Puzzles about pensions


Since my retirement in 2006, my Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) income has been around $1,000 per year, which, along with my Old Age Security (OAS) qualified me for the monthly Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and almost free prescription medications.

I was expecting this to remain the same in 2022 as my QPP was $1,016.52 for the year and my OAS & GIS were $1,687.50 per month, as per their table. So imagine my surprise when I was informed my circumstances have changed and I was now required to pay $55.08 for my medications at the pharmacy last visit. Upon checking things out, I
discovered that my OAS and GIS amount had been reduced to $1,666.50 per month. As both the Federal and Quebec governments gave pensioners a one-time payment of $500
in 2021, with the Federal amount coming with an assurance it would not affect GIS payments, it appears the Quebec amount did not come with the same assurances;
this payment seems to have affected my total pension income. Is this correct?

If so, according to my calculations, my pension amount has been reduced by $21 a month ($1687.50 – $1,666.50), so I am losing $252 per year, as the GIS
amount is now $932.99; this is 93.67% of the maximum amount, falling below the 94% cut-off point and it means I now have to pay $55.08 for my prescriptions ($660.96 more per year).

This, in effect, has increased my cost of living by $912.96 ($660.96 + $252). Is this right?

More to the point, while the $500 amount was supposed to offset rising prices in 2021 (which haven’t dropped in 2022), I am faced with double the increase it was supposed to cover! Is this fair?

I have spoken to the RAMQ about this, but they say this is out of their hands as they have to work with the figures supplied by Canada Pensions with regard to the GIS. I have written to the Canada Pensions department but have yet to hear back from them.

Perhaps having all this in print might shame someone (our local MP or MNA?) into doing something about the situation for me and any others in the same leaky boat?

A pensioner