HR News Update

Old Age Security benefit rates effective

October 1, 2008

Human Resources and Social Development Canada has announced the latest benefit rates for Old Age Security (OAS).

As of October 1, 2008, the basic OAS pension, paid to people 65 years of age and over, will be $516.96 per month. This is an increase of 2.2 per cent over the previous quarter. OAS benefits are revised quarterly (in January, April, July and October) to reflect any increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index. If there is no increase in the cost of living, benefit rates stay at the same level.

OAS includes the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Allowance; these payments will also increase by 2.2 per cent. The GIS and the Allowance provide additional benefits to eligible low-income pensioners and their spouses or common law partners, as well as to eligible survivors.

Both OAS and the Canada Pension Plan enhance the quality of life of Canadian seniors by providing a modest base upon which to build additional income for retirement. "The federal government is pleased that OAS and CPP provisions are in place to support Canadian seniors," said Minister Monte Solberg. "Seniors helped build this country and government programs are there to support seniors in strengthening our communities and building our country."

OAS is funded through general tax revenues and provides a basic minimum income for Canadian seniors. It provided 4.5 million seniors with approximately $32 billion in 2007-2008.

The Canada Pension Plan (or the Quebec Pension Plan, in Quebec) is funded through contributions by Canadian workers, their employers and the self-employed, and through investment earnings on the Plan's funds. In addition to retirement benefits, the Plan provides disability benefits, death benefits, survivor benefits, and benefits for children.

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