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Canadian Old Age Security

oas, canadian old age security, old age security

Old Age Security

Canada’s old age security program is on of the largest pension programs in Canada, it not a pension that Canadians pay into, but it’s funds are generated from Government of Canada revenues.

The old age security is a monthly pension that is available to people in Canada that are aged 65 or older. In order to receive this pension when living in Canada you are required to meet certain legal and residential requirements.

Do you meet the requirements for Old Age Security?

To be eligible for Old Age Security in Canada a person would think you have to be a Canadian citizen, but that is not true unless you are living outside of Canada.

If you are living in Canada you need to be:

    • 65 years of age or older
    • A Canadian Citizen or legal resident
    • Resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18

If you are living outside of Canada the requirements are:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • You need to have been a Canadian citizen or a legal resident on the day before you left Canada
  • Must have lived in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18

You may still qualify for the Canadian Old Age Security even if these requirements are not met.

This can happen if you lived in a country that Canada has a social security agreement with, or you contributed to a social security system that Canada has an agreement with. Examples of this would be:

  • Canadians working outside of Canada for Canadian Employers
  • Canadian Armed Forces
  • Canadian Bank Employees

To qualify for the Canadian Old Age Security Pension you must return to Canada within six months of ending your employment or you have turned 65 while still employed with the company.

In order to qualify you must provide to Canada Old Age Security your proof of employment from the employer and proof of when you physically returned to Canada.

Spouses and dependents of Canadians working abroad for international organizations may also qualify.

Old Age Security Monthly Payment

The Old Age Security monthly payment is determined by how long after the age of 18 you have lived in the country.

The payment amounts are based on your level of income and your marital status.

There is also a Guaranteed Income Supplement that is available for low-income pensioners. It is reviewed every year and based on net income of the previous year if married it will be based on a couples income.

Old Age Security Payments are as follows:

    • Regardless of your marital status your OAS pension maximum is $583.74 per month if your annual income is below $121,279.00
    • If you are divorced, single or widowed the maximum is $871.86 per month if you annual income is 17,688 or less
    • If your spouse receives a full OAS pension then your maximum payment will be $524.85 is your combined income is 23, 376 or less
    • If your spouse does not receive OAS then your OAS monthly payment will be 871.86 if your annual combined income is 42,384 or less.
    • If your spouse receives the Allowance then your OAS will be 524.85 if your combined income is less than 42,384.

The Old Age Security Guaranteed Income Supplement

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is to provide a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.

This link will give you more information on the GIS with a table to look up your income to see if you qualify and if you do how much you can expect to receive.  Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement

Sponsored immigrants

If you are a sponsored immigrant you have to have lived in Canda for at least 10 years after the age of 18 to quality for the Guaranteed Income Supplement unless during your sponsorship your sponsor:

  • suffers personal bankruptcy;
  • is imprisoned for more than six months;
  • is convicted of abusing you; or
  • dies.

Non-sponsored immigrants

A non-sponsored immigrant, may be eligible to receive the Guarenteed Income Supplement, it is based on the number of years you have resided in Canada after age 18.

If you have lived in Canada for less than 10 years since you turning 18, but you have lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada, then you may be eligible for a partial benefit. Your supplement will gradually increase with every year that you continue to reside in Canada until you have reached 10 years of residence.


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  1. Hi, Tes. I really enjoyed reading your article. I’m in the US and had no idea how that was done up there. Sounds like a great program that tries to be all inclusive. I like the fact that it’s government provided. Are you saying you don’t get a payroll deduction for this on your paycheck? If not, that’s great. Let’s hope some politician doesn’t come along and decide it’s an entitlement and take some of it away. Great article. Thanks for the info.

    • Yes it is a government funded plan.  We also have CPP (Canadian Pension Plan) which I will write on later.  That one you contribute to each pay.  I will also have some information on US plans in the near future. 

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