The maximum monthly benefit for new Canada Pension Plan recipients has increased by $21.67 in 2017, while monthly old-age security benefits have risen by about $8 over last year.
The maximum monthly CPP retirement benefit for new recipients aged 65 was $1,092.50 at the beginning of 2016, which represented an annual increase of $330 compared to January 2015. The monthly maximum for 2017 is $1,114.17, a difference of $21.67 a month or $260.04 annually. The current amount will remain the same until January 2018. For existing recipients, benefits will rise by 1.4 per cent.
OAS benefits – which consist of the basic OAS pension, the guaranteed income supplement and the allowances – increased twice in 2016 but they didn’t change for the first quarter of 2017. Between January and March 2017, the basic OAS pension will be $578.53 per month, which is the same amount as the previous quarter from October to December 2016. However, at the beginning of 2016, the basic OAS pension was $570.52, with the amount increasing to $573.37 in July and then again to its current rate in October. The year-over-year increase was about $8 a month, or $96 a year. Between 2015 and 2016, the OAS benefit saw a similar increase of about $7 a month, or $84 a year.
The government reviews CPP benefits on an annual basis and does so for OAS benefits each quarter (in January, April, July and October) to reflect increases in the cost of living as measured by the consumer price index.
Changes to the year’s maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan took effect on Jan. 1, 2017. The increase was $400, to $55,300 in 2017 from $54,900 in 2016. Contributors who earn more than $55,300 in 2017 don’t make additional contributions to the CPP. The basic exemption amount remains at $3,500.