Retirement » Government Benefits

How receiving a partial OAS pension affects GIS amounts

As you may be aware, seniors who have limited income aside from their OAS pension may be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), which is part of the Old Age Security (OAS) program.

If you have ever looked at the GIS rate tables on Service Canada’s website, you may have noticed that the rates shown apply only if you are receiving the “full OAS pension.” The rate tables don’t really explain how much GIS you will receive if you’re receiving only a partial OAS pension (due to having fewer than 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18).

Receiving a partial OAS pension affects the amount of GIS that a pensioner will receive in two ways:

  1. A pensioner receiving partial OAS will receive more GIS than someone receiving a full OAS pension, to make up for their lesser amount of OAS.
  2. A pensioner receiving partial OAS will receive GIS up to a higher income, compared to someone receiving a full OAS pension

Why does someone receiving a partial OAS pension receive more GIS?

The intent of the GIS program is to ensure that anyone who is eligible for OAS receives at least a minimum level of income on which to live. There are various minimum monthly income levels established, depending on a pensioner’s marital status

Related article: Understanding Guaranteed Income Supplement

For example, as of April 2020, the minimum monthly income level for a single OAS pensioner has been set at $1,529.91. If someone is receiving a full OAS pension ($613.53 for April 2020) and they have no other source of income aside from their OAS pension, that means that they will be entitled to GIS in the amount of $916.38 ($1,529.91 – $613.53).

However, if they are receiving only a partial OAS pension, that means that they must receive more GIS in order to reach that same minimum income level of $1,529.91.

Let’s use the example of Peter to see how this works. If Peter has resided in Canada for only 25 years when he becomes eligible for OAS, he will receive a partial OAS pension of $383.46 (25/40ths of $613.53). If he has no other income aside from OAS, he will be entitled to GIS in the amount of $1,146.45 ($1,529.91 – $383.46).

Why can someone receiving a partial OAS pension have a higher income before losing eligibility for GIS?

For the most part, the amount of GIS that someone is entitled to is reduced by 50 cents for every dollar of income that the person has from other sources (excluding the OAS). (The GIS rate tables actually function by reducing GIS by $1.00 monthly for every $24.00 of annual income.) If someone receives more GIS because they’re receiving only a partial OAS, it therefore follows that it requires a higher threshold before they lose all of their GIS entitlement.

Let’s use the above example of Peter to demonstrate how this works.

If a single pensioner receiving a full OAS pension has income of more than $18,600 annually from other sources, they won’t be eligible for any GIS. However, they will still receive their full OAS pension of $613.53.

If Peter has income from other sources totaling $18,600, he will need to receive GIS in the amount of $230.07 ($613.53 – $383.46), in order to be at the same overall income level as someone receive a full OAS pension.

Since his GIS will continue to be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar of other income that he has, that means that his GIS entitlement won’t be fully eliminated until he has a further $5,544 of income from other sources ($231 x 24). This means that the threshold for Peter to receive GIS is $24,144 ($18,600 + $5,544).

Is this situation fair?

It seems that the GIS top-up and higher income threshold for pensioners who have had their GIS topped up may put people who have lived their whole lives in Canada at a disadvantage, particularly since OAS payments are taxed and the GIS is not.


  1. Brian So

    Great explanation of how the system works Doug! Having to deal with immigrants all the time, it makes it a lot easier to explain to them the benefits they are eligible for.

    As far as it being fair or not, it doesn’t seem very fair to have different clawback thresholds. They could set a hard cap that all pensioners have to adhere to, no matter the amount of OAS they are receiving. The GIS should be reserved for those who really need to support their basic lifestyle, and Peter in your example is not one of those people.

  2. Dave

    You can argue the income level(need) but is it fair that a married or common law couple each with 65,000 incomes can then each get the full OAS with no claw back, but then if one dies and the survivor has 130,000 income all OAS is fully clawed back. In this case household after tax income drops from 114,000 to 93,000 just because one partner died.

    Make no mistake about it the OAS clawback is simply taxation of the few for the benefit of many. While I support helping our truly needy giving OAS to 95% of seniors before any clawback is ridiculous.

    Canada should immediately lower the clawback to start at 71,000 for joint (couple) incomes and half of that for singles. (Just to be clear this would also directly effect me).

  3. Ranjan Kana

    I would like to bring Assets into the Picture. The Big Picture. Is it true that in Australia, one, not only files an Income Statement – like a first time GIS Application but also a statement of Assets and their equivalent of RRSPs (Super etc)?
    And if the Assets Exceed AUD $400,000.00 Agers (OAS) is not payable!!
    Introduction (or re-introduction) of Paul Martin Jr’s SENIOR BENEFIT – a 100 % GIS based on all sources of income would streamline the system by eliminating the residency calculation – Pensioners merely have to reside for full Ten Years and file regular tax returns declaring their world income.Get rid of tables so people don’t have to lie about whether they are a couple or not by establishing a ceiling of 50,000.00 each to get the Seniors Benefit.
    BTW the Elephant in the room is the Canada Pension Plan. The Death benefit ought to be $7500.00 and the Monthly Max ought to be $1750.00 a month.
    The Employers share of CPP contribution is Never shown on the Statement of Contribution. Is it factored in as contributions when calculating benefits? Also Over-contributions resulting from Employees switching jobs over the years – the Employers share is never returned to them – where or in what “CPP accounts” are they deposited.(I am guessing amounts in the millions)
    A lot of the GIS recipients will howl not out of joy because the “enhanced” benefits will result in little or no tax free GIS. Even a Dollar of GIS opens the doors to other monetary and non-monetary benefits from other levels of Gov’t. Some municipalities will forgive a part or even postpone collection of Property taxes etc etc.There are other subsidies all primarily to the gis recipient.

  4. Darlene

    Dave, you are making a big assumption! When one partner dies it does NOT necessarily mean that the survivor will receive the same total income. Not even close. First, some income goes away in total or in part and Second, the survivor is then subject to much higher taxation, taking away even more income. Last, but not least, you have changed the focus of the discussion…away from rules and results of GIS calculation and maximum income for eligibility. In my view, regardless, maximum income for eligibility should be the same in both situations. As it is, the system seems to favour those who have not lived in Canada for at least 40 years.

    • Alex M

      The system doesn’t favor anybody, not really. GIS and OAS is essentially a welfare, important only for those on poverty line. Those who lived and worked here for 40 years, won’t get any GIS because of their CPP and investment income. So we are debating about extra $500 a month for those with less than 18K annual income. Not sure how important this is.

      Besides, topped-up GIS is still GIS, with all the usual restrictions like requirement to “ordinarily reside” in Canada. Many of those who weren’t born here, are not looking forward to living here in their golden years either – too expensive and climate isn’t the best.

  5. Dave

    Sorry wasn’t trying to hijack the discussion only expand upon it.

    The two theoretical 65K income people likely have max CPP each so yes additional income is lost because of the max CPP normal/survivor rule. This is also unfair but maybe that’s for another day! So then the household income drops even more when a partner dies.

    Of course single income tax rates apply to the survivors total income. My calculations showed that but highlighting it for others was likely helpful.

    All of which makes the partial OAS/GIS rules even more disturbingly unfair for those who lived and worked their 40 years in Canada. (Among them many immigrants for sure).

    Again I say the OAS clawback threshold needs to be greatly reduced.

    • Alex M

      Canadians working under NAFTA contracts for Canadian companies and then returning to Canada, are normally considered “residing” in Canada (for the purpose of OAS calculation).

  6. Rory

    One possible rationale for the differential is the role of NAFTA and increased number of Canadians spending extended periods working in the United States or Mexico. Should these people fall on hard times in their later years, the fallout from a denial of a basic pension could prove a political hot potato.

    • Nena

      Peter’s example is very good, but there is one more scenario that you could explaine,, mine and my husband’s:
      We both are 65, in Canada 21 year – started receiving OAS;
      receiving CPP ($ 185 for me and $ 205 for my husband).

      Since we still work, we will not receive any GIS.
      My question is how much money in total we can expect to receive, once we stop working.
      Thank you in advance,

      • Doug Runchey


        Once you both retire and have CPP and OAS as your only incomes, your combined income for GIS purposes will be approx. $4,680 (12 x $185 and 12 x $205).

        At that income level and with you both receiving OAS, you are guaranteed an OAS/GIS total of $966.60 each.

        If you were receiving the full OAS, that $966.60 would be comprised of $563.74 OAS and $402.86 GIS.

        Because you’re both receiving partial OAS of 21/40ths, you will each be eligible for $295.96 OAS and $670.64 GIS, for the same total OAS/GIS of $966.60.

        • Sargis

          I am receiving EI $874, CPP $279 and OAS $142.42 and my wife CPP $64.87 and OAS $136.90.
          They will stop to pay me EI in February 2016.
          1. Are we illegible to receive GIS starting 2016 ?
          2. if Yes how much we can have with my wife?
          Thank you


          • Doug Runchey


            Yes, you should be eligible for GIS effective March 2016 once your EI stops, and you probably even qualify now.

            Effective March 2016, your combined OAS/GIS would each be approx. $995.39, based on your combined CPP income only.

  7. John McAllister

    Could you please explain how the GIS is affected by income earned by a partner who is still in full-time employment?

    • Doug Runchey


      GIS is generally reduced by approx. 50 cents on the dollar for any taxable income by either spouse.

      • John

        I see. Thanks.

  8. Rob van Dyk

    My wife and I are the same age. Assuming there is no other income and we don’t start our CPP until age 70.
    What would our combined total benefit of OAS and GIS be when we reach age 65 (based on today’s rates)
    Every chart I look at seems to show amounts only for single people.

    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey


      If neither of you had any other source of income, you would each be eligible for the maximum GIS for a married couple of $512.96. Added to the full basic OAS of $570.52, you would each receive a total of $1,083.48 monthly.

      Here’s a link to another article that I wrote about GIS:

  9. Paul

    My wife and me live in Canada for 33 year when we reach 65 for OAS. If we have combined other incomes, such as RRSP & CPP about $23,000 annually, do we qualify for GIS?It seems we are over the limit of $22,848 but from your article I think we will have a higher threshold because we do not live in Canada more than 40 years. Can you clarify this. Thanks a lot.

    • Doug Runchey


      Yes, if you will both have 33 years of Canadian residence and both be receiving OAS, you will still be eligible for GIS up to approx $27,648 of combined income from other sources.

      For a combined income of $23,000, you would each be eligible for GIS of approx. $95.88 monthly.

  10. Tim

    Hi Doug, what’s the 2016 minimum monthly income level for a single OAS pensioner? Is there a link in a government site that states this? how is this figure determined globally in Canada? Thank You.

    • Doug Runchey


      As long as someone has at least 10 years of residence in Canada, they would be guaranteed a minimum combined OAS/GIS of $1,344.12 monthly.

      Sorry, but I don’t have a government link for you.

      • Tim

        Thank You. Despite, all the comments above this is a relief for my aging mother who does not have CPP (only survivor’s CPP) and only been in Canada for 24 yrs before receiving partial OAS. My father who was the sole income for both passed earlier this month. Although there’s a 9 months backlog at service Canada, at least I know she will make her monthly dues (incl. rent) when she gets the top up. Thank You!

        • Alex M

          Sorry to disappoint you, Tim. See, $1,322 (in 2016) is a MAXIMUM amount, not a minimum. Her other income will reduce this amount, 50 cents for every 1$ of her survivor’s CPP.

        • Mary

          What if husband is 65 and has 40 years in Canada and no other income. Wife is 60 but only has 10 years in Canada with no other income. Would her allowance be pro-rated? Is there any top up for her to make up for the proration like there is with GIS? Thanks!

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Mary – The Allowance is not pro-rated, so her amount is the same with 10 years of residence in Canada as it would be with 40.

  11. Paul

    Thanks for your clarification.

  12. KS

    Hi Doug,
    Me and my wife would be completing 10 years in Canada shortly and eligible for OAS and GIS and by then I would be 70 and my wife 65 .Our combined income on completion of 10 years would be $20000.How much GIS per head would be given to us in addition to OAS $141 per head .
    Is there any other point which effects GIS like having loan on the house or having a self occupied house,RRSP,TFSA etc .
    At what level of income GIS becomes zero with 10 years of residency?

    • Doug Runchey

      KS – If you and your wife are both approved partial OAS of 10/40ths ($142.63 each) and have a combined income of $20,000 from other sources, you will each be eligible for GIS of $487.44. Of the additional factors that you list, only RRSP income would affect the amount of your GIS. With 10/40ths OAS, GIS for a married couple becomes zero at a combined income of approx. $43,392.

      • KS

        Hi Doug,
        I am a military pensioner from INDIA.Due to TAX avoidance treaty signed between canada & INDIA my pension is not taxed by CRA under world income though counted for GST purpose.Indian pension is shown in canadian tax return and taken off full.pension is though taxed by indian question is- will this pension be taken into account while working my GIS if yes full or part of it, by CRA when I apply for OAS/GIS?

        • Doug Runchey

          KS – I believe that the full amount of your military pension from India will be counted for GIS purposes.

  13. LV

    If one has a property ( a house or a condo unit for example), would she be eligible for a GIS if she has a low income of $12000 annually.

    • Doug Runchey


      Owning property does not affect GIS eligibility, so the answer is “Yes”.

  14. Graham Aberdein

    Hi Doug,

    My parents came to Canada as permanent residents in 2006. Their only source of income is their old age pensions from Britain (approx. $1,300 monthly for my dad and $400 monthly for my mum). I should mention that this pension amount is frozen in GBP.
    Now that they are approaching 10 years of residency in Canada, my understanding they will be eligible for 10/40 of the OAS pension (which I think unfairly does not increase with each additional year of residency).

    Would they qualify for a GIS topup on their OAS pension?


    • Doug Runchey


      Yes, they should both be eligible for the GIS topup on their partial OAS payments.

  15. Pedja

    Hi Doug,

    Very informative site, thank you for all the useful info.

    Would you be so kind to give me a quick estimate of what I could hope for in the future, based on the following:

    I am currently 62 years old. When I reach the age of 65, it will be 26 years of living in Canada, uninterrupted.

    If I am to get an estimated $450 monthly amount from CPP, what can I expect to receive from OAS + GIS?

    How would this amount change, if I am to have other income, for example withdrawals from RRSP (let’s say $5000 yearly from RRSP)?

    Thank you in advance

    • Doug Runchey

      Pedja – With 26 years of residence in Canada, your OAS will be 26/40ths of the full basic OAS of $570.52 = approx. $370.50 per month. If you are single and your only other income is CPP of $450 per month, your GIS will be approx. $695 per month. That amount will be reduced by about half of any other taxable income that you have, so RRSP of $5,000 per year would reduce your GIS by approx. $2,500 per year or $208 per month.

  16. Pedja

    Thank you, Doug.

    I assume those GIS amounts of $ 695 and $ 208 are GIS only, not the combined OAS + GIS.


  17. DL

    Hi, Mr. Runchey: My wife and I are turning 64 by year end. We moved to the US in 1997 to work. My wife and I became landed immigrants in 1981 and Canadian citizens in 1986. We plan to retire when we turned 65 (in just over a year) and start receiving O.A.S. and G.I.S. (after applying next year before our 65th birthdays). We would like to continue living in the U.S. Our U.S. income will be U.S. social security benefits ($1400/mo for me and $700/mo for my wife). How much O.A.S. and G.I.S. do we expect to receive? Thanks for your help!

    • Doug Runchey

      DL – The full basic OAS is currently $573.37/mo if you had 40 years of residence in Canada after age 18. You will receive approx. 23/40ths of that amount and your wife will receive approx. 18/40ths. Neither of you will be eligible for GIS, as you don’t reside in Canada. You should both be eligible for CPP if you both worked in Canada, although your U.S. SS will be reduced under their “Windfall Elimination Provision”.

      • DL

        First thank you for your quick response!

        Isn’t the Windfall Elimination Provision only applicable to folks in the U.S. who have both social security “covered” and “non-covered” earnings:


        • Doug Runchey

          DL – I won’t pretend to be an expert on the U.S. SS, but it’s my understanding that the WEP includes pensions from other countries where that pension is based on earnings and contributions (such as the CPP) and where you have fewer than 30 years of contributions to the U.S. SS. I just thought that you should be aware of that possibility.

  18. DL

    Hi, Mr Runchey:

    Just want to add some more info to my previous inquiry. I started living in Canada in 1974 and my wife in 1979.


  19. Nestor

    OAS pension continues even if you reside outside Canada for more than five years?

    • Doug Runchey

      Nestor – If you have resided in Canada (after age 18) for 20 years or more, OAS is payable outside of Canada until you die. If not, OAS stops after 6 months of absence from Canada.

  20. Kim

    Please refer to Sergio’s comment. You said once the EI stopped in February they can start receiving GIS in March. Won’t that EI income used for the period July of one year to June of the following year for GIS purposes or do the Govt allow some type of option because an income has ceased?

  21. Sam Accord

    Hi Doug,

    Lots of useful information and you explain it very clear. We will reach 65 next year and just wonder how much OAS we can get. We lived in Canada for 33 years and based on the CPP statement our combined CPP payment is around $15,000 per year. I look up the OAS chart for that income and found out is $739.30 per month. Is that amount for both of us? Since we do not have 40 years residence, is that means we will only get 33/40th of the total? I just confuse on that. Thanks,


    • Doug Runchey

      Sam – If you will both be over age 65, you will each receive $739.30 and it won’t be pro-rated based on only having 33 years of residence in Canada.

      • Sam Accord

        You are really helpful. Thanks a lot.

  22. Noah Ali

    Hi Doug,
    My wife and I will be 65 next year, we have by then lived in Canada for 22 years. Our other income ($250 CPP for both of us + $150 from invesrment)
    My question is what will our threshold limit? because we may need to continue working as our pension going to be $315.

    • Doug Runchey

      Noah – Your maximum combined annual income threshold will be approx. $35,328 (excluding OAS). But staying just under that threshold doesn’t mean that you will get the maximum GIS amount. GIS is paid on a sliding scale, with maximum GIS being paid at zero income and zero GIS being paid at maximum income.

      • Swee

        Combined income threshold 35328? I thought the combined for couple both received oas is 25440 .

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Swee – You appear to have missed the whole point of the article, which is that the standard GIS thresholds do not apply to people who are receiving a partial OAS pension.

  23. RC

    I am 58 and my 2015 SOC says if I am 65 today I will receive CPP $444. Could I assume if I work another 7 years until 65 at max YMPE my CPP will go up by another 7 X $25 to a total of current $444 + $175? I would have been in Canada continuously for 25 years if I turn 65. My OAS would be 25 / 40 * 570 = $356. What would be my GIS if I have no other income from 65 to 71? What would it be if I have $250 pm RRIF and $250 pm Interest and Dividends from 71? Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      RC – Your CPP will definitely increase with 7 more years of max earnings, but not by $25 per year. That’s because the SOC estimate already assumes that you’ll keep working until age 65 at your current lifetime average (in your case approx. $22,320 per year). Read this article to fully understand:
      Email me at [email protected] if you want me to do a CPP estimate for you (for a fee) or to do any GIS estimates for you (also for a fee).

      • RC

        Thank you Doug for the reply. Another follow up question. If I work in the USA for the next 7 years I will not qualify for Social Security since it is less than 10 years. While receiving USA salary could I contribute to CPP for next 7 years to keep up my CPP. Also, if I continue to reside in Canada and commute to work in USA do I continue to accumulate residency years in Canada for OAS instead of living in USA during the next 7 years. Thanks again in anticipation of your reply.

        • Doug Runchey

          RC – First, if you work and contribute to the US Social Security for 7 years, you may indeed qualify for US benefits under the Canada/USA agreement (read this article: ). I believe the agreement also provides some opportunity to contribute the CPP instead of to the US SS, but I’m not an expert on the contributory side of the agreement and I don’t know whether it would apply to your situation or not. If you do indeed reside in Canada, those years will count for OAS purposes even if you’re working in the US.

  24. Charles Yu

    Dear Mr. Runchey,

    It is a ‘God send’ being able to discover your incredible website on the internet!

    FYI, I reached my retirement age of 65 on 30-09-2016. Today, I received a letter from Service Canada informing me of approval of my Partial OAS and GIS application. However, based on figures provided on the letter and update information extracted from Service Canada website, I believe they have ‘miscalculated’ grossly my partial GIS amount!
    It would be greatly appreciated if you could check the figures based on the following information provided, before I go ahead and launch a ‘re-consideration’ appeal.

    – Residence in Canada is 35 years and 309 days
    – My taxable 2015 income based on T1 tax return is $6449.48
    – Combined household income based on T1 return is $21463.26
    – Spouse does not receive an OAS pension and combined income less than $42,048. Monthly GIS payment amount is $864.09.
    – GIS reduction by 50 cents for every dollar of other income is { $6449.48 x 0.5 } / 12 = $268.73

    Based on letter from Service Canada:
    – Partial OAS monthly payment amount calculated is $506.21
    – Partial GIS monthly payment amount is ONLY $366.58!

    However, based on all aforementioned information, I calculated that my partial 0AS to be $518.46 and GIS to be $595.36.

    Did I miss out on anything important in my calculation?

    Your kind and timely assistance in this complicated matter is greatly appreciated. Thank You so very much.

    Warm Regards,

    Charles Yu

    • Doug Runchey

      Charles – The OAS amount of $506.21 is correct, because only full years are counted so you get 35/40ths of $578.53. I can’t validate the GIS amount without knowing the line-by-line income amounts/sources for you and your spouse, as well as her age and whether she has applied for the Spouse’s Allowance. I can however confirm that your GIS is based on your combined income rather than just your income, but it doesn’t work as simply as subtracting 50 cents for every dollar (that’s a simplification).

  25. Jins

    Hi Doug, I have a client who came to Canada with her husband at the age of 75 in 2002. Now she is 89 years old and receives OAS +GIS $ 889. Recently she has been admitted to a nursing home and a statement-Spouses living apart for reasons beyond their control completed and submitted to Service Canada. I would like to know if she is going to receive more GIS money than what she currently receives? She does not receive any CPP benefits as she never worked in Canada. She receives maximum cash benefit from the Alberta Seniors Benefits program.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Jins – Yes, she will receive more GIS as she will now be considered as single for GIS purposes.

  26. Donald


    I will be eligible for OAS (partial) in about 2 years.

    Reading through these very helpful comments, I understand that I won’t eligible for the maximum amount of OAS + GIS, since I will also have some income from CPP.

    Doing the simplified math, and deducting one half of any other taxable income from the monthly GIS amount, brings up a figure considerably higher than what the table on Services Canada site shows.

    I understand that this is mostly a result of the changes made in 2016, to top up the amounts for people with lowest income rates.

    My question is: can we assume that the closest to what one can expect, receiving only partial OAS, are the amounts in the “Combined Monthly OAS Pension and GIS” column of the Services Canada tables?

    For example, let’s assume that the other taxable income is $4,000. Services Canada table for 2017 shows the combined OAS + GIS amount of $1,235.62. Is this the total amount one can expect, regardless of the partial OAS? If OAS is,for example,$400 monthly, does this mean that the monthly GIS amount would be $835.62?

    Thank you!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Donald – Yes, you have the correct understanding of how GIS works with a partial OAS.

  27. Donald

    Thank you, Doug.

    • M.Siddique

      I am married and I receive quebec pension 120pm and since I have completed 10 years in canada and I am over 65 my so how much my OAS WOULD BE and GIS would be as my wife is 61 years and she is household and completed 10 years in canada so she is entitiled to GIS how much
      amount it would be as we do not have any other income.Apart from this any Senior benefits are there whether Federal or Provnicial.
      Appreciate Your Kind Guidance.

      • Doug Runchey

        Your monthly OAS would be approx. $145 and your GIS would be approx. $955. Your wife would receive a monthly Allowance of approx. $1,008.

  28. M.Siddique

    Thanks very much for guidance what is the calculation of my GIS and my Wife GIS Calculation Apart from these OAS and Allowances
    what other benefits Federal or Provincial benefits are there?any
    benefits in Medical or house maintenane ETC.

    I very much Appreciate Your Kind Guidance.

    Best Regards,

  29. Manu

    Hi Dough,

    I hope you’re still available to answer Qs..

    My parents immigrated to Canada in 2007 and will shortly pass 10 years of residency requirement. My mom is currently 64 and my dad is over 65. Both with 0 income and never worked in Canada.

    How much Allowance my mom will get? Assuming she will not yet get any OAS or GIS until age 65.
    Will my dad get full OAS+GIS?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Manu – Your father will receive partial OAS (10/40ths), plus full GIS, plus GIS top-up to full OAS equivalent. Your mother will receive the full Allowance while she’s under age 65.

      • Manu

        Thank you.

        The gov website is indeed confusing as it mentions “full” OAS and GIS in the table. I assume they just mean max combined amount.

        Once again thank you, you are helping a lot of us 🙂

  30. Herbert

    Hi Doug,

    My wife and I will retiring next year (both turning 65) we have lived in Canada for 22 years by then. Our combined monthly CPP is $ 250 plus we have annual income of $5000 from UK pension. Can you please tell me how much GIS my wife and I are eligible for. We are a little confused on the GIS calculation.

    Thank you kindly


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Herbert – Based on your combined annual income of $8,000 (not counting OAS), you will each be eligible for a monthly OAS/GIS of $894.76. Since you will have 22 years of Canadian residence at that time, your OAS will be 22/40ths of the full basic OAS (currently $578.53) = $318.19. Your GIS will make up the difference ($894.76 – $318.19) = $576.57.

  31. Gil

    Hi Doug,
    Me and my wife just got the approval of the partial old age pension. I got $13959 foreign pension income annually and my wife has $10500 annually. Are we eligible for GIS and how much.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Gil – To answer your question, I’d need to know how much OAS you’re each receiving and whether you have any other income (e.g., CPP)?

      • Gil

        We both receiving $144.63 and no more other income except our foreign income.

        • Gil

          Hi Doug,

          Me and my wife are living here in Canada for ten years now and we just got approved for partial old age pension amounting to $144.63 each. I am 85 years old and my wife is 80 years old. We both have foreign pension income. I’m receiving $13959 annually and my wife is receiving $10,500 annually, no more other income. I want to know if we are qualified to get a GIS. Can you please let me know and show to me the calculation. Thank you.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Gil – You should each receive GIS of approx. $407.90 monthly. If you were receiving full OAS, your GIS entitlement would run out if your combined income exceeded $23,184. Because you’re each receiving only 10/40ths, your GIS entitlement is “topped-up” by $433.90 to equal the full basic OAS. For incomes exceeding the $23,184 threshhold, this top-up is reduced by $1.00 per month for each $48 of excess annual income. Since your combined annual income was $24,459, your excess income was $1,275 and your monthly GIS top-up is reduced by $26.00 ($1,275 / 48) each.

  32. let

    Hi Doug,
    My parents are both 73 years old. They are living here in Canada for ten years. My dad has a foreign pension amounting to $13,959 and my mon still working part time as a baby sitter and she is making around $8,000 annually. They got there approval for partial oas amounting to $144.63. How much they will be getting in GIS.

  33. Ron

    Hi Doug
    If a person net income is $10,000 a year. On the GIS table is the amount $10,000 or $6500 you look at. The $3500 working exemption per son is applied towards your joint income for a couple or $3500 per person?
    Thank you

  34. Ron

    Sorry, just wanted to make more clear. So lets assume my wife and I have a net income of $10,000 ($5000 each) from employment plus another $8000 from CPP and investment, total $18,000 not including OAS. Is the amount $18,000 or $11,000? for GIS purpose. Thanks once again!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ron – You would each report net employment income of $1,500 and your total combined income for GIS purposes would be $11,000.

  35. Alex

    Hi Doug,
    Will having a mortgage affect mi eligibility for GIS?
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Alex – No, having a mortgage is not a factor for GIS.

  36. RoseMarie Gagnon

    Hi Doug. I have been resident of Canada 26 years. i applied for OAS in 2016 before i turned 65 (May 2016). My husband is 62. Our combined anual income for 2016 was 15,500. How much OAS/GIS and Allowances can we expect, and do you think we will receive backpayment?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi RoseMarie – Any idea why your OAS application hasn’t been approved yet? Did you apply for GIS and the Allowance at that time? Retroactivity is generally limited to a maximum of 11 months prior to submission of an application.

      Based on your combined income of $15,500 your OAS/GIS should be approx. $931 and your husband’s Allowance should be approx. $353. But your 2016 income will only be used to determine your GIS/Allowance entitlements effective July 2017 thru June 2018, and it would be your 2015 income that would be relevant to the period of July 2016 thru June 2017.

  37. RoseMarie Gagnon

    Thanks Doug. We are factual residents in another country, as we are missionaries. I guess it takes that long. We have been contacted this month and requested a letter from our missionary organization, which i sent 2 weeks ago. in 2015 our Adjusted family income was 14,930.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi RoseMarie – Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately, while your absence from Canada as missionaries may count as residence in Canada for purposes of qualifying for OAS, I think you’ll find that neither GIS nor the Allowance are payable unless/until you physically return to remain in Canada.

  38. KS

    Hi Doug,
    A question.Is interest received on TFSA deposit counted as income for the purpose of GIS (though income tax free)when received alongwith OAS?If yes, where to invest for good return so that GIS is not affected.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi KS – No, interest earned in a TSFA is not taxable and it therefore isn’t counted as income for GIS purposes.

  39. KS

    Thanks.You cleared my major doubt and showed me the right path.

  40. KR

    Hi Doug,

    I am helping my parents navigate their retirement: My father is 65 and my mother is 61

    My father has retired and receives about $230/month combined CPP and OAS, he is not yet eligible for GIS because family income is higher than the threshold.

    My mother will retire in 4 years- 2021, in 2021 for OAS purposes we would be 19/40th.

    retirement pension through her work (contributions and CPP) for my mother will be $2300 per month.

    RRSP contributions are not significant

    How would we find approximate GIS payments for both my parents in 2022


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi KR – How many 40ths is your father receiving for OAS, and what do you expect each of their annual incomes to be in 2022 (listed by source)?

  41. KR

    Hi Doug, it will be 19/40th in the year 2022.
    Approximate family income will be 35,320 this excludes any OAS and GIS.

    Annual Breakdown:

    Investments: $2500 each = 5000 total annually
    CPP: 6300 total annually
    Work pension: 24,000 total annually

    The only unknown is GIS and OAS


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi KR – I’m a little confused? You said that your father is already receiving OAS. If that’s true, his won’t increase each year with an additional 1/40th. It will remain at whatever 40ths it started at. I’ll therefore guess that he’s receiving 13/40ths. In that case his OAS will be about $189 per month and his GIS would be about $144 per month, for a total of $333. At 19/40ths, your mother’s OAS would be about $277 per month and her GIS would be about $56 per month, for the same total of $333.

  42. Rose Petroff

    My husband and I received 30 cents less on our OAS this month, Don’t understand why

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Rose – From July 2016 thru June 2017, your GIS amount was based on your 2015 taxable income. Starting with July 2017, your GIS entitlement is based on your 2016 taxable.

  43. Jins Thomas

    Hi Doug,
    My mom and dad came to Canada from Jordan 10 years ago (in 2005) as Permanent Residences. She was 51 years old and he was 57 years old. They are now 61 and 67. During the last ten years they lived outside Canada for more than 2 years. Currently, they are on social assistance through the province of Nova Scotia and their combined income for the year 2016 was less than $12000. I am just wondering, if my dad would be eligible for OAS and GIS?

  44. Phil

    Hi Doug,

    Great website. ” One can qualify for OAS/GIS once he has resided in Canada for at least 10 years ” Does that person need to live continuously for the 10 years ? Or can that person resided for a total of 10 year in Canada apply for the partial OAS? How is that 10 years are calculated? Is it based on calendar year or actual number of days ? Thanks

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Phil – The 10 years do not need to be consecutive, and it is counted in the actual number of days.

  45. Isabelle Hazlett

    Hi Doug,

    My father is a Canadian citizen (born and grew up here). He has worked outside of Canada for most of his career (though for Canadian organizations for some of this). He is now 72. He met the residency period of at least 20 years residence and has been receiving a partial OAS ($379) and CPP ($118). Combined though it is only $500 per month. He will be returning to Canada shortly and I guess he can apply for the GIS when he gets here as he has no other source of income or assets. How long after residing in Canada would he be able to apply for the GIS? I assume he would get the maximum amount when he does?

    Thank you,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Isabelle – Your father should be eligible for GIS effective the month following his return to Canada to reside here, although it may take several months for Service Canada to process his GIS application. If OAS and CPP are his only sources of income and if he’s single, his GIS should be approx. $1,016 monthly.

      • Isabelle Hazlett

        Is that $1016 for the GIS plus the $500 he already has from oas and cpp totalling $1500? Or 1016 total?

        Thanks so much!

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Isabelle – The $1,016 is GIS only, in addition to the $497 OAS/CPP totaling $1,513.

          • Isabelle Hazlett

            Thank You again – that’s helpful to know.

  46. Dave

    Hi Isabelle,

    He will also be eligible for the GST credit, which is paid quarterly. YEARLY TOTAL is presently $552.

    Go to the link below.

    • Isabelle Hazlett

      That’s great thanks. I’ll have a look at the website.

  47. Mila

    Hello Doug,
    By the end of this year, at the age of 66 I will be getting 15/40 OAS , mu husband is not going to get OAS (he has been in Canada only 3 years) . Our annual income before taxes from other sources will be $18.000.
    Can we get GIS and if yes what would be that amount together with 15/40 OAS?
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mila – Your GIS entitlement for now thru to June 2018 is based on your combined 2016 income. Assuming that it was around $18,000, your combined OAS/GIS should be approx. $1,096.53 monthly.

  48. Mila

    Thank you Doug!
    My understanding is that our annual income before tax will be $31152 before tax.
    18000+13152. ( 13152=1096×12).
    Can you please confirm that my math is correct?
    Many, many thanks for your time!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mila – Your math is very good!

  49. Mila

    Hi Doug,
    Thank you,
    sorry to be a pain in the neck. When you got $1096 did you take in the consideration that Oas is only for 15 years, not for 40 years? I am afraid that $1086 is when spouse gets full OAS..
    Can you please let me know?
    1000 thanks!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mila – The total result is the same regardless how many years of residence your mother has in Canada. The only difference is what portion of the $1,096 is OAS and what portion is GIS.

  50. KS

    Hi Doug, sorry to have bothered you again.My wife suffered hand injury at work place & WorkSafe BC has declared 46 % permanent disability award of $ 778 per month till the age of 70 yrs and some top up due to wage loss.My questions are —-
    1.Will this disability award be taxes by CRA?
    2. Will top up due to wage loss be taxed?
    3. Will both above amounts be counted as income for the purpose of GIS when she start getting OAS (10/40)after 18 months.
    Our yearly income will be as under after 18 months:-
    Foreign pension(India). $23000
    Disability award. –$778×12=9336
    OAS each-10/40ths=$142.63=$3423
    Wage loss award say=$200×12=2400
    How much r we finally going to get as GIS?

    • Doug Runchey

      KS – I’m not a tax expert and I’m not a WorkSafe BC expert, but I believe those benefits are non-taxable. If so, those benefits shouldn’t affect your GIS and with $23,000 foreign pension income you would each be eligible for monthly OAS/GIS of $594.52.
      P.S. If your wife was working, wouldn’t she have contributed to CPP and also be eligible for some CPP (which would reduce GIS).

      • KS

        Hi Doug,Due to some changes I have to request you to let me know again.I am completing 69 years next year & my wife 65 when we complete 10 yrs of residency in Canada.
        Our yearly income would be :-
        • My foriegn pension = $ 21000.
        •My wife monthly disability award = $1385×12 = $16620
        •My CPP = $150×12=1800
        • MY WIFE CPP= $40×12= 480
        • MY Wife Return to work average earnings = $ 200×12= 2400.
        Please let me know how much OAS & GIS(if any.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi KS – Your OAS is easy, because it will be 10/40ths of the full basic OAS (currently $600.85) = $150.21 each monthly. Assuming that your wife’s disability award is taxable income, your combined income for GIS purposes will be $39,900 ($21,000 + $16,620 + $1,800 + $480). Your wife’s employment earnings don’t count, because she is able to deduct the first $3,500 of employment earnings each year for GIS purposes. You will each be “topped-up” with $450.64 extra GIS to bring you up to the full OAS equivalent. That means that under Rate Table 2 (married couple, both receiving OAS), GIS normally stops when you exceed the maximum income threshold of $24,048. Your income exceeds that maximum by $15,852 ($39,900 – $24,048), so that will reduce each of your top-ups by $330 ($15,852 / 48), which will give you each approx. $150.64 each monthly, added to your OAS.

          • KS

            Hi Doug,my wife’s disability award is not taxable & my foriegn pension is also not taxable in Canada.
            Will it make any difference if my wife’s disability award is not taxable.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi KS – Disability awards generally don’t count for GIS purposes if they’re not taxable, but it could depend on the source. Foreign pension income often still reduces GIS even if it’s considered non-taxable due to a tax treaty. Service Canada would make the decision on both incomes, so I recommend that you call them at 1-800-277-9914 to get a definite answer.

  51. roman slavik

    For my retirement i want to move and live in my native country.For OAS i will have a least 35 years,my CPP i do not know am i eligible also for GIS and how is it going to be tax.And do i have to come to Canada every year to do my tax. Thanks Roman

  52. Norman

    Hi Doug,
    My wife and I will 65 next year. Our combine income is $1300
    per month plus $307 OAP for each of us. We have about $120,000 in TFSA that’s the only asset we have . If we stopped working and have no employment, would we be eligible for GIS of $800-307
    = $493 each.
    BTW, we have lived in Canada for 21 years by next year.

  53. Mike

    Hi Doug

    I have been approved 13/40 with 190.28/month I am married .

    zero income ,what will my total OAS+GIS. Thanks for the help

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Mike – How old is your spouse? Is she receiving OAS also? What is her income?

      • Mike

        She is 55 years old and not receiving anything.

        Appreciate your help

        • Mike

          No income too

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Mike – If neither you nor your wife have any income aside from your OAS, your combined OAS/GIS will be the maximum of $1,462.89.

  54. Bobby

    Hello Doug,
    My wife and me are turning 65 later this year. We have worked and lived in Canada for 22 years. We are receiving about
    CPP $ 230 per month ( mine $165 and my wife $65)
    Foreign pension $2000 per month.
    Our total income is $2230 per month.

    I understand the max GIS range is $23520 and since we have worked 22/40 years will our threshold go up and also Doug if can kindly tell us would we be eligible for GIS.
    Thanks in advance for the excellent service you are providing and helping confuse folks like ourselves.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Bobby – Because you’re receiving a partial pension, your GIS will be “topped-up” by the equivalent of whatever amount of OAS that you don’t receive. Since you will have 22/40ths, your OAS will be $322.66 compared to the full amount of $586.66. This means that your GIS will be topped-up by $264.00 ($586.66 minus $322.66). This means that when most people reach $0 GIS at incomes in excess of $23,520, you will still have GIS entitlement of $264 monthly. GIS entitlement for married couples both receiving OAS decreases by $1 monthly for every $48 of annual combined income, meaning that your GIS “ceiling” will be $12,672 (264 x 48) above the normal maximum, or $36,192. Because you’re $3,240 above the normal maximum, you will each lose $68.00 from your top-ups ($3,240 / $48 = $68), so you will each receive $196 GIS as well as your $322.66 OAS.

  55. Bobby

    Thank you Doug! God bless you.

  56. Marina

    Hello Doug,
    After 15 years of residence and work in Quebec I am retiring and moving back to my birth country Serbia.
    Canada and Serbia signed Social Security Agreement.
    Will I be able to get 15/40 of O A S in Serbia considering Social Security Agreement even if I dont have 20 years of residence in Canada?

    Quebec have not sign agreement with Serbia, does it make difference?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Marina – Yes, if you have at least 5 years of credits to the Serbian pension program, you should be able to add those years to your 15 years of residence in Canada to reach the 20-year requirement for OAS outside of Canada. The amount of your OAS would be 15/40ths = $220 monthly, based solely on your actual number of years of residence in Canada.

      Here’s a link to the agreement:

  57. Marina

    Thank you Doug.
    Do I understand correctly that for OAS residence in Canada matters no regardless of which province is the place of residence?
    I am asking as Quebec where I spent 15 years of residence, does NOT have signed Social Security Agreemet with Serbia. Canada does.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Marina – Yes, for OAS purposes it does not matter what province you live(d) in. OAS is a federal program that operates throughout all of Canada, unlike CPP for which Quebec has its own parallel program, QPP/RRQ.

  58. Marina

    Thanks a lot Doug!
    Does your company give advices about taxes for non residents?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Marina – No, I have no expertise on taxes for residents or non-residents.

  59. Marina

    To clarify
    I am looking for expert for taxes ( for a fee)

    • Doug Runchey

      Sorry, not me.

  60. Marina

    Doug, noted, thanks. Where to look?
    I need someone who knows, really knows

  61. John

    Hi Doug,

    We (husband and wife) are both 71 years old receive partial OAS due to reduced number of years in Canada. We live

    in GTA.

    For Dec 2017, we received OAS / GIS $263 / $410 each (Annual total $8078) based on recurring CPP and workplace

    monthly pension of $ 734 per month (annual $8,808) and other investment income of $ 874/month (annual $10482) of

    2016. We had filed T1 for family income of $19,300 before OAS/GIS in 2016

    From next year my other income could increase by another $10,000.

    I called Service Canada to find out what will be our OAS/GIS with higher family income of $29,000 excluding OAS/GIS.

    They informed that as soon as the family income crosses the threashold of $23,500, the GIS will become zero and

    OAS will be llimited to $263 each. I explained that as becasue we only receive partial OAS, the income threashold will

    be higher and the shortfall between full and partial OAS will be still paid a GIS. Service Canada rep did not understand

    this point.

    What should I do? Am I correct in my understanding of OAS/GIS calculation as explained by your article? What is my


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi John – Based on what you’ve indicated, you and your wife should both be eligible for GIS as long as your combined income (excluding OAS/GIS) doesn’t exceed approx. $39,000. If your combined income for 2017 was $29,300, you should each receive approx. $202 GIS. Unfortunately, sometimes the frontline Service Canada don’t understand some of the complex issues. I’m sure that it will be processed correctly, but you could always try phoning a few more times to see if you get different answers.

  62. AJ

    Hi Doug.

    Hi Doug, I will be turning 65 shortly and currently receiving CPP of about $316 per month. I am currently working and have an income of about $45K per year. I also have foreign income of about $12,760. I am likely to retire in the next couple of months or may be working till end of this year max.

    Will I be eligible for OAS / GIS after I have quit work as I will have only other income and CPP. if so how much will it be.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi AJ – How many years have you resided in Canada after age 18? What is your marital status? If married or common-law, what is the age and income of your spouse?

  63. AJ

    Hi Doug, I lived in canada for 19 years. As I become eligible for OAS, What will be my OAS in 2018 OAS

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi AJ – If your 19 years of Canadian residence are all after age 18 and before age 65, you will be eligible for 19/40ths of $586.66 = $278.66 OAS.

  64. AJ

    Hi Doug, As regards my marital status, I am separated. So when I retire what OAS & GIS can I expect.
    Appreciate your advice as always

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi AJ – After you stop working, if your only income aside from OAS is CPP of $316 monthly plus foreign income of $12,760 yearly, as a single person you would be eligible for a combined OAS/GIS of $638.18. Since your OAS is $278.66 (19/40ths of $586.66) your GIS will be $359.52 ($638.18 – $278.66).

      • AJ

        Thank you very much Doug. God Bless.

        • AJ

          Hi Doug, If social security agreements exist between Canada and India, I presume the years you worked in India will also be counted towards the OAS and GIS since the pension received in India is also considered while calculating the GIS in Canada.

          Appreciate your help as always.


          • Doug Runchey

            Hi AJ – No, the years that you worked in India (or any other country) are not included in determining the amount of your OAS (or GIS), because they can only ever be used to help you meet the 10-year or 20-year threshold to be eligible for OAS. They will never increase the amount of your OAS.

        • AJ

          In the example of peter that you gave in the beginning of chat, he will lose his GIS when he reaches $22,122. On similar lines at what point will I lose GIS. Other source income $12,670 and OAS of $286.also income from CPP 385. This crossed my mind after I read in detail the sample shown of Peter.
          Appreciate your help

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi AJ – The purpose of the article was to allow you to do that calculation yourself. Subtract your OAS from the full OAS to determine the amount of your GIS top-up ($613 – $286 = $327). Multiply that times 24 to calculate how much extra income you can have ($327 x 24 = $7,848) and add that to the “normal” maximum income threshold to determine your maximum income threshold ($7,848 + $18,600 = $26,448, assuming that you’re single), not including your OAS.

  65. Karen

    Hi Doug
    I am single 66 and I receive my CPP, OAP and GIS. This has been my only income all of 2017. In 2016 I applied for my GIS early as I was only living on my CPP. I did not receive that money until January of this year which brought my net income up to 21301.00. Does this mean I will only get my basic OAP and no GIC?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Karen – No, OAS and GIS should be excluded as income when determining your entitlement to GIS. If those are your only 3 sources of income, your GIS entitlement will be based solely on your CPP amount.

      • Karen

        Thank you Doug, this is a great site, thank you for your time.

  66. AJ

    Hi Doug,
    I believe that OAS and GiS will stop if you are out of country more than 6 months consecutively at a time.
    Could you please guide me on this.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi AJ – GIS will definitely stop once you’ve been out of Canada for more than 6 months. OAS will continue however, if you have 20 years or more of Canadian residence after turning age 18. If not, OAS could also continue if you have a total of 20 years of such residence in Canada, combined with residence and/or contributions in a country that Canada has an international social security agreement.

  67. AJ

    Thanks Doug. Appreciate your help.

  68. Olena

    Hi Doug,
    What a fantastic site! And what a kind man you are for helping all of us in need of clarification or advise! Thank you!

    My parents immigrated to Canada in November 2007. They have been sponsored for 10 years by me and my husband until 2017. In Dec 2017 they applied for OAS,CPP and GIS at the age of 66 (mom) and 67 (dad) Partial OAS has been approved at the beginning of March at $146 per person, plus my dad got $15 in CPP. Still waiting for GIS to be decided on. What should they expect to receive for GIS? The income reported on 2016 income tax return was: mom – $3,650, dad $4,180. When appliying for GIS were we correct to put down the combined income to calculate GIS as 830 (150+680)?
    And since they receive partial OAS my understanding is that the income threshold for GIS calculation is higher. What is it? If My mom would like to take on additional part time job of 10k per year, how will it affect my parents GIS amounts?

    Many thanks,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Olena – What were their sources of income for 2016 (the $3,650 and $4,180). Were they both salary amounts? If so, you’ve probably reported the income correctly for GIS purposes and your parent should each receive approx. $950 GIS monthly, added to their OAS.
      If your mother earned approx. $10k additional salary, each of them would lose approx. $210 monthly from their GIS, or approx. $2,500 per year.
      Your parents’ maximum income threshold for GIS is approx. $44,540, which is approx. $21,024 more than if they had lived in Canada their whole lives.

      • Olena

        Yes it was part time employment income. Thank you.

        With regards to the timing – Service Canada said on the phone they have up to 32 weeks to process GIS applications since the time of receipt because it’s considered a “complex” case due to immigration and sponsorship (which means it may take up to the middle of August 2018). Once finalized, will the GIS payments be made retroactively from the time of eligibility (which is Dec 2017)?
        Thank you, Doug! (apologies for misspelling your name in my initial comment?)

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Olena – Yes, the GIS should be paid retroactive to Dec 2017 once it is finally processed.

  69. AJ

    Hi Doug,

    Thank you Doug. Appreciate your help


  70. Margaret k. Wilbur

    Im turning 65 in september…im getting 1485 now,ccpd,widows allowance,not sure what other one much will i get in september when it changes over,could u help me,plus do i get the higher amount of gst in october of this year..or do i have to wait for next july

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Margaret – I’d need to know the amounts of all of the individual benefits that you’re receiving to help you. You’d probably be better off to try calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914, because they will have all of your records (except for the GST question, which I can’t answer either).

  71. Kenneth

    I have a friend that is retiring and she was given 25 years and 360 days calculated for her application of her pension.
    Since she is only missing 5 days, would the government calculate this at 26 years?
    If not, could she still go back and revise this after she meets the remaining 5 days of work?
    FYI, she’s still working right now, it just so happened that when she applied they gave her this calculation.
    Or should she just cancel the application and refile?
    Greatly appreciate your help!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ken – 25 years and 360 days only qualifies her for 25/40ths of the full OAS. If her application hasn’t been approved yet, they may allow her to ask for a one-moth delay in order to reach 26/40ths. If it has been approved, she would likely have to cancel and reapply.

  72. Ved Uppal

    Dear Doug,
    The clarity of your answers is very impressive. Services Canada has calculated that I just made 20 years to qualify for an OAS. MY Date of birth is 19061952 I am 66 years this June but have received no payments yet. I worked 12 years in Canada and 8 years in Trinidad which has an agreement with Canada. The rest of my working life was in India. I returned to Canada in 2016. I am receiving CPP of 1387 and have no other income, living off my savings and staying with my brother. My OAS was rejected last year and I was told that I have to reapply in 2019. Could you please tell me how much GIS I would be entitled. I assume I will be entitled to 20/40 of the OAS benefit in 2019

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ved – I’m confused by some of your facts. First, to clarify your CPP is that $1,387 per month or per year? $1,387 per month is above the maximum and $1,387 is pretty low for 12 years of working in Canada. Second, if you are currently residing in Canada you can qualify for OAS with as little as 10 years of residence in Canada, so why was your OAS denied. Third, if you are approved using the Trinidad agreement to meet the 20-year threshold (which means they don’t believe that you’re currently residing in Canada), you would only receive 12/40ths of the OAS based just on your actual residence in Canada. If you can clarify these points, I’ll estimate your GIS.

  73. Ved Uppal

    Dear Doug,
    Thanks so much for the swift reply. Deeply appreciated. The CPP is 1387.00 per year. According to the statement of contributions only 3 years were “Maximum” contributions. When the pension was denied I was told to reapply in 2019, so assume the years in trinidad have been considered to make up 20 years. I returned to reside in Canada in 2016 and have been filing taxes gain since then. I have sent them proof of my residence during 2016, 2017 and resubmitted the application. On this basis will like to know how much GIS I will receive. Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ved – I’m still confused. There’s no reason that I can think of, as to why your OAS application will be approved in 2019 if it was denied in 2017. I would suggest that you reapply immediately and request a year’s retroactive payment. Whenever it’s approved, the amount of OAS is based only on your actual years of residence in Canada (not including Trinidad or any other country), so you should qualify for 12/40ths or 13/40ths (depending on what total you actually had when you turned age 65), or approx. $180 per month OAS at age 65. If your OAS is approved later than age 65, it could be increased either by additional residence in Canada after age 65 OR by the voluntary deferral increase of 0.6% per month.
      If you’re single and your OAS is approved and your only other income is CPP at $1,387 per year, your combined OAS/GIS would be $1,414.20, so your GIS will be $1,414.20 minus your OAS before any deferral increase (approx. $180) = approx. $1,234.20 monthly for GIS.

      • Ved Uppal

        Dear Doug,
        Thanks a lot
        I had written to you previously on being declined OAS and you suggested that I reapply immediately which I had already done.
        I have received a questionnaire to complete which asks if I am in receipt of a foreign pension.
        Is the retirement benefit (CPP equivalent) which I receive from Trinidad considered a foreign pension

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Ved – Yes, any pension from a country other than Canada would be a foreign pension.

  74. Noah

    Hi Doug,
    i was wondering when was the last time GIS Schedule 2 for married couple was increase? it seems that the amount has been same since 2014. For single person there was an increase last year under the new Liberal Govt.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Noah – It is reviewed every 3 months and increases if there has been an increase in the cost-of-living. Then it’s reviewed again every July, and is recalculated based on your previous year’s income, which could result in an increase (if any other income has decreased) or a decrease (if other income has increased).

  75. Claudiu Botezatu

    Hi Doug,
    Please help me to figure out these numbers:

    Couple (A+B) will retire at 65, after 26years in Canada.
    A will have a CPP of 9000CAD a year
    B will have a CPP of 5000CAD a year
    No other income, but substantial savings (saving account and TFSA), no RRSP

    How much will A receive MONTHLY as: (OAS+GIS)
    How much will B receive MONTHLY as: (OAS+GIS)

    All these based on 2018 tables, and I need the MONTHLY amounts for each.

    Thank you very much!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Claudiu – OAS is simply 26/40ths of the full basic ($596.67), which is $387.84 each monthly. Because they’re both receiving OAS, their GIS will be determined under rate table 2. Ignoring any taxable income from their substantial savings, their combined annual income for GIS purposes would just be their CPP, which totals $14,000. Based on $14,000 income on rate table 2, they are each eligible for a combined OAS of $803.03. If they had 40/40th this would be $596.67 OAS and $206.36 GIS, but since their OAS is only $387.84 their GIS is increased to $415.19, to reach the same total OAS/GIS of $803.03.

      • Claudiu

        So why table 2 and not table 4 (GIS and Allowance for couple)?

        They are a couple and on a related question few years ago, table 4 was indicated.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Claudiu – Table 2 and 4 are both for couples. Table 2 is where the couple are both over age 65 and both receiving OAS. Table 4 is where only one is over age 65 and receiving OAS and the other spouse is between age 60 and 65.

          • Claudiu


  76. Vera

    Hello Doug,
    Please help me to understand how much of GIS my husband and I will get when we retire. My husband is 64 and already receiving his CPP of $250 a month. Hi will be eligible for OAS next year with 23 years of residency. I’ll retire in 6 years with 28 years of residency and $580 of CPP. If I start withdrawing $10.000 a year from my RRSP when I retire at 65, would we still be able to get top up from GIS.
    Thank you for your help.

    • Doug Runchey

      Using GIS Rate Table 2 (married couple, both receiving OAS) and based on a combined annual income of $19,960 (his CPP of $3,000, your CPP of $6,960 and your RRSP of $10,000), you would each be eligible for a combined OAS/GIS payment of $686.69. Your husband’s OAS would be $345.49 (23/40ths of $600.85), so his GIS would be $341.20. Your OAS would be $420.60 (28/40ths of $600.85), so your GIS would be $266.09.

  77. Vera

    Thank you very much for your detailed explanation.

  78. Vera

    Some of my friends suggested postponing CPP until I’m 70 and use my RRSP of $10000. Would you be so kind to give me a quick estimate of what I could hope to get from OAS/GIS based on combined income of $13000? Thanks a lot.

    • Doug Runchey

      Based on combined income of $13,000, you would each receive OAS/GIS of $831.69.

  79. Vera

    Hello Doug,
    I very much appreciate your help in understanding OAS and GIS top-ups when deciding when/how to make retirement decisions. I made my scenario based on your explanation in one of the post above about top-ups when partial OAS received. Could you check it and let me know if my calculations are right.
    Because we are receiving a partial pension, my husband GIS will be “topped-up”. Since he will have 23/40ths, his OAS will be $345 of the full amount of $600.85. This means that his GIS will be topped-up by $255.85 ($600.85 minus $345).
    My GIS will also be “topped-up”. I will have 28/40ths OAS that is $420. My GIS will be topped-up by $180.85 ($600.85 minus $420). This means that when most people reach $0 GIS at incomes in excess of $24,000, I will still have GIS entitlement of $180.85 monthly. GIS entitlement for married couples both receiving OAS decreases by $1 monthly for every $48 of annual combined income, meaning that our GIS “ceiling” will be $10,480.8 (his 255.85 + my 180.85 = 436.7 divided by 2 =218.35 and then 218.35 x 48) above the normal maximum, or $34,480.8 ($10,480.8+24,000=$34,480.8). Because we’re $3,130 (if I take CPP and RRSP at age 65) above the normal maximum, we will each lose $65.20 from our top-ups ($3,130 / $48 = $65.2), so my husband will receive $175.8 GIS as well as his $345 OAS. I will receive $100.8 GIS as well as my $420 OAS.
    $6,249.6 my husband OAS&top-up + $6,249.6 my OAS&top-up +3,000 my husband CPP+6,984 my CPP + 17,146 RRSP = $ 39,629.20

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Vera – You understand things very well, except for one point. You will not have the same “ceiling” for GIS purposes. Your husband’s ceiling will be $12,280 above the standard maximum ($255.85 x 48), but your ceiling will only be $8,680 above the standard maximum ($180.85 x 48).

  80. Vera

    Thanks. I’ll correct my calculations. This is one of the best blogs about retirement and I’m recommending it to my friends.

  81. Vera

    Hi Doug
    Hope this is my last comment about the same topic.
    I did new calculations and this is the result. Let me know if it’s correct.
    RRSP at 65 CPP at 60

    $4,140 my husband OAS + $3753.6 my husband GIS top-up + $5,040 my OAS + $4653.6 my GIS top-up +3,924 my husband CPP+4,476 my CPP + 17,146 RRS Pincome = $ 43,133.2

    RRSP at 70 CPP at 60 – income difference $3,200

    Explanation: I’m losing my top up because my new income of $33229 is higher than my ceiling of $32,680 for $548 only
    My husband still receives his top up – his ceiling $36,280
    $4,140 my husband OAS + $3753.6 my husband GIS top-up + $5,040 my OAS + 3,924 my husband CPP+4,476 my CPP + 24,000 RRSP income = $46333.6

    If having only $1000 less in my RRSP income would bring me back GIS top-up and get $4,654 more income
    4,140 my husband OAS + $3753.6 my husband GIS top-up + $5,040 my OAS + $4653.6 my GIS top-up + 3,924 my husband CPP+4,476 my CPP + 24,000 RRSP income = $50,987.2
    Thanks for your help

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Vera – I’m sorry, but I don’t really understand what question you’re asking, but I’ll try to clarify a couple of points anyway. First and most important, neither your OAS amounts nor your GIS amounts count as income for GIS purposes, so please don’t include them in determining whether you exceed the $24,000 maximum income threshold. Second, decreasing your RRSP by $1,000 could never increase your GIS by $4,654. The normal impact might be to increase both your and your husband’s GIS by $250 for a combined increase of $500 (50% of the RRSP decrease).
      Can you more clearly indicate what you’re trying to accomplish?

  82. Vera

    Hi Doug,
    no wonder you are confused with my post. Checking it back I see that I’m totally wrong calculating top ups (way to much)in all my scenarios. My intention was to incorporate new amount for OAS 600.85 and then got carried away in my calculations for GIS top-ups. Once again I want to thank you for your help.

  83. AJ

    Hi Doug,

    I keep following this site. But have not seen anything new after the above query. Look forward to getting educated on this wonderful site.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi AJ – What query are you referring to? I don’t see any unanswered question.

  84. Robert van Dyk

    Hi Doug,
    In regards to GIS. I am trying to do some planning, trying to maximize the GIS supplement. I understand it will be reduced for every dollar earned.
    My question: Is the reduction based on gross income or net income?
    In other words, are we allowed to earn the basic exemption of $12069 without it effecting our amount of GIS?
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Robert – For the most part, GIS is based on your Net Income as reported to Revenue Canada on your income tax return. I think if you look closely at your income tax return though, you’ll see that the personal exemption of $12,069 is not deducted from your gross income to calculate your net income. The short answer to your question therefore is “No, you are not allowed to earn the basic exemption of $12,069 without it affecting your GIS”.
      Perhaps reading this additional article will make things clearer:

  85. AJ

    Hi Dough,

    Sorry, I was referring to any new queries and your valuable response.


  86. SG

    Hello Doug,
    Thank you for your article, it is very helpful.
    Please advise if we opt for an “early retirement” and take our CPP earlier (reduced amount) at the age of 60, Will it influence our eligibility for GIS at the age 65? By the age of 65 we will be living in Canada for about 15 years.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi SG – Yes, if you are receiving a reduced CPP because you took it early you will generally recoup approx. 50% of that reduction through a larger GIS entitlement, depending on your income from other sources and your marital status.

  87. Fred Philip

    Hi Doug, it seems my case is a little bit ore complicated as the others.
    Here are the facts. My wife gets the full OAS pension and GIS. I’m receiving 16/40ths of OAS pension. In addition I’m receiving pension from the German Statutory pension system.
    How can I calculate my proper GIS amount? Is the formula somewhere published by the government? Perhaps in the OAS act?
    Any advise is much appreciated.

    • Fred Philip

      I forgot to mention, the OAS is not just 16/40ths, I also receive additional 36% on top for a deferred payment start of the OAS.

  88. Dan

    Hi Doug,
    Based on your details regarding GIS calculation we understand that for a couple with a combined income of $20,000 (not including the partial OAS of $444.81/person) would receive a combined OAS/GIS of $708.94 (as per Jan 2020 tables). Therefore, the GIS = $264.13 ($708.94-$444.81) each.
    Please confirm this the correct calculation.

    In case an error in GIS calculation is done, what is the appropriate course of action to have them correct it other than contacting Service Canada?
    Thank you in advance,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dan – You are correct in your calculations, and the only way to correct any error would be by contacting Service Canada.

  89. Jason

    I am 83 years old and my wife is 77. Both of us came to Canada in 1996.

    Both of us receive partial OAS. We also get GIS, but it is not maxed out. We get negligible CPP per month.

    Our OAS + GIS monthly amount for EACH of us is $ 841 per month. Out of which GIS is about $ 700/month and OAS is $ 141/month.

    I have some unused RRSP Contribution of $ 6,100 since
    2005, which I never used. Both of us pay NO income tax as our tax credits like basic exemption amount, age amount etc more than cover our income.

    Do you think if I use the $ 6,500 unused contribution to reduce my NET income, my GIS or OAS will increase?
    I don’t have to make any new RRSP Contribution and I can’t make any either as I am beyond 71. This is just some contribution I have made in the past but never used it or never deducted it as I was always low income and I am still low income. I have just carried this unused RRSP Contribution forward each year.

    If by claiming it on my tax return (although I don’t pay any income tax), if I can increase my GIS (not sure), I might as well claim it. As I don’t have to put any new money in. It’s a contribution, I have already made in the past.

    • Doug Runchey

      HI Jason – Yes, claiming and RRSP contribution to decrease your NET income should your and your wife’s GIS.

  90. Jason

    Is your GIS based on your Total Income (Line 150 of your CRA Tax return) or NET income (Line 236 on CRA return) or Taxable income (Line 260).

    The reason I ask is that I can considerably reduce my NET income (Line 236) by using a RRSP deduction/contribution.

    Or it doesn’t Matter what my Net income (Line 236) or Taxable income (Line 260) is.

    And They will only base it on whatever OAS/GIS table they have.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Jason – It’s not based exactly on any of those 3 amounts, but the nearest is the NET income. So Yes, claiming an RRSP deduction should increase your GIS.

      • Jason

        Thanks for the reply.

        Do you know if unused RRSP Contribution from the
        Past ( carried forward) can be used at the age of 83 and used as a RRSP deduction to reduce net income?

        I know after 71 you can’t make any new RRSP Contribution. But not sure about deducting something from the past and carried forward and using it after 71.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Jason – No, I don’t know the answer to that question.

  91. Larry

    Hi Doug,
    I was just wondering our ( Wife and me) total income is $22172 per year.( incl CPP and foreign income)
    We have live in Canada for 22 years, I understand our threshold limit. I am little confused on what amount of GIS we can get, I know the OAS will be 22/40 x $613= $613.15.
    Thanks in advance for the very helpful service you are providing.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Larry – I think you mean that your OAS is $337.15 (22/40 x $613), which means that your GIS “top-up” will be $275.85 ($613 – $337.15). Since your combined income of $22,172 is less than the “normal threshold” of $24,576 under Rate Table 2, the amount of your GIS will be the amount shown under Rate Table 2 for your income of $22,172 (currently $50.41) plus your GIS top-up of $275.85, which is $326.26 each.

  92. John

    Hello Doug,
    If there no increase in cost of living that’s according to government, (but it’s not true, my rent, food and other bills are much higher what the the government claiming.)
    Does that means No increase in July 2020, last month CPI was only 0.7% and that will result in another negative quarter.
    In the UK they have a Triple Lock, that mean the Pensioners are guaranteed minimum of 2.5%
    if inflation falls below 2.5%. not sure Canada has something like that.
    If there is negative CPI for 12 months, that mean no increase in OAS/GIS in 2020.
    Btw, I am are grateful the govt for $500 help to the seniors.
    Thanks Doug!
    Thank you Doug,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi John – Yes, if there’s no increase in the cost-of-living as measured by the CPI, there would be no increase in OAS/GIS. Canada has nothing like what you describe as the guaranteed increase in the UK pension system.

  93. Henry Lee

    Thanks for the write-up Doug — this is very informative. Regarding the situation of Peter in your example who doesn’t receive the full OAS pension, do you have a reference to the Service Canada website that he will be able to receive more income before he is no longer entitled to GIS? From my understanding, GIS qualification is calculated by the amount of your non-OAS income. Whether you are received a full or partial OAS should not affect the calculation except perhaps in the situation where the minimum monthly income of $1529.91 has not been met.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Henry – Service Canada only tells you how GIS works with full OAS. I’m telling you how it works with partial OAS.

  94. Wendy

    Hi, Doug, how much will I receive for OAS and GIS if i will be living 32 years in canada at age 65, an estimate of 590 for QPP and about 300 monthly of extra income? Thank you very much in advance

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – ARe you single or married? What is the source of the extra income of $300 per month?

  95. Aphrodite

    Hi Doug,
    First, I’d like to thank you for providing such insightful information and for answering so many peoples questions.
    I too have a question about my parents OAS and GIS payments and would be very grateful if you could help me out.
    My parents came to Canada in 1975. That means at age 65, my dad was in Canada for 32 years and my mom for 37 years.
    They showed an income of $10,041(each) in 2018 and received $915.94 per month for OAS and GIS. For some reason, they have been receiving full OAS payments. Last year, they took out their life insurance policies because the amounts started to reduce (apparently the longer they live the less money they have in these policies), and ended up showing an income of $16,996 (each). This income resulted in a reduction of their GIS and now they each receive only $770.94 per month.
    After trying to find out information, I have realized their GIS calculations are based on a full OAS payment. I am wondering why they are receiving a full payment? If they receive a partial OAS payment would they have a higher combined income threshold and maybe be entitled to receive a higher total OAS and GIS amount?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Aphrodite – You should contact Service Canada 1-800-277-9914 with your parents on the line, to see if you can resolve your parents OAS first, because if they did have less than 40 years of residence in Canada when they began their OAS, they definitely shouldn’t be receiving the full OAS.

      • Aphrodite

        Hi Doug,
        Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I’ve been trying to get a hold of them to resolve this.
        Could you please let me know what their OAS/GIS calculations should be based on the information I previously sent you.
        Thank you so much for your help!

  96. Aphrodite

    Hi Doug,
    Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I’ve been trying to get a hold of them to resolve this.
    Could you please let me know what their OAS/GIS calculations should be based on the information I previously sent you.
    Thank you so much for your help!

  97. Richard

    Hi Doug,
    I am a little lost on how the GIS is calculated?
    My wife and my income for last year was $3700 and we are getting about $ 1089 per month, I have made a
    $4800 RRSP withdrawal this year and on my income is approximately
    $8500 for this year.
    An increase of $4800 is about $100 less GIS but on the GIS table 2 the amount of GIS is $949 for income of $8500 and not $990. ( $1090-$100)
    It appears the $48 income means $1 less GIS is not throughout the earnings, at some point $1 less is deducted for earning of $16, $32 and $48 as its show on the GIS table 2.
    Thank you Doug, appreciate clarification.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Richard – You have discovered the ugly confusing truth about the GIS rate tables. At one point in time, the GIS reduction for rate table 2 was the pure 50% by reducing each of the couple by $1 per month for every $48 of annual income (25% reduction each). Then along came some politicians who wanted to increase the maximum GIS amount by $50, but they couldn’t afford to give it to everyone that received GIS plus extend the maximum income for rate table 2 by another $2,400 (50 more “steps” of $48 each). So they came up with a good idea (?) of giving the full $50 increase to anyone who had a combined income of less than $4,000 per year, and then to start reducing the $50 “top-up” by 25% (12.5% each) until it reach the point of zero, at which point the rate table could return to its 50% reduction formula. Combine this confusing “top-up” reduction with some inept legislative writer and the result is three different size steps instead of simply reducing each spouse by $1 per month for every $32 of combined annual income. It would still mean an overall 75% reduction for the period where the top-up begins to be reduced and where it is gone, but at least there would be any $16 steps whereby a couple is actually reduced by $24 for having income of $16.

  98. OAS Inquirer

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for the fantastic explanation. A quick question I have is whether partial OAS entitlement changes every incremental year, based on number of years in Canada after age 18. If so, this would imply increasing OAS until full 40 years timespan is achieved. Or, does the system only count number of years at the time of entitlement? If so, can these be based on when you would like to receive the OAS payment?

    thanks so much.

    • Doug Runchey

      Yes, your partial OAS is frozen at whatever 40th it was whenever you start receiving your OAS.

  99. A Canadian


    I believe that no one should suffer in retirement and a living income is necessary.
    But I happen to think the entire pension system in Canada is unfair.
    Why so? Because it treats those who have worked hard and contributed greatly to CPP/QPP unfairly.

    Am I correct in saying…

    Approximately 40 years of working in Canada at a respectable salary (max contributions) will get you, give or take:
    $1200/month in CPP/QPP + $600/month in OAS?

    Minimum contributions to CPP/QPP and let’s say, 40 years in Canada, will give you
    $600 OAS + $850 GIS /month.

    What about those who have some RRSP income and fewer years of contributing to the CPP/QPP plan.

    Does this seem fair?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi AC – I’ll let others debate the merits of our system, but the current OAS is $615 and max GIS is $919 for a total of $1534. Max CPP is $1,203 plus OAS of $615 = $1,818, and if those were your only two incomes you would also be eligible for GIS of $176 for a grand total of $1,994.

      • Brian Freund

        Hi Doug…

        Thanks for your informative article!

        I will be 65 in December 2021 with 17 years residence in Canada. I should get about $260 in OAS and $290 in CPP. I plan to stop working December 2021 or January 2022.

        It is confusing to figure out how CRA or Service Canada will determine my GIS. I was told I will need to estimate my 2022 income, but they will also look at my 2020 tax return, subtract my employment income for that year, and add any other 2020 income (interest, RRSP,etc,) to my 2022 estimate. If,say, I anticipate about $5000.00 in employment income for 2022, how much would I get in GIS?
        Likewise, how much GIS would I receive if I estimate to withdraw $10,000 in RRSP for 2022?

        Many thanks!


        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Brian – Yes, it is complicated ow GIS will be determined when estimated income is used due to retirement, and there is some flexibility depending on the circumstance. Some of these rules may seem unfair, but some of the rules have been implemented because people were trying to cheat the system by manipulating their income through the timing of RRSP deposits and withdrawals.

          In estimating your GIS I’m going to assume that you’re single. If not, you would have to tell me your spouse’s age and income.

          First, if you retire and have only CPP and OAS as your income sources, you would receive GIS of approx $1,000 per month. If you’re estimating $5,000 for employment earnings, that shouldn’t affect your GIS at all, because the first $5,000 of employment income is exempt for GIS purposes. If you withdraw $10,000 from your RRSP though, that could reduce your GIS by approx $530 per month. As you see, you’ll lose more than 50% of your RRSP withdrawal due to a reduction in your GIS. RRSP withdrawals are never a good thing when you’re eligible for GIS, and they can sometimes even be worse when your GIS entitlement is being basedc on estimated income due to retirement. If there’s any way that you can avoid making any RRSP withdrawals until 2023 or later, that would be better.

        • Susan

          Hi Doug:

          My husband retired this April.I am still working. He has been in Canada for 14 years, so his OAS is $241. GIS he has received is $1457, based on his and my income for 2021. Our family net income is $34743 in 2021 (his employment 15143 + his private pension 3300 + my COVID benefits 19600). My questions would be 1) we can’t figure out how he can get this amount of GIS? We check the table 3 threshold but are still wondering. 2) as he only gets his first payment at the end of this May, will this amount stays until next July or this July is the time to recalculate the amount based on 2022 family income? Thanks for your time.

        • Susan

          Hi Doug:

          My husband retired this April.I am still working. He has been in Canada for 14 years, so his OAS is $241. GIS he has received is $1457, based on his and my income for 2021. Our family net income is $34743 (his employment 15143 + his private pension 3300 + my COVID benefits 19600). My questions would be 1) we can’t figure out how he can get this amount of GIS? We check the table 3 shre

          • Doug Runchey

            I’m sorry, but you should contact Service Canada for an explanation.

  100. Noah

    Hi Doug,
    RRSP withdrwals results in less GIS. I’m 68 and at I have to make RRSP withdrawal before I turn 72, or transfer to RRIF..
    I was wondering is there a way to withdraw RRSP without losing out?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Noah – The short answer is “No”, RRSP withdrawals are never very good when someone is eligible for GIS.

      • Noah

        Thank you Doug.!
        I have a follow up to the last question.
        Does the transferring RRSP into RRIF increases your net income?
        Thank you.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Noah – No, transferring the money between those two plans doesn’t affect your income, but any withdrawals from either of those two plans will create income that will reduce GIS entitlement.

  101. Dani

    Hi Dough

    Me and my wife get a partial OAS (18/40) each.
    Also we get a pension from Quebec total of $625 per month for both.
    Also I get a RIF total of $750 per month ($50 from it is held for tax)
    Also my wife gets interest total of $2200 per year
    How much GIS we’ll get per month?
    Thank you so much

  102. Emma Seow

    If a person is separated and in the process of getting a divorce, does she need to produce some proof that she is divorced before applying for GIS?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Emma – I suggest that you contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

  103. Steve Kon

    Hi Dough

    1. We get a pension from Quebec total of $619 per month for both.
    2. I and my spouse arrived to Canada 16 years ago and each of us gets an OAS about $275 a month.

    3. In 2020 I got a dividend of $6874. (No more dividends for me after 2020)
    4. I get a RIF total of $738 per month
    5. I got interest total of $650 per year

    All the above data will appear in the official websites after I’ll file for 2020.
    How much GIS shall we receive per month in 2021?
    Is it retroactive from Jan 2021?

    Thank you so in advance


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Steve – You should expect that each of your monthly GIS payments will decrease by somewhere between $143 and $214 per month for a one-year period starting July 2021 and ending June 2022. If you want more precise amounts, call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

  104. Emma

    I am single divorced and retired and 65 years old. I have an income of C$7000 from GICs and a CPP of C$105. How much GIS am I qualified to get. I lived in Canada for 34 years.
    Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Emma – When you say that you “lived in Canada for 34 years”, it sounds like you’re not living here now. If that is true, you’re not eligible for any GIS regardless what income you have, because GIS is only paid if you’re currently residing in Canada.

      • Emma

        No Doug, I lived in Canada for the past 34 ( thirty four) years not 3 (three) years! I have an income of $7000 from investments in GICs and have a CPP of !
        $105. How much GIS do I qualify to get. Would appreciate your response. Thank you.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Emma – Assuming that you are currently living in Canada; based on the income stated your combined OAS/GIS entitlement would be $1,060.49.

          • Emma

            Thanks Doug!

  105. matt chan

    Hi Doug,
    My parents are legally married but mom lives/works here (age 62, Canadian resident for 20 years) and dad lives overseas (age 67, non-Canadian resident, never lived in Canada). Mom will get $290 of CPP at 65 per her statement. What will she get for OAS/GIS? Is there any “allowance” for her?

    Mom wants to continue working past age 65. She will get paid in her corporations name. As long as she doesn’t withdraw the funds (either dividend/payroll), it won’t affect her OAS/GIS, right?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Matt – It sounds to me that your parents are separated and your mom would be considered as single for GIS purposes. As such, she isn’t eligible for the Allowance. When she turns age 65 though, she will become eligible for OAS at approx 23/40ths of the full basic rate (23/40ths of $615.37 = $353.84, and if her only other income at that time is her CPP pf $290 per month, her GIS would be approx $1,006. You are correct in your final statement, although it really bugs me when people manipulate their income to qualify for GIS.

  106. David Smith

    Hello Doug
    Myself and my spouse were retired on 1/1/2019 both of us are 70 years old.
    We started to get our partial OAS beginning of 2019. (We were then less than 20 years in Canada)
    My wife OAS is $276.9 per month, myself is $280.6 per month.
    Our total annual income for 2020 was $24,986, this is without the OAS. This is based on our 2020 Tax Return documents which are already on line in Service Canada/CRA
    We applied for GIS first time only beginning of 2021. For the previous years, Service Canada told us that according to our total annual income we were not entitled.
    How much GIS me and my spouse will get and from what date?
    Thank you so much

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi David – Your 2020 income wouldn’t normally be used for GIS purposes until July 2021. Since you indicate that you both retired in January 2019 though, it could be usedmuch earlier. You should go back to Service Canada to make sure they understand that you both retired in 2019.

    • Peter Romanov

      Hello. I am 66 and have some RRSP (50k). Am I correct in thinking its best if I withdraw it in lump sum in 1 year so it won’t affect my GIS eligibility in future years?

      Also, I know GIS is not allowed if the person leaves for more than 6 months, but is that for 6 months at a time (as in we come back to Canada and leave again) or combined 6 months in a year? Wife and I are planning to spend time in Europe with family and are thinking whether we will go offside GIS,

      Much appreciate your help,

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Peter – You’re right that from a GIS perspective, it’s best to withdraw your RRSP in one year rather than spreading it out.

        The 6 month absence question is a little trickier to answer. GIS will certainly end if a single absence exceeds 6 months. If you leave for 5 months and return for 2 days and leave for 5 months again, you could be OK, or they could question whether you are truly still residing in Canada anymore. If that happens once, it may be OK, but if it happens regularly, it may not be OK, If it is determined that you no longer reside in Canada, you would no longer be entitled to GIS at all.

  107. Phill Jones

    Hello Doug
    Just a quick one:
    Me and my wife total annual income for 2020 was $21,000, our both OAS’s not included.
    If our medical expenses were $1000 in 2020, is the annual income will be based on $20,000 for the GIS calculation?
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Phil – You cannot deduct medical expenses from your income for GIS purposes.

  108. Adrian

    Hi Doug,

    Are you positive that Peter’s GIS is computed the way you described it? Assume Peter has a private income of, say, 35,000 dollars. According to your description, Peter will receive no GIS whatsoever. He will only receive a partial OAS pension of 383 dollars. A person who is entitled to receive a full OAS will get no GIS if he/she has a substantial income but will receive the full OAS if his/her income is below the clawback threshold. Even after paying taxes on the OAS (say 25% of the OAS) he/she will be left with approximately 450 dollars, i.e. with more than Peter’s partial OAS pension, which, incidentally, is further reduced when Peter pays taxes. So, if your description is accurate, this situation would be unfair for Peter.

    Speaking of fairness, a Canadian who lived most of her/his life in Canada but had no earnings and therefore paid no taxes decides to live abroad when he/she turns 65. This canadian will get a full OAS. Another person, who lived only 20 years in Canada and paid taxes every year, will only get 50% of a full OAS while living abroad. And if he lived only 19 years in Canada he/she will get no OAS at all. Not very fair, I would say.

    Thank you for your explanations.

    Be well,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Adrian – Yes, I’m positive that GIS is computed the way that I describe, but I have to admit that I fail to see what you see as being unfair.

  109. artin demiri

    My name is Artin from Windsor Ontario and I am going to retire in november 2021.

    Could I have your explanation from you if I ask you about my case and my wife too?

    Thank you

  110. Abe

    Hello Doug

    Earlier you mentioned a person receiving $18600 from other sources will not be entitled to GIS. Fair enough. But the other sources income when considered will it include CPP.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Abe – I’m not 100% sure that I understand your question, but if your question is whether income from CPP will reduce the amount of GIS, the answer is “Yes”.

      • Abe

        Thank you Doug. Much appreciated.

  111. Mike

    Hello Doug,
    I am looking at retirement planning for my parents. I was wondering if you can help me with some questions for me.

    Dad will retire in 2 years having lived 20 years in Canada. Estimated CPP $350.
    Mom will retire in 6 years having lived 24 years in Canada. Estimate CPP $350.

    Looking at the govt’s website for OAS:
    – Dad’s OAS (in 2021 dollars) = 20/40*626 = 313
    – Mom’s OAS (in 2021 dollars) = 24/40*626 = 375.

    What would their GIS be:
    – assuming they both retire today?
    – assuming my dad retires in two years, and mom 6 years from now?

    I am trying to understand whether the GIS is subject to OAS only or both OAS and CPP?

    Thank you,

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi MIke – The amount of GIS will be reduced due to any CPP income and it will be increased because they will be receiving partial OAS rather than full OAS. The possibilities are too great to consider in this format though, so email me at [email protected] and I will provide the answers for a consulting fee.

  112. Cathy

    Hi Doug, I was wondering if the ten year residency requirement after the age of 18 needs to be consecutive? I was born in Canada but had stints of working overseas throughout my career. My husband was here as an international student for 4 years, temporary resident, then we married, he worked overseas with me , then came back with me and worked here for 6 years, then back overseas and now back in 2019. Total years in Canada after age 18 for him would be 13 and myself 15 at age 65.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Cathy – No, the 10-year residence requirement for OAS does not have to be consecutive. For ecah period of residence you would count the number of years, months and days and total them all together.

  113. Cathy

    Thank you Doug for your reply, Would my husbands years as an international student count since he was a temporary resident for 4 years prior to his citizenship? If not, would he have to wait till 66 to apply for OAS?
    Thank you , Catharine
    Happy New Years !

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Cathy – They might and they might not. If he never left Canada during those four years and then became a Canadian Citizen, they would probably count as residence in Canada. If he returned “home” during every vacation period. Part of consideration is intent. When did he first consider that Canada was his home?

  114. Cathy

    Hi Doug, Thank you for your reply. He lived in Canada as an international student for 4 years then returned ‘home’. At that time it was difficult to apply to go from student to resident. Also, the job market was very tough in Canada so I followed him. We lived overseas for three years, married and then returned to Canada and he applied for citizenship. After 6 years in Canada, working at minimum wage we got a call from his dad and we had to move back due to a family emergency , which then turned into 26 years due to a series of unforeseen circumstances. We finally retired in 2019 and repatriated to Canada – home sweet home.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Cathy – If the 4 years as a student were continuous presence in Canada, they will most likely by accepted as residence in Canada.

  115. Jack

    What is the limit on your savings in
    TFSA account?
    Can you be penalized for the amount of money you have in your TFSA?
    Thank you.

  116. Jill

    No limit on TSFA amount. Seems unfair but not illegal.
    A person can maximize their income, if you can navigate the complex tax system to your advantage.

  117. Macmohan

    Hello Doug,
    I’m going to turn 71 next year.
    I was wondering if I transfer RRSP into RRIF, would that reduce GIS payments?
    Transferring RRSP into RRIF is regarded as taxable income.
    Thank you, I appreciate your comments.

    • Doug Runchey

      Transfers into a RRIF will not reduce GIS, but any withdrawals from that RRIF will reduce GIS.

  118. Alex

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for the great article.! I’m hoping you can estimate how much GIS my sister would receive. She turns 65 in March and will have lived in Canada for 27 years. She’ll get about $464 in OAS and $300 in CPP. Her other income will include a foreign pension of $225, plus pension income from her former husband of $1,035 per month. So, her income at 65 will be $2,023 per month. Deducting OAS leaves her with $1,559 per month. How much GIS would she be eligible to receive?

  119. Akhtar

    Dear Doug,
    Right now I am on ODSP, but I also applied for OAS+GIS After doing simple mathematics, I found that the amount I will receive from OAS+GIS will be less than ODSP. Is it possible for me to remain on ODSP? Please advise and suggest

  120. mark

    Feb/2024: Does the new estimator tool take into account increasing the income thresholds for those receiving a partial OAS and is it accurate?

  121. mark

    If a spouse gets the allowance between 60 and 64 with < 40 years in Canada is their partial OAS based on their age when they started the allowance or when they start OAS at 65?

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