Backgrounder: Government of Canada supports for seniors


The Government of Canada continues to make seniors' financial well-being a top priority. Since 2015, the Government has provided supports to seniors such as:

  • Increasing the GIS for nearly 900,000 low-income single seniors. As a result of this, and other government initiatives, an estimated 45,000 seniors were lifted out of poverty.
  • Putting thousands of dollars back in the pockets of future Canadian seniors by restoring the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS benefits to 65.
  • Enhancing the GIS earnings exemption for working low-income seniors, to help them keep more of their benefits.
  • Reducing income taxes through increases to the Basic Personal Amount. When these increases are fully implemented in 2023, 4.3 million seniors will benefit, 465,000 of whom will see their federal income tax reduced to zero. Every year, singles will save close to $300 and couples will save nearly $600.
  • Issuing one-time, tax-free payments to help seniors with their extra costs during the pandemic, worth over $1,500 to a low-income couple. In April 2020, more than 4 million low- and middle-income seniors received a GST credit top-up—worth an average of $375 for individual seniors and $510 for senior couples. In July 2020, the Government provided a one-time tax-free payment of $300 to 6.7 million OAS pensioners and a further $200 to 2.2 million seniors eligible for the GIS.
  • Moving forward with the plan to boost the OAS pension by 10% in July 2022 for seniors 75 and over, including a one-time payment of $500 in August 2021 to OAS pensioners who will be 75 or over as of June 30, 2022.

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