Government benefits are modest – but they can make a difference in helping you make ends meet in retirement.
The federal government offers retirement benefits based on your income and/or the amount you contribute during your working years. You don’t get these benefits automatically – you have to apply for them.
Three main government benefits
- Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) – You can receive monthly payments starting as early as your 60th birthday. What you get depends on what you paid into the plan while you were working. You must be 59 or older and apply 9 months before you retire. Learn more about CPP/QPP and how to apply.
- Old Age Security (OAS) – You must be 65 or older to receive payments. You don’t have to live in Canada, but you have to be a Canadian citizen and have lived in Canada for a certain number of years after age 18. What you get depends on your other income and how long you’ve lived in Canada. Learn more about the OAS.
- Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) – For lower-income Canadians 65 and older. What you get depends on your income (and your spouse’s if you have one). It pays out a maximum of $15,000 (couples might get more). Learn more about the GIS.
How much will you get from CPP? Watch this video on CPP featuring Globe and Mail columnist Rob Carrick speaking with retirement expert Malcolm Hamilton.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca