Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has announced the quarterly benefit rates for Old Age Security (OAS), effective October to December 2011.
As of October 1, 2011, the basic OAS pension benefit, paid to people 65 years of age and older, will be $537.97 per month. This represents an increase of 0.8% from the current rate. Payments under the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor will also increase by 0.8%.
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 rates 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 set by Statistics Canada.
Since July 1, 2011, seniors with little or no income also receive a GIS top-up benefit of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples per year. This top-up will also be indexed and is included in the GIS rate.