The “benefits” of being a senior
(NC) Do you know about the benefit payments, tax credits and discounts available specifically for seniors?
The majority of Canadian seniors are entitled to receive income from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), and Old Age Security (OAS). The age at which you begin to receive these benefits affects the amount you receive.
Canadians with low incomes may also qualify for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) but must apply through Service Canada to receive it.
Spouses or common-law couples who each receive CPP benefits and are both at least 60 years old can apply to share their CPP benefits. This may result in tax savings, but the overall amount of their benefits does not increase or decrease with pension sharing.
Seniors may also be eligible for other tax credits based on their age, medical expenses and some types of disabilities. Other benefits available include those for Aboriginals, veterans, people who have lived or worked abroad and tax credits offered by some provinces and territories.
You can find out which federal benefit or tax credit you're eligible for, and how much, at the federal government's websites, including ServiceCanada.gc.ca and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Businesses and service providers for everything from entertainment to travel to financial services may also give seniors' discounts. For instance, most financial institutions offer discounts or special packages for customers 60 or over. Check with your financial institution for more information.
It is worth comparing discounted accounts with others not specifically for seniors. To make this task easier, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has an online Banking Package Selector Tool that lists more than 200 bank accounts offered by financial institutions across the country to help Canadians find the bank account that best meets their needs.
At itpaystoknow.gc.ca, FCAC has more information on benefits for seniors, as well as on financial products and services like loans and credit cards.
Word count: 321
Articles are provided free of charge. Articles appearing on web sites, must credit www.newscanada.com. Articles appearing in Print, must credit News Canada with (NC) at beginning of an article or – News Canada at the end. Any source/sponsor of the information quoted in the text must also be identified as presented. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada articles constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.