Important Change

Jilian Derksen sits for a portrait in her home in Kitchener, Ont., on Thursday, April 6, 2017. Newly approved changes to the Canada Pension Plan will mean widows and widowers, regardless of age, will receive full survivor benefits, changing five decades of federal policy.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah YoonHannah Yoon / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Jilian Derksen sits for a portrait in her home in Kitchener, Ont., on Thursday, April 6, 2017. Newly approved changes to the Canada Pension Plan will mean widows and widowers, regardless of age, will receive full survivor benefits, changing five decades of federal policy.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah YoonHannah Yoon / THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Samantha MacDougall thought her fight to get her late partner’s Canada Pension Plan benefits would take years.

The government ended the fight for her.

Newly approved changes to the Canada Pension Plan will mean widows and widowers, regardless of age, will receive full survivor benefits, changing five decades of federal policy.

The changes mean anyone under age 35 without children or a disability will receive benefits immediately, rather than having to wait to age 65, and will end benefit clawbacks for survivors under age 45.

Anyone previously denied survivor benefits because of the age rule will be able to re-apply for benefits when the rules take effect in 2019. Those receiving a reduced benefit will automatically see their benefits recalculated upwards.

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