Pensions and Income - Introduction

If you are 65 or older and meet certain residency requirements, you are eligible for Old Age Security (OAS) benefits from the Government of Canada. If you have no other source of income or very little other income, you may be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). You may also be eligible for a small pension from the Government of Ontario known as the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS). If you are 60 or older and have paid into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) during your working years, you may be eligible for CPP benefits. CPP also pays disability benefits to persons who have paid into the plan, who have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability and are unable to work. CPP may also provide benefits to survivors of persons who have paid into the plan.

Persons who have spent part of their life in another country may be eligible for a pension from that country, or be eligible for a pension from Canada if there is an agreement between Canada and the other country.

Persons under the age of 65 who are unable to find employment and have little or no income or savings may be eligible for social assistance (welfare) under the Ontario Works Program. Those persons over 65 who are not eligible for OAS and have little or no other income or savings may also be eligible for social assistance.

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) provides income support to persons that have a disability that is expected to last a year or more, and that limits the ability to work or function in the community. ODSP is only available to those with little or no other income or savings. In some instances, persons aged 65 or older who are not eligible for OAS may qualify for ODSP if they do not qualify for a pension under the Old Age Security Act (Canada). We recommend that you contact your local community legal clinic for further information.

Persons may be eligible to receive private pensions from their employer, or the employer of their spouse or partner.

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