OAS Increase 2024: Is It a Double Pension for Canadian Seniors?

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Key Takeaways

  • The Canadian government has announced a 10% increase to the Old Age Security (OAS) pension for seniors aged 75 and over, starting in July 2024.
  • This is not a “double pension” as some misleading headlines have suggested, but a permanent enhancement to the existing OAS program.
  • The OAS increase is in addition to the annual indexing of both OAS and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits to keep up with inflation.
  • The CPP is also being gradually enhanced to provide higher benefits and greater financial security for future retirees².
Double Pension

What is the Canada Pension Plan?

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a contributory, earnings-related social insurance program that provides income replacement to contributors and their families in the event of retirement, disability or death³. The CPP covers virtually all employed and self-employed people in Canada, excluding Quebec, which operates its own comprehensive plan, the Quebec Pension Plan.

The CPP is the second pillar of Canada’s retirement income system, which also includes the Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (the first pillar) and private savings (the third pillar).

The amount of your CPP retirement pension depends on different factors, such as:

  • the age you decide to start your pension
  • how much and for how long you contributed to the CPP
  • your average earnings throughout your working life

For 2024, the maximum monthly amount you could receive if you start your pension at age 65 is $1,364.60. The average monthly amount paid for a new retirement pension (at age 65) in October 2023 was $758.32⁴.

You can get an estimate of your monthly CPP retirement pension payments by signing in to your My Service Canada Account. You can also use the Canadian Retirement Income Calculator to better understand your future financial security.

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Overview of the Double Pension Plan

There is no such thing as a “double pension” plan in Canada. However, some media outlets and social media posts have used this term to refer to the 10% increase to the OAS pension for seniors aged 75 and over that the federal government announced in July 2021¹.

This increase means that full pensioners will get more than $800 extra over the first year. This will be the first permanent increase to the OAS pension since 1973, other than adjustments due to inflation. It will strengthen the financial security of 3.3 million seniors.

The OAS pension is not based on contributions but is funded from general tax revenues. Canadian citizens and legal residents who meet the age and residency requirements can qualify for a full OAS pension. As of the fourth quarter of 2022, the maximum OAS pension amount is $697.07 per month for those 65-74 years old⁴.

Both CPP and OAS are indexed each year to keep pace with inflation. This helps protect retirees’ purchasing power. The government adjusts benefits based on changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Indexing ensures CPP and OAS keep up with the rising cost of goods and services.

CPP Benefit Amount Summary

The following table summarizes the average and maximum monthly payment amounts for CPP pensions and benefits, except for the death benefit, which is a one-time payment, not a monthly payment⁴.

Type of pension or benefitAverage amount for new beneficiaries (October 2023)Maximum payment amount (2024)
Retirement pension (at age 65)$758.32$1,364.60
Post-retirement benefit (at age 65)$11.41$44.46
Disability benefit$1,127.30$1,606.78
Post-retirement disability benefit$558.74$583.32
Survivor’s pension – younger than 65$498.66$739.31
Survivor’s pension – 65 and older$315.77$818.76
Children of disabled CPP contributors$281.72$294.12
Children of deceased CPP contributors$281.72$294.12
Death benefit (one-time payment)$2,499.73$2,500.00
Combined survivor’s and retirement pension (at age 65)$944.53$1,375.41
Combined survivor’s pension and disability benefit$1,230.33$1,613.54

CPP Schedule 2023-2024

The CPP is paid monthly to eligible beneficiaries. The payment dates for 2023 and 2024 are as follows⁵:

JanuaryJanuary 27January 29
FebruaryFebruary 24February 28
MarchMarch 29March 28
AprilApril 27April 26
MayMay 27May 29
JuneJune 28June 27
JulyJuly 27July 29
AugustAugust 29August 28
SeptemberSeptember 27September 26
OctoberOctober 27October 27
NovemberNovember 28November 28
DecemberDecember 22December 20

CPP Deduction 2024

Beginning January 1, 2024, you must deduct the second additional CPP contributions (CPP2) on earnings above the annual maximum pensionable earnings. This is part of the CPP enhancement that aims to provide higher benefits and greater financial security for future retirees².

The CPP2 contribution rate for 2024 is 4% for both employees and employers, and 8% for self-employed individuals. The CPP2 applies to earnings between $68,500 and $79,400 (estimated) in 2024⁶.

The CPP contribution rates, maximums and exemptions for 2024 are as follows⁷:

YearMaximum annual pensionable earningsBasic exemption amountMaximum contributory earningsEmployee and employer contribution rate (%)Maximum annual employee and employer contributionMaximum annual self-employed contribution

Fact Check and Latest News

The 10% increase to the OAS pension for seniors aged 75 and over is a real and permanent measure that the federal government announced in July 2021 and confirmed in the 2021 Fall Economic Statement⁸. It is expected to take effect in July 2024 and benefit 3.3 million seniors.

However, some media outlets and social media posts have used misleading headlines and claims to suggest that this is a “double pension” or a “one-time payment” for seniors. These are false and inaccurate statements that may confuse or mislead the public.

The OAS increase is not a “double pension” as it does not double the amount of the existing OAS pension. It is a 10% enhancement that will provide an extra $800 over the first year to full pensioners aged 75 and over. It is also not a “one-time payment” as it is a permanent increase that will be indexed to inflation.

The OAS increase is separate from the one-time payment of $500 that the federal government provided in August 2021 to seniors who were eligible for the OAS pension in June 2021 and born on or before June 30, 1947. The one-time payment was a temporary measure to help address the immediate needs of this group of seniors¹.

The OAS increase is also separate from the CPP enhancement that is gradually being implemented from 2019 to 2025. The CPP enhancement will increase the amount working Canadians receive upon retirement, strengthening the financial security of future retirees. This is a result of the progressive measures that the federal government and the provinces have agreed to².

The federal government has stated that the OAS increase and the CPP enhancement are part of its broader work to support the financial security of seniors of all ages, which also includes restoring the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to 65 from 67, enhancing the Canada Pension Plan for future retirees, increasing the GIS for single seniors, raising the GIS earnings exemption, and amending the Old Age Security Act to exclude federal pandemic benefits from the calculation of income for GIS/Allowance purposes¹.

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Source: (1) Canada Pension Plan – How much could you receive – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-benefit/amount.html. (2) Canada Pension Plan – Monthly payment amounts – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/payment-amounts.html. (3) Statement of Contributions to the Canada Pension Plan. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/statement-contributions.html

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