Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefit Rates Effective January 1, 2010

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada today announced the benefit rates for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) effective January 1, 2010.

Canadians already receiving CPP benefits as of December 2009 will see their benefits increase by 0.4 percent on January 1, 2010. CPP benefits are revised once a year, in January. Increases are based on changes over a 12-month period (November 2008 to October 2009) in the Consumer Price Index, which is the cost-of-living measure used by Statistics Canada. The maximum CPP retirement benefit for new beneficiaries will increase on January 1, 2010, from $908.75 to $934.17 per month. This is calculated based on the Average Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings for the past five years.

As of January 1, 2010, the basic OAS pension, paid to people 65 years of age and over, will remain unchanged at $516.96 per month. The Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowances payments, which provide additional benefits to eligible low-income pensioners and their spouses or common-law partners, as well as to eligible survivors, will also remain the same.

These payments are also based on the Consumer Price Index but are revised quarterly, in January, April, July and October. Although OAS and CPP benefits are not indexed at the same time, they are both adjusted with the cost of living over a given year.

Both OAS and the CPP enhance the quality of life of Canadian seniors by providing a modest base upon which to build additional income for retirement.

The OAS program is funded through general tax revenues and provides a basic minimum income for Canadian seniors. It provided 4.5 million seniors with $33.4 billion in 2008-2009.

The CPP (or the Quebec Pension Plan in Quebec) is funded through contributions by Canadian workers, their employers and the self-employed, and through investment earnings on the Plan’s funds. In addition to retirement benefits, the Plan provides disability benefits, death benefits, survivor benefits and benefits for children.

Canada’s public pensions are fully sustainable for generations to come. Canadians can count on their public pensions to be there for them in the future.

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Keywords: pension reform