How much will the government pay you?

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A while back, I wrote an article on how much money you might get from government benefits.

In the article I stated, “The most you will receive from the government is \$24,346.44 if you have no other sources of income and only \$16,684.92 if you have other sources of income. Clawback and contribution rules may reduce these amounts.”

I’ve been asked by many readers where these numbers came from so here it is.

First, let’s address the \$16,684.92. Most Canadians will qualify for some level of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS).

At the time the article was written, the most you could collect from CPP was \$10,614.96 per year. For Old Age security the most you can get was \$6,069.96 per year. Add those numbers together and you get \$16,684.92.  Heres the maximum CPP and OAS amounts for current years:

 YEAR Max Monthly CPP Max Monthly OAS Combined monthly Combined Annual Max 2013 \$1,012.50 \$546.07 \$1,558.57 \$18,702.84 2012 \$986.67 \$540.12 \$1,526.79 \$18,321.48 2011 \$960.00 \$524.23 \$1,484.23 \$17,810.76 2010 \$934.17 \$516.96 \$1,451.13 \$17,413.56 2009 \$908.75 \$516.96 \$1,425.71 \$17,108.52 2008 \$884.50 \$502.31 \$1,386.81 \$16,641.72 2007 \$863.75 \$491.93 \$1,355.68 \$16,268.16 2006 \$762.92 \$484.63 \$1,247.55 \$14,970.60

As of October 2007, the average CPP retirement pension paid out was only \$481.46 per month. That’s a lot lower than \$884.58 per month because not everybody qualifies for the maximum. Some of the reasons you might not get maximum CPP includes lower contributions because of lower income levels or not contributing for enough years because of starting late into the workforce or maybe you retire early which also means you contribute less into CPP.

1. Canada Pension Plan is a contributory plan. Basically that means how much you get when you retire depends on how much you contributed while you worked. If you have made at least one payment into the CPP plan, you qualify to collect a benefit.While it would be nice to get the maximum from the government, not everyone does. As I said in the article that amount represents the most anyone can get from the government. Here are a few examples of why people might get less than the maximum:

It’s a little more complicated than this but basically, you have to contribute the maximum amount for at least 40 years over the age of 18 to qualify for the maximum benefit. For more details, you can visit the Service Canada website (www.hrsdc.gc.ca).

Related article:  How much will you get from CPP in retirement?

2. The maximum CPP amount is based on a normal pension at age 65. You can collect the CPP as early as age 60 but at a reduced amount. In 2013, you will lose 0.54% for every month you take CPP before your 65th birthday. For example, at age 60, you will lose 32.4% (0.54% x 60months) of your eligible amount at age 65. To collect CPP early, you no longer have to stop working.  Taking CPP early means makes good sense for most people but it means you will not get the maximum.

Related article:  Should you take CPP early under the new rules?

The best way to find out how much you will get from CPP is to check your Statement of Contributions, or call 1 800 277-9914. The closer you are to the date on which you want to begin your pension, the more accurate the estimate will be.

3. Old Age Security is a monthly benefit available to anyone 65 years of age or over (unlike CPP, you cannot collect earlier). Eligibility for OAS is all based on residency and has nothing to do with employment history. It also does not matter if the applicant is working or retired. If you were resident of Canada for less than 40 years after the age of 18, you will get a reduced amount of OAS.

Related article:  Three big changes to OAS

In addition to the basic OAS pension, low-income seniors may qualify for other retirement benefits such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Allowance. The threshold for low income depends on whether you are single, married or widowed. That’s where the \$24,346.44 figure came from. The difference between this number and \$16,584.92 is the maximum benefit for GIS as a single person. Again, few people qualify for the maximum GIS.

Related article:  The difference between CPP and OAS

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Written by Jim Yih

Jim Yih is a Fee Only Advisor, Best Selling Author, and Financial Speaker on wealth, retirement and personal finance. Currently, Jim specializes in putting Financial Education programs into the workplace. For more information you can follow him on Twitter @JimYih or visit his other websites Group Benefits Online and Advisor Think Box.

309 Responses to How much will the government pay you?

1. Gloria says:

I was forced to retire prior to turning 65 due to ill-health. So, I retired and am fast approaching my 65th birthday, at which point, as everyone has told me, I will lose whatever CPP has been sending me each month.

I was a provincial employee and paid into our pension plan. I receive a cheque from this fund. I applied for early CPP and receive a cheque from CPP. According to all, once I turn 65, the pension amount from CPP will be “deducted” from my provincial pension cheque.

For example, say I receive \$2000 a month from my provincial pension and \$600 from CPP; according to retired friends, once I’m 65, the provincial pension will be dropped to \$1400 a month and I will receive \$600 from CPP — essentially, a big drop in income regardless of which cheque is affected. 🙁

Can you tell me why this will happen and if there is any way to minimize the loss?

• Doug says:

Gloria
It is unclear to me whether the CPP that you are currently receiving is the disability pension or the early retirement pension. If it is an early retirementy pension, that amount will continue to be paid to you until death (with annual increases for cost of living). If it is a disability benefit, that will convert at age 65 to a retirement pension at a lower rate. The basic formula for the conversion from disability to retirement benefit is to subtract the flat-rate benefit (approx \$440) and divide the answer by 75%. Thus if your current CPP disability were \$600/mthly, your converted retirement pension would be about \$213.33 (\$600-\$440)/75%.
As to your provincial pension, you probably should check with your personnel office, but the common approach if you worked for the province for your entire CPP contributory period is that your pension from them would be reduced at age 65, by your estimated age-65 CPP retirement pension (which may be more than your actual CPP if you’re receiving the early retirement benefit.
The good news (assuming you’ve lived in Canada for at least 40 years after age 18) is that you should also be eligible for Old Age Security (OAS) at age 65. The approximate amount of OAS is \$530 mthly.

• Gloria Carter says:

Why does the CPP-Disability Benefit end at age 65 and convert to a much smaller amount. It seems discriminatory. I mean am I somehow not disable anymore?

• Gloria – The CPP was designed to work in conjunction with the OAS program, so it was felt that the higher CPP disability amount could end at age 65 when OAS/GIS eligibility starts.

• Bob says:

I receive a provincial pension and the clawback is calculated when I retired, independent of my CPP. It is a little higher than my CPP at age 60 but does not start til age 65 so I feel it is to my benefit to receive CPP for 5 years with no clawback. If you wait til 65, CPP will be bigger but you have lost 5 years of CPP at the lower rate. I calculated to breakeven at age 76, if I am still alive.

• Tim Darron says:

You have a bridging pension which means that after you receive OAS on your 65th birthday (about 565\$ per month) then your defined benefit is reduced or clawed back.

2. You Canadians have it made. I wish our government could get it together for retirees. My parents are suffering bad and I help all I can.

recognition awards

• Yardmonkey says:

Yes, we Canadians have certainly become accustomed to some wonderful advantages for living in Canada … health care and post retirement assistance however they are not free.
Would you have the same outlook knowing that these ‘freebies’ come at a tax rate that easily creeps into the 40% or more range of your earned income?

• Hope says:

I certainly don’t mind and I’ve worked all my life.
i’m proud to live in a country that for now at least is better at sharing the wealth.

3. Mike says:

Does the calculation of the benefit (before the penalty) at 60 count the years 60-65 as no income for the average? In other words, can they bring down the average?

I am thinking of someone who turns 60 and can choose to stop working early but has less than 40 years of contributions. Is the difference just the 30% or must they also look at any potential increase in their benefit from 5 more years of higher contributions?

• Doug says:

Mike
If someone applies for a CPP retirement pension at age 60, their contributory period ends then, thus they will not have those 5 years of zero income reducing their average earnings for benefit calculation purposes.

4. Jeff says:

Jim I believe that the \$24K in maximum benefits may be overstated. If you receive the maximum in CPP benefits of \$10.6K and OAS of \$6K, you can’t receive the full amount of GIS payments of \$7.7K because your CPP income is included in the income that is taken into consideration for GIS clawback. So based on 2012 clawbacks they would only receive \$2.9K in GIS payments. This would total \$19.5K. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Please clarify. Thanks.

• Doug says:

Jeff
I agree with you 100%, but if we want to use the 2012 figures for the GIS, perhaps it would be useful to update the CPP & OAS figures also.
I get max CPP for 2012 as \$986.67 mthly x 12 = \$11,840 annually and max OAS for Jan/2012 as \$540.12 mthly x 12 = \$6,481 annually. Using the \$11,840 to calculate GIS for a single pensioner would be \$188.76 mthly x 12 = \$2,265.
Using these numbers, the max gov’t payout for 2012 would be \$20,586 (\$11,840 CPP + \$6,481 OAS + \$2,265 GIS).

• Tim Darron says:

Jeff you are correct and do not worry. The Fed and Provincial Revenue Agencies are watching you like a hawk.This often results in big tax return over payment claw back.The revenue agencies often over pay GIS and Provincial GAIN payments only to send you a huge bill at tax time.

• Doug says:

Jeff
I agree with you that you can’t count the max GIS if you’re receiving max (or any) CPP. Updating all of the data for Jan/2012, I get:
– max CPP mthly of \$986.67 x 12 = \$11,840;
– max OAS mthly of \$540.12 x 12 = \$6,481;
– GIS of \$188.76 mthly (based on max CPP of \$11,840) x 12 = \$2,265.
– combined total of CPP/OAS/GIS = \$1,715.55 mthly x 12 = \$20,586.

5. Denyse says:

Does one qualify for GIS if one owns a house or condo and is receiving only \$400 in CPP?

6. Doug says:

Denyse
Owning a house or condo (or any other assets) does not affect GIS eligibility. The only 3 factors are:
– receiving OAS;
– marital status;
– income (combined income if married or C/L).

In your example, if the person is receiving “full OAS” (based on having lived in Canada for 40 years after age 18), is single and has income only of \$400/mth CPP, they would be eligible for GIS in the amount of \$481.76/mth.

7. tony says:

I already receive a pension from my workplace of 33 years. When I reach the age to get old age and cpp do i lose this amount from my workplace pension?

• Doug says:

Tony
You would have to get that answer from whoever administers your workplace pension. Some plans are “integrated” with the government benefits (OAS and/or CPP), whereby they pay higher amounts until you become eligible for benefits from the government. Other workplace plans are independent from government benefits and may not be reduced at age 65 or when those government benefits start.

• Tim Darron says:

Tony. typically your defined benefit pension is reduced by the OAS pension amount pension at 65 yrs old. Before this time it is called a bridging pension.

8. Catherine Smith says:

I just wanted to thank you so much for such great information. I still have a few years to go but it still helps to be informed. By the time I retire things will totally be different because the Canadian Government likes to change things without our input.

9. Phil in Victoria says:

Great info Doug, thanks a bunch.
Amazing, so many Canadians don’t know all the ins-and-outs of our system. For example one of my neighbors just turned 65 gets max CPP benefits but I mentioned what about OAS, he was clueless. Apparently when you apply for CPP whether earlier or at age 65, OAS is not received until you separately apply for it. And the good thing if we can say anything for the governement, they told him once you apply for OAS it is paid retro-actively from when you apply to that starting age of 65.

• Doug says:

Phil
You’re welcome for the info. I’m glad to be able to pass on some of the knowledge that I learned in working for OAS/CPP for over 30 years. Speaking of which, the retroactivity that your neighbour mentioned for OAS is limited to 1 year, so it’s good that he learned of it when he did.

If a woman (or man) stops working to have children (raise children) and never really goes back to full-time work for the rest of her/his life, is there some advice you can give as to how much money she/he can expect for her/his contribution to society?
Will they be poverty stricken because their contribution to society was in the area of volunteerism (not measurable in GDP or dollar earning exactly)? Has the government thought of rewarding volunteers for their equally important, but not monetarily measurable contributions?
It seems that CPP should not only be tied to “paying in dollars” but also recognizing years of effort and time/volunteer hours. Has there been some thought given to that by the government to your knowledge? Since most communities have a lot of non-profit organizations and charitable efforts, we see huge numbers of people volunteering their time, sometimes they are unable to find work and volunteer in the meantime, but some forego a salaried job for the growth and benefit of their community and community organizations. Some of these people are well off due to spouses working, but some live a meager existence, yet contribute hugely to the social fabric of their communities by their dedication, hard work and sacrifice. This is not being recognized at pension time, yet hours and hours of time are devoted to their country and community without a measurable monetary input.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you feel it would be beneficial (what with all the push for people to “serve” “volunteer” etc) if some of these volunteers (under certain conditions) may be able to translate their freely given hours into a pension later in life. I am thinking of clergy also in this, but mainly people who volunteer for a non-profit organization (community recreation, religous, charities, etc) and are unable/unwilling to hold a full-time job because of the time commitment (or even that taking a full-time job would mean the valuable work of that organization would falter). Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

• Doug says:

From a CPP perspective, every year spent out of the workforce raising children under age 7 by an eligible parent (usually the female), can be “dropped out” under the CRDO provision. This won’t create a benefit if they’ve never worked, but if they did work before or after raising children, it will increase the amount of their benefit by about 2.5% for every year that they’re able to drop out.
Aside from feeling good about themselves, the only other “payment” for volunteers is under the OAS program. Under that program, each year of residence in Canada after age 18 (up to a max of 40 years) is worth about \$13.50 monthly at age 65. In addition, if they have no other income, they could be eligible for up to \$732/mth in the form of GIS benefits.

• Lionel says:

Re: “payment” for volunteers
quote ” the only other payment for volunteers is under the OAS program. Under that program” What is “that” program named and how do you apply for it? Are stay at home moms considered volunteers under this program? Thank you

• sherrie l white says:

Well considering everyone gets OAS then I guess they (stay at home moms) will get it.

11. Allan says:

I am 59 and retiring next July; My private pension will be approximately 6000/mnth; My wife quite work when we had our kids however she will be collecting \$200 per month Canada Pension; I am figuring maximum Canada pension of “800 something”
1. If I continue to work a part-time job (not related to my principal occupation) that pays approximately 1200 a month will it have an effect on my ability to collect/ amount of Canada Pension?

2. What is the present maximum amount of Canada pension to collect at 60 years old?

• Doug says:

Allan
1. Effective 2012, working a part-time (or even fulltime) job has no impact on your ability to collect your CPP retirement benefit at age 60, and it affects the amount of your benefit only if it increases or decreases your “average lifetime earnings” prior to age 60.
2. For 2012, the maximum age-65 retirement benefit is \$986.67. If you start your CPP retirement benefit prior to age 65, for 2012 that amount is reduced by 0.52% for every month that you’re under age 65. Therefore the max age-60 CPP retirement benefit for 2012 is \$678.83 (\$986.67 – 60 X 0.52%).

• Tim Darron says:

Your CPP payout is not dependent on your income after CPP retirement. it is in your best interest to delay CCP until 65 yrs old or more. Your “private” retirement income of 6000\$ at 60 yrs old is high enough that it is far better to continue contributing to CPP until 65 yrs or more since you state that you will be working up to that time.
1.) If you take early CPP at 60 yrs old and subsequently live past 80 yrs old you will then be losing money on your lower CPP payment after 80 yrs old than if you receive full or close to full payout at 65 yrs old. DO the math yourself at zero interest rate.
2.) Never forget to consider your tax deduction benefits after 65 yrs old which total about 19K in deductions plus the ability to income split with your spouse. You do not have these deductions at 60 yrs old except for personal basic exemption.
3.) Once again be very careful. YOU CANNOT reverse your RIF , LIF and CPP decisions after you commit.

12. Elroy Tanner says:

I was told by a gov. agent that if we make 21.700.oo we were not able to collect any gis monies from the gov.If that is true you would be better off knowing about the system when you call or read the system you get different answers. Sad system people moving in to Canada knows more about the details the we being bon here BIG ?

13. Allan says:

I’m 57. I would like to start collecting my pension at 60. I was told that my pension would be \$350. Will I get some GIS if I have some bank interest? And what about RRSP if I don’t want to withdraw it for some time? Thanks

• Doug says:

Allan
GIS is part of the Old Age Security program, so you can’t receive GIS until age 65 at the earliest. At that time, the amount of GIS would depend on your marital status, your income (joint if married or common-law) and how many years of residence you have in Canada.
For example, if you are receiving the full OAS (40 yrs residence in Canada after age 18) and if you are single, the maximum GIS is \$732.36/mth and it’s basically reduced by half for any income that you have (excluding the OAS itself). The current annual income cutoff for a single pensioner is \$16,368, above which you wouldn’t receive any GIS.
I hope this helps?

14. Elroy Tanner says:

How in hell can any two, retire on an income making a couple of dollars more than 21,648.oo be closed out from receiving the GIS. Not all people in their days of struggling to make a living by working dam hard coud save for a great sum of monies to lay back and live on in time of retirement.Yet there are ways for some people to get GOV. hand outs with out working ever in their lives. Good luck for those who can God Bless Those who cant

15. Allan says:

And if my wife and I start collecting pension at 60 and it will be \$700 (combine), will we recieve any additional allowance? Thanks

• Doug says:

Allan
I’m not really sure what you’re asking? When you say that you will both start collecting pension at age 60, I assume you’re talking about the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)?
If so, there are no further government pensions until at least one of you reaches age 65, at which time you should qualify for Old Age Security (OAS), depending on how long you’ve lived in Canada since age 18, and possibly the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). If the other one of you is still under age 65 at that time, that person might then be eligible for the Spouse’s Allownace, depending on residence in Canada and income.

16. Sandy says:

what income can 2 people expect when we retire we are wife is 58 and i am 60 both of have always work and there are no company pensions just cpp and oas.
Thanks

17. Jess says:

Doug, the replies you have provided to everyone have been so much more helpful than anything I can find on the GC.CA sites. They warn their tables for OAS/GIS calculations only apply if you have lived in Canada the full 40 years. When younger, we lived overseas for over 15 years so can never get to 40 years. With 27 years of Canada residency by 65, your 13.50 per month figure suggests an OAS of \$364 per month at age 65. If CPP is also less than max at \$650 per month, and younger partner age 60 opts to retire at same time taking early CPP of \$400 month, and no other income/RRSPs, how can we estimate GIS and Allowance for the first 4 years until parter reaches 65 and also gets a reduced OAS? Many thanks.

• Doug says:

Jess
The importance of these questions is that the 40-year rule is only one way of qualifying for full OAS. If you were a) age 25 by July 1, 1977 and b) had some residence in Canada over age 18 and prior to July 1, 1977; there are a couple of other ways that you might qualify for the full OAS and not the 27/40ths that you are counting on.

• Jess says:

Thanks again, my partner Len is born Jun/53 and departed in Apr/78 at age 24. I am born Apr/58 and departed Oct/79 at age 21. We both returned to Canada in 1997. So neither of us was age 25 in 1977. It’s a good thing we have experience living frugal artist lifestyles!

18. Doug says:

Jess
Thanks for the additional details. After doing a little further checking to refresh my memory (I “retired” from the gov’t almost 10 years ago), it appears that at your income levels, there is little or no difference to the net amount that you will be eligible for, combining the OAS, GIS and Allowance amounts, regardless whether your husband qualifies for full OAS (which he won’t) or partial OAS (which he will).
That is because the gov’t “tops up” partial OAS recipients who are eligible for GIS, by adding more GIS benefits to replace the missing OAS benefits. In some ways you’ll actually be better off, as the OAS benefits are taxable and the GIS?Allowance benefits are not taxable.
So, by my calculations and using the current April/12 benefit amounts, your husband would be eligible for about \$915/mth (comprised of 27/40ths of the full OAS of \$540.12 = \$364.50 plus a topped-up GIS of approx \$550.50) and you would be eligible for an Allowance of approx \$376/mth. How’s that sound?

• Jess says:

Doug, I can’t thank you enough for doing the calculations. I was rather hoping it would be around that much. We have always managed to “live happy” over the last 30+ years, balancing a modest lifestyle with our artistic leanings. And we think we could definitely “retire happy” on approx \$28K per annum of CPP/OAS/GIS (with some TFSA savings for emergencies and incidentals). We already had our extensive travel years in our youth, so we’re looking forward to quiet times in our small paid-off home and studio 7 or 8 years from now. Thanks again!

19. Doug says:

Jess
You’re more than welcome! It sounds like you’ve got your priorities right, so congrats and good luck in your future. 🙂

20. Louise says:

I came back to Canada 9/5/2004 from the States! I had no idea that I would need proof of my entry back into Canada. I went back to the border to see if they would stamp my Canadian passport, and they refused. How am I going to prove I have been here for 10 years without that? Someone told me I needed proof! I have worked the last eight years, and will retire at 65 in two years. I have my taxes for all years, and worked at the same job for seven years. Not sure what to do when my time comes..I can’t collect from the other side as I didn’t work while I lived in the States except for a few years, and don’t qualify there either. Any information would be appreciated! Louise

21. Doug says:

Louise
I wouldn’t worry too much about what to use as proof. The government is pretty reasonable about what they might accept, and the main thing might be that nothing contradicts your dates. Things that they might consider are lease or purchase agreements for your housing, a letter from your employer(s), utility records, tax returns etc.

22. Sam says:

Doug,

23. Doug says:

Sam

Sorry that it’s taken me a few days to reply. Let’s look at your CPP entitlement first. As you’ve perhaps read elsewhere in this Blog, CPP at age 65 can be estimated at about \$25/mth for every year (up to your best 39 years) that you’ve made max earnings and contributions (Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earmings, or YMPE).
For yourself that means that if your 11 years of contributions from 1989 to 2000 and your 10 years from 2015 to 2025 were all at the YMPE, those years alone would be worth about \$525/mth at age 65. You wouldn’t have contributed for any of your work prior to age 18, so if your part-time work for the 11 years from 1978 to 1988 was at approx 1/4 of the YMPE, those years would equal 2 3/4 years of YMPE and would net you an additional \$68.75/mth of CPP at age 65 .
For your wife, if she contributes for 22 years from age 43 to age 65, she would qualify for a CPP retirement benefit of approx \$550/mth if all of those years are at YMPE, and proportionately less if under YMPE.
For the Old Age Security (OAS), it’s earned at 1/40th of the maximum (approx \$540/mth) for every year of residence in Canada after age 18. Your total of 32 years would therefore give you about \$432/mth and your wife’s 22 years would give her about \$297/mth.
Hope this helps?

24. Ivan says:

Is the amount of GIS one can get according to number of years in Canada? I sponsored my parents here, and they will be here 10 years next year. Assuming their income is nil, what amount will they get in OAS and in GIS, and will this increase as they live longer here, e.g. in year 11, in year 12, etc? They are both 80 years old.

25. Andre says:

I work in Canada on a contract basis but I am considered as a non resident tax payer. From what I can see is that as I am paying tax I should therefore be paying CPP contributions. My question is that I do not know if I will be working in Canada till retirement age, So if I for example only contributed for 5 years and then stopped working in Canada do lose the money I put into the CPP or is it kept till 70 years of age and then paid out?

26. Doug says:

Andre
I can’t answer your question as to whether you should be paying CPP contributions, as that is a Revenue Canada Taxation question. For the most part however, CPP contributions are not optionable. Either your earnings are considered contributable and you must make contributions, or they aren’t and you can’t make contributions.
I can answer your questions on benefits however. If you make even one valid contribution to the CPP, you will be eligible for a retirement benefit. It is not paid to you automatically at any age though. You must apply for it and you can do so as early as age 60. A rough estimate for your benefit would be \$25/mth at age 65, for every year of earnings & contributions at or above the yearly maximum (YMPE). If you apply before or after age 65, that amount is adjusted down or up by an actuarial adjustment factor.
What you may not qualify for under the CPP is the disability and death/survivor benefits, as they both require contributions for more years (it’s slightly complicated). Depending what other countries you have lived and worked in though, you may even qualify for those CPP benefits if you have sufficient credits in those countries to meet the minimum requirements through what is called “totallizing” your contributions to both countries.
I hope this answer helps a bit, but your first enquiry should be to RCT to find out if you must or may contribute to the CPP, based on your earnings and your status in Canada.

27. Allan says:

Hello,
How is GIS calculated: does it depend on your savings or only on interest from them? Does it mean that one can have savings and other investments but doesn’t have any income from them, will a person receive GIS?
Thanks, Allan

28. Doug says:

Allan
GIS is based on income only, and not on assets. So yes, as you suggest, if someone has investments but doesn’t have any income from them, they could receive max GIS. Unfair perhaps, but that’s the way it is.

• Allan Heit says:

You are right, Doug. This is unfair to GIS to people who never contributed in Canada. You work all your life and just get CPP (far from full amount) and OAS and you can end with \$1000-1200. And people who never contributed make \$1350. This system work perfect in Austarlia. Everybody gets \$500 and then… if you paid contributions, you can get a lot, if not – just \$500.

29. Doug says:

Allan
Not exactly why I considered the GIS to be unfair, and not exactly correct. GIS is only reduced by 50 cents on the dollar for any CPP benefits received (or any other income), so you would always be better off to have worked and contributed to the CPP than not.

30. Rick says:

Hi
I have an Ont. govt. pension of \$3100/month and took my CPP at age 60. I am turning 65 next July and wonder what I can expect from the OAS. (if any) Thanks. Rick

• Doug says:

Rick
You left out the critical details of how long you have resided in Canada, but for purposes of responding I’ll assume that you have lived here for at least 40 years after age 18 (probabaly a safe assumption based on your Ont gov’t pension amount). If that is true, you will be eligible for the max OAS of approx \$550/mth. The “clawback” doesn’t start until your income (excluding OAS) exceeds approx \$70,000/yr, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that unless you have significant income that you haven’t mentioned.

31. Don says:

I am applying for CPP and OAS pension. I turned 65 just over a month ago. My CPP benefits are supposed to be around \$690 per month and I am assuming that my OAS will be \$544. My wife’s will be around the \$200 mark for CPP. We are both working and will continue to do so. Will she also be eligible for OAS at the \$544 level when she turns 65 next summer? I will continue working full time and she is working half time.

• Jim Yih says:

Hi Don,
OAS is based on residency. If she was resident of Canada for 40 years between the age of 18 and 65, she is likely to get maximum OAS. You can call Service Canada to see how much OAS she qualifies for.
Jim

• Don says:

32. Allan says:

My pension on retirement will be approximately 80,000 (72 private + 8 CPP); My wife just CPP will be 2700 ; As you would expect we are splitting income on our tax filing therefore we will both be claiming approximately 41350. The claw back on OAS begins at around 70,000; would I be effected? Is the clawback based on your income tax filing?

• Jim Yih says:

OAS clawback is based on individual income, not combined income. If you split your income properly and keep your income below the \$70,000 threshold, you should not be affected.

33. Alf says:

I am 64 and my wife is 61. I looked at the tables and if I receive full OAS at 65 and qualify for GIS, my benefits will be \$X. If my wife qualifies for the Allowance (she has not lived in Canada for 10 years and would have to use U.S. credits under the tax treaty), my GIS would be reduced, to make up for the amount she would receive. My question is: is she required to apply for the Allowance? The amount we as a couple would receive looks to be the same, whether it all comes in the form of OAS and GIS to me, or whether she gets part as an Allowance.

• Doug says:

Alf
The GIS/Allowance rate tables are complex when a partial benefit is involved, but if you are correct in thinking that the net benefit is the same either way, there is no requirement for youe wife to apply for the Allowance. I would however recommend that you confirm those calculations with SCC.

• Alf says:

Thanks. Now I’m completing the GIS application and a couple things are unclear: 1. for U.S. Social Security, do I put down the total I received, or only the 85% that is taxable in Canada (under the tax treaty)? 2. My spouse and I are pension splitting. Do I have to make note of that anywhere?

• Alf
I believe that GIS will be based on your total U.S. Social Security, but I would include a note about the lower taxable portion just in case. Because the income that you report will be compared to what you declare on your tax returns, I would clearly note who actually received the pension amounts, and that you are splitting it differently for income tax purposes.

• Alf says:

My wife applied for the Allowance 14 months ago. She has called Service Canada several times to check on the application, and was told that the delay was caused by needing U.S. credits to make up about 6 months of the 10 year residency requirement. When she called on Friday, she was told that the U.S. credit inquiry was just sent to Social Security two days before! She was also told that they asked for information from Citizenship & Immigration Canada at the same time. My wife sent a true copy of her landing document with the application and nothing else was requested. Can Service Canada request information from CIC without my wife’s permission? I thought they required a consent form for that. Any idea what information they need from CIC?

• Doug says:

Alf

I know that it takes a long time to process applications that require any of the international agreement, but 14 months to even request those records from the U.S. is ridiculous. My apologies for the bungling by Service Canada.

I’m not sure what kind of information-sharing agreements there might be between Service Canada and C.I.C., and I can’t imagine what they would be wanting from them if you’ve already provided a copy of her landing document?

• Alf says:

Doug, my wife called Service Canada again and this time was told that the inquiry to CIC was to see whether she was sponsored. She was not; she immigrated to Canada in the Skilled Worker category.

34. Allan says:

I am retiring in July 31, 2013 (60 years old); I am presently employed where I pay the maximum CPP and Unemployment insurance by the month of June. Will I get a rebate for the five months (Aug 1 to Dec 31)?

• Doug says:

Allan
I have no knowledge of the EI, although I’d be surprised if you would get a refund of those premiums. As for CPP, prior to 2012, you would have been eligible for a refund if you applied for your CPP retirement at age 60, as that would have been the end of your contributory period. Your max contribution would have been 7/12ths of the YMPE, and you could have claimed a refund on your 2013 tax return.
Since 2012 however, you are required to continue contributing on any employment earnings until age 65, regardless whether you apply for your CPP retirement pension early or not. If you do apply for a retirement benefit effective Aug 2013, 7/12ths of your 2013 earnings should be used to calculate your early retirement pension, and the other 5/12ths should be used to calculate a post-retirement benefit (PRB), which would be payable effective Jan, 2014.

35. Frank says:

I have read here a number of times that it is necessary to have 40 years in Canada to receive full OAS. But isn’t there another way of qualifying, which is to have been born before July 2, 1952, and lived in Canada for some time…even briefly…as an adult (over 18), and to have lived in Canada for the last 10 years? I think this means that someone who left Canada in his or her 20s, then returns to Canada to retire, can get full OAS after being here for 10 years. It’s important that they know not to seek OAS before they have those 10 years, or they’ll just get a partial pension. (But they can make up for missing years in the final 10, with years in Canada after age 18, at the rate of 3 old years = 1 new year.)

• Doug says:

Frank
You are basically right in what you say, and thanks for pointing this out. There should be no concern however, if someone who can qualify for the old or new rules (ie., someone who had attained the age of 25 by July 1/77 AND resided in Canada on that date or had prior residence in Canada after age 18 or possessed a valid Canadian immigration visa on that date) applies before they had the “magic 10 years”. Such a person would always be given a choice between taking an immediate partial pension under the new rules, or waiting until they qualified for a full pension under the old 10-year or 3-for-1 rules.

• Frank says:

I applied for OAS based on the above formula (born before 1952, lived in Canada before 1977, lived in Canada last 10 years). I’m one year short of 10 years back in Canada, and was hoping to use the 3-for-1 rule to make it up. I received a letter from Service Canada stating that my application can’t be processed until I prove my departure date from Canada back in the 70s. Since I’m a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, there was no immigration involvement on either side of the border. I’ve read of cases like this where immigrants (though I’m not an immigrant) are refused a pension, because they can’t show plane tickets from 40 or 50 years ago, and that was one of the options given to me. I don’t have plane tickets, because I simply drove across the border. All I could think of to send to prove that I arrived in the U.S. was acceptance at a U.S. university (but that occurred in the following year) and a U.S. Social Security statement showing that I started contributing in the year I left Canada. I also provided the name and address of a U.S. citizen who knows when I crossed the border. Any idea if that will be enough?

• Doug says:

Frank
All you can provide is what you’ve got, so I suspect that might be enough. If you’ve been in Canada for the last 9 years, all that you should have to establish is that you had at leats 3 years of prior residence in Canada. Is your actual departure date that critical in coming up with those 3 years, or do you clearly have much more than that?
Good luck!

• Frank says:

Just a followup: I called Service Canada and was told that a full pension had been approved to start the month after my 65th birthday. (They didn’t event contact the person I gave as a witness.) So…everything turned out well. Thanks!

36. Walter says:

When receiving early CPP at age 60 can I count on some other government supplements?

37. Barry says:

Once you start receiving the GIS… what lines from your income tax return do they use to determine the amount of your GIS.

38. Gabe Bijerta says:

Thank you so much for very useful information here. I wonder if there are any conclusions regarding what is more beneficial for a couple not married, both in Canada all their lives, 4 years apart, with no income past 60 years of age, to apply as two singles or one common law? I assume this is legal to do, since we file taxes as singles. Many thanks, Gabe

39. Gabe
You ask a very good, but difficult question.
First, let’s look at a definition with the OAS act of a “common-law” relationship (CPP definition is similar):
common-law partner”, in relation to an individual, means a person who is cohabiting with the individual in a conjugal relationship at the relevant time, having so cohabited with the individual for a continuous period of at least one year.
So, you’ll have to decide whether that definition allows you to choose or not.
As to your marital status and net CPP/OAS benefit, there is no difference to CPP, except that whoever lives longer might be eligible for a survivor’s benefit if you claim yourself as common-law. As for OAS/GIS, you would normally be better off claiming single once you’re both age 65, but you might be better off claiming common-law when the oldest reaches age 65, as the younger one could then be eligible for Spouse’s Allowance.
So, the choice isn’t as simple as you might think!!!

• Gabe Bijerta says:

Thank you Doug, your kind input it reinforces my own calculations of reporting a common law spouse, since I turn 65 and she is 4 years behind.
And, after a 35 year period of cohabitation, the choice becomes obvious…..

Thank you for taking the time to help people!
Gabe

• Gudonya Gabe! And you’re welcome!

40. Elizabeth says:

I am 65 and still working, having spent the previous 21 years as a Canadian resident. My husband has just become a Canadian resident and his only income is a small pension (\$6000 / year)from his country of origin. As yet, I have not applied for either CPP or OAS and intend to keep on working for a year or two. Service Canada calculates my current CPP as \$4200 / year and OAS as \$3600 / year. Is it worth deferring application for CPP/OAS until I finish work? I calculate I will generate around \$6000 / year from RRSP savings and also have some non-registered savings. Is GIS a possibility for us?

41. Elizabeth
You have a very interesting scenario! You haven’t said how much income you receive from working, but based on what you have indicated, I think your plan to defer both CPP and OAS is a good one, at least until you decide to retire.
As for CPP, your current estimate of \$4,200/year will be going up by 0.7% each month that you delay, based on your increasing age alone. Depending on your employment income, it could also increase by about \$300/year for each subsequent year of contributions that you make.
For OAS, if you currently have 21 years of Canadian residence, you are eligible for 21/40ths of a full OAS. For every full year that you wait before applying, you accumulate another 1/40th, or about 5% of your current OAS estimate. Starting July 2013, you will also benefit from a 0.6% increase in your OAS for every month that you continue to defer your application for OAS.
As for GIS, it’s unlikely that you will be eligible, at least while you’re still working. Once you decide to quit however, that will be a better time to look at when you should apply for CPP and/or OAS, and whether you might be eligible for GIS based on your income at that time.
I hope this information is sufficient for you to decide what to do for now, but if you want more detailed calculations on your CPP options, you would have to email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca with your detailed CPP statement of contributions.

• Elizabeth says:

42. in my country. I pay to the government. not government pay me

43. very interesting, it looks like I will try to join ppc too. because my salary is very less so

44. Tom says:

Just a quick question guys. My dad turns 65 in 3 years. He is currently getting CPP since he was 60, but at a very low rate. We are selling our current house and he is thinking of purchasing a condo. Would the government factor in that you own a property and reduce your OAS + CPP + GIS since you are paying less a month (maintenance fee + hydro = \$500) as oppose to renting a place at like \$1300. He would have little income, since if he does not buy the condo, he would assist me with the money for my place. Thanks!

• Doug says:

Tom
Whether your dad owns or rents will not affect the amount of his CPP, OAS or GIS entitlement. The only possible impact if he sells his current home would be if he invested the proceeds and generated some income that might reduce his GIS entitlement. From what you say though, that’s not his plan.

• Tom says:

Thanks Doug for the clarification, really appreciate you taking the time to response to everyone’s questions in here.

45. Jean Humphreys says:

Hi Doug: Presently I’m retired– receiving a modest pension from my employer. My husband, a number of years older, has a good pension. I also work on-call, and contribute to the CPP still. I’m 64, and my question is: I feel so guilty applying for OAS or CPP because of the perceived monetary situation of the funds, plus shows like “Money Talks” which discuss our taking for granted what we get from gov’t and how the “free” ride can’t keep going. Should I apply to start these pensions at age 65? (I’m in very good health). Thanks.

46. Doug says:

Jean
I’m not sure whether you’re asking whether you should apply at age 65 versus waiting until a later time when your benefits will be more, or whether you shouldn’t apply at all?

If your question is the latter, I’m not one of those who feels that there’s any guilt in applying for either CPP or OAS. CPP benefits are financed directly through your contributions, and OAS is financed through federal taxes which you’ve probably paid your fair share?

If your question is the former, you should check out these two articles:
http://retirehappy.ca/cpp-for-the-over-65-and-still-working/
http://retirehappy.ca/voluntary-deferral-of-oas/

If you want accurate calculations of your CPP at various ages to help you decide when to start receiving it, email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca, and I can help you (for a fee).

47. Doug says:

Jean

I thought that I replied a couple of days ago, so my apology for the delay in this response, and my further apology if a 2nd similar reply eventually shows up!

It depends on whether you’re question is whether you should apply for your OAS and CPP at age 65 versus waiting until later to receive higher benefits, or whether you shouldn’t apply at all because you don’t need or deserve the benefits?

If the former, I would suggest that you read these two articles, and then get back to me if you still are uncertain:
http://retirehappy.ca/cpp-for-the-over-65-and-still-working/
http://retirehappy.ca/voluntary-deferral-of-oas/

If the latter, I don’t believe that you should feel guilty about applying for either your CPP or OAS benefits. You paid for your CPP directly through your contributions and you paid for your OAS indirectly through your federal tax dollars. Both benefits are taxable, so you’ll be refunding more of that money back to the government if you’re in the higher tax brackets, and the OAS even has a specific surtax if you’re in that income range. So again, no guilt!

48. Dave says:

Hi Jean,

Your say you’re receiving an employer based pension already and I assume you have no guilt about it. (Rightly so). The CPP is an employer based pension not a government pension. Whats the difference? I believe Michael Campbell is near 65 and I have no doubt he will collect any CPP…. and he should IMO.

Dougs info is all correct except in my opinion regarding OAS when he says you PAID for it. There is no money set aside to pay for OAS so we’re all PAYING for it. The problem Michael Campbell points out is this and the explosion of those reaching 65 with life expectancy so much longer now. Currently 2 age 65 people start collecting OAS for every 1 over 65 who dies.

I think more correctly, you paid for other seniors during your working years to have OAS and now its your turn to collect. Notionally though, we are still paying for long dead seniors OAS pensions, as some portion of the national debt must have been previous OAS payments.

Its just like health care, we paid for others and now as we grow older we need/expect more health care. But because of large ever increasing seniors population the numbers won’t work. You won’t have to feel guilty about not using health care we’re all going to get a whole lot less of it. So if you don’t want the OAS, save it to pay your health care later.

Dave

• Doug says:

Dave

Good to see you back here again! You seemed to have disappeared for a while?

I’m OK with your interpretation of the OAS financing, but I’m also OK with believing that just because the government used my tax dollars for other purposes when I gave it to them (rather than holding it in a separate account for me) doesn’t mean that I didn’t pay for my own OAS.

The main point that I think we agree on though, is that Jean shouldn’t feel any guilt in applying for her OAS at age 65, or waiting past age 65 to receive even more at a later age.

49. Mabel says:

Hi Doug,my dad has been approved the OAS, and he also waiting for GIS approve, my question is his EI benefit just approve at july, (he apply at march) however, if he received EI now is affect the GIS qualify?
So should he stop to receive EI,? So headache at this point.. Thank you.

• Doug says:

Mabel

If your dad has been approved for EI, it might reduce his GIS but only by about \$0.50 for every \$1.00. So, he’s still better off receiving any other money that he’s eligible for.

Also, GIS is normally paid for one fiscal year (July thru June) based on the previous calendar’s income, so any EI that he receives now wouldn’t normally affect him immediately. Plus, when the EI stops, he can be paid on his estimated income after that time, so it might not even reduce his GIS at all.

50. Andrea says:

Would anyone be willing to talk to me about my alternatives one-on-one? I’m so confused and desperately need to put plans in place!

• Doug says:

Andrea
I can definitely give you some one-on-one consulting, although I do chsrge a fee for that service, If you’re intersted, email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca.

51. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in
penning this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now
😉

52. michele says:

I took early cppp at 60 yrs old/ I now receive cpp apx 435 am nth and OAS apx 546 a month I am going to be laid off thisyr I am 66 and will be collecting EI for 36 weeks at apx 485 weekly I hav ealso withdrawn 6000. from my rrif this year Can I qualify for gis in 2014 If so would you know how much?

53. Doug says:

Michele
You haven’t indicated your marital status, but if you’re single you won’t be eligible for GIS until your EI payments stop. At that time, you will be eligible for GIS based on your estimated yearly income after that date. It’s a bit of a guesstimate, but I think your GIS might be as much as \$470 monthly (in addition to your OAS), again assuming that you are single and have no income other than CPP in 2014 after your EI stops.
If you have another RRIF withdrawal of \$6,000 in 2014, that will reduce your GIS by about \$250 per month.

54. michele says:

Thanks so much for the info. I call GIS today and I understand gis is deducted dollar for dollar of the amount of rrif withdrawls. Also they said it takes about 30 weeks to process a gis request. I was told by them today that I should fill out a 2014 estimated income in march 2014 and an estimated income for 2013 now. Its all very complicated. Can you clarify the procedure and wait time–30 weeks sounds like a very long time to wait for a decision in 2014, They also told me that I probably would not qualify for any money in 2013 because of the 6k rrif I withdrew in 2013 Even though they deduct salary and ei in their calculations, my income would still be apx 16k for 2013 disqualifying me for the gis.. Should I withdraw more now and save it for the 30 week waitng time in 2014, as I will only have about 1000 a month to live on after the EI runs out? I don’t want to withdraw in 2014 as that will affect the gis payment again By the way I am single.

Thanks Again for all of your help

• Doug says:

Michele
GIS is NOT deducted dollar for dollar for RRIF withdrawals. RRIF income is treated the same as any other income and is deducted for the most part by 50 cents on the dollar.
I can’t comment on the processing time, other than to say that another client (in BC) was told 20 weeks and it actually took about 10 weeks. I’m sure that it can vary by province, but it is what it is.
I wouldn’t bother completing the 2013 estimate form, as your EI will be pro-rated and will make you ineligible (even without the RRIF). I would wait until your EI stops, and complete the estimate form then.
Your plan to withdraw extra RRIF moneys in 2013 is probably a good one from a GIS perspective, but you’d also have to consider how that might affect your 2013 taxes versus 2014 taxes.

55. Shaw A. says:

Hi,

Thanks for your very informative blog.

I lived in Canada for almost 15 years, from Sep 71 to April 86, came as a student, became landed in 72, citizen in 75, worked starting 72,contributed to CPP, moved to US in 86, worked there and am living there till now. Just turned 65

Want to know:

1) how much CPP I may expect
2) how much OAS I may expect
3) how much GIS I may expect if my adjusted gross income (myself and my wife) is below US \$20K all of whioh is from rentals and not employment
4) whether I need to report to social security organization of respective country that I am receiving social security from the other
5) and if so, how are social security payments (CPP/OAS/GIS Canada) SS (USA) affected by such disclosure, or it doesn’t matter as the amounts will show up in the tax return
6) whether I need to file Canadian Tax Return for Canadian social security payents that I’ll be receivimg as I am now a permanent resident of the US
7) will my combined 42 years (15 in Canada, 27 years in US) entitle me to full (42/40) OAS ( under Totalization Agreement)?
8) would it be to my advantage to get the Canadian payments in US dollars direct deposited to a US bank, ignoring for now FX implications, or direct deposited to a Canadian bank taking into account tax witholding and other charges for non-resident Canadian
9) would it be to my advantage to move back to Canada, get residency and get full benefits of a resident Canadian(not sure how they compare to a non-resident status)
10) How does the Services Canada pro-active enrollment affect my initiative/requirement to apply on my own (online or otherwise)

SA

56. Doug says:

Shaw
Lots of questions, but I’ll do my best.
1) If all of your 14 years of CPP contribution were at max, your CPP would be approx. 14/39.5 x \$1,012/50 = \$358.86.
2) If you resided in Canada for “almost 15 years”, you will be eligible to 14/40 x \$550 = \$192.50 (see also #7).
3) You can expect \$0.00 GIS, as you aren’t residing in Canada.
4) You don’t have to report your US SS to Canada. Can’t tell you the other side of it.
5) CPP and OAS eligibility and entitlement aren’t affected by US SS eligibility.
6) I don’t think so, but you’d have to check with Revenue Canada to be sure.
7) No! Totalization can be used only to meet the minimum 20 year residency requirement or you wouldn’t be eligible for OAS at all. It doesn’t increase your 40ths.
8) Couldn’t tell you.
9) Too big a question.
10) It won’t affect. You must apply if you want to receive either CPP or OAS.

57. Shaw A. says:

Thanks a bunch Doug!

58. Rick says:

Could you please tell whether or not the savings I have in the bank will affect how much I receive in my Old Age Pension or the supplement? Thank you.

• Doug says:

Rick

It is the interest paid on any bank savings that you have that will affect your OAS, but only if your net income is over the threshold for the “clawback” (\$70,954 for 2013). The OAS clawback rate is 15% on income above that threshold amount. See Jim’s article on the OAS clawback for further details: http://retirehappy.ca/minimizing-old-age-security-clawback/

If your income is low enough to qualify for GIS, most types of income (including bank interest) will reduce your GIS entitlement. For the most part, GIS is reduced by \$0.50 for every \$1.00 of such income that you receive.

59. Krish says:

On the application form for OAS/GIS, my income is negative and my wife has a positive due to split pension, her only income. We completed ISP 3025 , but they say since my income is set to zero, leaving my wife at positive, we are penalized. Why bother with ISP 3025 ?

60. D.W. says:

Hi … working or school all my life … full-time employment w/ max. CPP contrib. for only 271 months. All my life lived in Canada. I’m 58 and wife 50 (she has always been self-employed so no CPP contrib.) Her gross inc. (\$35,000) and net inc. (\$23,000). We have other inc. of \$23,000/annum until 2030 (gov’t solar contract). Currently I’m employed and contrib. max. CPP contrib. If I want to retire at 60 (ie quit working) but collect CPP at 65 and my wife works until she is 55 but collects OAS/GIS at 65. Can you kind of guessimate what I would collect at 65 (7 yrs from now) from the gov’t in total and then what my wife would get when she reaches 65 (15 yrs from now)?

If not then any suggestions how we can figure this out based on the current rules? Don’t want to go to financial planner b/c we think a lot of them have their own hidden agenda (promoting some financial vehicle).

Thank you for considering the above. Sincerely, Daryl

61. Allan says:

Hello, Please tell me the following: what is the max amount of CPP, OAS and GIS combine a single person and a couple can get starting 65. CPP and OAS will be around \$800 for husband and \$800 for wife. I just want to know the difference between single person and married couple. Thanks a lot

62. Doug says:

Allan
I don’t understand your question. You ask what the maximum CPP, OAS and GIS would be, but you stipulate that CPP and OAS are \$800 (far below the max).
Is your question really how much GIS is payable to a couple with \$1,600 OAS & CPP versus a single person with \$800 OAS & CPP?
If that is your question, I can only answer it if you tell me what portion of the \$800/\$1,600 is CPP and which portion is OAS (are they receiving full or partial OAS), as the CPP is counted as income for GIS purposes and the OAS isn’t.

• Allan says:

Doug, you are correct. here are the numbers.
CPP – \$400, OAS will be \$450 – one person at65
CPP – \$450, OAS will be \$450 – another person at 65

How much GIS they will get as a couple and separately when without additional income?
Thanks

• Doug says:

Allan
GIS for anyone receiving a partial OAS (\$450 would be approx. 33/40ths of full basic OAS) are based on a complex set of rate tables that I don’t have access to, so the only answer I can give is based on full OAS. The actual amounts of GIS if they’re receiving partial OAS should be a little higher, but you’d have to call Service Canada if you want the precise amounts.
Based on receiving full OAS:
– a single pensioner receiving \$400 CPP would be eligible for GIS of \$496.19;
– a single pensioner receiving \$450 CPP would be eligible for GIS of \$471.19;
– a couple receiving \$850 CPP would be eligible for GIS of \$249.72 each, or \$499.44 in total

63. Allan says:

Thank you Doug. I have a question for you. As far as I understand, CPP contributions don’t change your pension for better. An example: take two people living 40 years in Canada. One worked hard contributed all his life and by 65 his CPP is \$800. The other one worked occasionally, had his business writing all expenses, many years didn’t work, worked under the table etc and his CPP at 65 is \$100. At 65 both of them will get the same \$1350 (approx.)pension. Am I correct?

• Doug says:

Allan
Not at all! GIS is only reduced by about 50 cents on the dollar, so using the examples that you’ve given, the hard-working person would receive about \$1,650 (\$800 CPP, \$550 OAS and \$300 GIS) versus about \$1,350 for the other one (\$100 CPP, \$550 OAS and \$700 GIS).

64. Allan says:

Hello Doug,
This is off topic but this is insane. One person pays taxes, EI, CPP all his life and tried to save some RRSP. And at the end with some interest from his savings and RRSP he gets \$1350 like other guy who pays almost nothing, gets \$700GIS, have all his money due to different combinations.
Everybody has basic in Australia – \$500. and then depends how much you contributed in your life time. Didn’t contribute anything, so \$500 is your max… It calls stimulus…

65. Samantha says:

Hi Doug,

Is that true that \$3500.00 (maximum) as extra income won’t effect my old age income and my CPP?

Samantha

• Doug says:

Samantha

\$3,500 of extra income definitely won’t affect your CPP amount, and it will only affect your OAS if you’re near or over the threshold for “clawback” http://retirehappy.ca/minimizing-old-age-security-clawback/

\$3,500 of extra income will definitely affect your GIS amount though, if you’re eligible for that.

66. Mabel says:

Hello doug,
My dad is receiving the GIS since last year at oct (he was 65 at july) ,so my apply allowance at last year oct last year, she is already 60 from feb 28, but now still not reponese , do you know how long she will have result normally ? Thank you!

67. Mabel says:

Hello doug,
My father was receiving the GIS now, and also my mom apply the allowance at last year oct, she is 60 at feb 28 2014, so do you know when will she get a reponese and what is the maximun time waiting ?
Thank you.

68. Doug says:

Mabel

Her first Allowance cheque should be payable at the end of March (month following her 60th birthday), but she should likely have heard something by now.

I would suggest phoning Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to make sure that they have at least received her application and to see if they need further information or documentation.

• mabel says:

Hi Doug,
My mom is still not get any letter,should she call them or wait til Apr 17,(because she apply in person at oct 17)?
Thank you.

• Doug says:

Mabel

I wouldn’t wait another day before calling!!

She should have received her first payment already if she’s eligible, and she should have heard before now if she’s not eligible or if they’re waiting for further documentation.

69. Dave Palmer says:

I am a Canadian citizen, but have never lived in Canada or made any income in Canada. I do plan on retiring in Canada is there any benefits that I can receive? I currently live in the US.

• Doug says:

Dave

You will begin to qualify for the Old Age Security (OAS) once you start residing in Canada. Each year of residence in Canada is worth 1/40th of the full basic amount (currently about \$550 monthly). You normally need at least 10 years of residence in Canada to qualify, but you may be able to qualify sooner under the Canada/USA social security agreement.

As far as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), you’re only eligible based on earnings in Canada where you’ve made CPP contribution. If you don’t make CPP contributions after you come to Canada, you won’t qualify for any CPP benefits.

70. islam says:

Hello ,

Am islam born in quebecin 26/7/1987 am now 27 years, i leave in egypt. I didn,t recieve any monthly canadian benefiets before .
I have some question:
1. Do i have benifites for the previous 27 year?
2. If i have how can i recieve them?

Note:am now working from 2009 until now

Thanks,

• Doug says:

islam

If you worked and contributed to CPP for any of those years, you will be eligible for a retirement pension when you turn age 65, or a reduced amount as early as age 60.

71. Dee says:

Hello,
My husband and I both collect CPP – 700 and 675. My question is, my husband turns 65 in two years, and I will be 62. When my husband starts getting OAS then will I be eligible for anything until I reach 65?
And when we are both 65 and have only this income and OAS, would we be eligible for GIS? Thanks so much. I did phone Service Canada but it is always hard to get info.

• Doug says:

Dee

Based on your current CPP amounts and the current OAS rate tables (and assuming that you both have at least 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18) here is what your entitlements would be.

When your husband is age 65 and you are age 62:
– he will have OAS of \$551.54 and GIS of \$300.72,
– you will have an Allowance of \$300.72

When you are both age 65:
– you will each receive OAS of \$551.54 and GIS of \$116.72

72. Ivy says:

Hi

My dad is currently collecting partial OAS. My mom is not a Canadian citizen and currently reside oversea. My parents are still legally married.
As far as I understand, GIS is calculated based on the marital status.
I am just wondering if my dad is considered as single or married in this case. Based on the fact that my mom is not a Canadian resident, how can I complete the GIS application form for my dad? Do I need to print my mom’s name, attach the marriage certificate and have her signed on the form? Or simply write non-resident under her name.
I have talked to the staff at Service Canada office but they are not really helpful.

Thanks.

73. Doug says:

Ivy

If the separation is due to a marital breakdown, your father could be considered as single three months after the separation began (even if they’re not “legally separated”), and there’s no need for your mother to complete any form for his GIS purposes.

If, on the other hand, the separation is temporary and is considered as “involuntary” (e.g., due to financial, health or other reasons), then your father should claim married status for GIS and your mother’s income should be reported.

I hope this helps?

• Ivy says:

Doug, thank you for the clarification.
My parents have been living apart for years due to financial reason(?). Back then, My mom was unwilling to give up her job back home. Even now she is retired, I don’t think she is planning to apply for Canadian citizenship again. I am not sure if this falls into the separated status category.
Now my question is…. When my dad filed his tax for 2013, he stated he is married. Would there be a problem if he applies as single for GIS (which the marital status did not match the tax return for 2013)?
Thanks again.

Ivy

74. Doug says:

Ivy

Only your parents can truly decide what their relationship is now.

Some of the questions that might help define their status would be:
– Do they ever hope to live together again?
– Do they continue to share their finances etc, or do they maintain separate lives and they just haven’t taken any legal steps to end the marriage?
– Have either of them had a common-law relationship since the started living separately?

Once he decides what his marital status is, your father should certainly be consistent in how he claims his marital status, especially to various government departments. He can’t simply claim to be married when that is better for him, but separated when that is better.

For instance, what will happen when one of them dies? Is there an expectation that the other will be eligible for survivor’s benefits?

75. Judith says:

My CPP is \$350.00 a month, and I’ll receive full OAS. I have a Lif and I receive about \$3600 a year. I average about \$600 a month (part-time job). My income for last year was around \$13, 500. Never been married or partnered. Will I receive GIS. If so, about how much? Thank you.

76. sonnycat says:

I have been told that someone who has never worked will end up with the same amount of income as someone who is getting cpp retirement old age and income supplement is this true. as of june 14 this is 1,261.00 per month.

77. Doug says:

Sonnycat

You are quite misinformed. Firstly, as of July 2014 the basic OAS is \$558.71 and the maximum GIS for a single person is \$757.58, bringing the total for those two benefits to \$1,316.29. That is the least that anyone who has lived in Canada for at least 40 years after reaching age 18 should receive at age 65.

If they worked and contributed to CPP, they would receive more than that amount. While it’s true that someone receiving CPP wouldn’t receive the maximum GIS, they would still be ahead by approximately half of the amount of their CPP.

78. Brian Smyth says:

Doug – your knowledge is such an asset for many at such times as that approach to Retirement Life.
With me – it has been several years of illness and depending on the support of a working spouse thankfully to get us through.
I am weeks away from my 65th Birthday and am very vague about finances will be coming together for me. My wife and I had been initially back in Europe a lot caring for elderly family – I am a Canadian Citizen since 1978 and am presently only receiving \$61 cpp monthly. I have only lived in Canada 15 to
16years. There should also be some pension eligibility from time spent in the UK.
My wife is a Permanent Resident and will hopefully be applying for Canadian Citizenship next year. I don’t know if it is possible but is there some way I could use the very few years she has of cpp contributions towards boosting my meagre monthly sum? She will be 60 in two weeks time and has only 4 years of contributions so I don’t see her ever getting a payment from.Thanks for any advice.

• Doug says:

Brian

No, there’s no way to transfer your wife’s CPP contributions to increase your pension. She could receive her own CPP at age 60 though, and they will have the same impact on her pension as they would on yours, except that she’ll have the age-reduction if she starts at age 60.
You should be eligible for OAS now, if you’re presently residing in Canada. If so, you may also be eligible for GIS and your wife might also qualify for the Allowance.

• Brian Smyth says:

Doug – thanks for the response. I have been getting very little from CPP but considering that I had returned to UK to look after elderly family, and also that I developed major illness myself – I am no doubt getting what is due to me. However, I have recently applied for partial OAS and they have turned me down- I think they are questioning my residency years in Canada. I just wish that I had more evidence to show them but they are actually wrong – thinking me to be less than 10 years here when in fact I am close to 14 years. (I might have to turn to my local Federal M.P.)

• Doug says:

Brian

Sorry to hear that you’re having problems with your OAS. Residence in Canada is sometimes a grey area, especially if you had frequent and/or lengthy absences and/or significant ties to another country.
They should have advised you of your appeal rights though, so don’t hesitate to follow that route (in addition to contacting your MP) if you believe that you have at least 10 years of good residence in Canada.

79. Anna says:

Hi, I am helping my parents to fill out all the forms and apply for anything they are eligible for. It so confusing, and I need help. My father is going to be 65 in May 2015, he was full time employee so he made maximum CPP contributions. He also has pension plan from Manulife at his work place. My mother will be 65 in 2016, she is self-employed and as per advise of her accountant never made any CPP contributions. They want to start their retirement as soon as my father become 65.
I am getting confused with retirement sharing between spouses. I need to know if they should apply for CPP, OAC, GIS and allowance together or separately and which exactly forms to fill out in order for them to receive everything they are eligible for and to maximize their benefits.

80. Doug says:

Anna

I think you should contact Service Canada for some assistance, but in a nutshell:
– they have to apply for their CPP separately, but they can share their CPP through a joint Assignment, if that would be an advantage for tax purposes;
– they have to apply separately for OAS (Old Age Security);
– they have to file joint income statements for GIS and the Allowance, but the benefits are paid separately

81. Andrea says:

I would love some advise. I just turned 60 and I am considering going for the early CPP. My employment is a mixed bag of working, child rearing etc.

At 22 I had my first child and stayed home with her for 1 2/ yrs and had three children 1989 through 1995. Then a divorce and raising 4 kids on my own … not working. I am the person that collected the Baby Bonus / Child Tax Credit and will definitely be filing the ‘Child Provision’ and need to know:

1) If they only calculate from 0 – 7 even for single parents?
2) If they have my tax information, and if I have been collecting the child tax credit payments, why do I need copies of original birth certificates?

My lawyer dropped the ball and didn’t tell me about my right to apply for split pension, though I also know that it is not too late for that:

1) Does this mean that the split is for the years married, or does it include child rearing years and lost income and contributions?

Question regarding early CPP:

1) If you elect to take CPP early, does that mean that it is reduced for the 60 months of early CPP?
2) The rest of your life?
3) Does it pop up to normal rates at 65?

I rec’d child support but it was non-taxable based on agreement, which means no contributions for all the years I stayed home with the 4 kids.

Honestly, with such complex formulas I have no idea what I might expect to get at 60 or even 65 if I decide to wait. Any idea there?

Is there anything else that I might be able to look into to up the amount?

Andrea

• Doug says:

Andrea

Lots of good questions!

1) Yes, the child-rearing provision (CRP) just covers periods up until the child reached age 7, even for single parents.
2) If you take your CPP early, it is paid at the reduced rate for life.

If you have a recent copy of your CPP statement of contributions, I could do some calculations for you (for a fee) to help you figure out when to take your CPP. I can easily calculate how much the CRP will increase your CPP, and I can also calculate the impact of a credit split if you have a copy of your ex-husband’s CPP statement (or I can approximate it if you can estimate his earnings).

If you’re interested in having me do any calculations for you, email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca.

• Andrea says:

Thanks Doug … I appreciate your response.

I guess my first response is … what a rip-off that taking early CPP means a 32% loss for life. Also, that a woman who makes the decision to stay home and raise children is once again ripped off good and proper in this scenario. I guess my lawyer, whom I had to pay a fortune to was worse that I had already decided. This non-taxable child support situation worked great for my ex but has been a disaster for me in the long run based on what you have told me.

Would you please let me know what the % per payment period, i.e.: weekly, bi-weekly or monthly they take for CPP?

Even though I have worked in one capacity or another since I was 13, full time since 20 and until 36, because of such low wages in the early years and ‘old day’s my CPP is next to nothing.

I really need to augment with the Split Pension and CRP!!

A.

• Doug says:

Andrea

I’m not exactly sure what your question means, but if you’re wondering how they calculate and pay your CPP, the amount is 25% of your “average monthly pensionable earnings”, and it is paid monthly.

I should clarify a couple of other points also.

The current reduction for taking CPP early is 0.56% per month, or 33.6% at age 60. The reduction factor is increasing yearly, and will be 0.58% for 2015 and 0.6% for 2016 and beyond.

Also, whether your child support payments were taxable or non-taxable wouldn’t have affected your CPP, as you only make CPP contributions on earnings from salary or self-employment.

• Andrea says:

Thanks again!!

Would you please define what ‘pensionable earnings mean’ please? I’m guessing that its pretty straightforward and means your earning for the month.

I will email you but the reason I am considering losing big-time and taking early CPP is because my financial situation is not good.

82. Doug says:

Andrea

Pensionable earnings means your earnings from salary or self-employment on which you pay CPP contributions. Average monthly pensionable earnings (AMPE) means your average lifetime pensionable earnings, after adjusting for inflation and after any applicable CPP dropouts.

83. Andrea says:

Quite by chance I remembered that I had gotten something from the government last year and dug it out. Here’s what it says (which is an incomplete picture) and makes no sense based in your page where you explain that they calculate for inflation etc.

Its pretty pathetic:

IF I was 65 I would be getting 392.80; 60 – 260.82 and 70 – 557.78.

IF you take that number, add OAS, CRP and PS .. what might I expect as a guestimate? Child 1976 ending 1983; Child 1989; 1992 and 1995 – ending 2002.)

A.

84. Doug says:

Andrea

I’d need to know your year-by-year earnings to do an actual calculation, but since you can potentially drop out approximately 20 years under the CRP, your age-60 CPP could be as much as \$500 (if you had zero earnings in all of those 20 CRP years).

OAS is payable at age 65, and the full basic amount is \$558.71 if you have 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18. You may also be eligible for GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement), but I’d need more info to tell you if/how much.

If PS means pension split, I can’t even guesstimate without much more information.

85. Andrea says:

You have been very generous with your time and I appreciate it.

Over the two years there were two income reports totaling \$54K.

I am sure that I would quality for GIS when the time comes and I can see why it would be impossible to determine the PS and that’s something the government would have to do.

Thanks again,
A.

86. jo says:

If my CPP is 450/mth and I receive full OAS (in 2015)I still can’t figure out if taxes will be owed.
If I stay in the country I will also get GIS.

If I head south (without GIS) will tax still be withheld if the CPP and OAS are my only income? non tax treaty country.

Thanks
jo

87. michele says:

Hi Doug
I have recently applied for gis on an estimated income for for 2014 I was advised by them to empty my riff which was about 5000, so I did. They explained that the riff withdrawal would be forgiven as it is now at a 0 balance I enclosed the documentation to prove the 0 balance I hope they directed me correctly Do you have any idea? I currently receive 461 monthy cpp and max oas total monthly income apx 1000. How much gis do you think I may receive? The govt told me about 472 a month, I have trouble believing anything as they seemed confused and every time I call I get a different answer Please Help. Thanks Doug

88. Michele

The answer to your question depends partly on why you were being paid GIS on an estimated income, and whether you were making regular withdrawals from your RRIF until it was finally depleted or whether you simply made that one lump sum withdrawal to deplete it.

If you were making regular withdrawals and you ultimately depleted your RRIF, that in itself could trigger being paid GIS on estimated income. If however something else triggered the estimated income and you coincidentally just made this one-time withdrawal from your RRIF, it will likely be considered as income after your estimate and will reduce your GIS.

If you now have just the CPP income of \$461, the quote of \$472 for GIS is about right. If you receive less than that, they may be reducing it for the RRIF withdrawal and you may have to make a claim of “erroneous advice” to see if you can get it increased. In that case, hopefully you have the name of the agent at Service Canada that told you to make the RRIF withdrawal, as well as the date/time of your call.

89. michele says:

Thanks for your reply Jim. No I did not get the name or date of the person. I withdrew in 3 payments in 2014
July 3500
August 2000
Sept 975,
All of these amounts are gross amounts

This is not good news for me for sure do they deduct dollar for dollar Is there ever exceptions to this rule? Would it affect my gis for Jan 2015 or only 2014? Thanks for your help. This is all so complicated yuk

• Doug says:

Michele

Did you have any other income that had stopped or reduced, or was the RRIF withdrawal the reason or trigger for the estimate? Did you also make any RRIF withdrawals in 2013, or were these 3 withdrawals the total amount of your RRIF?

Income in 2014 would normally affect GIS for the period of July 2015 to June 2016, and it would normally reduce GIS by approx. 50 cents on the dollar. Being paid on estimated income makes the effect immediate though.

My suggestion is to wait and see how much your GIS is, and then to enquire why if it’s lower than the \$472 amount that you were told it would be.

90. jenny t says:

I can have a choice of taking one payment instead of monthly pension from my firm that I worked for some number of years. I will pay a lump sum tax on the payment. How does this one payment converts to ‘monthly income’ in terms of calculation of OAS and GIS?

91. jenny t says:

Hi, Doug, I am on LTD from workplace. As required by the insurer, I must apply CPP Disability benefits. I am currently 59 and would like to go back to work, possibly in 1-2 years. I heard that the CPP Disability benefit will reduce my CPP retirement amount (then without CPP Disability benefit had been received) in the future.

Question:
1) is the negative effect of collecting CPP Disability benefit on CPP retirement income true or false?
2) When I am on LTD, I do not contribute to CPP; due to the lower amount of contribution my CPP Retirement benefit would be lower than if I had been healthy (and did not stop contribute to CPP). true or false?

Jenny

• Ralph says:

Hi there,
I am retiring at age 65 in 16 months. I took early CPP at 61 (I presently receive 746/mos) . I have no other pension as I have been self employed. I do have savings (RRSPs) worth 300k which at 4% would produce about 2800/mos for 10 years. The next ten years if I make it that far I would survive off the equity in my small condo. ( present value 225)
What can I expect my CPP and OAS to be a,t 65. Approximately? I hear terms like claw backs etc and I wonder if I would be affected by them?

• Doug says:

Ralph

Your CPP at age 65 will be slightly higher based on four years of cost-of-living increases, but let’s say it will still be \$746.

If you have resided in Canada for at least 40 years after age 18, you will receive the “full basic amount” which is currently \$563.74/mos.

You won’t be eligible for GIS and you won’t be subject to the “OAS clawback” if the only other income you have is your RRSP income of \$2,800/mos.

• Doug says:

Jenny

You have the situation completely reversed. If you are not contributing to CPP because you are disabled, these years of zero earnings will likely reduce your retirement pension if you don’t receive CPP disability, but it will be protected if you do receive CPP disability.

92. dave says:

hi great stuff here I love your advice,i was wondering, I am going to retire soon. I have a municipal pension plan,that I will get when I retire. I have a pension plan from my dear departed wife. I am collecting right now a combined survivor and my cpp pension.( I am 61). life is good. I was wondering when the time comes to collect OAP AT 65, I KNOW THE MPP BRIDGE WILL COLLAPSE ,BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY SURVIVOURS PENSION?, WILL IT B REDUCED OR JUST FADE AWAY. YOURS TRULY DAVE

• Doug says:

dave

It will likely be reduced, but the combined benefit formulas are quite complex.

If you want me to do this calculation for you (for a fee), email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca

93. Alex says:

I elected to take early CPP and am now collecting \$240 per month. Can you please tell me how much GIS I will be eligible for when I am 65 and collecting OAS next year. I have no other pension income, RRSPs, etc. I have looked everywhere on the Revenue Canada site for the table to show how CPP is worked into the GIS formula. I understand being able to earn \$3500 annual”employment income” and the GIS not being affected. Is CPP considered pension income and therefore GIS is reduced \$0.50 per dollar or is CPP considered “Employment Income” and possible included in the \$3500 allowance? Thanks.

• Doug says:

Alex

CPP is considered pension income and is not eligible to the \$3,500 exemption for employment income.

Assuming that you’re single, your combined OAS/GIS at age 65 should be about \$1,190.14.

94. DAVE says:

Hi Doug

Do you know the 2015 YMPE amount.

I’ve been searching the internet but can’t find it. I thought it was announced at the beginning of Nov. ?

Dave

• Doug says:

Dave

It’s usually announced by CRA sometime in November, but I haven’t seen it yet either.

95. Dave says:

I now see taxtips.ca has it showing as 53,600 for 2015.

96. Alf says:

My wife applied for the Allowance 14 months ago. She has called Service Canada several times to check on the application, and was told that the delay was caused by needing U.S. credits to make up about 6 months of the 10 year residency requirement. When she called on Friday, she was told that the U.S. credit inquiry was just sent to Social Security two days before! She was also told that they asked for information from Citizenship & Immigration Canada at the same time. My wife sent a true copy of her landing document with the application and nothing else was requested. Can Service Canada request information from CIC without my wife’s permission? I thought they required a consent form for that. Any idea what information they need from CIC?

97. Walter says:

My parents are turning 65 early 2015. We came to Canada as permanent residents in 1994, my father was the only one who actually worked and is has already submitted applications for CPP and Old age security etc. My siblings (28, 24) are now thinking about their future, my mother never worked a day in her life here in Canada, as she took care of us. Is she still entitled to some government help? What would both be getting monthly from government to survive?

PS. My father contributed to CPP for 20 years.

Thanks.

• Doug says:

Walter

Your parents will both be eligible for OAS, as it is based on the number of years of residence in Canada, not on contributions. The full basic OAS is currently \$563.74 monthly, and it is earned at the rate of 1/40th for each full year of residence in Canada, so your parents should each receive about half of that amount.

A maximum CPP retirement pension of \$1,065 monthly for 2015 requires 39 years of maximum earnings & contributions. If your father has 20 years of maximum earnings (\$52,500 for 2014), his CPP would be approx. \$546. If his earnings were less than maximum, his CPP would be proportionately less than \$546.

Depending on what other income sources they have, they may qualify for some GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement), which is part of the OAS program.

98. Dave says:

If your mother has 20 years in Canada she will be eligible for one half of the OAS – presently the max is \$563, so she would get about \$282 per month. Assuming your father has the same 20 years he would get the same amount… \$282 per month.

Your fathers CPP is based on his contributions, but he could not more than 20/39 at age 65 which would be \$1065/39 * 20 years. (Again, it is based on his contributions, so if he contributed less than max each year he will get less.)

Depending on their combined total income they may be eligible for some guaranteed income supplement but details of their total income would be needed to estimate this. (OAS is not included in the total income).

99. mabel says:

HiDoug,
My parents is currently received GIS benefit, if they plan to sell the condo(they are living there),and wants to buy another one.My question is if the new property is same price or maybe a little bit cheaper than they live one,will government investigate if they have earning after selling the property? Is there any affect to their GIS benefit?
Thank you

• Doug says:

Mabel

GIS is affected only by taxable income, and the sale of their primary residence should not create any taxable income. If the new condo that they purchase is significantly cheaper and they invest the balance, that could create some taxable income which might reduce their GIS a little bit, but they would still be ahead by having this extra income.

• mabel says:

Doug,
My parents is only own the property, for example, my currently condo sold the price \$260000,(deduct all expenses from agent commission, etc.)we can have \$250000. But we decide to buy a \$230000 for a new home,so it seems we can cash out for \$20000. (But we are still \$130000 mortgage ).
In that case,the government will investigate it and affect to GIS income.

• Doug says:

Mabel

If this condo is your parents’ principle residence, selling it should not generate any taxable income and it should not affect their GIS.

100. Dave says:

If they have excess from the home sale and they don’t already have Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) they should open them. In this way they can legally shelter up to \$36500 each (which is the total amount for 2015)and the income produced is not taxable.

They should be sure to name each other as beneficiaries of the account when completing the account documentation.

101. p.joseph says:

Can anyone explain my position, I have been living in Canada since 2003 and became citizen in 2010. I have worked only briefly in Canada , possibly about 1 year due to my age factor and trying to start a business. I am going to be 62 yrs in Jan 2015 and would like to know what , if any pension and other benefits i can expect ? I am married and my spouse is currently working in a bank since 2004 and earns about \$ 48000 / year

• Doug says:

When you turn age 65, you should become eligible for OAS. It is earned at the rate of 1/40th of the full basic amount (approx. \$560/mth), so if you have 15 years of residence in Canada at age 65 you should receive approx. \$211/mth. You may also be eligible for some GIS at the same time, but the amount will depend on the age of your spouse and your combined income at that time.

102. Paul says:

Hello,
I was badly injured in a MVA,which happened in Canada, IN 1979. I was classed as disabled by the BC Government until 2005; since then I have ran a small produce sales business, so I have made 9 years(\$1000 per year average) worth of CPP contributions. I want to retire, 3 years from now, at age 60, and I have two questions: 1)How much am I eligible for?
2)Will CPP take my the time that I was disabled in to favorable consideration?

Thanks,

Paul

• Doug says:

Paul

Based on 12 years of contributions at approx. half-max earnings, I would estimate your age-60 CPP retirement pension to be approx. \$207 per month. You should request a copy of your CPP statement of contributions from Service Canada though, to see what their estimate is.

Unfortunately, your 26 years of non-contributions does count against you, unless you were receiving a CPP disability pension during those years.

103. paul says:

Cheers
Paul

104. Yuri says:

Doug
Do you know who can help me with EI Benefit issue ?
Thank you.
Yuri

• Doug says:

Yuri

I regret to advise you that I don’t know anyone who’s an expert on EI, so the best I can do is suggest that you check with Service Canada.

• Yuri says:

Thank you, Doug

105. Alf says:

As I mentioned before, my wife applied for the Allowance nearly two years ago. She was about 8 months short of 10 years in Canada, and U.S. credits had to be used. Finally, a couple days ago, she received a call from someone at the International Benefits office in New Brunswick, who said that my wife qualifies and can be sent a retroactive payment of \$6,000, but that I will then have an overpayment of \$10,000! My wife questioned how the overpayment could be more than the payment, and the woman said it just was. She suggested that it would we would be better off to just drop the application. My questions are: 1) does that sound right to you?, 2) is the amount my wife would receive determined by a person doing math with a pen & paper, or by a computer?, 3) how can we determine if my wife received correct information? Thanks!

• Alf

The GIS/Allowance calculations can sometimes get quite complex, especially where your wife had less than 10 years of residence in Canada. They would even be further complicated if you are receiving a partial OAS yourself (less than 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18).

What I recommend is that you ask them to send you a letter explaining their calculations. I don’t know exactly how their computer system is programmed these days, but I suspect there’s a mixture of manual and computer calculations involved.

Long and short of it is that if you’re receiving a partial OAS pension yourself, I won’t be surprised if the \$6,000 and \$10,000 calculations are accurate. If you’re receiving a full OAS however, that amount of difference seems high to me.

If you want me to analyze your numbers further (for a fee), email me at DRpensions@shaw.ca

106. Jasmine says:

I will be turning 60 in Oct. 2016. I have worked from 1975-2003 and have made total contributions of \$15,320.98. (Max. contributions were made from 1999-2002). I am married and my husband will not be retiring for another 6-8 years. Will his income affect my CPP? Approx. how much can I expect from CPP when I turn 60? Thank you in advance.

• Jasmine

It’s impossible to estimate the amount of your CPP based on your total contributions without knowing the amount of contributions year-by-year. For example, a maximum contribution of \$79.20 in 1966 has the same value as a maximum contribution of \$2,479.95 in 2015.

Call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 and they’ll be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate of your CPP at age 60.

107. Tony says:

Hi Doug,

My wife is turning 65 in November 2015 and is currently receiving a reduced CPP while still working 3 days a week. She has a small RRSP ( \$28000.00 ) and is planning to stop working before her 65th birthday. Should she transfer her RRSP to a TFSA. I realize that this will result in withholding taxes but the logic is to qualify for GIS payments. In my case, I am also receiving a reduced CPP and have no other income. I will be 65 next year March and I have applied for the Allowance. I have an RRSP for \$6500 and a LIRA for \$36000.00. I am also thinking of transfering the \$6500 RRSP into a TFSA, to qualify for GIS. The LIRA for \$36000.00, I guess I have no options but to let it go to a RIF. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

• Tony

Unfortunately, whatever you and your wife do with your RRSPs from this point forward, they will reduce or eliminate your GIS eligibility for at least one year. The best strategy from a GIS perspective might be for you both to keep your RRSPs intact until age 71 (unless you need the money sooner) and then to both withdraw all the money in the same year and accept that you will get little to no GIS in the following year.

I wish that I had better news for you, but perhaps someone else will have a different suggestion?

108. Jini says:

Hi Doug,

My question bottom line is, I’m receiving \$104.09 for my first CPP payout per month. Is this correct?
I am 60 years old this year and have been working on and off since 1989. I have a husband who is receiving rather less than me (\$65) and he is currently 63. We were a landed immigrant in March 1987 and because Canadian citizen in 2003. I am very curious for my pay seems so small when my in-laws who have not even worked in Canada who has arrived into Canada with me at the same year receiving more than \$1000 per month (cpp+oas).
Will my husband and I be receiving more by the time we are 65?

109. Doug says:

Jini

Your CPP amount is 25% of your “average lifetime earnings”, reduced because you took it earlier than 65. The amount will vary by individual based on how much they have worked and contributed since age 18.

When you reach age 65, you will become eligible for OAS and possibly GIS, so that you will probably receive something like your in-laws in total.

• Jini says:

Thank you so much, Doug! 🙂

110. lydia bigelow says:

i will be 65 in september 2015 i retired in 2012 and have lived on my profit sharing since then it was put into a rif acccount and i withdrew monthly along with early cpp i collect 1300 dollars a month 1000 from rif 300 from cpp my last rif payment is september of 2015 i will be broke will i get the gis as well as my oas

• Lydia

Your GIS starting Sept 2015 would normally be based on your 2014 income, but if you have monthly rif payments that will be ending in Sept you should contact Service Canada to request that you be paid on your estimated 2015 income after the rif payments stop.

111. pauline says:

Hi I am turning 65 in dec.21st 2015. I receive early cop at 284.00 myth and an employment income of 570.00 mth. How much gis should I get when I turn 65 and how much gis would I get if I stop working

• Pauline

If you’re single and have only those two sources of income, you would be eligible for a combined OAS/GIS of approx. \$848 per mth effective January 2016. If you stopped working and had only your CPP, your combined OAS/GIS would increase to approx. \$1,157 per mth.

112. Yuri says:

Hi Doug,
I am 68. My contract stopped in end 2014. Now I receive unemployment
benefits to October 2015. My wife get only a partial OAS-\$265, I get
CPP \$434 and a partial OAS-\$251. When do I have to apply for GIS and
how much can I expect to receive?

Thanks,
Yuri

113. Yuri

You should apply for GIS immediately, and you may be eligible retroactive to the month following when your employment contract ended. I can’t tell you how much you might receive without knowing your EI amount, your CPP amount(s) and any other income sources that you might have.

• Yuri says:

Doug, I can not apply now. My EI amount is \$514 weekly.
So to end of September I am fine. I am interesting how much
GIS I might receive when I stop to get EI (from October 2015).
From this date my income will be: CPP \$434; a partial OAS \$251; my wife a partial OAS \$265. I do not have any other income.

Thanks

• Yuri

Because you’re only receiving a partial OAS, you should be eligible for GIS of approx. \$120 per month even while you’re receiving your EI. Your wife will receive a little less, because she has a little more OAS.

When your EI stops, your GIS should increase to approx. \$681 and your wife’s a little less again.

• Yuri says:

Thank you so much, Doug!

114. Ray says:

Hi Doug, great and informative site. I’m learning alot, thanks. I have a question. I recently sold my house in Canada (parents lived with me) and moved to the US. Because my parents are seniors (retired) they will not have medicare like they have in Canada so I purchased a condo for them in Canada with a small mortgage. In order for them to be able to get a small mortgage I had to be the guarantor and have my name on the deed. Would I be able to apply on their behalf for the \$500 grant by filling the Application for the Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant? As I read from above posts that their OAS and GIS will not be affected (principal residence) and they make under \$13K per year/ each ? Thanks

• Ray

I don’t know anything about the Ontario Property Tax Grant, but your parents will continue to be eligible for OAS/GIS if they haven’t moved with you and continue to be resident in Canada (ie., make their home here and be ordinarily present here).

115. Martin says:

Hi, I am turning 65 on coming December, my wife is 63 now and on ODSP, should we apply for OAS together or alone, I am thinking to apply now and she will apply later , what is more beneficial applying together or alone. Thanks

• Martin

There’s no particular advantage to you waiting for your wife to turn 65 in order to apply for OAS together. The only advantage to waiting is that your OAS will increase by 0.6% for every month that you delay in applying.

The critical issue is probably whether your combined income is low enough to qualify for GIS (less than \$41,000 not counting OAS), in which case you should definitely apply for your OAS right away. Your wife might even qualify then for an Allowance if your combined income is low enough (less than \$31,600 not counting OAS).

116. Debbie says:

Could you explain how rifs work. I was told it was a good idea to transfer rrsp to rif at 61. Is this a good idea? Thank you!

117. Diane says:

IF you retire at 65 can you receive ui

118. Janey says:

Hi Doug,
Thank you for such a great and informative site. I have some questions here. Do you know how they calculate “years of residence in Canada”?
My understanding is if one stayed in Canada more than 183 days during that calendar year, then that year is counted toward his residency requirement. Is that correct?

What if one leaves Canada for over 183 days, but it’s crossed over two calendar years. For example, my dad came back to Canada on Mar 26, 2013, left on Oct 2, 2013 (so he was in Canada for more than 183 days in 2013), but after that he came back on Apr 12, 2014, and left again on Oct 15, 2014. (so he was in Canada for more than 183 days in 2014 as well, but in between, he left for more than 6 months)

In this case, is he considered residenting in Canada for 2013 and 2014??

Thanks so much for your help.

• Janey – For OAS purposes, residence is not determined simply by spending 183 days (or any other number of days) in Canada. Residence is defined as “making your home in Canada and being ordinarily present in Canada”.

When someone regularly spends times in two or more countries, the first part of that definition requires an analysis of which country is their true home and which country are they visiting.

If Canada is your dad’s true home, he could have temporary absences longer than 183 days that wouldn’t necessarily interrupt his residence here. But if it’s determined that Canada isn’t his true home, presence here wouldn’t be considered as residence regardless how many days it was.

119. Joan says:

Hello, my father is planning to move back to his birth country after retiring as he’ll be getting less then \$1000/month in CPP/OAS and he won’t be eligible for GIS for full year due to his income from previous year. Therefore, my question is, if he’ll be eligible to receive OAS after he leaves Canada. He lived in Canada for 28 years. Thank you!

• Joan

Yes, your father will continue to be eligible for OAS after he leaves Canada, as long as he has at least 20 years of residence in Canada after he reached age 18.

• Joan

As a follow-up to my previous reply, your father may be eligible for GIS starting the month after he retires, based on his estimated current income. This GIS eligibility will end however, six months after he leaves Canada.

I lived and worked in Canada 1974-79, paid into CPP, moved to US and started living there since 1983. I paid into US Social Security while working in the US. Did not work outside of the US since moving to US.
Now retired, getting CPP payment for my Canada days. Why would US SSA reduce SS payments because of CPP payment when my stay and contributions to each country are distinct and separate periods, no overlap, no cross-border employment.

How does Totalization come into play under the circumstances.

I’m not an expert on the US SSA, but I do know that they have a “Windfall Elimination Provision” that I suspect is the reason for your US reduction. Here’s a link with more details: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep.html

The way that totalization might help you is that you may qualify for some OAS pension from Canada by combining your 5 years of residence in Canada with 15 years of US contributions in order to meet the minimum 20-year threshold to qualify for OAS from outside Canada. The amount of your OAS will however just be based on your 5 years of residence in Canada.

120. Tim Darron says:

As you state yourself ” The rules for government benefits are not easy to understand. For more information, contact Service Canada.”
The benefit that you specify namely \$24,346.44 is completely erroneous.The GIS table counts CPP income NOT including OAS and the maximum payout is for a single and that number is \$1,330.80 as of Sept 2015. This is a single person who receives ZERO CPP.

• Tim

The amount of \$24,346.44 in the above article is entirely plausible.

In your scenario, for someone who is single they could receive approx. \$1,811 per month in CPP/OAS/GIS combined, or \$21,732 per year (monthly \$1,065 CPP, \$565 OAS and \$181 GIS).

However if someone had a spouse that wasn’t receiving OAS, they could be eligible for approx. \$2,219 per month (or \$26,628 per year). This would be comprised of \$1,065 CPP, \$565 OAS and \$589 GIS monthly.

• Tim Darron says:

Doug. A new thread should be created to discuss additional Provincial Benefits for pensioners 65+ yrs old. The payout can be \$200+ per month. Also another thread should be started for the complicated subject of pensioner survival benefits

• Tim Darron says:

Doug. It is worth mentioning that the Ontario Trillium Benefits provide more funding to pensioners.( say up to 300\$ per month for the sake of mentioning). Some of these benefits are universal and others are based on income. Perhaps a new thread can be started to explain Provincial Pensioner Benefits as well as the really complicated survival benefits for all pensioners.

121. Tim Darron says:

I agree that your payout numbers are correct but only for married couples.

The value \$26,628 per year is correct provided that the spouse less than 60 yrs old is not receiving OAS and has ZERO income AND the ONLY income that the pensioner receives is maximum CPP+OAS+GIS. This averages out to 1109.50 per month for EACH spouse due ONLY to the pensioners proceeds as the other non pensioner spouse receives nothing.

A spouse between the ages 60-65 yrs can receive Allowance (GIS) if the pensioner spouse receives OAS plus GIS. The “plus GIS” signals that the Allowance will apply to the other spouse 60-65 yrs old due to low family income. Here is the payout if the pensioner receives FULL CPP and has no other income ::

Pensioner gets MONTHLY payout of 1066 CPP + 959 OAS-GIS or \$2025 per month or \$24300 per year
Spouse between the ages 60-65 yrs receives a payout of \$394 per month (GIS-Allowance).

The payout is adjusted on your annual tax return where every last cent of income is exposed even 10\$ annual interest income.

122. Anna says:

Hello, everybody. I have question for Doug.
I live in Toronto (I mean Canada) only for 15+ years. I am now almost 62. I didn’t work all these years, so I accume that my CPP contribution not enough at all. I look forward to get Old Age Security pension (or whatever it calls). I try to find the fixed amount of monthly payment for people like me online, but can’t find. Now comes the question :))
Do you know how much people get monthly if they live in Canada less than 20 years and don’t have enough CPP contribution?
Thank you.

• Anna

OAS is earned at the rate of 1/40th of the full basic amount (currently \$564.87 monthly) for every year of residence in Canada. If you will have 18 complete years of residence in Canada when you turn age 65, you will receive 18/40ths of \$564.87 = \$254.19 monthly.

If you have limited other income, you may also be eligible for GIS. Read this article for further details: http://retirehappy.ca/receiving-partial-oas-pension-affects-gis-amounts/

• Anna says:

Thank you, Doug, I will have more question for you in the future 🙂

123. Nelson says:

I am an immigrant to Canada. By the time I reach age 65 I would have resided in Canada 39 years which means I would be eligible for 39/40 (97.5%) of OAS benefits. If I defer the benefit for 12 months, I would be eligible for an additional 7.2% of benefits. Would I also be eligible for the full (40/40) benefit of the OAS benefits? In other words, would my benefits be increased by 9.7% (7.2% + 2.5%)?

124. Arthur Gannis says:

Will be turning 65 next year but have been caring for my old father for the last 15 years and living with him without any income, just the Quebec pension of \$140 per month. I am single and have lived in Canada for over 40 years. Can I get GIS while living with him and if so how much approx. Thanks.

• Arthur

If your only income now is QPP of \$140 per month, you should get OAS of \$564.87 and GIS of \$695.93.

• Arthur Gannis says:

Thanks for the quick reply Doug. I always thought that the amount is lowered as I am living with him and have less expenses otherwise.

125. Ben says:

I am trying to figure out what my retirement in Canada would be at age 67. I a US citizen and will have \$850 from Social Security at that time. I am not sure how to figure what my OAS and GIS with 10 years residence in Canada. Based on 10 years at today’s value the OAS would be \$137 a month. For the all the information or chart refer to max OAS. I am not sure if the GIS prorated as well. Will I be able to draw these benefits residing outside of Canada?

• Ben

Based on 10 years of residence in Canada, your OAS would be approx. \$142.49 (10/40ths of \$569.95). Because you have fewer than 20 years of residence in Canada, OAS would normally not be payable if you were residing outside Canada, but under the Canada/USA agreement you could use 10 years of contributions to the USA in order to make your OAS payable outside Canada. Here’s a link to the agreement: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/services/pensions/international/countries/unitedstates.shtml

If you’re single and if the \$850 is a monthly amount in Canadian \$, you would be eligible for GIS of approx. \$721.89, but GIS is payable only if you are residing in Canada.

• Susan says:

Will the US social security agreement also cover the 10 year minimum for OAS if you apply outside of Canada, and this US time being considered was before you had legal status in Canada?

• Susan

If you apply for OAS from outside Canada, the minimum residence requirement is 20 years.

But yes, you can use periods of contributions to the US to meet that 20-year requirement and yes that US time could be before and/or after you had legal status in Canada.

126. Vanoku says:

Hi! My question has to do with my parents. They will be turning 65 in 2 years and they have been in Canada since December 1994. Service Canada right now shows each one receiving approximately \$300 in CPP when they retire in 2 years. My mom will also receive about \$1200/month from work pension. Can you please tell me what they may get at 65?

127. Kamru says:

Hi Doug,
I am 47 and a person with disability (PWD). I am got 906 dollars each month. When will CPPD replace PWD and how much.Thnx

• Kamru

As I told you previously in a different thread:

Your provincial PWD benefits will never convert to a CPP disability pension, because they are totally separate programs run by two different levels of the government.

If you have made enough contributions to CPP and if your disability meets the definition of “severe and prolonged”, you should likely apply for a CPP disability pension immediately, although your PWD benefits will likely be reduced by any amount that you receive from CPP.

As also mentioned, your CPP retirement pension will be much more when you reach age 65 if you receive a CPP disability pension now, compared to if you simply don’t work and contribute to CPP for the next 18 years.

128. Kamru says:

Thanks Doug. Well, if I got after 65 say 1000\$ and OAS appox. 284.97\$ (20 Yrs in Canada), How much will I get GIS (monthly/yearly).

• Kamru

Are you single or married/common-law? If married or common-law, what is your spouse’s age and what will be her income when you’re 65.

• Kamru says:

Hi Doug, I am single and no plan to get marry or common law.Thnx

• Kamru

If you are single with CPP of \$1,000 per month and receiving OAS of OAS of \$284.97 per month (based on 20 years of residence in Canada), your GIS would be approx. \$500 per month.

129. Jasmine says:

Hi. My husband will be turning 60 in April 2016, but will continue working at his f/t job until 65. If he collects CPP at 60 at the reduced rate, will it even be less because he will continue working? (He has been a college teacher for 28 years now) Thank you.

• Jasmine

No, your husband’s CPP won’t be any less because he’s still working. In fact, each additional year that he works will increase his CPP through what are called post-retirement benefits (PRBs).

If you want me to do a detailed analysis of your husband’s choices (for a \$75 fee), email me directly at DRpensions@shaw.ca

130. Nitzer says:

I worked in Canada from 2009 through 2011 for a total of 3 years. I contributed the maximum allowable amount to the Canadian Social Security and Quebec pension plans. I am an American citizen and live in the US. Would I be eligible for any canadian benefits because of my contribution to the Canadian System. The US SS shows 0 contribution for those 3 years on my records. How do I go about claiming them

• Nitzer

Three years of maximum CPP contributions will get you a retirement pension of about \$84 per month at age 65, 64% of that amount at age 60 or 142% of that amount at age 70.

131. Nitzer says:

Thank you Doug. Any comments on the contribution to Canadian Social Security.

• Nitzer

Sorry, I thought that was just a terminology issue, as there is no such thing as Canadian Social Security. The two contributory programs are the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and/or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP). You would normally have contributed to only one of those two, depending on where you were living and/or working. Those contributions are what will buy you the retirement pension amounts that I mentioned.

The other federal social security program in Canada is the Old Age Security (OAS). It is funded from general tax revenues, so you don’t contribute to it specifically. It is “earned” on the basis of residence in Canada and whether the time you spent in Canada counts as residence may depend on what your immigration status was during those 3 years. If they count as residence, you would possibly be eligible for 3/40ths of the full basic OAS or approx. \$42.75 per month starting at age 65. You normally require a minimum of 10 years residence in order to qualify for OAS, but you could possibly qualify with only 3 years if you have at least 28 quarters (7 years) coverage to the US social security program under the Canada/USA agreement.

132. Jai says:

Hi
Similarly to Ralph, I would like to know what I’m entitled to at 65. I will be 65 in August of this year (2016). I took early CPP at 60 and receive 445.76/month. I have approximately 260,000 in RRSP’s. I can draw 1,000/mo if I need it. I still work when I can but make less than 20,000/yr. The past 2 years about 16,000.
I’m a single Canadian, have no work pension and have resided here for 40+ years. Could you please give me an idea of how much I will get in OAS, if I can get GIS and any other information that may help me.

• Jai says:

Thanks for your reply Doug. I think I would qualify for GIS…as my total income on my 2014 tax return was 16,147.54 (so below the 17,304 amt.)
Am I correct? if so then would I end up with the full amount of 773.60? Also if I don’t touch my RRSP or only take out a couple of 100 dollars once and a while, how would this effect what I would get? I find this very confusing and stressful as employment isn’t very promising and I need to know what I can be sure of. I hope you can clarify what I will get and would appreciate any advice/recommendations you might have. Thanks

• Jai

If you have zero income (excluding OAS), you get the maximum GIS of \$773.60.

If you have any income, GIS is reduced by approx. 50 cents on the dollar until your income exceeds \$17,304 at which point the GIS has been reduced to zero.

Based on your income of \$16,147, your GIS would be approx. \$48.15

Hello

Is this thread still active ? I cannot see the dates of the posts so I’m a little confused.

Anyway, I have a question I think should be fairly simple for somebody knowledgeable. Please help me if you can.

My parents have lived on and off in Canada for the past 15 years (helping raise the bright young canadian future in the process). Other than that, they haven’t worked or contributed to any pension plan. Now they’d like to know if they can collect OAS, and how much more they need to stay in Canada to be able to do that. We’re talking partial OAS, there’s no way they can qualify for total. They are over 65.
The thing is, some of the years they’ve stayed there they haven’t been legal residents. They got their residence some 6 – 7 years later.
So the question is, do the years they stayed there before being legal residents count for the 10 years needed for partial OAS ?

Thanks for any useful information.

For OAS purposes, residence is defined as “making your home in Canada and ordinarily living here”. There is a separate requirement that they are legal residents in Canada at the time that their OAS is approved, so it’s not necessary that all of their residence in Canada was legal.

When you say that they lived here “on and off” however, that raises the question of where else they were residing during the “off periods” and whether that other place might have been their true home or whether they more ordinarily lived there.

In the end, it’s a subjective definition and I’d need much more detail to even guess what decision Service Canada will make in your parents’ case.

Thanks for the quick answer. You’re doing an excellent job here. Better, I might say, than the documents they provide at the government site for these things, which let one scratching his head on a few points.
That was my guess too, from what I read at the government site and in a few other places on the Net, that the non-legal period also counts. But I couldn’t find a conclusive answer anywhere.

Before I get into other details, somebody please remove my last name from my previous post if possible. I didn’t think about it when I sent it but a little privacy cannot hurt.

As for where they’ve lived in the off periods, you may have guessed it from said last name, it’s Romania. Does this matter ?

I’m glad you ask me about how much they lived where they lived, because that was my next question. 🙂 The general pattern was, 5 months per year in Canada and 7 in Romania. Except for about 2 years when it was the other way around. So, your guess about how Service Canada will count these years would be highly appreciated. (Though I would hope that it’s actually not a subjective thing and somewhere in the background there’s a very precise and consistent definition about how these things should be counted. Even though we cannot see it publicly, which would be very helpful but maybe it’s a bit too complex for laymen to understand properly.)

Thanks again, you’ve already helped me a lot.

Although the OAS legislation is very subjective, there are certainly policy guidelines for the staff to follow. The type of factors in the policy guidelines include:
– did they own a home in either/both countries;
– what did they do with their home(s) when they weren’t in that country;
– where did they file taxes, and as residents or otherwise;
– what was their legal status in each country;
– where were most of their possessions;
– where did they do their banking;
– where did they have their driver’s licenses;
– etc, etc, etc

The amount of time that they spent in Canada would only be one consideration, but generally speaking it would be hard (for me, at least) to consider anyone who spent more time outside Canada than inside Canada as “ordinarily living here”, especially when the other country where they’re spending their time is their birth country.

I regret that I cannot give you a more definitive answer, but I hope that I’ve been of some assistance.

Well, based on what you’re saying they probably have no chance. Practically every point you list is a minus. We’ll try anyway (they’ll call the Service when they arrive again in Canada soon). I hope you’re wrong here, for obvious reasons, but I won’t be surprised if it turns out as you say.

Thanks again, best regards.

134. Lucia says:

HI, Doug.
Tow month ago I submitted application form for GIS and a
Service Canada office worry me I have to wait from 9 to 27 weeks. I have some TFSA. Can government tell me spend this money before I can receive GIS.

Thank you, Lucia

• Lucia

No, the government can’t tell you to spend your TFSA money before they’ll pay you GIS.

• Tim Darron says:

GIS is based on your income as reported on your madatory annual income tax return including foreign based income.At present proceeds from the sale of your primary residence and use of a TFSA are not reported as income but capital gain tax laws can be revised at any time of a governments choosing. GIS is generally a welfare payment to individuals over 65 yrs old who have income below 1200 – 1500 \$ per month depending on marital status. You must be eligible for OAS to receive GIS and residency requirements are made at the governments lawful whim.

• Tim Darron says:

GIS is now automatically processed from your income tax return based on the previous years income reported after you are 65 yrs old. BEWARE! It is very common to obtain GIS or provincial GAIN overpayments only to pay a large CLAWBACK based on your subsequent tax return. DO NOT SPEND the payout if you are not entitled to it based on a higher income reported on your subsequent tax return. In other circumstances like the Old Age Allowance for a spouse who is 60-65 yrs old while the other spouse is receiving OAS it may be adviseable to apply for the GIS from http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/cgi-bin/search/eforms/index.cgi?app=prfl&frm=isp3025&ln=eng on Form ISP3025E.

• Tim

You make some good points, but you’re mistaken on this one.

If GIS entitlement was determined on the basis of income tax returns, it is NOT clawed-back if your income increases in any subsequent year.

The only time that GIS might be overpaid and recovered would be if someone was being paid based on their estimated income for the current year and if they under-estimated that income.

• Tim Darron says:

The GIS payout table in any given year applies to annual income tax return for that year and will vary accordingly.

• Tim

You’re wrong! Annual income for 2014 determines GIS entitlement for the period of July 2015 through June 2016. If your 2015 income increased, that would reduce your GIS for the period of July 2016 through June 2017, but it wouldn’t create an overpayment and a recovery of GIS already paid.

• Tim Darron says:

You’re getting hotter …call the governor.

135. Tey says:

Hi Doug,
I lived and worked in Canada for 20 years. Can you give me an estimate how much i will get CPP/ OAS / GIS at age 65? No RRSP.
If i want to stop working early like early 60’s,can i file CPP/OAS/GIS when i reach 65 years old?
Also if i retire in another country, will they send me the cheque where i retired?
Thank you.
Tey

• Tey

If your 20 years of CPP contributions were all at the maximum level, your CPP retirement pension at age 65 would be approx. \$550 per month.

The full OAS of approx. \$570 per month is payable only if you have 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18. If you have less than 40 years of residence in Canada, you will receive 1/40th of that amount for each full year of residence.

I’d need to know your marital status and family income to give you any advice on GIS amounts.

Your CPP and OAS will be payable wherever you live. GIS would be payable only if you reside in Canada.

• Tim Darron says:

Full OAS is based on 40 yrs residency in Canada ..calculation done at the age of 65 yrs old and not indexed higher after 65 yrs old based on extra residency. Thus OAS after 20 yrs residency in Canada if you are 65 yrs is 50% of the max.
If my memory serves me correct you cannot get provincial medical coverage and OAS if you reside outside Canada for more than 6 months of the year ….i think that the goal posts are moving on this one with the resendency time required now increasing. CPP is portable to any location since it is based on a defined contribution pension….you can start early reduced CPP at 60 yrs old but this is not a good idea if you live to at least 80 yrs old. The early CPP payout is droppping from what i heaard lately. All RIF and LIF can start at 55 yrs old.
LIF at 55 yrs old has a low max. percentage allowed somewhere around 4% max at 55 yrs old increasing each year.. Be very careful …YOU CANNOT REVERSE YOUR DECISIONS ON ANY OF THIS AFTER YOU ACT !

136. Pete MacDonald says:

I just turned 65 mar 11 2016…been getting cpp \$775.per mo
will be collecting about \$400.per mo from a company pension,
do I have to apply for old age pension…I think I remember getting a letter after applied for cpp, saying I didn’t have to apply for the old age…is this true
I lived in Canada my whole life, I will get max old age….will I qualify for supplement money….if so how much and how do I apply, thank you.

• Pete
I suggest that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to ask whether you have been pre-approved for OAS or whether you have to apply for it. At the same time, you can ask them to send you a GIS application.

• Tim Darron says:

Forgot to mention, Apply for OAS 6 months in advance when you are 64 1/2 yrs old

• Tim Darron says:

I always advise my friends to not take early CP unless you expect to become deceased before 80 yrs old. Most people need the extra \$350 per month CP after 65 yrs old by delaying this defined contribution payout until that time….it is almost one week pay each month for a minimum wage working assuming you can even find job.

137. Tim Darron says:

Question ## 1 : OAS Application procedure :
I had to apply for OAS in 2014 this way : fill out an application which you can download or pickup at Canada Service Center in your area ; fill it out then mail it in or drop it off at a Canada Service Office to save on postage. At that time in 2014 they did not allow online applications and it not done automatically by your age.

• Tim Darron says:

QUESTION # 2 : GIS Entitlement

Pete
Here is the sample calculation asssuming that you are single:

1) Determine your income without including OAS ::
775×12 (CPP) + 400×12 (Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution LIF or RIF) equals a total annual income of 14100 \$
2.) Go to web page http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/cpp/oas/payments.page to read your entitlement. It will be on table 1 for singles and is \$133.15 per month in your case.

NOTE :
The GIS will be adjusted higher to include provincial entitlements.In Ontario it will include the Ontario Trillium Benefits namely energy credit , ont sale tax credit , rental or property tax credits which will make your total credits at least \$200 per month more than GIS.
The calculation for GIS and extra provincial entitlements are automatically calculated from your annual income tax returns after your 65 th birthday.
You can specify one annual payment or monthly payments on your tax return.
To my knowledge the HST credit is paid separately.
Do not forget that after 65 yrs old that your first \$19000 per yr which does include OAS is income tax free …assumimg that you have a RIF / LIF / DB deduction on Line 314 of your tax return which you do.

138. Pete MacDonald says:

thank you Tim….I found the letter that says, I don’t need to apply for OAS,they will use the information they have on my CPP, I guess I’ll contact service Canada for the GIS application…will this money be retroactive?
thanks again, your help was great. Pete

• Pete
OAS and GIS will both be effective April 2016, the month following your 65th birthday.

139. Tim Darron says:

Pete
You misunderstand what is said.
You must apply for OAS and you cannot do that online. GIS is done automtaically as it is combined with the OAS application ; GIS based on your annual taxable income from the previous year which is only an estimate of the current year in progress that the GIS applies to….adjustment will be made at the year end if necessary including clawback if you have variable income in any each year.
They obviously deem it that this is the most practical way to conduct the GIS program.
GIS application is needed for the Old Age Allowance ; this is GIS that includes a spouse between 60-65 yrs old has little or no income while the other spouse receives OAS. The Old Age Allowance application is a special form and you may need to pick it up a the Service Center at least during 2014 that was the procedure.

• Tim
You may not be aware, but some people are approved for OAS without having to apply for it. Currently this “presumptive OAS application” affects only a small portion of the population (people who have at least 40 years of CPP contributions and who are receiving CPP before age 65), but it appears from Pete’s letter that he is one of these people.

140. Debbie says:

You need to apply for the GIS in Canada.

• Tim Darron says:

In my case I was informed to submit my OAS application (not available online) when i was 64 1/2 yrs old and the GIS was done automatically after that. ….c2014
Procedures can and do vary slightly with time and circumstance.

• Tim Darron says:

should rephrase this to : OAS cannot be submitted on line aka over the internet.

141. Debbie says:

A spouse between 60-65 does not receive GIS, they receive an Allowance is income is appropriate.

• TIM Darron says:

I contacted Service Canada recently on this because it can be confusing. GIS is never counted as income or taxable income under any circumstance. Again, go to http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/cpp/oas/payments.page and look at Table 4 to determine the amounts if this applies to you and your spouse.
Here is the important thing about Table 4 :: EACH spouse receives the SAME GIS specified on table 4 but the spouse 65 yrs or older receives the OAS in addition. The GIS for the youger spouse is called Allowance. (GIS)

142. Tim Darron says:

Folks ….If you really what something a little more challenging then try to figure out survivor benefits

143. deb says:

Doug, the expert, please come back. I never believe just regular people on the internet. Just experienced please.

144. Mike says:

I have not been able to find anyone who can explain how CPP effects GIS. Lets say my only income is 6000 per year in CPP payments , how does that effect GIS ?

• Mike It depends on a your marital status, but if you are single and have no other income you could receive the max GIS of \$856.39 monthly. With taxable income of \$6,000 from almost any source (excluding OAS itself), your GIS would be reduced by \$333 monthly or \$3,996 per year.

• Mike says:

Thank you for the quick response. You are doing a great service, Much appreciated. Still lost , however. Somewhere it says subtract \$1 for every \$2 earned.There is also a \$3500 exemption , does that apply to all income including CPP or can it not be applied to CPP earnings ? Seems that my CPP gets reduced by \$4000 rather than \$3000 which is half. Am I making sense here ? Ha !

• Mike – You’re correct in suggesting that GIS is normally reduced by approx. \$1 for very \$2 of income, but that doesn’t apply exactly at all income levels. Unfortunately the \$3,500 exemption applies only to salaried employment earnings, and not to CPP or other income.

• Tim Darron says:

CPP payment is a source of taxable income and income from all sources is tabulated to determine GIS.
OAS is excluded in the income calculation for GIS determination.

• Tim Darron says:

The OAS + GIS tables are provided on the Government of Canada web site. There are several tables for various conditions such as marital status. The Allowance GIS for a spouse between 60 -65 yrs old is the only table that is easy to misinterpret.

145. Sarah says:

My common law spouse and I have filed joint returns for a least 15 years. He is still legally married but has not lived with his legal wife since 1999. We met 7 years later. He did file for a divorce in 2002 but she refused to sign the documents. I am not sure where we stand with pensions. He will have a very small work pension and very small CPP. he is 58. I am 60 and will have 900 per month of a work pension, close to full CPP. I am trying to decide how much longer I will work. He is presently on disability insurance after a stroke but may be able to go back…not sure yet. My question is how will his legal wife factor into this situation?

146. Tim Darron says:

Call the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings for Canada to check status. The Divorce Act is Federal Law and requires a Court Order on the division of debt and property at the time of divorce. This includes Pension funds such as RRSP even if not spousal and disability income. Application can be made for CPP “splitting” also but GIS makes this not likely. Looks like to me that both you and your partner will qualify for GIS supplement that will offset what looks like a small divorce property split if any. In any event your partner will probably qualify for legal aid and if necessary bankruptcy if the debt card applies. It will probably be in both yourself and your partner best interest to apply for GIS as single ; check the calculation both ways and do not forget to consider income splitting and survivor benefits.

147. Deb says:

Can you apply as single if you are married| for GIS, etc.

• Deb – You can apply as single if you’re married and separated, but you are considered as a couple if you’re married and living together.

148. Tim Darron says:

Common law status can be a little tricky.
There are some advantages for married couples namely income splitting , survivor benefits , and the GIS Allowance for a spouse between the age of 60-65 when other spouse is receiving OAS. The GIS or Allowance applies to individuals whose income is less than 17400 per year or couples whose annual income is less than 32160 per year not counting OAS as income for this application.

149. Cheryl Marie says:

Hi Doug, What a helpful page. I am 60, a Canadian Citizen since 1985. I have worked since the age of 18 but not always in Canada. From age 18 – 22 I worked in South Africa, 22 – 25 in the UK. 25 – 40 in Canada, 40 – 58 back in South Africa and 58 to date back in Canada. What am I likely to receive if I apply for CPP now? I am still working. Many thanks, Cheryl

• Cheryl – It depends not only on how many years you worked in Canada, but also on what your earnings were in those years relative to the YMPE. My best advice for you is to call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

150. Tim Darron says:

Open your internet Service Canada Account and it is a good idea to open your Revenue Canada Account while you are at it.
http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/msca/index.page?

Your CPP contributions and estimated payout will be listed on your Service Account. Your OAS-GIS is proportionally based on your years of residency in Canada with maximum benefits after 40 yrs. at the time you are 65 yrs old with no further adjustment after that.

OAS for non residences may apply to you later on :: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/t4155/t4155-e.html

Also determine your pension entitlements if any from foreign governments.

151. DEB KUMAR BHATTACHERJEE says:

I am on ODSP and getting Disability what happens when I become 65 years of age.If ODSP stops giving benefits how will I survive? How my medical expenses will be covered? Ny wife and myself both are getting ODSP,My wife does not get Disability CPP as she has never worked in Canad, she worked for 6 months in 2002. We have landed here in May 2002 Please inform me in details how to get best benefits. My wife will be 61 years when I become 65 years. What benefits she can get from Government?

152. Tim Darron says:

Let’s be clear.
The maximum entitlement that anyone can get from “public pension” is 1824 per month which is maximum CPP+OAS+GIS.
The minimum is 1430 per month with no CPP and maximum OAS+GIS.
You must be a resident of Canada for 40 yrs to get full OAS and you are entitled to only 50% of that if you lived here for 20 yrs.

Go to http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/cpp/oas/payments.page and the instruction is to telephone them ::::”” If you are receiving a partial Old Age Security (OAS) pension, you should contact us for more information about your OAS pension, Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowance payment amounts.””

I checked the ODSP payout tables and it looks like to me that your entitlements will be about the same after 65 yrs old that they are at present.
The ODSP will probably “clawback” or reduce your entitlement by any CPP or OAS you and your spouse are entitled to.

The biggest problem to date for any low income pensioner today is the escalating cost of shelter compounding 5% or morer each year in spite of “rent controls”.
A 5% increase in annual shelter costs represents a 5% annual reduction in income since CPP+OAS_GIS is almost the same cost as rent in a larger urban centers like the GTA.
Global central bank policies are in the process of securitization and rapid escalation of the cost of shelter which jeopardizes all of society. Stay tuned for that outcome

153. RAY IK says:

Hi Doug,

I just separate from my spouse as I am 68 years old and have my OAS/GIS Pension but my spouse turned 60 this month and apply for OAS. What will be my new OAS/GIS. Please advise.

Regards,

Ray

• Ray

Your wife can’t qualify for OAS until she’s age 65, and she can’t qualify for the Allowance at age 60 because she is now separated from you.