPE limit. Understanding YMPE helps employees and employers to calculate accurate pension contributions and benefits.

Do employees and employers contribute equally to the pension plan up to YMPE?

Yes, both employees and employers typically contribute an equal percentage of the employee’s earnings to the pension plan. For self-employed individuals, they are responsible for contributing both portions (employee and employer) to the pension plan.

How does YMPE affect pension benefits?

Pension benefits are calculated based on the employee’s earnings and contributions made during their working years. Since contributions are capped at the YMPE limit, the maximum pensionable earnings also affect the maximum pension benefits an individual can receive from a government-sponsored pension plan.

Can I still contribute to my pension plan if my earnings are above the YMPE?

You can continue to contribute to your pension plan, but pension contributions will only be made up to the amount of the YMPE for the applicable year. Any earnings above the YMPE limit are not subject to pension contributions.

Are the employee’s earnings below YMPE also pensionable?

Yes, all earnings, up to the YMPE limit, are pensionable earnings, and contributions will be made on these earnings to the government pension plan.

Does the YMPE apply to private pension plans?

No, the YMPE specifically applies to government-sponsored pension plans, like the CPP. Private pension plans can have their own contribution limits and rules for determining pensionable earnings.

Related Finance Terms

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • Pensionable Earnings
  • CPP Contribution Rates
  • Retirement Savings
  • CPP Benefit Calculation

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