Modernizing services for Canadians
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) delivers benefits to Canadians throughout their lives. Our key services include Old Age Security (OAS), Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). To prepare for the future, ESDC is improving its core systems, enhancing its online services, and expanding efforts to reach all Canadians.
Modernizing services for Canadians (complete version) [PDF – 652 KB]
Current state of service at ESDC
Figure 1 – Text version
Employment and Social Development Canada delivers 38 services, supporting Canadians at all stages in their lives.
In 2018 to 2019, we delivered $122 billion1 in direct benefits to Canadians, representing 5.5% of Canada's GDP in 2018 to 2019. This included, among others, $53.4 billion in OAS and GIS, $46.5 billion in CPP benefits, and $16.6 billion in EI benefits.
|Channel||Interaction points||Traffic in 2018 to 2019|
|Online||Canada.ca||530M visits, including 95M visits to ESDC webpages|
|Online||EI online application||2.7M applications for EI Benefits|
|Online||My Service Canada Account (MSCA)||135,000 applications for CPP retirement benefits through MSCA|
|Online||Canada Student Loans Program portal2||275,000 (99%) of full-time students validated their identity and submitted their grant/loan agreements online in 2018 to 2019|
|Phone||1-800 O-Canada||1.58M General inquiry calls were answered in 2018 to 2019|
|Phone||Specialized calls3||27.2M calls to ESDC specialized call centres in 2018 to 2019|
|Office||In-person visits||10.4M visits to 349 Service Canada and Passport Services Centres in 2018 to 2019|
The top issues for clients experiencing problems were:
- Application was too long or too complicated
- Online Information was confusing
- Took too long to provide benefit or decision
1$122B is comprised of statutory payments made directly to Canadians as well as programs providing benefits to Canadians through grants and contributions.
2Delivered by the National Student Loans Service Centre, a 3rd party service provider.
3Calls include those answered by agents or resolved in the interactive voice response (IVR) phone system for EI, CPP, OAS and Passport call centres.
Renewing our core systems4
Figure 2 – Text version
Our major IT systems are aging and creating risk of service interruptions.
- OAS runs on a 56-year old legacy system
- Some components of CPP are over 20 years old
- EI uses over 150 IT solutions built over 47 years
Program changes overburden already stressed IT systems; increasing costs, delaying processing and often creating more manual work. These changes can put pressure on our systems by necessitating complicated system changes, complex benefits calculations, and more hands-on work by staff.
The number of pension beneficiaries will increase by nearly 50% by 2030, increasing operational workloads.
|Projected OAS Beneficiaries (m)||6.683||8.001||9.283|
|Projected CPP Beneficiaries (m)||6.377||7.557||8.52|
We are stabilizing vulnerable OAS systems in the short term and a longer term transformation is already underway, including building a new system to deliver major benefits.
We plan to migrate CPP, EI, and OAS over to a new, single platform.
4Canada Student Loans Program, through its 3rd party service provider, also continues to move towards a more online service model.
More, better online services
Reaching all Canadians
Figure 4 – Text version
Currently, program uptake by eligible Canadians is uneven.
|Canada Child Benefit (CCB)||97%|
|CCB – On reserve||79%|
|Canada Learning Bond||38%|
|Canada Disability Savings Program||31%|
Canadians most likely to miss out on benefits include:
- Indigenous families living on reserve or in remote locations
- Low-income seniors
- Low-income families
- People with disabilities
We are increasing client uptake through:
- Proactively contacting potential recipients
- Expanding partnerships with other organizations to reach more Canadians directly
- Simplifying forms and application processes
- Bundling services for life events (for example, birth)
- Making our services more accessible in person, online, and over the phone
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