Canada has an active retirement program that is part of its social welfare system. Federal and provincial governments provide assistance to seniors in the form of pension benefits which they can spend in their retirement years. It has three pillars:
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
Most Canadians contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in their working years. For this program, employers pay for half of the required contribution. The CPP provides monthly pension benefits to eligible Canadians starting at age 65. However, retirees can opt to receive it as early as age 60 but at a reduced rate, or as late as 70 at an enhanced rate. The plan can also provide death or disability benefits.
Old Age Security (OAS) Pension – is a monthly benefit for people who are aged 65 and over, regardless of whether they worked or not. To be eligible, you must have lived in Canada for 10 years after age 18.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) – a non-taxable monthly benefit for low-income Canadians aged 65 and over. To receive GIS, you have to be receiving OAS pension.
Allowance – spouses or common-law partners of GIS recipients who are aged 60 to 64 can receive this if they meet income and residency requirements.
International benefits – if you have lived or worked in Canada or another country, you may be eligible to receive benefits if the country you worked in has a social security agreement with Canada.
Employment Retirement Plans and Individual Retirement Savings
These are savings and investments that provide pension benefits in addition to your public benefits. These will enable you to live comfortably in your retirement years:
Employer Pension Plans– some employers sponsor these types of savings for its full-time employees.
Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) – are savings for those who are self-employed or are employees of small or medium-sized businesses.
Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) – personal retirement plans that enjoy tax benefits to encourage more Canadians to save.
Tax-free savings accounts, non-registered savings and investments – savings and investment instruments that an individual sets up for future use.
To have ample resources during your retirement years, it is never too early to plan and save. You can go to the Manitoba Labour and Immigration site’s Picture Yourself in Retirement to start your plan. You can also seek the advice of a professional for your savings and investment needs.
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