Some basic principles of Canadian social security are to provide public pensions and employment insurance to Canadian workers. The Canadian social security system comprises the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance programs.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a universal pension system that covers all working Canadians. Both employers and employees make CPP contributions, and each party contributes equally to the system. Employers pay CPP on behalf of each employee and deduct the employee's share from her paycheck. Self-employed people must pay both the employer and employee contributions to the system. Canadian residents can usually only claim CPP when they turn 65; however, people under 65 with long-term disabilities can apply for disability benefits through CPP. People between 60 and 64 with illnesses and disabilities may also be able to receive their retirement benefits early. This can be helpful, as retirement benefits are usually processed faster than disability benefits.
Employment Insurance (EI) is another key component of the Canadian social security system. Benefits covered under EI include employment insurance, maternity leave, parental leave, sick leave and compassionate care leave. Like CPP, both employers and employees contribute to each employee's premiums. However, employer contributions are usually slightly higher than employee contributions. Self-employed workers are not required to make EI contributions; however, they can choose to opt into the system.