Old Age Security (OAS)

Old Age Security is a Federal income redistribute program that pays pension benefits to people who are age 65 or older and who have 10 or more years of residency in Canada over the age of 18. Benefits are indexed to the cost of living and reduced based on taxable income.

History

The 1927 until the introduction of the Old Age Security, the federal government shared the cost of a provincially-run, means-tested old age benefit.

  • 1952 - Old Age Security Act introduced (Federal)
  • 1965 - Act modified to accommodate the introduction of CPP
  • 1967 - Guaranteed Income Supplement introduced
  • 1972 - Cost-of-living indexation introduced
  • 1975 - Spouse's Allowance introduced
  • 1977 - Eligibility and portability amendment
  • 1985 - Spouse's Allowance extended
  • 2000 - Same-sex common-law partner amendment
  • 2010 - Federal penitentiary inmate amendment

Old Age Security Benefits (Updated for 2016)

Benefit amounts are adjusted quarterly based on changes to the cost of living. In 2016 the maximum benefit is $570.52 for those who satisfied the 40 years residency requirement. Benefits are reduced by 15% of the amount of income a certain level ($73,756 for 2016).

During the second quarter of 2013 the average benefit was $515.48

Guaranteed Income Supplement Benefits

The Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance and Spouse's Pension Allowance are paid to those Old Age Security pensioners with little or no other income. Benefits are reduced and taxed back from recipients with moderate incomes.

Portability

Pensioners who have resided in Canada after age 18 for at least 20 years receive benefits no matter what country they reside in.

Pensioners who have resided in Canada after age 18 for less than 20 years receive benefits while residing in Canada, for the first 6 months of leaving Canada and if they emigrate to a country with a reciprocal agreement with Canada.

Funding

Current Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance and Spouse's Pension Allowance payments are made from general revenues.

Taxation

  • Old Age Security benefits are taxable income to the recipient.
  • Old Age Security benefits are taxed back from recipients with high incomes
  • Guaranteed Income Supplements and Spouse's Pension Allowances are not taxable.