10.2.3 Old Age Security

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

The Old Age Security program provides you with a modest pension at age 65 if you have lived in Canada for at least 10 years. It is not tied to contributions you have made. Benefits under the Old Age Security program include the Old Age Security pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor.

Old Age Security Pension

The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment available to most Canadians aged 65 or older. Your employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility, nor do you need to be retired. You pay federal and provincial income tax on the pension income.

The amount of your OAS pension is determined by how long you have lived in Canada after the age of 18. Depending on your residency in Canada, you may qualify for a full or partial OAS pension.

Guaranteed Income Supplement

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is a monthly benefit paid to eligible residents of Canada who receive an OAS pension and who have little or no other income.

Unlike the OAS and Canada Pension Plan/Québec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) pensions, the GIS is not subject to income tax. The amount of the GIS that you will be entitled to depends on your marital status and income. Your monthly payments may increase or decrease according to changes in your yearly income.

Allowance and Allowance for the survivor

The Allowance, which also includes an allowance for persons whose spouse or common-law partner has died, is paid monthly. It is designed to recognize the difficult circumstances faced by many survivors and by couples living on the pension of only one person.

The Allowance may be paid to the spouse or common-law partner of an OAS pensioner, or to a survivor. The combined yearly income of the couple, or the annual income of the survivor, cannot exceed certain limits that are established quarterly. The Allowance is given to seniors whose income falls below a certain level.

Old Age Security Program benefit amounts

The chart below shows the payment rates for the OAS pension, the GIS, the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor, as of April 2020.

Old Age Security Benefit Payment Amounts April – June 2020
Type of benefit Maximum AmountFootnote 1 Income level cut-offFootnote 2 Income level cut-off for top-upsFootnote 2
Old Age Security pensionFootnote 3 $613.53 Not applicable Not applicable
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
Single $916.38 $18,600 $8,816
Spouse/common law partner of someone who:
Does not receive an OAS pension $916.38 $44,592 $17,632
Receives an OAS pension $551.63 $24,576 $7,936
Is an Allowance recipient $551.63 $44,592 $7,936
Allowance $1,165.16 $34,416 $7,936
Allowance for the Survivor $1,388.92 $25,056 $8,816

For more information on the Old Age Security program, visit Service Canada.

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