Pensions and Income - Frequently Asked Questions

I receive Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits. My cheque is usually about $1000 per month. Last month, my cheque was only $518.51. Why did this happen and what can I do about it?

This likely happened because your income changed last year, or you did not file your income tax return this past year. If you are receiving OAS and GIS benefits, and you file your tax return in April, your pension will be continued if there has been no change in your income. If there was a change in your income, then the GIS portion will be automatically adjusted. If your income is too high, then you will receive OAS ($518.51 in July of 2010) but no GIS, or a smaller amount for the Supplement. You may have had a change in income if you cashed in an RRSP or RRIF, or you began to receive a pension or income from some other source. You may also lose the GIS part of your pension if you do not file your income tax return or you have been living outside of Canada for more than six months. If you lose part of your OAS or GIS and you do not know why, you should immediately contact your nearest Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) office. To find out where your nearest office is located, check your phone book or visit the HRSDC website at www.hrsdc.gc.ca. You may wish to contact HRSDC toll free at 1-800-277-9914 (1-800-255-4786 for TDD/TYY) - you will need your social insurance number available when you call.