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The Canadian Penny Gets Cut

By Kate Musgrove

February 4 Update: After much fanfare and even a brief extension, the Canadian penny officially stops being distributed today. For now, it's likely you won't notice any real change -- there are about 35 billion pennies in circulation and recalling them completely will take an estimated 3-4 years.

Originally posted March 29, 2012: The federal budget for 2012 has just been released and with it came the announcement that pennies are to be eliminated in Canadian currency -- the last ones will be minted this April. They will stop being distributed by the Royal Canadian Mint this fall and the government will work from there to withdraw them from circulation. Despite knowing that each penny costs about a penny and a half to make, I'm still a bit surprised by the announcement -- I've been using pennies all of my life!

The post-penny plan is to round prices up or down to the nearest five-cent increment, after tax. I am curious if this will feel like more or less trouble than just counting out pennies at the cash!

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