If you are about to retire and have a low income at 65, you will probably start to receive money, including Old Age Security (OAS), the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and possibly the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). For low income family, the GIS is a tax-free monthly benefit paid to people at age 65 (or age 60 for widow or those married to a GIS recipient over 65) who have a low income besides OAS. To be eligible for GIS, you must be on low income and qualify for OAS.
Assuming that you are eligible for OAS (whether full or partial), your income (not including OAS) determines how much GIS you can get.
Is my family income eligible?
The income ranges in the following table do not include any OAS. Any other income you receive, such as pension, RRSP withdrawal, CPP, will reduce your GIS by 50%.
|Your family’s income eligible for GIS when you are age 65?||Income (not including OAS)*||Max GIS / month||OAS / month|
|Amounts for single, surviving spouse/common-law partner or divorced pensioners receiving a full Old Age Security pension||$0||$874.48||$585.49|
|Amounts for married or common-law partners, both receiving a full Old Age Security pension||$0||$526.42||$585.49|
|Amounts for individuals receiving a full Old Age Security pension whose spouse or common-law partner is under 60||$0||$874.48||$585.49|
|Amounts for individuals receiving a full Old Age Security pension and their spouse or common-law partner aged 60 to 64||$0||$526.42||$585.49|
*Based on December 2017’s Information of Service Canada
Maximizing GIS income
According to Statistic Canada, 33% of seniors receiving OAS were also collecting GIS. That means almost two million seniors are on low income and GIS is part of their source of income. The ability to manage their GIS eligibility and maximize their benefits is very important.
Depending on your family situation, there are many ways to maximizing their GIS benefits. Please contact us for further information.