Basic Information on OAS/GIS
The payment of a tax-revenue-funded basic government pension to seniors dates back to 1927 and, in its modern form, to the Old Age Security Act of 1952. The age of eligibility was reduced from age 70 to age 65 between 1965 and 1969, and all benefits have been fully indexed to inflation since 1972. Every person age 65 and over who meets a residency requirement in Canada of ten years (98% of those aged over 65) is eligible, and the vast majority receive the maximum benefit.
In 2011, 4.9 million beneficiaries received $29.5 billion in benefits.
Because benefits are indexed to inflation rather than to wages, there has been a tendency for benefits to fall as a proportion of before-retirement earnings.
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