Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Old Age Security pension (OAS)

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


Old Age Security pension paid to persons aged 65 years and over by the federal government during the reference period. The Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor are excluded.

For the 2021 Census, this included the one-time payment issued in 2020 aimed at providing income support for seniors due to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Seniors eligible for Old Age Security pension received $300.

For the 2021 Census, the reference period for income data is the calendar year 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (100% data).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

Variable derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Positive dollar value or nil


The amount to be repaid based on net income when filing a tax return is excluded.

See 'Remarks' under total income.

This variable is a component of Old Age Security pension (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). See also income sources.

For more information, please refer to Appendix 2.4 Components of income in 2020.

For additional information about COVID‑19 benefits, data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, please refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

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