Old Age Security: Do you qualify

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Your employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility. You can receive the Old Age Security (OAS) pension even if you have never worked or are still working.

If you are living in Canada, you must:

  • be 65 years old or older
  • be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time we approve your OAS pension application
  • have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18

If you are living outside Canada, you must:

  • be 65 years old or older
  • have been a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada on the day before you left Canada
  • have resided in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18

Canadians working outside Canada for Canadian employers

Canadians working outside Canada for Canadian employers, such as the Canadian Armed Forces and banks, may have their time working abroad counted as residence in Canada.

To qualify this time working abroad as residence, you must have either:

  • returned to Canada within 6 months of ending employment
  • turned 65 years old while still employed and maintained residence in Canada during your time outside of Canada

You must provide the following 2 documents:

  • proof of employment from the employer
  • proof of physically returning to Canada (unless you turned 65 while still employed outside Canada).

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

If neither of the above scenarios applies to you, you may still qualify for the Old Age Security pension, a pension from another country, or from both countries if you have:

  • lived in one of the countries Canada has established a social security agreement
    or
  • contributed to the social security system of one of the countries with which Canada has established a social security agreement.

For more information, see lived or living outside Canada.

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