HAMILTON, ON/CNW/ – Last month the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadian seniors and to ensuring they have a safe and secure retirement.
This year, single seniors who have little or no income other than the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will be more financially secure than ever. As a result of quarterly indexation, on July 1, 2019, the maximum OAS pension amount will increase to $607.46, and the maximum Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) amount will increase to $907.30 for single seniors and to $546.17 for each member of a couple. The most vulnerable single seniors will have received, by the end of 2019, $2,097 more in OAS/GIS benefits compared to what they would have received in 2015.
Budget 2019 measures will ensure that Canadian seniors are more financially secure by:
- enhancing the GIS earnings exemption so that working low-income seniors can keep more of their benefits in combination with their income from work;
- safeguarding the security of workplace pensions by boosting federal pension protections and making companies’ bankruptcy proceedings fairer and more transparent; and
- automatically enrolling Canada Pension Plan contributors who are 70 years or older in 2020 but have not yet applied to receive their retirement pension, ensuring they receive the full value of the benefits to which they contributed.
“We continue to build on measures that will improve the lives of Canadian seniors. In Budget 2019 the government made key investments that will help seniors enjoy a smooth transition into a financially secure, healthy and socially inclusive retirement. Seniors will be able to worry less about making ends meet and enjoy the secure and dignified retirement they worked hard for and deserve.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors
- The objective of the OAS program is to ensure a minimum income for seniors and help reduce the incidence of low income among Canada’s seniors. The OAS benefits include the basic pension, which is paid to all individuals aged 65 and older who meet the residence requirements, the GIS for low-income seniors, and the Allowances for low-income Canadians aged 60 to 64 who are the spouses or common-law partners of GIS recipients, or who are widows or widowers.
- The Government of Canada has restored the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS benefits from 67 back to 65 to help ensure future vulnerable seniors do not face higher risks of living in poverty. Eligibility will remain at age 65, to ensure that seniors do not have to wait two additional years to collect their OAS and GIS benefits.
- In July 2016, the government increased the GIS by $947 per year for single seniors with the lowest income.
- It is estimated that about 500,000 low-income single seniors (about 8% of seniors) will have benefitted from the maximum additional annual amout of $2,097 in 2019 compared to what they would have received in 2015.
- As part of the Government’s commitment to improve services for seniors, more than half of new pensioners are automatically enrolled for the OAS pension and the GIS.
- Service Canada has an OAS Program Toolkit, making it easier for advocates and support groups to help seniors become aware of and obtain their OAS pension and other related benefits.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada