Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

June 30, 2008 13:28 ET

Government of Canada Helps Low-Income Seniors

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 30, 2008) - The Government of Canada is ensuring low-income seniors can keep more of their hard-earned money without a reduction in benefits.

Today, the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors), and the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development announced the implementation of changes to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) earnings exemption that will allow low-income seniors who choose to work to keep more of their employment earnings without penalty.

Effective July 1st, 2008, the federal government is increasing the GIS earnings exemption to $3,500 from $500. Approximately 100,000 working seniors who collect the GIS or Allowance will benefit from this measure, included as part of Budget 2008. For example, a single pensioner earning $3,500 or more will be able to keep up to an additional $1,500 in annual GIS benefits.

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that low-income seniors who choose to work can do so with some value," said Minister LeBreton. "By increasing the GIS exemption we're encouraging labour market participation and putting money back into the pockets of low-income seniors."

"Today's seniors are living longer and healthier lives and many of them are continuing to work later in life," said Minister Solberg. "Our government recognizes that seniors have life experience that is valuable to their employers and to their communities and we want to encourage them to continue to participate in the workforce."

An amendment to the Old Age Security Act increases the GIS earnings exemption to $3,500 from $500. This increase reflects the average amount of earned income by working seniors in receipt of the GIS.

The GIS is a monthly benefit provided to low-income seniors who receive the Old Age Security (OAS) benefit, which is provided to all Canadians aged 65 and over who meet the residence requirements.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Visit the new HRSDC Web site - www.hrsdc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of the Leader of the Government in the Senate
    and Secretary of State (Seniors)
    James Maunder
    613-943-0756
    819-994-5559