Old Age Security - While on Old Age Security

7. While receiving an Old Age Security pension

Once you are receiving the OAS pension, you need to know the following.

Benefits

Your Old Age Security (OAS) pension benefits will begin during one of the following months, whichever is latest:

  • the month after you meet the residence and legal status requirements
  • the month after your 65th birthday
  • the month you asked your OAS pension to start, if you meet all eligibility requirements

For more information on benefit payments, see payment dates and payment amounts.

Direct deposit

With direct deposit, your OAS payments can be automatically deposited each month into your bank account in Canada or the United States.

Receiving benefits outside Canada

You can receive your OAS pension benefit payment outside the country if you:

  • resided in Canada for at least 20 years after turning 18; or
  • lived and worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada and you meet the 20-year residence requirement under the provisions of that agreement.

If you do not meet either of the above requirements, we can only send your OAS pension payments outside Canada for the month you left and for six months after that. If you decide to return to Canada after an absence of more than six months, every additional year in Canada will be counted in order for you to reach your 20 years of residence needed to receive your OAS pension outside the country.

Example: If you left Canada in January, we would send your payments until the end of July. After July, the payments would stop until you return to Canada.

If you plan to be absent from Canada for more than six months, you must call us. You should also let us know when you return to Canada so that we can restart your OAS pension payments, beginning the month you return.

OAS pension payments are made anywhere in the world in the local currency where possible and, if not, in Canadian dollars. If you live in the United States and have your payment deposited directly to a US financial institution, the funds are automatically converted into US dollars. For more information, see receiving payment outside Canada.

Cost-of-living increases

The OAS pension and benefits are reviewed in January, April, July and October to reflect increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Your monthly benefit amount will not decrease if the cost of living goes down.

Income tax

OAS pension payments are considered to be taxable income.

To voluntarily request that federal income tax be deducted each month from your OAS pension payment, complete the Request for Voluntary Federal Income Tax Deductions form (ISP-3520).

If you do not request monthly tax deductions, you may have to pay your income tax in quarterly installments. For more information, contact a Canada Revenue Agency tax services office.

Also, if your annual income is higher than the net world threshold of that year, you may be subject to the Old Age Security pension recovery tax, and you may have to repay part or your entire OAS pension.

Taxes for those living outside Canada

If you live outside Canada and are not considered to be a Canadian resident for income tax purposes, a non-resident tax is withheld from your monthly OAS  pension benefit payments. The tax rate is 25 percent unless reduced or exempted by a tax treaty between Canada and your country of residence. If you have tax—related questions, contact Canada Revenue Agency's International Tax Services Office.

T4 and NR4 tax information slips

Early each year, you will receive a T4 or NR4 tax slip showing the amount of OAS pension payments you received during the previous year. You must include this slip when you file your annual income tax return.

T4 tax information slips are for residents of Canada, while NR4 tax information slips are for those living outside Canada. You can view your tax information slips online with My Service Canada Account as early as February 1 each year.

If you have not signed up to view them online, we will send your OAS pension tax slip by mail, in February of each year.

When to notify Service Canada

To keep your files up-to-date, you must Contact Old Age Security when:

  • you need to correct inaccurate or incomplete information or provide information not previously disclosed
  • you move
  • your banking information changes
  • your marital status changes
  • you leave Canada for more than six months
  • a beneficiary dies

Note:If you live in Canada, you can use your My Service Canada Account to change your address.

Can someone else contact Service Canada on my behalf?

If you want to authorize a person to give and receive information to Service Canada on your behalf, you will need to print the Consent to Communicate Information to an Authorized Person (ISP1603OAS) form, complete and mail it to us at the Service Canada office listed on the page Returning the form. This form does not provide authority for the person to apply for benefits on your behalf, change your payment address, or request or change the withholding of tax.

If an individual is incapable of managing his or her own affairs, another person or agency  (a trustee) may be appointed to act on the individual’s behalf. For information on third-party administration for homeless seniors, see Supporting Homeless Seniors Program: How to act as a third-party administrator.

Can I make a change on behalf of someone else?

To make changes on behalf of another person, you must submit a Certificate of Incapability (ISP-3505OAS), completed by a medical professional. You must also complete one of the following forms:

Can my pension ever stop?

Yes. Your pension will stop if:

  • you are out of the country for more than six months and you did not reside in Canada for at least 20 years after you turned 18;
  • you make a request to stop your pension;
  • you are incarcerated in a federal penitentiary for a sentence of two years or longer; or
  • you die (it is important that someone notify us about your death to avoid overpayment).

Other benefits you may be eligible for

If you have lived or worked in Canada and in another country, you may be eligible for Canadian benefits or benefits from the other country under a social security agreement.

You can also try the Benefits Finder tool to find other programs and benefits to which you may be entitled.

Cancelling or stopping an Old Age Security pension

If for any reason you would like to cancel your OAS pension, such as choosing to voluntarily defer your OAS pension, you can do so up to six months after you receive your first payment. You must request the cancellation in writing. You must also pay back the amount of OAS pension you received and related benefits you or your spouse or common-law partner received. To cancel your OAS pension, Contact Old Age Security.

Also, when an OAS beneficiary dies, their OAS pension and benefits must be stopped. Find out how to stop an OAS pension and/or benefits on behalf of a deceased person.

Protecting your information

Your information is protected by the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Accessing your personal information

You can ask to see or have copies of any information about you that is in a federal government file. The Treasury Board publication "Info Source: Sources of federal government information" and the forms to request the information are available in government offices, public libraries and federal constituency offices. If you live outside Canada, these publications may be available at Canadian embassies and consulates.

View and update your Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security information

Use your My Service Canada Account to view and update your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and OAS information.

If you currently receive payments from either CPP or OAS, or if receipt of your first OAS payment is pending, you can use your My Service Canada Account to:

  • change your mailing address and telephone number
  • sign up for direct deposit or change your banking information
  • view your payment information, including:
    • your payment dates
    • the amount of your monthly payments

If you have received a notification letter (ISP-3009) and you do not wish to receive your OAS pension at this time, you can use your My Service Canada Account to:

  • delay receiving your OAS pension

Note:

It is not possible to make changes to your address, payment destination, or telephone number online if you:

  • have or had an address or payment destination outside Canada;
  • are receiving CPP or OAS benefits in part under an international agreement; or
  • are 18 to 25 years old and you receive CPP children's benefits.

Contact Old Age Security to change your address, payment destination or telephone number.

Return to the My Service Canada Account homepage

Financial affairs:

  • If you have authorized someone to act as power of attorney on your behalf, that person cannot use your My Service Canada Account.
  • If you have notified us that a registered trustee, guardian, or other legal representative is taking care of your financial affairs, neither you nor your representative can use a My Service Canada Account.

If you receive a Quebec Pension Plan benefit, contact Retraite Québec.

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