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Pension Timeline

Pension Timeline

Canada's public pensions have evolved significantly over the last 75 years. Read on to find out how our pensions have evolved and when the key changes were made:

1927 The Old Age Pensions Act was enacted, permitting the federal government to give assistance to provinces that provided a pension to British subjects 70 and older.
1952 The Old Age Security Act came into force, establishing a federally funded pension. It replaced the 1927 legislation that required the federal government to share the cost of provincially run, means-tested old age benefits.
1965 Amendments to the Old Age Security Act lowered the eligible age for the OAS pension to 65, one year at a time, starting in 1966 at the age of 69.
1966 The CPP and QPP came into force on January 1, 1966.
1967 The Guaranteed Income Supplement was established under the Old Age Security program.
1972 Full annual cost-of-living indexation was introduced for OAS.
1973 Quarterly indexation was introduced for the Old Age Security program.
1974 Full annual cost-of-living indexation was introduced for the CPP.
1975 The Spouse's Allowance was established as part of the Old Age Security program.
1975 The same Canada Pension Plan benefits became available to male and female contributors, as well as to their surviving spouses or common-law partners and dependent children.
1975 The retirement and employment earnings test for Canada Pension Plan retirement pensions at the age of 65 was eliminated (a contributor can, upon application, receive his or her retirement pension the month following his or her 65th birthday, but can no longer contribute to the CPP).
1977 The payment of partial Old Age Security pensions was permitted, based on years of residence in Canada.
1978 Periods of zero or low earnings while caring for the contributor's child under the age of seven were excluded from the calculation of Canada Pension Plan benefits.
1978 Canada Pension Plan pension credits could be split between spouses in the event of a marriage breakdown (CPP credit splitting).
1985 Under OAS, the Spouse's Allowance was extended to all low-income widows and widowers aged 60 to 64.
1987 Several new CPP provisions came into effect, including:
· flexible retirement benefits payable as early as the age of 60;
· increased disability benefits;
· continuation of survivor benefits if the survivor remarries;
· sharing of retirement pensions between spouses or common-law partners;
· expansion of credit splitting to cover the separation of married or common-law partners.
1989 The repayment of OAS benefits or "claw back" was introduced.
1991 Legislation was passed to assist those people who were denied CPP credit splitting as a result of a spousal agreement entered into prior to June 4, 1986.
1992 Three major amendments to the CPP came into effect:
· A new 25-year schedule for employer-employee contribution rates was established.
· Children's benefits were increased.
· Provision was made for individuals who were denied disability benefits because of late application.
1995 · The period of retroactivity for OAS benefits changed from five years to one year.
· Individuals were permitted to request that their OAS benefits be cancelled.
1998 · The CPP moved from pay-as-you-go financing to fuller funding.
· Contribution rates were increased.
· A new investment policy was introduced.
2000 All OAS and CPP benefits and obligations were extended to same-sex, common-law couples.

For more information, visit Canada's public pensions Web site at:

Summary of Public Pensions

Old Age Security(OAS)
The Old Age Security program is one of the cornerstones of Canada's retirement income system. Benefits include the basic Old Age Security pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Allowance and Allowance for the survivor.

Canada Pension Plan(CPP)
The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory, earnings-related social insurance program. It ensures a measure of protection to contributors and their families against the loss of income due to retirement, disability and death.

There are three kinds of Canada Pension Plan benefits:

  • disability benefits (for disabled contributors and their dependent children);
  • a retirement pension; and
  • survivor benefits (surviving spouse/common-law partner, children's and death benefits).