There is no set age at which a person is considered a senior in Canada.
Generally, for specific purposes the age at which senior discounts start is usually 55. However, for many government benefits you have to be at least 60 or 65 years of age in order to qualify. Most commonly for the purposes of government benefits, the age of qualification for senior’s benefits is currently 65.
For example, if someone wants a seniors discount on public transit, then you would have to consult with the public transit agency as to how old you have to be in order to be eligible for the discount. For example, in Winnipeg you have to be 65 years or older to get a discount.
There are also retail benefits a senior can qualify for in order to get a discount, but that is store or chain specific.
Federal government benefits
Canada Pension Plan
In order for you to qualify to collect CPP, you have to be at least 60 years of age. If you apply to receive CPP benefits at 60, then the amount you receive will be smaller than had you applied at 65 or later. If you apply for this benefit starting at the age of 65, you will get your regular benefit.
Before 2012 you had to stop working in order to collect CPP. Now, you can apply to receive benefits at 60 even if you’re still working. The only downside is that you still have to contribute to CPP.
Old Age Security
OAS is only available to people who are over the age of 65 and have lived in Canada for a minimum of 10 years. There are also residency requirements you have to fulfill.
Recently, there have been changes made to OAS eligibility. Starting in April 2023, the OAS and GIS age of eligibility will rise from 65 to 67. Full implementation of will occur gradually over a six-year period.
Guaranteed Income Supplement
One of the eligibility criteria of GIS is that the applicant is receiving OAS. As such the age requirement is the same.
Provincial and territorial benefits
Every province sets their own age limits for benefits offered by the province or territory.
For example, in Nunavut, seniors over the age of 65 and older are eligible for Extended Health Benefits.
Alberta has a Senior Benefits Program (ASB) program that supplements federal income sources, such as OAS and GIS. In order to be eligible for this program an Alberta resident has to be 65 years and older.
Canada Benefits for Seniors
Support for Senior Citizens