Backgrounder: Old Age Security (OAS) automatic enrolment


Automatic Enrolment

The first phase of Old Age Security (OAS) automatic enrolment was successfully implemented in April 2013 and resulted in automatically enrolling 45 percent of new OAS beneficiaries to receive the basic pension. Information from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was leveraged to identify clients who would be automatically enrolled for the second phase, which launched in November 2016. This resulted in an increase in the number of clients who were automatically enrolled to over 60 percent of new OAS beneficiaries. The month after turning 64 years old, these clients receive a letter from Service Canada informing them that they could be eligible for the OAS pension and that they have been selected for automatic enrolment.

Automatic enrolment has been expanded to include the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Using the Canada Revenue Agency tax data, the Department will introduce the automatic enrollment for GIS for pensioners who are automatically enrolled for the OAS basic pension. Implementing GIS automatic enrolment means that each month, up to 17,000 seniors who turn 64 years old on or after December 1, 2017, will be selected to be automatically enrolled for the GIS benefit by leveraging existing data from the CRA and within the Department.

Employment and Social Development Canada Service Strategy

Through the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Service Strategy, the Department is moving to adopt world-class service delivery models enabled by modern technologies to provide more services online and deliver services in a way that responds to its clients’ current and emerging needs.

This strategy outlines a department-wide vision for improved services and will contribute to government-wide advancements in service delivery across all programs and services.

The implementation of the ESDC Service Strategy will evolve over time to confront new challenges and learn from best practices. The strategy is an evolution of Service Canada Vision 2020 and serves to support recent Government-wide direction provided in the Treasury Board Policy on Service.

Automatic enrolment is part of the OAS Service Improvement Strategy. This is the Department’s plan to modernize the delivery of the OAS program by improving services to eligible Canadian seniors, including low-income individuals, while also generating efficiencies in the processing of OAS/GIS benefits.

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