Living in a residence that provides the care and services required by some seniors can be expensive. Some people lack the financial resources to live in the type of housing that would be suited to their needs. In particular, seniors who are single, divorced or widowed may struggle to afford the rent in a home that is best for them. Let’s take a look at their possible income amounts.
Canada’s Old Age Security Pension
This program was designed to ensure that seniors in Canada receive a minimum income and provides seniors with a monthly amount of $578.53, regardless of their marital status. Both retirees who have never worked, and who have worked in the past are eligible for Old Age Security. The pension you receive from Old Age Security (OAS) is not determined by your work experience or your income. Even if you have never worked, you are eligible for the Old Age Security pension. To be eligible for the Old Age Security pension, you must be 65 years of age or older and have lived in Canada for at least 40 years after the age of 18. However, this amount is taxable and when net income exceeds $119,615, you are no longer eligible for OAS.
Guaranteed Income Supplement
Seniors who are single, divorced or widowed, and whose annual income is between $0.00 and $23.99 (excluding your pensions), may receive a monthly amount of $864.09 under the guaranteed income supplement. Seniors who are married or living common-law and who both receive the full Old Age Security pension, are each entitled to a monthly amount of $520.17 if the combined annual income falls between $0.00 and $47.99. In order to qualify, you must receive a pension from Old Age Security and have an annual income below the maximum permissible threshold for the year to qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This amount is not taxable. However, no pension is paid if the maximum annual income exceeds the amounts indicated.
Monthly amounts for single, divorced and widowed seniors
Based on these two programs, seniors who are single, divorced or widowed and who are eligible based on the requirements would receive: an amount of $578.53 for the Old Age Security pension and $864.09 for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, amounting to $1,442.62 per month.
If you and your spouse are separated for reasons beyond your control (e.g. your spouse is in a long-term care nursing home), Revenue Canada has a designation “involuntary separation” that will ensure that you and your partner will be considered single for financial purposes. The Guaranteed Income Supplement will then be calculated based on your income rather than on your combined income. If you and your partner no longer live together, you must complete the “Statutory Declaration – Separation of Legal Spouses or Common-Law”.
A person living in Canada who has a low income and whose spouse or common-law partner has died is eligible for survivor allowance if they are between 60 and 64 years old (this includes the month you turn 65), are a Canadian citizen or legal resident, live in Canada and have lived there for at least 10 years after age 18, their spouse or partner has died and did not remarry or start living common-law and their annual income is less than the maximum annual threshold of $23,616. Therefore, if your annual income falls between $0.00 and $47.99, the maximum amount you can receive is $1,309.67.
This allowance is provided to the spouse or common-law partner of a Guaranteed Income Supplement beneficiary who is between 60 and 64 years of age (this includes the month you turn 65), whose spouse or partner receives an Old Age Security pension and is eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, is a Canadian citizen or legal resident, lives in Canada and has lived there for at least 10 years after age 18 and whose annual income combined with that of their spouse or common-law is less than the maximum permissible annual threshold of $32,448. Therefore, if your annual income falls between $0.00 and $47.99, the maximum amount that you will receive if your spouse or partner receives the Guaranteed Income Supplement, is $1,098.70.
The Quebec Pension Plan
The Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) is a public insurance plan that is mandatory for all workers aged 18 whose annual income exceeds $3,500. Your pension amount depends on three factors: your age when you retire, how many years you contributed to the Quebec Pension Plan and the contribution amounts that were deducted from your earnings.
The amount of pension you receive is based on your income from work since 1966. It is part of the basic income that a 60-year old retiree can receive, if he has contributed to the plan. It is possible to receive your pension as of age 60. However, the amount received will be less than if you receive your pension at age 65. This pension is taxable and no amount is paid if you have never contributed to the QPP.
At age 60, the maximum pension is $713.07
At age 65, the maximum pension is $1,114.17
The maximum eligible earnings in 2017 is $55,300.
Residence Advisors can help find the best residence for you
Income levels vary among seniors, especially for those who are single, divorced or widowed. Thankfully, there are Residences Advisors who can assist you with your search for a Private Residence in Montréal that can provide the care you require with rent that you can afford. For more information about retirement homes in your area, feel free to contact a Residence Advisor in Montréal West-Island at 514-996-2887.
Sources: Revenu Québec, Retraite Québec and Service Canada