Thursday, June 12, 2014

Government Benefits are Job #1 for Canadian CFP

The studying for the Canadian CFP Retirement and Education Planning exam has reinforced the concept of "get the most from the government" as job #1 for the CFP.  Most of the course seems to revolve around all the social programs and how to get the most out of them:

  1. There are 4 retirement social pensions, 3 of them are income based.  You can take advantage of the system if you are smart and maximize benefits, legally I might add.
  2. There are about at least 4 good ways to save for education with government help, again, if you are smart, you can maximize the benefit.
  3. There are around 5 retirement tax credits and deductions and income-splitting programs that can be managed for benefit.
  4. There are around 4 education tax programs to be managed.
  5. There are important benefits for the disabled for almost every one of the programs above.  I might add that I have no problem with taking care of those who are disabled, I think this is an important role of government.

An example of the kind of management is for one of the retirement pensions "The monthly Allowance benefit of $1,025.73 is equivalent to the maximum monthly GIS benefit plus the maximum monthly OAS benefit calculated as ($485.61 + $540.12).

The clawback is $3 per month for every $4 of a couple's base income, up to 4/3 of the amount of the Old Age Security pension. Above that amount, the clawback is $1 for every $4 of the couple's base income.

Assume for the given quarter, the maximum annual OAS benefit is $6,481.44, calculated as ($540.12 x 12). The income level cut-off for the allowance benefit is $31,951, calculated as [(maximum annual OAS benefit x 4/3) + ((maximum annual Allowance benefit - maximum annual OAS benefit) x 4]" Whew, this is complicated!

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