Ottawa hikes Old Age Security pension rates

By Doug Watt | March 28, 2003 | Last updated on March 28, 2003
1 min read

(March 27, 2003) Canada’s seniors will see a slight increase in their government pensions next month. The federal government announced yesterday that Old Age Security benefits will rise 0.6% on April 1, bringing the basic OAS monthly pension to $456.08.

Human Resources Development Canada adjusts OAS rates for inflation every three months. The change is based on a comparison between the current three-month Consumer Price Index rate and the previous quarterly average. Last week, Statistics Canada reported that the CPI rose 4.6% in February, compared to the previous year. Compared to January, inflation was up 0.7%, mostly due to higher energy prices, such as gasoline.

The OAS system is funded through general tax revenues and provides a basic minimum income to the majority of Canadians over the age of 65. It also provides additional benefits to eligible low-income seniors and their partners through the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Allowance. In 2001-02, four million seniors collected more than $25 billion under the OAS program.

Maximum Old Age Security Benefit Rates as of April 1, 2003
Type of Old Age Security Benefit Maximum Monthly Benefit Rates April – June 2003
Basic Old Age Security pension $456.08
Guaranteed Income Supplement Single $542.03

Spouse/Common-law partner of – a non-pensioner – a pensioner – an Allowance recipient

$542.03 $353.06 $353.06

The Allowance – regular – survivor

$809.14 $893.31

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Doug Watt