Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has announced the quarterly benefit amounts for Old Age Security (OAS) for April to June 2013.
The maximum basic OAS pension benefit paid to people 65 years of age and older will remain unchanged at $546.07 per month from April 1 to June 30, 2013. Payments under the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor will also remain unchanged.
The OAS program consists of the basic pension, the GIS and the Allowances. The GIS and the Allowances provide additional benefits to eligible low-income pensioners and their spouses or common-law partners, as well as to eligible survivors. OAS benefit amounts are reviewed quarterly (in January, April, July and October) and revised as required to reflect increases in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) set by Statistics Canada.
The last time OAS benefit amounts increased was in January 2013, when benefits were raised in response to an increase in the average CPI. Since then, the average CPI has decreased. The Old Age Security Act guarantees that OAS benefits do not go down, even when there is a decrease in the CPI.
If the average CPI surpasses the previous level in the future, OAS benefits will go up again. However, if the average CPI goes down, OAS benefits will remain the same.
The OAS program is funded through general tax revenues and enhances the quality of life of Canadian seniors by providing a modest base upon which to build additional income for retirement. In 2011-2012, it provided 5 million seniors with $38.1 billion in benefits.
For further information, please consult the Service Canada website at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.