Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Private retirement income

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


All regular income received during the reference period associated with employer or personal retirement pensions, benefits or savings plans. It includes payments received from all annuities, including payments from employers' registered pension plans (RPPs), pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) and matured registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) in the form of a life annuity, a fixed-term annuity, a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or an income-averaging annuity contract; pensions paid to widow(er)s or other relatives of deceased pensioners; pensions of retired civil servants, Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers; annuity payments received from the Canadian Government Annuities Fund, an insurance company, etc. It does not include lump-sum death benefits, lump-sum benefits or withdrawals from a pension plan or RRSP or refunds of over-contributions.

For the 2021 Census, the reference period for income data is the calendar year 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (100% data); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

Variable derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Positive dollar value or nil


This variable was referred to as retirement pensions, superannuation and annuities, including those from RRSPs and RRIFs in previous censuses.

See Remarks under total income.

See also income sources and Appendix 2.4 Components of income in 2020.

For additional information about data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.


Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: