$500 Emergency OAS and GIS Boost: Can You Get It?

Canadian seniors receiving OAS and GIS benefits can look forward to a combined $500 one-time boost in July. Likewise, those with free cash to spare can invest in the RioCan stock and SmartCentres stock to earn income to add more to their emergency fund

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Seniors are also receiving financial relief in the time of the pandemic. The good news is that there is a one-time boost in the Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits coming a few weeks from now.

Eligible individuals for both OAS and GIS benefits will have tax-free top-ups of $300 and $200, respectively.


In the announcement of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, all seniors across the country who are eligible for the OAS pension and the GIS cane expect the special one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6, 2020.

Based on estimates, 6.7 million seniors are eligible for the OAS pension, while 2.2 million qualifies for the GIS boost. The budget allocation by the federal government for this financial support is $2.5 billion.

Tip for seniors

Two prominent real estate investment trusts (REITs) are paying hefty dividends. If your financial situation allows, only $3,000 investment in each can produce $510. You can have a personal emergency fund and be a passive landlord at the same time.


RioCan (TSX:REI.UN) is the crown jewel in the real estate sector. This $5.35 billion REIT pays an incredibly high 8.59% dividend and trading at less than $20. It is one of the largest REITs in Canada.

The fear when COVID-19 was raging is that it will cause severe financial strain on the business. Rental strikes were looming and endangering rent collections. RioCan held steady during the first quarter the year (quarter ended March 31, 2020) and even reported a 3% same-property net operating income (NOI) growth.

There was an increase in rental leasing and condominium pre-sales from the residential portfolio. On the retail side, the Curbside Collect initiative is the response to the evolving retail landscape. Some RioCan centres, in collaboration with tenants, provide customers with easy access to pre-ordered access in with physical contact.

RioCan has a scale, solid business fundamentals, and solid experience to overcome these challenging times. Investors should be happy with the stock’s resiliency.

Smart landlord

SmartCentres (TSX:SRU.UN) is equally impressive and worth every dollar. You can own the shares for $22.31 and receive an 8.41% dividend in return. This $3.78 billion REIT benefits significantly from its long partnership with a U.S.-based retailer and wholesaler behemoth.

Walmart is the anchor tenant in 73% of SmartCentres’ commercial rental properties. The REIT derives more than 25% of rental income from Walmart. Adding to the stability is the prodigious tenant profile.

The majority are retailers selling and supplying daily necessities such as groceries, pharmaceuticals, banking and telecom services. Some of the national retailers and high-profile tenants include DollaramaMetro, Bank of Nova ScotiaTELUS, Home Depot, and McDonald’s.

Income investors should find SmartCentres an exciting investment option. Aside from the generous dividends, there’s potential for capital appreciation. The transition to becoming a fully diversified REIT is still ongoing. Market analysts covering the stock are setting a high price target of $36 (+38%) in the next 12 months.

Timely boost

As costs have gone due to the coronavirus outbreak, the older generation is not a forgotten lot after all. The combined OAS and GIS boost of $500 should help alleviate the financial burden.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Home Depot. The Motley Fool recommends BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA and Smart REIT and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $120 calls on Home Depot and short January 2021 $210 calls on Home Depot.

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