Old Age Security - What you need before you start

4. What you need before you start

In deciding when to apply for your OAS pension, consider your personal financial situation as well as the following scenarios, if they apply to you.

The month after you turned 64 years old, you received from Service Canada

  • a letter informing you that you could be eligible for the OAS pension
    • You will need to apply for your OAS pension as soon as possible by completing and mailing the application form enclosed in your letter


  • a letter informing you that you were selected for automatic enrolment
    • You will not have to apply for your OAS pension if the information in your letter is accurate.
    • If you wish to defer your OAS pension you may do so by:
      • accessing your My Service Canada Account and following the directions; or
      • signing and returning the automatic enrolment letter by mail.

The month after you turned 64 years old, you did not receive a letter from Service Canada

  • If you wish to start receiving your OAS pension at age 65, you should apply for it right away.
  • If you have already reached 65, and you wish to start your OAS pension immediately, you should apply as soon as possible so you do not lose any benefits. (We may be able to give you a retroactive payment for up to 11 months from the date we receive your application.)

You were unable to apply when you became eligible

If, due to a medical condition, you were unable to apply earlier or to ask someone to apply on your behalf, please contact us to obtain the Declaration of Incapacity form. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, filling out and returning this form may allow you to receive your pension with an earlier start date.

Delaying your Old Age Security pension

As of July 2013, you can defer receiving your OAS pension for up to 60 months after the date you become eligible for an OAS pension in exchange for a higher monthly amount.

Learn more about deferring your OAS pension

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