How Much Will You Receive from Public Programs in Retirement?
Public retirement plans from the Government of Canada and
the Gouvernement du Québec provide a basic minimum income in retirement, subject to certain conditions.
Benefits from the federal Old Age Security program
|Benefit type||Maximum monthly amount|
(January to March 2021)
|Maximum annual income|
|Old Age Security pension||$618.45||See details *|
|Guaranteed Income Supplement||
|Single person||$923.71 ||$18 744|
|Spouse of a non-pensioner||$923.71 ||$44 928|
|Spouse of a pensioner||$556.04||$24 768|
|Spouse of an Allowance recipient||$556.04||$44 928|
|Allowance||$1174.49 ||$34 704|
|Allowance for the Survivor||$1400.05||$25 272|
* Details on Old Age Security program benefits
Old Age Security (OAS) pension
- The amount is determined based on the number of years of residency in Canada.
- The amount is taxable.
- For 2021, you must repay all or part of your
OAS pension if your individual net income (including
OAS benefits) exceeds $79 845. The total amount to be repaid is equal to 15% of the portion of your net income (including
OAS benefits) that exceeds $79 845. However, you cannot repay an amount that is greater than the total of your
OAS benefits. Amounts owing are generally deducted from payments. No pension is paid where net income exceeds $129 260.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- To be eligible for the
GIS, you must be a pensioner, that is, a person who receives an
OAS pension or whose pension application has been approved.
- As indicated in the preceding table, there are 2 levels for the
- The first ($923.71) applies to single pensioners, including widowed, divorced or separated persons, as well as in the case where only one spouse is a pensioner and the other is not eligible for the
OAS pension or the Allowance.
- The second ($556.05) applies when both spouses are pensioners. Each spouse is then eligible for his or her own benefit.
- Maximum annual income includes all income (combined for a couple), with the exception of
OAS benefits. No
GIS is paid if your maximum annual income is greater than the indicated amounts.
OAS pensioner is single, widowed, divorced or separated: The maximum monthly amount is reduced by $1 for each $2 from another monthly income source, excluding the
Both spouses are
OAS pensioners: The maximum monthly amount for each person is reduced by $1 for each $4 of their monthly combined income, excluding their
Only one spouse is an
OAS pensioner and the other is not eligible for the
OAS pension or the Allowance: The maximum monthly amount is reduced by $1 for each $4 of combined monthly income, excluding the
GIS benefits are not taxable.
- If you receive a partial pension under the
OAS program, the maximum amount of your
GIS benefits could be increased.
Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor
- The maximum monthly amount is equal to the sum of the
OAS pension and the
GIS at the rate of a spouse of a pensioner. The amount paid to a person whose spouse is deceased could be higher.
- The maximum annual income includes all income (combined for a couple), with the exception of the
OAS pension. No Allowance is paid if your maximum annual income is greater than the indicated amounts.
- The amount is reduced by $3 for each $4 of the surviving spouse's monthly income or the couple's combined income. This applies until the portion of the benefit equivalent to the
OAS pension is reduced to zero.
For a couple: The pensioner's
GIS and the portion of the Allowance equivalent to the
GIS are then reduced by $1 for each additional $4 of the couple's combined monthly income.
For a surviving spouse: The portion equivalent to the
GIS is reduced by $1 for each additional $2 of his or her monthly income.
- Allowance benefits are not taxable.
- All benefits are paid on a monthly basis.
- The beneficiary's net income above which you must repay part or all of the Old Age Security pension ($79 845 in 2021) varies each year to take into account the increase in the cost of living. All the other amounts are revised every three months to take into account the increase in the cost of living. Please note that the increase can be nil.
For more information on the amounts payable under the
OAS program, consult the section entitled "Seniors" at www.canada.ca .
The Québec Pension Plan
The amount of your retirement pension is calculated on the basis of the employment earnings on which you have contributed since 1966, the year in which the Québec Pension Plan (QPP) came into effect, or since your 18th birthday. Each year, your employment earnings are recorded under your name in the Record of Contributors of the
QPP, up to the maximum pensionable earnings ($61 600 in
2021). The amount of your pension corresponds to 25% of the average recorded earnings.
You can begin receiving your pension when you turn 60 years of age, but it will be less than if you wait until you reach the normal retirement age, which is 65.
If you are under age 65, your pension will be reduced for each month between the starting date of the pension and your 65th birthday. The adjustment factor will remain 0.5% a month if you are receiving a very small pension and increase to 0.6% if you are receiving the maximum pension.
If you are age 65 or over, your pension will be increased by 0.7% for each month following your 65th birthday, to a maximum of 42% at age 70.
Details on the retirement pension under the Québec Pension Plan
- To receive your retirement pension, you must apply for it 1 to 3 months prior to the date on which you wish to receive your first payment.
- The pension is taxable.
- The pension is indexed to increases in the cost of living on January 1 of each year. Note that this increase could be nil.
- The pension is paid on a monthly basis.
- If you work and receive a retirement pension at the same time during a given year, your pension for the following year will be increased by 0.5% of the earnings on which you contributed during the year in question. The pension supplement, spread out over 12 months, will be cumulative if you work for several years and will be indexed to the cost of living annually. Therefore, a person who began receiving a retirement pension in January 2019 and continues to work while receiving it will have an increased pension in 2020, based on the income on which he or she contributed during 2019.
- If you are divorced or separated and earnings recorded under your name or your spouse's name in the Record of Contributors of the
QPP have been partitioned between you and your former spouse, the calculation of your pension benefit will take the partition into account.
- Certain months in which your earnings were low or nil can be excluded from the calculation of your pension, up to a maximum of 15% of your contributory period. This has the effect of raising your average monthly earnings, thus increasing the amount of your pension. However, the contributory period must be at least 120 months.
Other months can be excluded from the contribution period, such as:
- months in which you received, in your own name, family allowances from Québec or the Canada Child Tax Benefit for a child under age 7, or the months in which you were eligible for such allowances without receiving payments
- months during which you took care of a child requiring exceptional care and received benefits under the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional CareSee Note 1 program;
- months for which
Retraite Québec paid you a disability pension
- months in which an unreduced salary replacement indemnity was paid to you by the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), if the indemnity was paid after December 31, 1985.
To obtain an estimate of your retirement pension, consult your Statement of Participation in the Québec Pension Plan.
Retraite Québec automatically sends this Statement to contributors every 4 years. You can also request a copy at any time.
For more information on amounts payable under the
Canada Pension Plan
Although the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the
QPP are very similar, they are not identical. Regardless of which plan pays your benefits, the amount of the benefits will be determined based on your employment earnings recorded under both plans and the legislative provisions governing the plan that pays your benefits.
For more information on the CPP, consult
Worth knowing about...
- Your retirement pension under the
QPP is not affected by other income you might receive in retirement.
- It is estimated that you will need about 70% of your annual income to maintain your standard of living once you retire. Public plans replace only about 40% of an annual salary of $40,000, so personal savings are necessary. If your annual income is less than $20,000, benefits from public plans should be sufficient.
- Benefits under the
OAS program are determined based on your other retirement income (benefits under the
QPP or the CPP, benefits from a supplemental pension plan, investment income, income from a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or life income fund (LIF), etc.).
Note 1This measure applies to applications for benefits received as of 1 January 2020 and covers the months during which the parent benefited from the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care since its creation on 1 April 2016.Back to reference