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OAS: What is an Old Age Security Pension Plan?


OAS or Old Age Security is the Government of Canada’s pension plan. It is a monthly payment that is available to people of 65 years and above. The applicants must also satisfy the legal Canadian status residence requirements. Generally, it is not required to apply for this pension, but otherwise, you can apply to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). OAS pension can be received even if a person is still working or has never worked.

Eligibility for Old Age Security pension 

For people living in Canada

  • You must be 65 years old or above
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time of OAS application approval
  • You must be a resident in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18.

For people living outside Canada

  • You must be 65 years old or above
  • You must have been a Canadian citizen or must be a legal resident of Canada on the day before leaving Canada
  • You must be a resident in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18.

If neither of the two scenarios applies to you, you might still qualify for the pension if:

  • You are a Canadian working outside Canada for a Canadian employer.
  • You live in a country where Canada has established a social security agreement or contributed to the social security system of a country

How much can a person receive?

The maximum monthly payment received under the OAS pension scheme is $618.45. To receive this, the annual income must be less than $129,075. The OAS pension reflects an increase in the cost of living, which the Consumer Price Index measures. But, the monthly payment does not decrease if the cost of living decreases.

The first payment of OAS starts either:

  • From the month you turn 65
  • The specific date chosen for payment

The longer the payment is delayed, the higher the amount, but you can only delay it till the age of 70.

The application process

 For the Old Age Security pension, you can apply online or using a paper application. You can apply online after at least a month past your 64th birthday. You must also have a My Service Canada Account. While applying offline, you need to print the application form, fill it and include the actual copies of the required certificates, which you can either mail or take personally to the Service Canada Office.

In response to the application, you can either receive a decision on the application or a request for more information. If you disagree with the decision, you can request a reconsideration within 90 days.

The OAS payments

The OAS payments are taxable income. You can also cancel or delay your payments within 6 months of receiving the first payment and repay any amount received. You can then reapply later to get increased payments.

Other Benefits

Besides the OAS payments, you may also be eligible for additional benefits, such as Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance, and Allowance for the survivor.

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