OAS Payment Dates | Are you Eligible for an Increase in 2024?

January 31, 2024
7 min

If you’re reaching retirement age and feel like you don’t have enough money to retire, you’re not alone. A recent study by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) found that 44% of non-retired Canadians aged 55 to 64 have less than $5,000 saved for retirement.1 Thirty-two percent of working Canadians said they have no money set aside for retirement. 

Luckily, there are government programs in place to help, such as the Canada Old Age Security (OAS) pension, which provides financial support to supplement retirement savings. This article explains what the OAS monthly payment is, who’s eligible, and when you can expect to receive your OAS monthly pension payments.  

What is the Old Age Security (OAS) program?

The OAS pension is available to eligible Canadians 65 years and older. The OAS program is designed to provide Canadians with a base amount of retirement income. Other government sources of retirement income include the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). You might also have an employer-sponsored pension plan at work or invest in registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs). 

If the Canadian government has enough of your information, you are typically auto-enrolled in the OAS pension. If you don’t receive a letter about your OAS pension the month after you turn 64, you may need to apply for your pension. 

In addition to the basic OAS program for eligible seniors aged 65 and over, there is a Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for low-income individuals aged 60 to 64. There is an Allowance for low-income individuals aged 60 to 64 who are the spouse or common-law partner of GIS recipients or are widows or widowers. 

Who is eligible for OAS?

If you’ve never worked, you can still apply for OAS. Your employment history does not impact your eligibility. 

If you live in Canada, you must meet the following requirements to receive the OAS pension benefit:

  • 65 years or older
  • Canadian citizen, or legal resident
  • Resided in Canada for at least 10 years since you were 18 

Note that if you have less than 40 years of residence in Canada after the age of 18, you are only eligible to receive a partial OAS pension benefit. 

If you live outside of Canada, you must meet the following requirements:

  • 65 years or older
  • Canadian citizen, or legal resident the day before you left Canada
  • Resided in Canada for at least 30 years since you were 18

If you work outside of Canada for a Canadian employer such as the Canadian Armed Forces, it’s possible to have this time counted as though you are a resident of Canada. To qualify this time, you must either:

  • Return to Canada after six months of employment ending
  • Turn 65 years old while employed and maintain residence in Canada while you were abroad

You also need to provide proof of employment from your employer and proof that you physically returned to Canada. 

Who is eligible for extra payments? 

Low-income individuals might also qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This is a monthly, non-taxable payment. Like the OAS payments, you are typically auto-enrolled in this program if the government has enough information. If you don’t get a letter the month after you turn 64, you will have to apply. 

Eligibility for GIS:

  • 68 years or older
  • Live in Canada
  • Receive OAS
  • Your income is below:2 
  • $21,624 if you are single, widowed, or divorced
  • $28,560 if your spouse/common-law partner gets the full OAS pension
  • $51,840 if your spouse/common-law partner doesn’t get OAS
  • $39,984 if your spouse/common-law partner receives the Allowance 

If you are eligible for GIS, your spouse or common-law partner might be able to get the Allowance benefit. 

Eligibility for Allowance: 

  • 60 to 64 years of age 
  • Canadian citizen or legal resident
  • Lives in Canada or has for at least 10 years since they were 18 
  • You meet combined annual income requirements (less than $39,984 combined annual income for January to March 2024).3

If you’re the surviving spouse or common-law partner of someone who was receiving OAS, you might be eligible for the “Allowance for the Survivor.”

Eligibility for Allowance for the Survivor:

  • 60 to 64 years
  • Spouse or common-law partner passed away, and you haven’t remarried or entered into a common-law relationship
  • Annual income is less than the maximum allowed (less than $29,112 as of January to March 2024).4 

OAS payment dates for 2024

The 2024 payment schedule for the Old Age Security pension, GIS, Allowance, and Allowance for Survivors is:5 

  • January 29, 2024
  • February 27, 2024
  • March 26, 2024
  • April 26, 2024
  • May 29, 2024
  • June 26, 2024
  • July 29, 2024
  • August 28, 2024
  • September 25, 2024
  • October 29, 2024
  • November 27, 2024
  • December 20, 2024

You can set up a direct deposit to have your monthly payments deposited into your bank account on these dates. Or you can receive the OAS benefit by cheque. 

If you’re curious about how much money you can receive through OAS, you can use the Government of Canada’s OAS Benefits Estimator tool. 

Maximum OAS payments for 2024

The monthly maximum OAS payments in 2024 are:6 

  • For those aged 65 to 74: $713.34 
  • For those 75 years and older: $784.67

How to stay updated on OAS payment dates

To access your pension benefits, you can use your My Service Canada Account (MSCA). The MSCA is a secure online portal that you can use to apply for pension benefits, and keep track of your OAS payment status.

Tips for managing OAS payments effectively 

To try and get the most from payments like OAS and CPP, consider the following tips: 

  • Create a budget. If you rely on your OAS benefits to get you through the month, make sure you have a budget in place. A budget is simply a plan for your money. It helps you keep track of how much money you have coming in and going out. 

If you’re ever a little short on funds ahead of your coming OAS payment date, and you need some extra cash, try Bree

With Bree, you can access up to a $250 cash advance to prevent overdraft. The best part is there’s no interest and no fees. 

  • Automate your OAS payments. Automating your monthly OAS pension benefit payments through direct deposit can help you gain faster access to the money. By automating your payments you’ll know exactly when the money will end up in your bank and you can avoid the process of depositing a cheque. 

Bottom line 

If you’re like many Canadians, you might not have a substantial amount of retirement savings to fall back on. This is when government benefits like the OAS become very important. While OAS payments are not large enough to provide a comfortable retirement, they’re a helpful supplement to another income source or retirement savings. To ensure you receive your monthly pension payment on time, consider setting up direct deposit, and use your My Service Canada Account to apply for this benefit and to track your payments. 



References

  1. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), "2023 Canadian Retirement Survey." Accessed January 28, 2024. 
  2. Government of Canada, " Guaranteed Income Supplement." Accessed January 28, 2024.
  3. Government of Canada, "Guaranteed Income Supplement - Allowance." Accessed January 28, 2024. 
  4. Government of Canada, "Allowance for the Survivor." Accessed January 28, 2024. 
  5. Government of Canada, “Benefit payment dates.” Accessed January 29, 2024. 
  6. Government of Canada, “Old Age Security payment amounts.” Accessed January 29, 2024. 

January 31, 2024
7 min