Old Age Security — Overview

1. Overview

The Old Age Security program is the Government of Canada's largest pension program. It is funded out of the general revenues of the Government of Canada, which means that you do not pay into it directly.

The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. You may need to apply to receive it.

In addition to the OAS pension, there are three types of OAS benefits:

  • Guaranteed Income Supplement
    If you live in Canada and you have a low income, this monthly non-taxable benefit can be added to your OAS pension.
  • Allowance
    If you are 60 to 64 years of age and your spouse or common-law partner is receiving the OAS pension and is eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), you might be eligible to receive this benefit.
  • Allowance for the Survivor
    If you are 60 to 64 years of age and you are widowed, you might be eligible to receive this benefit.

Canadians working outside Canada for Canadian employers

Canadians working outside Canada for Canadian employers, such as the armed forces and banks, may have their time working abroad counted as residence in Canada. To qualify for the OAS pension, you must have returned to Canada within six months of ending employment or have turned 65 years old while still employed.

You must provide:

  • proof of employment from the employer; and
  • proof of physically returning to Canada.

Under certain conditions, spouses, common-law partners, dependants and Canadians working abroad for international organizations may also count time spent abroad as residence in Canada.

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