The old-age pension was first introduced in Canada in 1927. Initially, pensions were only available to British subjects 70 years of age and older with 20 years of residence in Canada; pensioners were paid up to $20 per month. The Old Age Security Act of 1951 introduced less stringent residence requirements and provided a universal pension of $40 per month to all Canadians over 70 years of age.
The Old Age Assistance Act of 1951 provided a means-tested pension of $40 per month to retired Canadians aged 65-69.
Other pension plans
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) were introduced in 1965.
The CPP and the Old Age Security program are administered by Employment and Social Development Canada. This department also maintains information on the QPP, which is administered by the province of Quebec. All pension applications and files prior to 1980 have not been retained. However, the names of pensioners are recorded in the pension database of the department. Under the provisions of the Canada Pension Plan Act, the Old Age Security Act, the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, information from the database cannot be released to a third party without the written consent of the individual concerned.
The Pension Act, administered by Veterans Affairs Canada, provides pension awards for individuals with disabilities related to military service, during times of peace or war. The records contain information about disability pension applications and other pension-related services.
There are no files prior to the First World War (1914-1918) and not all First and Second World War files have been retained.
For veterans serving in the Second World War and the Korean War, information on war service gratuities, re-establishment credits and other immediate post-discharge benefits may also be included in the files.
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Veterans Affairs Canada
P.O. Box 7700
Charlottetown, PE C1A 8M9
Requests should include details such as surname, given name(s), date of birth, service number and/or rank. In accordance with the provisions of privacy legislation, please note that the release of personal information is not permitted without the written consent of the person concerned or proof that he or she has been deceased for more than 20 years. You can provide proof of death by submitting a copy of a death certificate, a newspaper obituary, a funeral notice or a photograph of the tombstone.