When it comes to making the most of their time, older Canadians are quick to adopt the advantages and convenience of federal electronic payments. More seniors than ever, about 90 per cent, are enrolling in direct deposit for their Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan and veterans’ benefits, as well as income tax refunds and GST/HST tax credits, to name a few.
With direct deposit, Canadians can have their federal payments deposited directly into their bank accounts. This is not only saving them a trip to the bank, but it also contributes to important savings to Canadian taxpayers—more than $17 million a year in printing, postage and delivery costs.
Second World War veteran Len Bridges, 94, recently mailed off his direct deposit enrolment form to ensure that his veterans’ and other federal benefit payments would be deposited safely and securely every month. Although Mr. Bridges enjoys socializing at the bank, direct deposit saves him from having to venture out on blustery winter days that tax him physically.
“I always like to know where my money is and to confirm the payments have been made,” says Mr. Bridges, who emigrated from England to Canada in 1949 with $15 in his pocket, a “war groom” who married a Canadian he met during the war. He retired from the lumber industry 30 years ago and has been receiving federal payments ever since. “If I get sick or my daughter is unable to take me to the bank, I know that my money will be deposited into my account for me on time.”
Retirees Lorraine and Roch Beauchamp signed up for direct deposit as soon as they retired nine years ago.
“When we travel or if we’re sick, we don’t have to worry because the money is being deposited automatically,” says Lorraine. “We don’t have to walk to the community mailbox, get the cheque and then have to drive to the bank to deposit the cheque. We don’t have to worry because the payments are deposited on a specific date.”
The federal government is switching to direct deposit, and already more than 80 per cent of Canada’s 275 million annual federal payments are made by direct deposit. If you know someone who could benefit from direct deposit, encourage them to call Service Canada at 1 800 O-Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 FREE. They can also visit www.directdeposit.gc.ca to obtain additional information, including other ways to enrol in direct deposit.