New CPP, OAS benefit amounts take effect for 2018

With the new year underway, recipients of Canada Pension Plan and old-age security benefits are getting a modest increase from the federal government.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, CPP payments will increase by 1.5 per cent for those already receiving benefits. For 2018, the maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients age 65 will be $1,134.17 per month, which represents a $20 increase from the beginning of 2017.

OAS benefits, which consist of the basic OAS pension, the guaranteed income supplement and allowances, will rise by 0.2 per cent for the first quarter of 2018 in comparison to the end of last year. As of Jan. 1, 2018, the basic OAS pension will be $586.66 per month, which represents an increase of $8.13 over the the first quarter of last year.

Have your say: Is it time for the government to act on its promise of a seniors price index?

The 2018 numbers represent a very modest increase, according to Wanda Morris, vice-president of advocacy at CARP.

The priority when it comes to such incremental changes, says Morris, should be Canada’s most vulnerable seniors. ”What we need to do is focus on the number of individuals who are living in extreme poverty, particularly those who are receiving the GIS,” she says.

“The Liberal government is overdue to bring in their special seniors index as promised,” she adds, referring to a campaign promise by the federal Liberals to calculate benefit increases on the basis of a basket of factors that’s more relevant to seniors specifically than the consumer price index.