Chapter 2: If you are planning a service

Survivor benefits

There are a number of additional financial benefits that may be available to assist with the cost of a funeral or celebration of life. It’s important to review what might be available through federal and provincial/territorial programs.

Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits

Working Canadians contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) through payroll deductions. When a contributor dies, CPP survivor benefits are paid to the contributor’s estate, surviving spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children.

In order to receive CPP benefits, you must apply for them. There are three types of benefits:

Québec Pension Plan survivor benefits

The Québec Pension Plan offers its own survivor benefits, which are similar to those offered by the CPP.

Employer life insurance or pensions

If the employer of the person offered life insurance through a group insurance plan, a lump sum of money may be available to survivors.

If the employer offered a pension plan, a portion of the employee’s pension benefits may be paid to survivors in the event of the employee’s death. Employees contribute to these plans over the course of their employment.


If the person was a war veteran, you may want to find out about the Last Post Fund. This is a non-profit corporation financially supported by Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure that war veterans are not denied a dignified funeral and burial for lack of sufficient funds.