Old Age Security - what you need to know
- How long you have lived in Canada affects your pension
- How your income may affect your pension
- How your age affects your pension
How long you have lived in Canada affects your pension
The amount of your Old Age Security (OAS) pension depends on the number of years you have lived in Canada as an adult. You may qualify for either a full or partial pension depending on your particular circumstances.
Canada has agreements in place with many countries to help you if you have lived or worked in another country. If you have lived in one of these countries and/or contributed to their social security system, you may qualify for a pension from that country, from Canada, or from both countries. Visit International Benefits for more details.
How your income may affect your pension
The OAS pension is available to most Canadians aged 65 or older. For low-income Canadians, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Allowance and the Allowance for the survivor provide additional support.
High-income seniors receiving the basic OAS pension may have their benefits reduced or eliminated.
The OAS pension is reduced by 15 cents for every dollar of individual income above a set limit ($56,968 in 2002). Pensioners lose the full pension when their net income is $92,381 or more.
Currently about 5% of OAS pensioners have part of their benefit reduced and only 2% lose the full benefit. This is known as the Old Age Security Repayment for residents of Canada. For foreign residents this is known as the Old Age Security Recovery Tax.
How your age affects your pension
If you are eligible, your Old Age Security (OAS) pension begins the month after you turn 65. However, it does not begin automatically. You must apply in writing by using the Old Age Security Application kit, preferably six months before your 65th birthday.
If you apply late, meaning anytime after age 65, you may receive up to 12 months of retroactive payments. Your retroactive payments are calculated from the month that your application is received.
- The differences between OAS and the CPP
- Old Age Security - what you need to know
- Canada Pension Plan - what you need to know
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