Government Benefits

Minimizing your Old Age Security clawback [Update: 2019 rates]

The Old Age Security (OAS) program is the cornerstone of Canada’s retirement income system. It includes a basic pension that goes to almost all people 65 or older who have lived in Canada for at least 10 years over the age of 18.

How much income to expect?

The amount of OAS you receive depends on the number of years you live in Canada after you turn 18. Generally, you receive a full pension (Currently the maximum OAS income is $570.52 per month-January 2016) if you live in Canada for at least 40 years after age 18. If you live here for less time, you may qualify for a partial pension. With a partial pension, you’ll receive 1/40th of the full pension for each complete year you live in Canada after you turn 18. OAS is indexed for inflation every January, April, July and October. Here are the maximum OAS rates:

YearMaximum Monthly BenefitMaximum Annual Benefit

Old Age Security clawback

The Old Age Security clawback means that high-income earners (over the age of 65) are required to repay some or the entire OAS pension. It is interesting to note that the government does not use the word clawback. Instead they use the OAS recovery or OAS repayment. Despite that clawback seems to be the more universally understood term.

If your net individual income is above a set threshold, your OAS pension will be reduced. Here are the starting thresholds:

YearOAS Max (Monthly)OAS Max (Annual)OAS Clawback starting thresholdOAS Maximum clawback threshhold

Old Age Security clawback levels are also adjusted each year for inflation. For every dollar ($1.00) of income above the threshold, the amount of basic OAS pension reduces by 15 cents. For example, if your taxable net income was $75,000 in 2015, then you would be above the clawback threshold by $2,191 which in turn would mean that you would lose $328.65 per year of OAS or $27.39 per month. If you qualified for the maximum OAS, you would be losing just under 5% of your OAS pension income. Here’s some clawback amounts at different income levels:

2016Monthly OAS ClawbackRevised OAS Payment
Income (July 2017 to June 2018) (July 2017 to June 2018)

Is OAS clawback a big issue?

On one hand, the answer is yes because it is like an additional 15% tax on top of the current marginal tax rates. However, according to Human Resource Development Canada, only about five percent of seniors receive reduced OAS pensions, and only two percent lose the entire amount.

In terms of planning, if you are one of these people who face losing some of the OAS due to clawback because your income over the age of 65 will be higher than $77,510 for 2019, then you need to consider some simple strategies to help you minimize the clawback.

  1. Spend RRSPs before you turn 65. I know this sounds like unconventional advice but leaving the RRSPs until after the age of 65 may lead to the loss of OAS which is like an additional 15% tax. One of the benefits of investing in RRSPs is that it is a tax deferral. And while tax deferral is great, it is only good to a point.
  2. Income splitting in retirement. Probably the biggest impact for retires with spouses was the introduction of pension splitting in 2007. With pension splitting, spouses can give up to 50% of their pension income to their spouse for tax splitting purposes. This is a very effective way to reduce income if you are close to the OAS clawback threshold. For retirees with no pension income, RRIF and annuity income qualify for pension splitting after the age of 65. Splitting or sharing Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is another income splitting strategy that can help minimize or avoid OAS clawback.
  3. Elect Deferral of OAS. Under newer rules, if you think you will reach the clawback income from age 65 to age 70 only, you can elect to defer OAS to as late as age 70. Deferral of OAS will increase your OAS benefit by 0.6% for every month greater than you 65th birthday. This works well for those people who are planning to work past the age of 65.
  4. Tax efficient income on non-RRSP investments. When it comes to investment income from non-registered investments, different types of income are taxed differently. Interest income from Guaranteed Income Certificates (GICs) and term deposits are fully taxed. Mutual fund corporations may be an effective alternative to convert income into capital gains as opposed to interest income.
  5. Dividend income is considered tax efficient because it enjoys a much lower tax rate than interest and at some levels capital gains. The problem with dividend income is the process to getting a tax break includes a dividend gross up before the application of the dividend tax credit. As a result, dividend income can actually get you closer to the OAS clawback threshold because the grossed up income is used. If your income is close to the OAS threshold, be careful about selecting investments that produce dividend income.
  6. Use Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)Tax free savings accounts are much more favourable that non-registered investments simply because the investment income is non-taxable inside the TFSA. Maximizing the TFSA is a great strategy to reduce OAS clawback especially if the investment income would put you over the $74,788 threshold. The TFSA is also a great place to hold investments that produce dividend income if those types of investments are preferred.
  7. Although I am not a fan of leverage, borrowing to invest can help reduce OAS clawback if the interest on the loan is tax deductible. This interest deductibility reduces your net income dollar-for-dollar, and at the end of the loan, you pay the principal on the loan and keep the after-tax investment income.
  8. Watch for capital dispositions after the age of 65. For example, people with rental properties, cottages, or significant unrealized capital gains from investments may be better off triggering those gains before the age of 65. Triggering them after 65 may result in losing OAS from clawback.

For more strategies on Minimizing OAS clawback, check out this post from the Blunt Bean Counter: Tax Planning Strategies to Minimize the Old Age Security Clawback

My two cents

At the end of the day, more people’s concern over Old Age Security clawback will not be such a big deal simply because there are not a lot of people over the age of 65 making more than $74,788 of income. The people that do may have significant pensions or continue to work and earn income over the age of 65. There will also be a group of people that trigger significant capital gains from the sale of second property or investments but the good news is they will only lose part or all of there OAS in the one year that the capital gains is realized and reported on the tax return. But if you happen to be one of the few that will get affected, make sure you plan ahead accordingly.

Related article: Three Big Changes to OAS


  1. Jacob

    Thank you. This is the first complete and thoughtful article I have found on the topic of minimizing the clawback. I particularly like your first recommendation on RRSP withdrawal before age 65. In my case, retired, that allows me to withdraw at a marginal tax rate of about 42% rather than 52%. However, I have not compared that to the cost of getting investment income taxed outside my RRSP for the next 20+ years.

    • Jim Yih

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Don’t forget the TFSA and let’s hope the government increases the annual limit so you can put more money are earn tax free investment income.

      • Rene

        Hi can you confirm in Canada if my wife is 65 retiring will my high salary cut her CPP revenues? I’m not 65

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Rene – Your income will not affect your wife’s CPP at all.

        • Amina Omar

          my I eligible to OAS pension as am only 7 years in Canada am now 64 years old

  2. richard ford

    Thanx very much Jim! Hard to find info on the “clawback” and the 66g ceiling has cleared it up. Well done thnx! RGF

    • Jim Yih

      Thanks Richard and thanks for your continued support. I really appreciate it.

  3. I. K.

    Excellent article. It’s hard to find much written on preventing OAS/GIS clawback so your advice is very appreciated. Please keep writing on this topic!

    A lot of new Canadians who have been in Canada for less than 40 years will be depending on GIS to top-up their reduced OAS – and since GIS gets clawed back more quickly than OAS, even seemingly minor tips to prevent clawback can be very useful.

    Do you think that moving investments (property, securities) into a corporation (or maybe even a family trust) pre-65 could be a good way to prevent clawback? I’m thinking some of the corporate assets could be returned to the retiree, as needed for cash flow purposes where TFSA income is not sufficient, via discretionary dividend payments, to one or both spouses, which would be optimized in terms of timing to prevent the most clawback. This way, at worst, you would only lose one year of OAS/GIS at a time, like in your Two Cents example. Am I onto something or am I forgetting something?

  4. Joe Pangia

    Hi, just wondering how this affects me. Here is my scenario:

    I am gifting a home to my son this year, deemed to be sold at fair market value, trigeering capital gains. I am scheduled to begin recieving OAS in March of 2012. The taxable capital gains would be roughly $130,000.00 How would this affect my OAS and for how long? Is it only for 1 year seeing as my income in 2012 will be greatly reduced and roughly only $50,000. The spike in income would only be for 1 year (2011).

    Thanks for any help or info you could provide!!

    • Jim Yih

      Since your income will exceed the maximum threshold, you will lose all your OAS for 1 year. The 2011 tax return will affect your OAS from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

      Your 2012 tax return will determine your OAS clawback from July 1, 2013 to June 30 2014.

      • Des Hunter

        Hi Jim, just signed up for “Become a Retire Happy VIP”. I’m glad I found your website and want to confirm dates for OAS clawback. I will be 65 in Dec 2013 and will receive my first OAS payment in January 2014. My understanding is that my 2012 tax return will determine the OAS clawback from January 2014 to June 2014 and that my 2013 tax return will determine the OAS clawback from July 2014 to June 2015. If this is correct then I should get my net income as close to or under the OAS threshold by splitting pension income with my spouse in my 2012 tax return. Thanks

        • Doug

          You are 100% correct in your understanding!

      • David M

        I would have suggested that since the father did not receive any proceeds from the disposition to his son, he could take back a Capital Gains Reserve. In that way, he would be required to take into income 20% of the gain in the year of disposition plus 20% in each of the next 4 years ( total of 5 years to report the gain.) That may minimize or eliminate the clawback. Also, I would ask if the gain should be reported jointly by father and mother.

      • william colucci

        I have been living in Canada for almost 8 years be came Canada citenzenship,in dec.2014,i,m now73,right now I have a USA pension ,which is only #22,000,how long do I have to wait,to get a OAS,My wife is going to retire,in 1-to 2 years,and her pension from work,will be a little more than my pension from the usa,how long do I have to wait.

  5. JP

    Thanks for the reply and the clarification.

    My Wife doesn’t work and has no income, would I be able to defer the capital gains to her since she wouldn’t qualify for OAS for a few more years? The property that we are gifting is held jointly.

  6. Fred Grey

    Having just turned 65 the first letter from the government was not a “congratulation” letter, but a notice my OAP will be reduced by $17.00 per month.
    I find this interesting as I have worked my whole life thinking I would receive the OAP,and yes I am still not only working but paying income tax to support others who may or may not have paid any income tax for years. This seems counterproductive as I feel I am being penalized for continuing to contribute to the pension fund.

    Comments please

    Fred Grey

    • Jim Yih

      Not sure what to tell you Fred other than we live in Canada. I’m a capitalist at heart but I do understand that taxes go into a pool to better all of Canada and Canadians. No one will ever agree on the best use of tax money. There are strengths and flaws to every system. Being self employed I pay into EI and will never collect.

      OAS clawback affects 1% of Canadians. Its most likely to affect people who work past 65. Should you stop working just to avoid the $17 per month OAS clawback. My guess is you are still ahead by more than $17 from working.

      Anyhow, I’m not for or against it. It’s the rules and we have to live by these rules.

      Good luck!

      • Juan Eduardo

        When a couple both age 65 are on CPP and OAP and collecting the suppliment, “is it more financially beneficial for them to be divorced”? Your reply is appreciated.

        • Doru Roman

          How can they be divorced and live at the same address?

          • Juan Eduardo

            Hellow Doru, Many thousands of seniors are divorcing and living at the same address, it’s just a matter of providing a different address for governmen records. There are no laws that state a divorced person cannot have any communication with their former spouse. Many spend six months together outside of Canada and live in the same retirment home.

          • Dave

            Interesting. Can you provide some examples where a couple is better off divourced versus married.

            What happens in the case of a widow/ers benefit. Does the x spouse get it?

          • John H

            In BC, medical premiums are required if your net income is over 22,000 for a single or couple. If divorced, the threshold effectively becomes 44,000.

      • John


        • Doug

          OAS is earned at the rate of 1/40th of the full basic amount for every year of residence in Canada after age 18. If you left Canada at age 11 and never return, you won’t be eligible for any OAS.

    • Jeffrey Chow

      What about inheritance? Does that count as received income? Is there a clawback for an inheritance for anyone who receives OAS?

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Jeffrey – Only if the inheritance was taxable income, which I don’t think it usually/ever is.

    • 2018-05-11 Dave

      Assess your situation. You’re working I take it and that is putting you into OAS clawback territory at 65.

      Why not cancel OAS and delay it to 70 (or whenever you decide to stop working) Your OAS entitlement will be much more and you may by then have less income to push you into clawback territory.

      Doug can answer but I believe you can cancel your OAS within 6 months or a year of starting it. You’d of course have to pay back what you have received.

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Dave and Fred – Yes, you can cancel your OAS as long as you do so within 6 months of receiving your first payment, and all benefits received must be repaid within 6 months of the request to cancel.

  7. Anita

    Thanks for the article. It makes me wonder if an RRSP is worth using in my situation (contrary to all the advertising). I have a lump sum to invest. I’m 55 and plan to work another 5 years. I’m in the 22%(federal) marginal tax bracket with RRSP room that is larger than my current taxable income (TFSA is max’d). I think my retirement income will be in the OAS clawback range, so I wonder if I’d be better off just investing outside of an RRSP?

  8. Louis Blinn

    My wife and I are recently retired, about 60 and will likely both have incomes within the OAS clawback range when we turn 65. I have always tried to set up our retirement incomes to come out fairly equal, thinking this would maximize after tax income. I live in Alberta.

    I am now wondering with OAS clawback over 65, if trying for an income split which drives one income above the clawback range while driving the other just below the range may make more sense whenever that is feasible.


    • Jim Yih

      The clawback starts at $66,668 of income. In alberta, you are in the same Marginal tax rate up to $83,088 so I think your thought process is correct, especially up to the $83,088 income threshold. Incidentally, the lower bracket is at $41,544 so you could move money from one spouse to another and keep the income in the same tax bracket but only have one spouse clawed back.

      • John

        if i come back to canada now , what do i need to do to get my OAS how many years do i need to work there.

        • Doug

          As mentioned above, OAS is earned at the rate of 1/40th for each year of full residence in Canada after age 18. So if right now you have zero years of residence in Canada, you would need to reside here for 40 years to get the full basic OAS amount (approx. $550/month in 2014 dollars).

          Whether you’re working or not isn’t relevant for OAS purposes, but if you are working you would also contribute to CPP. At age 65, CPP is based on your best 39 years of earnings, so each year of max contributions will earn you 1/39th of a max CPP, or about $26.50 monthly in 2014 dollars.

  9. Louise

    When you say “net” income are you referring to your gross income minus taxes and all deductions? Net can mean something different to the feds as you probably know.

    Thank you

  10. Louis Blinn

    I’m not sure where I mentioned net income, but related to OAS, I would I assume the net income line on my personal tax return will be the key to determine OAS clawback.

    Of course. with the Canadian government planning to revamp OAS, I will be watching for consequences to my future OAS in 3.5yrs. Current news casts suggest no changes for next 8 yrs- we’ll see.

  11. sam k

    Hi Jim,
    My scenario:
    I’m turning 65 in May 2012 but I am retiring from work in May 2013. I am postponing my OAS benefits application until Jan 2013. In 2013 I suppose OAS will pay me retro payments for OAS ( from June 2012 to Dec 2012). With no OAS benefits received in 2012, I won’t be subject to any OAS clawback on 2012 T1. In 2013 my net income will be under the clawbwack limit even including 2012 & 2013 OAS pension so no OAS clawback will apply. Is it a good way to avoid clawback or am I missing something? or Will OAS benefits rec’d for 2012 in 2013 be still taxable in 2012.
    Just like your comments on this scenario.
    Sam K

  12. Rick MacPherson

    Hi Jim,
    Find your web page very informative.
    Her.e is my question. I will be turning 65 this June 2012 and due to the fact I enjoy what I do for a living, is there any way not to receive Federal OAS, CPP and a private small pension plan payments.
    My thought process is that I enjoy doing what I do and my long range plan is to retire at age 70.
    I know that I can complete a form to reduce the CPP contribution and not sure about OAS.
    Bottom line is that I don’t want CPP or OAS till age 70!
    What are my options?

  13. Phil Frenette

    Hi Jim
    I turned 65 in Oct 2011 and was/is faced with OAS clawback. The OAS I received in 2011 I had to repay back as part of my income tax amount due. The reason is that I cashed in some RRSP that put me over the threshold. In addition my OAS will be reduced for 2012/3 though my net income will be much below the threshold. I believed that the clawback was me paying back the OAS received in 2011 not further reduction during the next year since cashing in RRSP was a one time only. So a person is hit twice for being over the threshold of the current year – repay the OAS received during the current year and reduction for the next year.
    When I file my 2012 IT will I receive some credit for having received a reduced OAS?

    • Jean Dube

      Based on a reply I received from CRA “when you file your 2012 income tax return you may claim these amounts as tax deducted”.

      • Phil Frenette

        Thank you Jean. I will look further into it.

    • John Newton

      The Canadian government made two attacks on the people who built Canada. (1) The elderly, with some being required to work to age 67 before receiving OAP benefits. (2) War veterans have been informed that their benefits will be decreased in the near future. Why would government attack the very people who built Canada, and were brave enough to fight for Canada? The reason is that government has got themselves into a very expensive excessive immigration program that is costing us many billions of dollars every year, an expense they do not openly talk about. They are also into building large jails which they know they’ll some day need, now that they’ve announced they’d be stripping citizens of their basic right to free speech and expression. Those who rebel will be imprisoned, just like Castro did to the citizens of Cuba during the revolution.
      Bottom line … The Canadian government has come to dislike seniors, and would rather spend money on the possibilities of securing votes from the immigrants they import.

      • Aman

        Or maybe a country’s future is still with it’s youth — as mean as this sounds seniors are the past — money should be allocated to the future to continue prospering a nation — seniors in Canada are still one of the best compensated in the world..

        • C.McGregor

          I’m not sure when your comment was written as I think this may be a repeat article but ARE YOU SERIOUS?

          I’m a senior that has worked over 55 years. I’ve paid income taxes, Unemployment Insurance and sales taxes my whole career. I’ve never collected one cent of EI.

          For 50 years I’ve paid property taxes that are used in part to provide the youth of this country with free public schooling and I have NO kids.

          I collect CPP benefits because I PAID CPP premiums since 1967. I have retirement funds because I SAVED for my retirement.

          Seniors that worked in low-mid income type jobs all their lives are not over-compensated at all. Many need these benefits to survive. For those of us that worked continually and saved, we have a right to be angry that our OAS benefits are being cutback and this never should have been allowed.

          The youth of this country should be saying “thanks” to us for what we gave to them. They are now responsible to continue to pay their own way to having a prosperous future as we did for our predecessors and the new immigrants to this country.

        • Claude Mayrand


          Welcome to the end game, becoming a rich senior envied by your type of youth.

          You sound like an entitled youth who envies the best compensated population in the world: the one you envy, probably will never attain in accomplishments or wealth or satisfaction.

          We seniors were the future and we made our present.

          Deal with it.

          PS: I don’t think you can.

        • filleheureuse

          Aman, You’re so wrong. Without the seniors who paid into everything that C. McGregor mentions, the youth of today and tomorrow would have little to draw on. What you’ve said is akin to saying that we should not be grateful to the veterans who fought for our freedom. Or that what our parents did for us as we were growing up didn’t count towards what we became. That all the sacrifices and hard work that were put in in the past by our veterans, seniors, parents, teachers, etc. are now meaningless. It’s this kind of thinking that allows some young people to attack seniors, steal from them, and mistreat them, because they are no longer useful or important in their minds. Yes, our youth are our future, but yes, our seniors contributed greatly and still continue to do so.

      • filleheureuse

        Hey John Newton, you sound so angry. I’m an immigrant, as mostly likely you are too, if you go back far enough into your family history. Do you understand why the Canadian government needs to bring in immigrants? They work and pay taxes so that you can collect on your OAP and CPP benefits. For a country our size, we have a very small population, and we sure need those immigrants. Maybe you’re talking about the refugees that Canada is sponsoring? That’s a different story, but hopefully they can get on their feet soon and start paying taxes so that you can collect.

        • Claude Mayrand


          May I add that money spent on refugees here in Canada rather than on Foreign Aid has 2 advantages, besides coming from the same pocket and just being absolutely necessary for their survival.

          1) More money reaches the intended beneficiaries and it reaches them in Canada – kindalike recycling.

          2) The refugees will eventually become part of our economy and contribute as those born in Canada – some in either camp contribute more than others.

          Bear in mind that some private citizens sponsor refugees: not all are supported by the government.

          Is it difficult? No doubt. Is it worth it? No doubt. And in the long run, it’s a selfish benefit.

        • Greg

          filleheureuse…we have paid into CPP all of our lives. It is not given to us by you or anybody else. Most immigrants just collect benefits from our government, they don’t contribute anything. Who do you think is paying for that?

          • Marlon Brathwaite

            Well GREG an immigrant here (and likely not from the region you would want our immigrants, nor likely the ethnicity of immigrant you would want if you are accepting of some immigrants) .Every year I pay on average $85 -90,000 in taxes, its steep but i don’t complain I understand the rational of progressive tax rates and the type of modern democracy we have means we pay a lot for it in taxes. Maybe my taxes goes to help some people who milk the system but think more of it goes to support honest hard working people or those who just fell on hard time, or simply to build a society that is for the best for all of us collectively. I pay property taxes that support public schools when my kids are already in university. I dont mind because I at one time had kids in school and owned no property so someone else taxes supported those school they attended. I will pay school taxes long after I have no tangible connection to schools but education of the youth benefits ALL of Canadian society so why would I object? In addition to the mandatory taxes I consistently donate to charitable causes some that go to benefit seniors though I am no where close to official senior territory yet. I am an immigrant the same one you are saying just comes and takes and gives nothing back. And thank you to another Immigrant or child of an immigrant like Jim Yih here we all benefit from thoughtful salient advise on financial again why is it you are so against “immigrants”

  14. Jim Johnson

    What is the tax rate on OAS income if the claw-back threshold is not exceeded?

  15. Jean Dube

    I argued the clawback with CRA and here’s the reply I received: “Please note that any amounts that have been withheld from your OAS monthly payments are tax. Therefore, when you file your 2012 income tax return you may claim these amounts as tax deducted. This amount will then serve to either directly increase your refund or decrease your balance owing.”
    Does this indicate that I effectively am not loosing anything? With the clawback, I am receiving less income but can use the clawback amount as prepaid tax.

  16. John Newton

    Government obviously didn’t create registered retirement plans for the benefit of Canadian citizens, it’s nothing more than a tool to allow government to reduce OAP payments. Best thing to do is be like a Jew, just hide the money in your mattress, and when you turn 65 have absolutely no reportable income… Get the full OAP pension, plus the full suppliment. If you can somehow avoid paying into CPP during your life, it will also increase your OAP and suppliment, ask any immigrant who has only been in Canada ten years, is over 65, and is collecting the maximum.

    • Mona Sigler

      “hide the money in the mattress like a Jew”…brilliant comment from a bigot!

      • John Newton

        All the fathers of my Jewish friends said they did that. Is there anything wrong with that practise? How can I be a bigot for sharing that information? Considering Canada’s new police state controls over citizens finances etc., it seems like a very good idea to me.

        • Rick MacPherson

          John, Agree with your comment, however Mona is being somewhat one sided in calling anyone a bigot. She would have been better saying that if I were to agree with you, we would both be wrong!
          History is always on the side of fugal people of all races and nationalities and not just our Jewish brothers and sisters.

        • Marlon Brathwaite

          John Newton (Olivia?) much like you claim to “Jewish friends” I am sure you also have “black friends” whose fathers told you that all black’ are born being able to dance and sing and predestined to be good athletes (unless its hockey or golf of course – Grant Fuhr and Tiger Woods be damned) so what is wrong with you in the future saying lets all sing and dance and play sports like blacks do…smdh

    • william colucci

      John, I will be here for ten years in 2017,i have been paying tax’s on my home that I build in 2007,are you saying that I,m just sucking money out of Canada, and didn’t put any thing in to the money jar, look at all the money and tax’s I have paid on every thing I have brought since I moved up here,a new home,a new car,i could have went down to the states,and purchased the car ,and saved a few thousand dollors,but I live in Canada, and became a Canadian, in 2014,So john, I,m not a free loaded ,as you so very nicey put it, and not included in the OAS?

  17. Doereen Norris

    How much is guatanteed to an old age pensioner, if we
    only have $700.00 in cpp and other income

    • John Newton

      Hello D. Norris, You can go to the on line OAP pension charts to get that information. At only $700. with no other reportable income, you are entitled to the suppliment also. If you are between 60 and 65, and your spouse is already collecting OAP, you can also collec “The Allowance”. If you have any other source of income… rental, interest, etc. you may not qualify for a decent suppliment.

      • Claude Mayrand


        What is OAP? Is that a typo or some income particular to you?

        As you point out, it is a “suppliment”, and it can be reduced if your earn more than $73,000.

        Why not go and enjoy your $73,000+ a year, and stay off this blog.

  18. Bob Orchard

    Nice Article. Just a note though that the example does not show a loss of almost 9% of the OAS but about 5.4% ($29 out of $540 per month at max rate). I think you used $29 out of the $349 loss instead.

  19. John Newton

    Hello Bob Orchard,
    I did not use any rate system; all I know is that our government is on a mission to reduce what they pay to seniors when they retire, so that government will have more money to finance their excessive immigration policies, and to provide special funding for privileged minority groups so they can build mosques etc. Government introduced the RRSP scam so they could have registered evidence that a person has an income at retirement, so as to reduce their entitlement to a government pension. Canada has become a police state that is involved in numerous corrupt activities, so as to control the lives of all citizens in this country, and even strip them of their basic right to free speech. That is why I moved from Canada and now live in Costa Rica. I am enjoying the “Pura Vida” and not suffering from excessive taxation or the problems created by excessive immigration. I even have a family doctor here, thank God I had enough brains to get out of Canada.

    • Claude Mayrand


      Stay in Costa Rica and stay off this blog.

  20. Frank Browne

    How is CPP and OAS affected by receipt of a Provincial Government pension or vice versa?

    • Jim Yih

      CPP is not income tested. Only OAS is income tested

      • k

        How much income tax will be taken off CPP and OAS payment if I do not exceed the income thresholds for clawbacks? I want to know the net amount of the monthly CPP and OAS payments I will receive

        • Doug

          k – No income tax is deducted from either your CPP or OAS, unless you specifically ask for a withhold amount.


    At what point in the calendar year does the government post the OAS threshold for claw-back. It doesn’t seem to be published until well into the current tax year, which doesn’t help those trying to plan a year or two ahead on how much sheltered investments they can cash out in a given tax year. I keep looking on the OAS site but they seem to bury crucial information like this or leave it very late to post it.

    • Jim Yih

      OAS works from July 1 to June 30. For example, when you do your 2012 tax return in April, that income is what is used for the OAS period from July 1, 2013 to Jun 30, 2014.

  22. Jeff Carman


    I am not sure I follow the comment around spending RRSP first….Is this because of the minimum withdrawal requirement that the government imposes?



    • Jim Yih

      Spending RRSPs early is only helpful if the RRSP income after the age of 65 pushes your income above the OAS clawback threshold. If you will not be affected by OAS clawback (recovery) then develop an RRSP withdrawal strategy based on other factors and reasons.

  23. Roy Vincent


    One thing I can’t figure out is how, after a clawback, Service Canada sets the monthly OAS payments from July 1 to December 31 of the next year and the income tax withheld (box 22 of the OAS tax slip) for that year.

    I had my first clawback in 2011 — $1705.38. According to many websites, I’m supposed to get half of that as income tax withheld in 2012 and half in 2013. But this cannot be correct without qualification.

    For in 2012, box 22 of my OAS tax slip shows $708 (less than half).

    As well, in 2012, the total OAS cash deposited to my bank account plus the $708 equalled my full OAS amount of $6510.60. So here the OAS cash for the year and the income tax withheld were related. Is that relationship generalizeable for all clawbacks?

    How does Service Canada calculate these matters?

  24. anne deeves

    Dear Jim
    I recently took my retirement pension with school board but did not retire. For some unknown reason the Retirement Fund had retired me four years ago and hence semt me a payout of $50,000. This gave me an income of $103,000 as I am also on OAS, CPP, Teacher Retireand a full time substitute teaching job. So I will lose $4500 of this pension for next year when I will not have another high income year.
    Anne Deeves

    • Roy Vincent


      Jim is the expert.

      But note this: One can file corrections to past income tax returns for ten years back — if this is to your advantage. Likely it will be.

      You will need a statement from your pension plan officer to the effect that because of its error you got $50, 000 as a pension payout in 2012 (I assume) when you should have been getting $50, 000 divided by 4 = $12, 500 for the past four years, including the 2012 year. The CRA would then revise your income taxes for the past three years, adjusting your income taxes for each of those years by the inclusion of $12,500 of pension income. You would then have just $12, 500 of pension income for the 2012 tax year to report and so would not suffer an OAS clawback that year.

      Of course, though all this looks correct, I may be out to lunch. To find out whether it’s correct (assuming Jim is too busy to respond), I’d start by phoning in to the CRA — to get to explain your position to a person and ask any questions that may occur to you.

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  26. David

    Dear Jim,
    I am not following your math example here, how do you arrive at $2,332 over if the threshold for 2012 is $69,562 or even $70,954 for 2013?
    “For example, if your taxable net income was $70,000, then you would be above the clawback threshold by $2,332”

    • Roy Vincent

      David: Jim was obviously using the threshold for 2011, $67,668. $70K – $67,668 = $2, 332.

  27. David

    Hello Jim,
    I have also heard that purchasing an Annuity can help with reducing OAS clawback, something to do with how they are taxed?
    Can you shed light on this?
    Thank you,

  28. Bob

    I had a a large part of my OAS clawed back this year but my accountant did not split my pension earnings between myself and my wife . Turn 71 this year and need to do up a RIFF . Like you i am self employed and still working 🙂 just came back for a 10 year working retirement now i am simply just working.
    Thanks for the note on CPP and OAS , i sent it to my accountant.

    • Jim Yih

      There’s also the option to defer OAS which is brand new.

      • Doug

        And coincidentally (or not?) voluntary deferral of OAS is the subject of my planned article, for release on the 3rd Wednesday in May. Continue mmonitoring this website for the exciting details, on this and many other subjects.

  29. Rina Verbong

    I do not understand this. Can someone explain to me why, when I turn 65, I will not receive my whole Old Age Pension? I don’t understand, I receive a monthly gov’t pension cheque and will start to receive my Canada Pension in August. But when I turn 65, the gov’t will take the amount of my Old Age Pension off my pension!? That doesn’t make sense! Why will they??? This is my money that I worked for all of my working life, I earned a pension for the 31+ years with the gov’t! Some companies have pension plans and some don’t. So at 65 I start to receive my Old Age Pension. But when I start receiving it, I will notice that my pension cheque has been reduced to almost the same amount as my Old Age Pension! I have been working from the time I was 15 yrs old, that’s 50 years! I am entitled to my Old Age Pension and I am also entitled to my Pension! Why is my Pension going to be reduced almost by the same amount of my Old age Pension!!!
    This isn’t the same as taxes! This is wrong and I want an explanation!.

    • Doug

      I’ve never heard of a pension plan that offsets for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, but I have heard of many (including most of the federal pension plans) that offset (or bridge) with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). I suspect that is what is truly happening in your case also.
      Whichever is the case, I suspect there was a similar offset when you made your contributions, but most people either were never aware of that or have long since forgotten that. By an offset on your contributions, I mean that instead of paying 6.5% (or whatever your federal pension rate was) on your whole salary, you paid a lower percentage on earnings up to the YMPE (for plans that are integrated with the CPP), and you only paid the full contribution rate on earnings above this amount.
      In simple terms, you basically get what you paid for.

      • Jim Yih

        Yes, I agree with Doug. You likely have a coordinated or integrated pension. The best thing to do is talk to your pension reps and get a better and more detailed explanation of how your pension works. This is not a tax and this is not losing your OAS.

        • John Newton

          Hello Jim, Can you tell me if it is more profitable for a couple over age 65 to get a divorce, if they are jointly now collecting an old age pension and suppliment?
          Thank you

          • Doru Roman

            Hi John,
            And we are speaking about immigrants that come to only collect the welfare… and the local ones try to beat the system…
            Theoretically every couple can split, but shouldn’t they have different residency which cost double? And so goes the benefit of having two independent OAS

          • Doug

            I’m not sure that I would say that it’s more profitable (see Doru’s comment on increased cost of accommodations), but I can confirm that the total amount of supplement (GIS) would always be more for two single pensioners than for a married couple.
            You don’t even have to divorce for this change in GIS, but you would have to be living separate and apart from each other.

    • Aman

      Your not entitled to anything but your pension — Old Age Security is just a bonus paid out of government revenues — my opinion it could go to better use like making education cheaper for youth and investing more in the younger population of society — seniors had their whole life to work and save — if you couldn’t do it, tough luck!

  30. Dave

    Obviously not sure what pension plan Rina has , but the BC group of government plans do have an additional option of receiving an annuity at the time of retirement, which stops at age 65. The annuity approximates OAS and if the retiree got any advice it was not recomended. In any case the pensioner had to sign acknowledging that they would lose the annuity at 65.

    This annuity should not be confused with the CPP off set that you also lose at 65… and it also will have been fully explained to you at the time of retirement.

  31. Dave
    • Doug


      Thanks for this info, and for the video weblink!
      You just never know what you don’t know!!!

  32. Ann

    Hi Jim,

    1. Thank you for a great article. I’m in my late 40’s and I heard that having a large amount of RRSP’s, cash in accounts and even cash in TFSA lowers our OAS payments?

    2. You suggested spending RRSP’s before turning 65. Isn’t there a huge penalty fee for doing so (I think it’s 30%). I’m based in Ontario.

    • Doug


      Jim may want to elaborate on this answer, but I’ll give you my 2 cents for now.

      1) None of the three things you’ve listed affect OAS payments at all, until/unless they produce taxable income that exceeds the clawback amount (approx. $70,000). TSFA’s never produce taxable income, so they never affect OAS payments. Any interest or other income resulting from cash will likely be taxable and could thus affect OAS payments if you have significant amounts. RRSP’s are taxable only as you withdraw them, thus Jim’s suggestion that you try to do so before age 65.
      2) There’s no penalty (that I’m aware of) for withdrawing RRSP’s before age 65, only the tax that you will pay on those withdrawals. There is a withholding fee that applies when you make the withdrawal, but you could get some/all of that back when you file your tax return if your income warrants that.

      • Doug


        Further to my earlier reply, I should also have mentioned that any taxable income from RRSP’s or cash accounts (or any other source) would also reduce any benefits under the GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement), which is part of the OAS program.

        GIS benefits are intended for low income seniors, so it’s not that I’m recommending that anyone strives to be eligible for GIS, but it’s something to be aware of anyway.

        The income levels for GIS vary based on your marital status and the age of your spouse, but they are all much lower than the clawback threshold, and they consider family income amounts.

    • Juan Eduardos

      Ann – Cashing in all my RRSPs at 55 allowed me to claim a higher supplement at age 65.

      • Greg

        you must have paid a huge amount of income taxes.

    • Doru Roman

      You need to cash in the RRSP before turning 65. At 65 you HAVE TO withdraw, by law, a certain amount of money from your RRSP, which adds to your yearly income. Every dollar you make will affect the OAS and GIS even before the clawback kicks in.

      Look at this site and see what the OAS and GIS rates are based on your income.

      • Doug

        You may want to be a bit more cautious with your advice.
        I won’t pretend to be a tax expert, but I know that you don’t have to start withdrawing them at age 65. I believe that occurs at age 71 or 72. Jim is suggesting above that you MAY want to cash them in before reaching age 65 IF clawback is an issue (meaning if your income might be in the $70,000 range).
        It’s also totally untrue that every dollar you make will affect OAS and GIS. If you’re already over the GIS limit (approx. $16,700 for a single pensioner), additional income between there and the start of the clawback amount doesn’t affect OAS or GIS. For someone in that situation, withdrawing their RRSPs at a reasonable annual rate after retiring at age 65 might be much wiser than doing so prior to age 65 when they might still be working.

        • Doru

          Thanks Doug,
          OK, you’re right, I retract MUST from my statement. But it is more beneficial to take out all your RRSP before you reach 65 and transform it into a RRIF and from there you can invest.

          Based on the tables in the link I posted the OAS and GIS decrease the more income you declare. RRSP is considered an income. The more you delay transforming the RRSP into RRIF the more you have to withdraw, in the following years, increasing you income and therefore the tax. Therefore OAS and GIS will be less. It’s not quite a deduction for each dollar because rates are based on ranges of income

          • Doug

            You’re still making too much of a generalization.
            If someone is a single pensioner and isn’t eligible for GIS because their income (from CPP, employment, interest etc) is already over the maximum of approx. $16,700 they can make RRSP withdrawals after age 65 of approx. $50,000 with absolutely no impact on their OAS or GIS.
            This is because they aren’t eligible for GIS anyway, and RRSP income won’t affect OAS unless they exceed the clawback minimum.

          • Doru


            Not qualifying for GIS because of the RRSP withdrawel is a big impact. Let’s not forget that GIS might be bigger than the OAS. And people withdrawing $50K from RRSP would not care about OAS and GIS anyway and they will not read or ask questions on this forum :), they have financial advisors.

  33. Juan Eduardo

    Hello Jim, You may have the answer to this question. When someone applys for the “Supplement” and the “Allowance” for a spouse, and Service Canada has not responed for “six months”, what does someone do? We send numerous letters to Service Canasda regarding this matter but nobody replies. We contacted the Appeals division and they say “we have nothing to appeal”, as no decision has been made yet. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated. You can contact me at my email address. thank you.

  34. Doug


    Six months is far too long without any explanation. Have you tried calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914, and if so what do they say is going on?

    • Juan Eduardos

      I have had my local MP file a request for information, with no reply. I have phoned and spoken to a man with a heavy Punjabi accent who said “your claims are still being processed if you have not heard anything”. There really isn’t any avenue left. I approached one other knowledgable fellow like yourself, he suggested I buy a turban, grow a beard, and re-apply. The original applications were originally attached to my application for OAP way back in February of 2012,
      one year before my 65th birthday. This long wait has us out of our apartment and now living in the basement of my daughters home, it’s getting a bit embarassing. Our gross pension is about $800. per month. I was born in Canada, and very shocked at how they are treating us. I do thank you for the reply.

      • Doug


        I would be prepared to assist you by calling Service Canada and getting them on a 3-way call with you and your spouse (they won’t talk just to me otherwise).

        I have some time available tomorrow (Monday) if that could work for you? I would make the call to Service Canada and then connect with you.

        If you have any interest in this, email me at [email protected], and provide your ph# and a time tomorrow that works for you and your wife (I live in BC).

  35. Juan Eduardos

    The rule is that citizens who do qualify, are entitled to receive the OAP without question, and the payments do begin one month after turning age 65. When it comes to filing a claim for
    “The Supplement” or “The Allowance”, that they have the right to determine whether or not an applicant is entitled to these benefits, and that they can take as much time as they wish to make that decision. They claim there is no time limit, but they will pay up to eleven months (retroactive). Their attitude is to “shut up and wait”.

    I think there has been a lot of fraud since the Canadian government started operating their excessive immigration program a few decades ago. Some people who apply for the “Supplement” have income from businesses in places like Hong Kong etc., and the Canadian government needs months to investigate every applicant.

    There are also seniors here in Canada who own homes which they are receiving rental income from, and fail to mention such income when applying for the supplement. I understand the Canadian government’s reasons for conducting thorough investigations; I just wish they could get their investigations done in the three month period, which was once the case. I do thank you for your offer of assistance, but even my MP was told to “shut up and wait”.

  36. Doru Roman


    My question is: when I reach 65 and apply for the OAS and GIS (I presume this is the earlest age I can apply for them), is the amount shown on the Service Canada site for one person or for the family?
    For example if my OAS and GIS shows in those table $1200, is the amount per family or per person?


  37. Doug


    Yes, age 65 id the earliest that you can apply for OAS and GIS.

    I don’t know for sure what tables you’re looking at, but the full basic OAS is currently $550.99 monthly per person. GIS depends on income and marital status, and the maximum GIS for a single person is $747.11 monthly, for a total of $1,298.10.
    If you are married and both over 65, you could each receive the full basic OAS of $550.99, but your maximum GIS would be $495.39 each, for a total of $1.046.38 each.

    Does this help?

    • Juan Eduardo

      The National Post recently reported that Canada is spending “23 billion” dollars each year to support their excessive immigration policies, and that the cost to operate the OAP is slightly less. Another report says that Canada’s seniors must now wait until age 67 to receive their old age pension, as the country cannot afford to pay it at age 65. And finally, a report on how 900,000 Canadians line up at food banks each month. My question is; Why wouldn’t government show more concern for the hungry, and the elderly who built the country, than they do about importing people “when the country has an almost 8% unemployment rate”? I guess buying votes from minority groups is more important.

      • Doru Roman

        Hi Juan,
        Don’t forget that if there are no fresh immigrants to pay today for the pensions, there will be only hungry retired people on the streets. The system doesn’t use everyone contributions over the years, but rather money deposited today by the working people. The changes in the law to delay the OAS benefits prove the fact that we have an aging population and not enough fresh “imports” to sustain the funding.

        You are wrong about both buying votes and minorities.

        • John Newton

          Hello Doru,

          You obviously haven’t see the very popular YouTube video titled: JUSTIN TRUDEAU PANDERS TO RADICAL ISLAM. This video has gone viral on the Internet and is waking up Canadians as to the pandering problem in Canada. The National Post provided figures that clearly indicate that there is little recovery of the 23 billion dollars through taxes being collected by immigrants.

          If there are no jobs, they have no choice but to go on welfare, plus certain nationalities are chronic welfare recipients, such as the culture reponsible for 95% of all gun related crimes in Toronto. All European countries made the same mistake Canada is involved in now, and the Muslims are rioting in the streets every night, but laws prohibit the media from reporting it. See Youtube video;
          A WORD TO RIOTING MUSLIMS. Modest immigration was once a good thing for Canada, but excessive immigration from third world countries has totally destroyed the quality of life in Canada, ask Mayor Ford “who got into an argument with Harper for dumping 100,000 plus immigrants in his cash broke city every year.

          One last word on pandering, see Youtube video EZRA LEVANT INTERVIEWS A MAN SENTENCED TO ISLAM. This Christian pastor was offered a jail sentence for voicing his concerns about Islam taking over Toronto’s public schools. Importing massive numbers of immigrants (we can’t afford) “and pandering to them for votes”, is as corrupt as any police state government can ever be.

          • Doru Roman

            But then it’s a matter of quality not quantity. Canada needs new laws to limit the number of refugees – they are the ones prone to stay on welfare for life and enforce their way of life to the others.

    • Doru Roman

      Thanks Doug for your reply.

      I am using the Service Canada tables, based on the income and marital status. I also don’t have full 40 years spent in Canada to be entitled to full OAS amount.

      • Juan Eduardo

        Hello Doru,

        Do not worry about your forty years, just get a legal separation and apply for the Supplement.
        You can still live with your wife, just have different mailing addresses. Even a lawyer will give that to senior couple who are attempting to receive the maximum dollars in Old Age Pension.
        Be sure you have no reportable income also.

        • Doug

          Juan – I’d be a little cautious about suggesting that someone should break the spirit if not the letter of the law. A legal separation with no true change in the relationship would be fraudulent if done just for the purpose of receiving more GIS.

          And there are sometimes unintended consequences. Even if the fraud were not discovered, this “separation” could disentitle a person to a survivor’s benefits when one of the “couple” dies.

          There’s a reason why they say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

          • Juan Eduardo

            Doug – An elderly man with a wife in a wheel chair couldn’t make ends meet, and the cost of medication was outrageous. His lawyer advised what I mentioned, so now he gets the medication, a new wheel chair, and they even gave him a used special equipped van for transporting his wife, and they are still in the same home with the higher income. They actually got the full divorce. Bank staff and lawyers are even telling aging people at the bottom of the food chain to cash in their RRSPs, so as to get the maximum suppliment. The government makes the rules, people are just playing the game according to to the rules presented to them.

        • Doru

          There are ways of beating the system but they can eat you later. There are smart people that made the laws, they thought of everything, so it’s up to everyone to think of consequences or get burnt.

          • Juan Eduardo

            Hello Doru, I thought your post was funny. How do you burn an eighty year old person “especially later”?
            Numerous immigrants are caught defrauding government every day, they are not fined or even deported, so why would they pick on an old couple on their last legs? Anyone on a suppliment usually have no real estate or anything anyway.

          • Doru


            They can get their GIS cut completly for fraud.

            And the wheelchair does not have any relevance. All seniors might invoke the same excuse to get a divorce and cash separate benefits.
            Who’s drawing the line where couples don’t make ends meet? You have to agreee, someone is breaking the law, there maight be multiple people that do that.

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  39. StuartOverTaxed

    Well then one has to watch out for the dividend gross up which can put you over the clawback.
    What you can do is convert some stock to REITS which has a good portion of their income treated as return of capital which is not taxed.
    Then after 65 I will meltdown my RRSP over the next 18 years and put the max in my TFSA so after the meltdown I can draw income from the TFSA which should have a income stream equal to what I have been withdrawing.
    The problem is the clawback if one is in the top tax bracket 51% is brings one to an effective tax rate of 70% and it did make major withdrawals before age 65 but I think those over 65 should not be forced to gross up their dividends and this is grossly unfair and over taxation.

  40. Irene

    I have recently returned to work, and yes I am over the age of 70, so I am wondering how much of an additional income I am allowed to earn before I get trapped with a “clawback”? Any insight into this would be very helpful and informative the the amount of hours per week I can be scheduled. Thank you for your input.

  41. Doug


    As Jim said in the above article, the clawback starts if your net income exceeds $70,954 (for 2013). Subtract any other income amounts (e.g., OAS, CPP, RRSP, interest etc..)that you might have, and you will know how much extra employment income you can have before your OAS starts to be clawed back.

    • AB

      That is true. Low income seniors are under “House Arrest” by the Canadian government. I think the OAS and GIS should be joined and taxed (not only OAS). GIS is now eliminated if you stay outside Canada for longer than 6 months.

      Same should be true for OHIP (health coverage) – no limit on stay outside Canada for seniors.

      Requirement that you can get the OAS and CPP outside of the country is now 20yrs canadian residence after 18yrs of age. Same should be true for the rest mentioned.

      • Doug


        My only comment is that you’re wrong about needing 20 years of Canadian residence in order to receive CPP outside Canada. That is true for OAS, but CPP is fully payable anywhere in the world with no restrictions.

        • AB

          @Doug you are right, it doesn’t apply to CPP.

          • JOSEPH BYCIUK



      • Aman

        Dont agree — benefits for Canadians should be for those who LIVE IN CANADA unless a job takes them out… a senior can choose to live here and enjoy their benefits or move away — but dont expect the CDN taxpayer to pick up the tab of your health or giving you additional pension while you enjoy another country….

  42. John Newton

    The Clawback regulations is only one area where government has decided to attack Canadian seniors. Elderly Canadians are also restricted from taking long vacations outside their province.
    At this time an Ontario senior can only vacation outside the province for six months in any year “or they lose their health care coverage”. In addition to that situation; Any seniors who are collecting the Supplement in their Old Age Pension “Are also subject to House Arrest” by the Canadian government, as they cannot be outside Canada for six months, or they will lose that portion of their Old Age Pension.
    It appears that the Canadian government does not want their seniors to live in a location which is more affordable, but want them to stay in Canada, and suffer with the high costs of surviving here.

    • Aman

      Should be like this — if you decide to go on a leisure vacation your clearly not poor and dont need the taxpayer to pick up your tab on GIS or OAS…


    Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality was once a amusement
    account it. Look complicated to more introduced agreeable
    from you! However, how could we communicate?

  44. Peter Hooper

    Hi Jim, just a clarification about how the OAS clawback increases one’s effective marginal tax rate. The 15% value overstates the increase because it ignores the fact that the amount clawed back is not taxed. Suppose my marginal tax rate is 33%. Given additional income of $100, I lose $15 to the clawback and (0.33)(85) = $28.05 to taxes, giving an effective marginal tax rate of 43.05%. The increase depends on the marginal tax rate, but is about 10%, not 15%.

    I think this a fairly common error; e.g., it occurred in a column by Andrew Allentuck that appeared in the Edmonton Journal last October.

  45. Charles Choi

    My parents are currently receiving OAS and GIS. They want to sell their condo where they reside in order to free up some cash flow. Will this trigger OAS and GIC clawback?

    • Doug


      Selling their principal residence will not have any immediate impact on either their GIS or the OAS clawback. Should they invest or otherwise earn taxable income from the proceeds of the sale however, that would definitely affect their GIS amounts. It would have to be very substantial though, to take them out of the GIS eligibility range and into the OAS clawback range.

      • Juan Eduardos

        I thought I’d share this with you. An immigrant who enters Canada at age 55 (does not work for ten years), and then can collect a monthly pension of $1,047.43 (which includes the GIS). On the other hand, a person who worked their entire life in Canada, and has a yearly pension income of $16,464.00 “only gets $561.73 per month in OAP”.
        And government claims they are not pandering to minority groups.

  46. Dave

    Please provide the basis of your information that the 10 yr immigrant gets 1047.43 per month

    A 10 yr immigrant gets 10/40ths of OAS or 137.89 per month and the Service Canada website implies that if only a partial OAS is being received then something less than 100% of the GIS amount will be received. Even if they got max GIS which is currently about 747.00 a month the total is significantly less than you quoted.

    • Juan Eduardos

      Dave, You obviously do not undersand how the “Supplement” works. You only need ten years in Canada to receive the supplement, which brings you up to the amount I have indicated. Not having 40 years means nothing if you have no other income “like RRSPs” “company pensions” or a weak CPP. If you want more information write me at
      tje2tk (at)

  47. Dave

    Yikes…. While I was right on the amount of OAS a 10 yr immigrant gets, further research indicates they’ll get Max GIS – PLUS extra GIS , which would bring their monthly amount to 1300.00

    The above link explains, also keep in mind that the numbers they quote are for 2012.

    • Doug

      For better or for worse, the government figured that the full basic OAS and the max GIS were the lowest total income that anyone should have to live on. That means that if someone is only eligible for a partial OAS, the GIS would have to be “topped up” to reach that same total.

      Originally that applied even if someone had an OAS of even 1/40th, but that was later pro-rated if they had less than 10/40ths OAS and the full top-up applies only above 10/40ths (and after any period of immigration “sponsorship”).

      • william colucci


        • Doug


          I never said that I live outside Canada, but OAS is payable outside Canada if you have at least 20 years of residence in Canada after turning age 18.

  48. Jenny

    my parents just sold the home and down size to a condo. They are wondering how would the money they received from selling their own home affect their OAS?

    • Jenny

      BTW, they are over 75 years old and have been receiving OAS for years.

      • Dave

        The house money will not affect their OAS. However if they invest the house money and earn income from it then yes the earned income could affect their OAS.

  49. Des H

    A lot of interesting comments/queries on OAS and OAS clawback. My net income has forced me to consider options to prevent OAS clawback and I’ve found the income splitting capability is the easiest option. I’m not an expert but from going thru various option, a married couple can have a combined net income up to $140,000 before having OAS clawback by using the income splitting. From my perspective, that is a nice problem to have and no one in the same situation should be complaining.

    • G

      who needs OAS if they have that much income anyway.

  50. Meo

    OK…I’m confused as to why withdrawing RRSP money before age 65 is a good idea.

    Only when income is over $69,562.00 will OAS be affected…so unless I earn more than $69,562.00 on my RRSP investments per year it shouldn’t matter, right?

    Say I’m working at age 60 and earning $30,000.00 per year and I withdraw $10,000.00 RRSP per year (income = $40,000.00) v. withdrawing $40,000.00 RRSP at age 65. How is the former more beneficial?

    Is it only because the $40,000.00 left in my RRSP is earning taxable income before I withdraw it, so I’ll be taxed on that in addition to the $40,000.00

    • Doug


      If RRSPs are your only source of income after retirement, you’re basically right that this strategy would only be beneficial if you’re talking about RRSP withdrawals over the clawback threshold.

      At the other end of the scale though, if RRSPs were your only source of income after retirement, any amounts withdrawn after age 64 would affect your GIS entitlement.

  51. Dave

    Yes and if one of them dies and the other gets their estate then they would both lose the OAS. (The present amount is 115,000 when you lose all of OAS.)

    If the surviving spouse doesn’t need all the money then depending on their age and situation maybe its time to give the kids some money!

    • Dave

      Actually for 2014, Income of 65000 plus OAS of 6600 will take you to the start of clawback territory. For every dollar over that amount .15 is reduced from the 6600.

  52. Badsha.M.Z

    Hi Jim,

    I am senior, pensioner, having a valid PR Card currently on vacation for the last 4 months. Please inform me that how many months can I be out side Canada without losing my Pension (CPP and OAS) and my medicines and health check up from Health Canada as well.

    Please advice me though my email ID and oblige.

    Thanks and best regards.


    • Dave

      CPP …. There is no restriction on time out of Canada.
      OAS …. Depends on how many years your OAS pension is based on.
      Medical…. most provinces are 6 months some 7.
      Medicines…. most provinces have prescription fill limits, which in affect determines time limits.

    • Aman

      A person not even a citizen on vacation and the taxpayer giving him money to enjoy — disgusting!

  53. matthew

    hello . excellent site. when you begin to receive pension (OAS, GIS and provincial)..
    will the amount change if you move to another province.
    considering that you have no other income , will the federal monthly be unchanged. i guess the provincial amount would very across the land, huh?

    also, are you allowed to live in another country
    and not lose your OAS? i see many seniors saying they “moved to eg. Burma, Equador, Florida, ..whatever.
    do they still receive the same OAS, supplement, provincial PP ?
    i am wondering if this is possible , as you grow older you cannot take the canadian winters .
    thanks in advance.

    • John Newton

      If you are collecting the Supplement in your Old Age Pension you can only be out of Canada 241 days each year.
      Stay out longer and you lose that pension. Provincial health care is the same, stay out too long and you lose your health care coverage. Upon returning to Canada you must re-apply and buy private health insurance for 90 days, which could be expensive if you are an elderly person. Canada’s seniors are under house arrest.

      • Doug


        There is no such rule regarding being out of Canada for more than 241 days each year for GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) purposes.

        The first criteria for GIS eligibility is that you must be resident in Canada, which is defined as “making your home in Canada and ordinarily living in Canada.” If you meet that criteria, you are allowed to have temporary absences from Canada, but GIS will be suspended if any single absence exceeds 6 months.

        • John Newton

          The rule reads “the month you leave” plus six months. The 241 day rule is for Ontario health coverage.

        • Doru Roman

          Doug, you can try to see if you can beat the laws, which clearly state: GIS 6 months after you leave the country. Also health coverage is lost after 241 days outside the province.

          • Doru

            Sorry, it is OAS instead of GIS

  54. matthew

    John, thanks for the prompt reply.
    So i guess those Canadians who talk about living in Burma, Equador,etc.. must not be collecting OAS or GIS, huh? They must have emigrated there and live on other source of income.
    And those Forbes articles about the best place to retire is pretty much not meant for the average Canadian stiff who works his her 20-40 years contributing to CPP.

    The other thing that is not discussed here is how much would you lose in Supplement if you should decide to go back to work . eg. if you earn $2000 monthly from part-time work , does that mean you lose your $700 monthly GIS?
    If so, how would this encourage one to keep working after 65?

    • John Newton

      You cannot earn one dollar if you are on the supplement.
      Any earnings are deducted dollar for dollar, you would have to work under the table. You can retire outside Canada but only for 241 days in each year. Once you lose your health care coverage for being outside a province for more than 241 days “it is a major job to get the coverage back”. A couple over 65 would have to pay a heavy premium for private insurance for three months before they are reinstated. Canadian seniors truly are under house arrest by government. Some elderly Canadians purchased retirement homes in other parts of the world before they discovered this.

      • Doug


        You should check your facts before posting answers here!

        GIS is never deducted dollar-for-dollar. It is generally deducted 50 cents on the dollar, but not always. There are some provinces that offer a supplement top-up and sometimes they deduct at 50 cents on the dollar too. This has the same impact as a dollar-for-dollar reduction, but it only applies to residents of some provinces and it only applies to those who are eligible for near-maximum GIS where the provinces are offering there top-up amounts.

        And again, there is no 241 day limit for anything to do with OAS or GIS eligibility.

        • Gregg

          Doug…what is the minimum income you can have before GIS is started to get clawed back? And how much income can you have before it is totally clawed back? I am married. I am 65, my wife 62.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Gregg – If your wife also applies for the Allowance, her maximum Allowance would be $1,153.63 and your maximum OAS/GIS would also be $1,153.63. Her Allowance starts to decrease if your combined annual income exceeds $48 and it is zero if your combined income exceeds $34,048. Your GIS starts to decrease if your combined income exceeds $4,096 and it is zero if your combined income exceeds $44,112.

    • Doug


      OAS can be paid anywhere in the world, IF you have at least 20 years of residence in Canada after reaching age 18. GIS is paid only to OAS residents in Canada, allowing for temporary absences from Canada for up to 6 months. CPP is payable anywhere in the world, with no restrictions at all.

      GIS entitlement is generally based on your annual income for the previous year. If you earned $2,000 working part-time for one month, that would generally reduce your GIS entitlement by about $1,000 in the following year. If you earned $2,000 part-time every month for a year, that would probably eliminate your GIS for the following year. But you would have $24,000 of earnings instead of $8,400 of GIS. That’s a fair bit better in my books!!!

  55. John Newton

    If you get a $5. per month increase in your CPP, the OAP will reduce your GIS by $5.

    • Doug


      You’re totally wrong!

  56. John Newton

    This is a cut and paste I just found: Once the senior starts bringing in income, Guaranteed Income Supplement is clawed back at $0.50 for every $1 of income. It will continue to be clawed back until the maximum income threshold is met as indicated above.
    This means if a senior collecting GIS found a job for $10. per hour, he could keep $5. per hour until the threshold is met, and then his GIS would no longer be available to him. Who would be crazy enough to work for $5. per hour?

  57. Dave

    Hmmm. Now lets see, if a bank president gets 10 million a year, he pays almost 50% (4.92 million)in income taxes (Source calculator – using Ontario). Are you saying he’s “crazy” to work further because for every dollar he makes the gov’t takes .50. …. and the lefties want to raise the taxes on high income earners. You finally seem to understand taxes are a disincentive to work and so are welfare benefits (GIS)

    But… the crazy pensioner you refer to might want to work for pride AND the 20800 per year ($10.00 per hour 40 hour week) would likely improve their lot in life substantially. Even losing 9000 GIS would still leave them an additional $11800.

    • Juan Eduardos

      Dave says that some seniors work for pride. Are those same patriotic seniors have pride in a government that spends “23 billion dollars” each year to finance their excessive immigration policies? My patriotism died when Prime Minister Trudeau made the decision to turn Canada intoa multicultural cess pool at the taxpapeys expense.

    • AB

      Taxes shouldn’t be disincentive to work! If I earned 10 million a year I would gladly pay 50% in income taxes. But such high earners pay far less because they are either hiding their earnings at some tax heavens or find any possible lop hole in the tax law to pay as little as possible in taxes.
      So, your comparison of low-income pensioner who is eligible for GIS which means his pension income is so low he/she can barely survive and some multi-millioner earner is insulting to a decent human being.

      In 2nd example… crazy pensioners ‘working for pride’ for $4/hr are not the ones recieving GIS (and btw, you have to deduct income tax from $11800 which is at least 20%). In addition, if you can afford to ‘work for pride’, you might as well volunteer for free. There would be a real pride.

      The final point is that the income some pensioner can earn should be set higher than $3500 before GIS benefit is being decreased. Something like $15,000 would make more sense if government would really like to give HEALTHY low-income pensioners some chance to improve their financial situation or work for pride past their retirement.

  58. John Newton

    According to the Nation Post and a study done by the Fraser Institute, the Canadian government (borrows) “23 Billion dollars) each year to support their excessive immigration policies, and very little is recovered as a result of this large number of immigrants paying personal income tax. Knowing that this corruption exits keeps a person like me from paying even one more cent in tax to government. Canada has entire cultures which have underground economies, so why shouldn’t the people who work in Canada not work for cash?

  59. John Newton

    I think that anyone who chooses to support Canada’s police state politically correct government has every right to do so. Choosing a life of denial is normal in Canada, and we wouldn’t want anyone to be considered abnormal would we. Former US president George Washington once made this quote: If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we will be led, like sheep to the slaughter. Canadians are the most sheepish people in the world.

  60. matthew

    ok, time out. there is a proper place to debate pros and cons and what George Washington said, but let’s not bring USA up in this Canada pension website to hijack a good intention.

    my concern is that when it is time for us to collection pension (OAS, provincial pension, and for most of us who in spite of having worked and contributed to CPP, and say BC or Alberta or Quebec,etc.. Provincial Pension, will need some extra
    from the GIS. which i was told would bring a 65 year old a total pension of about 1100 in sum.

    so, let me see if i understand you Doug.
    if i decide to move to a warmer and cheaper place outside Canada, i will still receive OAS and say for BC, Ontario or Quebec PP,…
    but i won’t be eligible for the GIS . GIS is only a supplement if i remain in Canada.
    but if i go away for less than 6 months to a warmer place,
    coming back after winter, i will still get my OAS, and of course, coverage for medical .

    the cautionary note is NOT TO BE AWAY FROM CANADA longer than 6 months.

  61. Juan Eduardos

    I hate to answer for Doug, but this is what I’ve learned. It’s a six month limit for GIS and provincial health care. Don’t be late coming back or you will lose the health care and the GIS “and you will have to re-apply for both”. The wait to get the health care back is three months, I’m not sure about the GIS.
    An earlier post mentioned “house arrest” for Canada’s seniors on GIS, I have to agree with that.

  62. John Newton

    Hello Juan Eduardos; The Canadian government discovered that vast numbers of people were entering Canada, staying the required number of years, getting GIS and health coverage, and then returning to the jungle or desert full time. To deter immigrants from doing this the six month regulations had to be put in place. It’s too bad that Canadian born citizens are also being punished.

  63. Dave

    Hi Matthew

    How many years have you been in Canada? I ask because the years are relevant to answering your OAS question?

    What Provincial Pension Plan specifically, for you, are you referring to? How much do you expect to receive. This amount will reduce any GIS

    CPP – Live and collect anywhere you want, year round. How much do you expect to receive? This amount will reduce any GIS.

    Any investment income will also reduce your GIS

    Federal GIS may not even be relevant for you depending on your total income. In my opinion those eligible to receive any Federal GIS won’t have any money available to be travelling anywhere, period.

    Medical benefits – Most provinces require you to be in the province 5-6 months per year. (Out of province 6 or 7 months a year). (BC is 7 months allowed out)

  64. Juan Eduardo

    Dave – You can live in many Central and Latin American countries for half of what it costs to live in Canada, and that’s the reason people want to get out of the country “not because they are wealthy enough to travel”. For example: The public health care (which is as good as in Canada) is $40. per month and also includes some perscribed drugs. It’s just the loss of the GIS that keeps many elderly Canadians from returning to Canada every six months, not the health care system (which is dteriorating as a result of Canada’s excessive immigration policies).

  65. Doug

    John, Matthew, Juan and Dave

    I’m possibly a little late for the party, but I’ll throw my two cents in anyway!

    As Dave said, whether OAS is payable outside of Canada depends mostly on whether or not you have the required 20 years of residence in Canada after age 18. If you do, it’s fully portable anywhere in the world, with no restrictions on length of absence.

    If you don’t have the necessary 20 years of residence in Canada, OAS eligibility is similar to GIS eligibility in that it’s payable only to residents of Canada. The definition of who’s a resident of Canada for OAS/GIS purposes is intentionally vague. It’s not as simple as 6 months plus a day in Canada and you’re a resident.

    The definition for being a resident in Canada under the OAS act is someone who “makes their home in Canada and ordinarily lives in Canada”. Once you meet that definition, you are allowed to have temporary absences, and both benefits will continue to be paid for the month of departure and for the following 6 months. Theoretically, you could return to Canada for a day during that sixth month, and then depart again for another temporary 6-month absence. I say theoretically, because you might be able to get away with that once or twice and still convince the department that you were still truly residing in Canada and that your absences were only temporary. Do it regularly however, and it might be difficult to claim that you “ordinarily lived in Canada”.

    On the opposite side of the coin, you might be physically present in Canada for 7 months every year and only away for 5 months and still not be considered a resident in Canada. This might occur (for instance) if you owned a home outside Canada and only rented or stayed with friends or relatives when you were in Canada. It’s not as simple as home ownership determines where you reside, but it’s one of the factors that would be considered. I raise this issue, because nor is it as simple as keep your absences under 6 months and you’ll continue to be eligible for GIS (and OAS if you have less than 20 years of residence).

  66. Des H

    John N,I agree with Matthew – this is a “minimizing old age security clawback” forum so many of your points have no place in here.
    Also, I must remind you that everyone in Canada has immigrants somewhere in there family even if you have to go generations back.
    Being an immigrant, now a Canadian citizen and having retired after serving 35 years in the Canadian Army defending your right to make these comments – this is not the proper place

    • John Newton

      My wife is an immigrant from the Philippines, I am bringing a Cuban here to be a domestic nanny in my daughters home in September, and it costs me $400. per month to fees a group of elderly Filipino people back in the jungle each month, plus I am off to Costa Rica on a humanitarian mission in May. I DON’T DISLIKE IMMIGRANTS, I am only upset that the Canadian government is borrowing 23 Billion dollars each year to import them “which is money we cannot afford”. We must share our crops, but don’t give away the farm.

  67. KEN FORD

    I moved to Holland and have a 4 year visa. Can I move my Canadian RRSP to TFSA while not a resident of Canada

  68. bellevillelady

    I married an American citizen last year. He currently has visitor status until the PR process is completed.
    Can I do income splitting with him to bring down my net income?
    If so, how would this affect his US taxes or mine in fact vis a vis USA?

  69. bellevillelady

    To add to my previous note- Even if I am allowed to do income splitting with my husband,
    My American husband is afraid of triggering US tax consequences for him and I am afraid of triggering US tax consequences for me.
    Are these realistic concerns? Where can we get more information about this?

  70. Gordon

    Can you apply for and collect OAS if you haven’t filed Income Tax for a couple of years?

    • Doug


      Yes, you can apply for and collect OAS even if you’ve never filed for Income Tax.

  71. Ana

    Dear Jim,

    I am earning a net annual income of $55,000.
    On August 2014 I will become 65 year old.

    Please inform me on the following questions:

    1) If I begin receiving the OAS at 65, the OAS amount will change in future years or remain the same?

    2) If I begin receiving the CPP at 65, the CPP amount will change in future years or remain the same? (remember that I will continue to work and contribute the same as now)

    3) I understand that the current Maximum Annual Earning (to avoid returning CPP and OAS monies to the government is around $71,000 NET. Is that correct?

    Then, if, for example, I receive monthly $350 (OAS) and monthly $600 (CPP), with my current earning of 55,000 NET, should I have to return CPP and OAS monies to the government?

    I will continue to work and pay CPP contributions until 70 (2019) -same or slightly higher amounts as I am doing now.

    Please, inform me to your best knowledge…. I want to decide for the most convenient option (to perceive now the CPP and OAS, OR to wait until I become 70 ? )

    Many thanks!!!

    Ana 🙂

    • Doug


      1) Whenever you start receiving OAS, the amount is increased every 3 months with increases in the cost of living.

      2) Whenever you start receiving CPP, the amount is increased every year with increases in the cost of living. If you apply for your CPP at age 65, you will have the option to stop contributing. If you decide to continue contributing, each additional year of contributions will earn you a post-retirement benefit which will further increase your CPP amount.

      3) The “clawback” above $71,000ish applies only to the OAS and not to the CPP.

      From everything that you describe, I might recommend that you delay applying for both the CPP and OAS until you until you retire or reach age 70. That way you will maximize your retirement income that is fully indexed to inflation.

    • Dave


      I would strongly advise you to follow Doug’s advice and NOT start your OAS or CPP now.

      Contact Doug and pay his small fees and get his detailed expert advice.

      I did some quick numbers and your OAS at 65 of 350 (which suggests you have been in Canada for 25 years) would be about 600 if you wait to start it at age 70.
      If you start it now your OAS will be locked in at 25 years whereas if you start it at age 70 it will be 30 years PLUS you get an additional 7.2% for each year you delay it.

      Your CPP also would be significantly larger, because of your continued working contributions and you get 8.4% more for each year you delay starting it – to age 70.

      In my opinion based on what you have said it would be a big mistake to start OAS/CPP now.


      • Doug


        Thanks for this reply. I hadn’t even picked up on the fact that Ana said her OAS was $350, meaning that it would be a partial pension of 25/40ths.

        The only correction that I’d point out is that she can’t “double-dip” by waiting until age 70 to get the extra 5/40ths plus the 7.2% deferral increment. If she delays her OAS until age 70, she would have to choose between having the time count towards residence or voluntary deferral (or some combination of the two).

        • Dave

          Thanks Doug for the correction. Kinda makes sense now that I give it further thought.

          I hope Ana contacts you as I think her continuing to work past 65 and numbers definitely make it worthwhile to delay. Also if she starts now they will be taxed on top of her 55K at what ever rate that is, whereas if after 70 she drops the 55K the CPP OAS would be likely taxed at a lower rate.

          Plus if I understand some other posts correctly? If she had to call upon EI during the next 5 years she wouldn’t have it reduced because of CPP/OAS.

          I’m sure she will have other details but her situation is an interesting case study.

          • Matt

            Wow, I am so lost here. I thought CPP and OAS are the same thing. When one reaches 65 and choose to collect pension, one get OAS(CPP) , and the provincial . Also the GIS if you have very little money to live on.
            Now I read here you say CPP and OAS are not the same thing. Sorry if I sound silly, but I am 🙂

        • G

          Remember, something that nobody mentions…if you die while waiting until your old, you lose almost everything. Except a onetime payment of $2500. The rest is confiscated by the government.

  72. matthew

    after you retire at 65 or whatever, and you receive OAS and what they call GIS supplement because you have little or no income.
    what if you decide to work again because to retire with so little ( i think my neighbour once told me she gets 1700 OAS + GS and 200 provincial.. which isn’t much, after working for 30 years).
    how much money can you earn with part-time jobs,etc.. before you lose the supplement. i understand with OAS the limit is 74,000.
    but is there also a limit for GIS. eg. if i earn 9,000 or withdraw 9000 from my RRSP or whatnot. will i lose the Supplement?
    Thanks once again in advance. I like this site, you speak layman’s tongue…ie. we understand what you say, not all goobledegook that we read and still does not understand at the other official site.

    • Doug


      You’re a little of on your numbers, as the most that anyone can receive from OAS and GIS alone is $1,316.29 ($558.71 OAS + $757.58 GIS).

      If you had taxable income of $9,000 from earnings, RRSP or whatever, your GIS would be reduced by approx. half of that amount, or about $375 monthly.

      • matthew

        Doug, I was told that even with $12K withdrawl from your RRSP you lose the Supplement entirely. But you can still work to earn up to 73,399
        before you lose the OAS as well.
        That seems a big gap between losing GIS and OAS isn’t it, Gordon?
        Another thing, if someone leave the country to retire in a 3rd world , for example, where money goes further, would you still receive OAS of 757.58 ? I guess you would, since OAS is what you contributed and for working 40 years in Canada, right? Whereas GIS is sort of like welfare to help subsidize to live poorly. Which is still very little for someone who has worked 40 years and contributed to CPP and provincial.
        I think there is something wrong with the Canadian system where a welfare recipient who has never worked nor contributed a penny collect welfare all his / her life without penalty, while a hard-stiff canadian gets no more than $1316 … if she is in dire straits without a co’s pension plan. Shame ! One sure feels cheated, doesn’t it?

  73. Katerina

    Hi JIM. OAS in july 2014 is increase 1.3% .I wont to know this increase is only for OAS or and for GIS for both?

    • Doug

      Both OAS and GIS are indexed quarterly, at exactly the same rate of increase.

  74. Katerina

    Hi Jim .You may have answer to this question? When increases OAS are increase and GIS ONCE(both together?

  75. EY Donas

    I love you Jim! I am new to everything you talk about but you are making it so easy for me to learn. Thank you!

  76. AppreciativeLarry

    Finally! As a young person, it’s impossible to find information on how the cpp and oas work. The takeaway here is probably that for young people, the TFSA is a massively powerful tool over the course of one’s life. Flaherty left a pretty impressive legacy.

    • Juan Eduardos

      Does anyone out there really think that RRSPs were created for their benefit? The government had much to gain from their creation, the word REGISTERED means the government has full knowledge of your income upon retirement, thus depriving you of the supplement claim, and maybe even your OAP threw clawback regulations. An old Jew I once knew said “jut put it in your mattress” and invest a bit outside Canada, and then claim the OAP supplement when you are sixty five, and he was right.
      The new Ontario pension is another scam that will deprive many citizens out of claiming the supplement “when they are sixty seven”.

  77. John Newton

    Simple question I hope someone can answser: When I prepared my income tax form last year I noticed that there was a question; Do you have property outside Canada. I’m confused, What concern does the Canadian government have about citizens owning property outside Canada, “it’s none of their business”. Does anyone know why they ask this question?

  78. Jessica

    Im just wondering if there aloud to stop someones OAS completely if they apparently make too much?

    • Doug


      Yes, if your income exceeds the maximum threshold, they will withhold 100% of your eligible pension, so you won’t receive any OAS at all.

      • Dave

        For 2014, the tax recovery applies to persons whose net income exceeds $71,592. For each $1 of income above this limit, the amount of basic Old Age Security pension reduces by $0.15.

        So you make 115,000. You get no OAS. The .15 recovery is on top of income tax.

  79. Gurchran Singh

    I am currently 63 and am unable to work due to a severe knee problem. I was told that I am too young for a surgery. At 65 my OAS will be 320.00 living 22 years in Canada. I receive 1150 from other work pension monthly and my CPP is 362.00. Will I receive a supplementary if my wife is still working and makes a monthly income of $60000. My wife will be 61 years and intend to continue working until 65.

  80. Gurchran Singh

    Please correct my comment above, the income of the wife should be read as 60000 per annum instead of monthly.

    • Doug


      Even at $60,000 per annum, your wife’s income exceeds the maximum allowed for you to receive GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement).

  81. Lydia

    My mom turns 65 in Dec of 2016. Is OAS clawback and GIS based on the income of 2016 or 2015? They have a rental property and want to sell it. If they sell it before she turns 65 which would be 2015, then the capital gains would be in 2015 so would that affect her OAS or GIS? For example, the capital gain is 200k. I’ve read that it’s based on the year prior to 65 so would that mean 2015’s income? Thanks!

    • Linda

      My husband retired last year in Feb 2015. Did not work last year at all. He applied for CPP and OAS 6 months prior like they tell you. He received CPP, but no OAS “BECASUE” they use previous year or 2 of your income. So last year for 2015 they used 2013, this year they will use 2014, no OAS.

  82. Dave

    Go to the following link. It explains your question in more detail.

  83. Des

    Reply to John Newton’s query on reporting property outside Canada. Basically it is one means of preventing money laundering. IAW CPA Canada website “Canada’s foreign property disclosure rules aim to prevent tax evasion by ensuring taxpayers report to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) all their foreign investment property with a cost over $100,000, either individually or collectively. But critics of the new version of CRA’s Form T1135, Foreign Income Verification Statement, say the form is unlikely to help CRA actually detect non-compliance and could impose an unneeded burden on taxpayers who may be required to file it.”
    You may want to also view the video from CTV Canada today (30 Oct) on dual US/Canadian citzens who are renouncing their US citizenship due to US IRS trying to tax their “property” in Canada.

  84. Ken

    Jim, My wife is retiring in 2015 at age 58 with a yearly pension income of less then $10,000 . My question is can she apply to receive a portion of her OAS early?

    • Jim Yih

      No, you cannot apply for OAS early

  85. Ken

    Thanks Jim for your reply. I’m a bit confused because when I retired when I was 55 in 2008, I had the option to take Integration with OAS to increase my pension now and have a reduced OAS when I turn 65.

  86. Dave

    What Pension plan do you have?

  87. Ken

    The Pulp and Paper industry pension Plan. The OAS integration gave me an extra $200 per month till 65

  88. Dave

    I’m not familiar with that plan. But one plan I am knowledgeable about provides an option to take a temporary annuity which approximates the OAS for those under age 65. But the temporary annuity stops at age 65 when the OAS starts. However they are not integrated and I have never heard of any plan with OAS integration.

    Are you sure that you don’t have this confused with the Canada Pension Plan Bridge benefit Pension which is integrated with many pension plans. (If it is integrated its not an option but mandatory for those under 65 and also stops at age 65 – the normal age for starting CPP.

  89. Ken

    It definitely states that it is integrated with my OAS and that I will receive a reduced OAS at 65

  90. Dave

    I just found this on the Pulp and Paper pension Plan website, so you are correct on what you are saying but I think it is very poor wording for them to suggest they are “integrated”. They are just giving a little more up front – temporary annuity to 65.

    Excerpt from the Pulp and Paper Pension website.

    Integration with Old Age Security Option

    “You may choose to have your pension integrated with your Old Age Security benefit if your retirement date is before age 65. Under this option, you receive a higher monthly benefit from the Plan until age 65, when your Old Age Security benefit normally starts. Your monthly benefit from the Plan then reduces to a lower amount for your lifetime.

    Please note the amount of your Old Age Security benefit depends on the provisions of the Old Age Security Act. Depending on your net income level, part or all of your Old Age Security benefit may be subject to claw back.”

  91. Dave


    Your temporary annuity from P&P will not effect the amount of OAS you’ll get at age 65.

    How many years since age 18 have you been in Canada? (If you have 40 years at age 65 you will get maximum OAS.

  92. Ken

    It says on my paper work that the OAS will be reduced at 65. The funny thing is I do get the extra few hundred per month but no where does it show up on my T-Slips as being OAS so I haven’t been clawed back because it doesn’t appear. Maybe its better to take it early? I will have more then 40 years in Canada

  93. Dave

    No one can get any OAS before age 65.

    As I said what P&P is giving you is simply a annuity to smooth your pension. It is not connected to your OAS entitlement. There would not be anything separate on your T – form as it is all from P&P in its entirety. Just one T slip.

    As you will have more than 40 years in Canada at 65 you will get the maximum OAS at age 65 – (for 2014 the max is $563 per month.)

    The only way you would get anything less is if you have income of more than $71500 per year.

    • Ken

      Thanks Dave for all the info, I guess I will find out in 3 years when I’m 65. But I’m not optimistic as it does say my OAS will be reduced. Thanks

      • Doug

        Ken – Just to add my support to what Dave is telling you, your pension may well include a “bridge” benefit to age 65 to mimic integration with the OAS, but there is nothing in the OAS legislation that would allow a real integration.

        You will be eligible for OAS (and be subject to the “clawback” if applicable) at age 65, or you can defer later than age 65 for an increase of 0.6% per month.

  94. Iuliana

    I heard that there is a treety between romania and canada and that the years worked in romania would be considdered in canada towards your pension here i wanted to know if that is true.

  95. Doru Roman

    Yes, the treaty was signed. There are at least 2 big benefits:
    – if you have less than 10 years in Canada they will give you the minimum OAS, which is a quarter of the maximum
    – you apply for Romanian pension in Canada, through the consulate and you’ll get it in CAD. The Romanian pension is deducted from the GIS

    • Doug


      Please read my response above and the link to my article about international social security agreements. You’re wrong when you say that the agreement will allow someone with less than 10 years in Canada to receive a quarter of the maximum OAS.

      For example, if someone has only 6 years of residence in Canada, the agreement will allow them to use 4 years of residence in Romania in order to qualify for OAS, but the amount of their OAS would be 6/40ths of the maximum, based only on their Canadian residence.

  96. Doru

    Doug, you are absolutely right. My mistake, sorry

    • oksana

      I am wondering if I will have Municipal pension plan from my employer, will i be elligiable for GIS portion. thanks

      • Doug


        It’s impossible to answer your question without knowing your marital status and your combined family income. There’s certainly nothing specific about receiving a Municipal pension that would preclude you from being eligible for GIS.

  97. Linda hamby

    I have a situation where I become 69 in September this year. I am currently receiving the GIS old age and Alberta senior benefit as my total income last year was $20,800
    My problem is what to do about my $60,000 RSP …..yes I realize now I should have cashed it all in before age 65. I was not aware of this until now. I was it a good idea to cash the whole RSP at once and lose my GIS and Alberta senior benefit for one year. will I also lose my oLd age pension or part of it. Should I maybe cash in $30k for the next three years? Or should I just turn it into a riff at 71 and take minimum withdrawals? Would really welcome some good advice on what to do in this case.

    • Doug


      Certainly from a GIS perspective, you’d be much better off withdrawing your RRSP in one year. That would probably put you into the beginning level of the OAS clawback though, plus you’d be in a higher tax bracket federally at least.

      I would probably go along with your thought of withdrawing $30,000 for the next two years (or if you can stretch $60,000 into three years of $30,000 you don’t need anyone else’s financial advice). Any of that $30,000 that you don’t need for living expenses, could be put into TFSAs if you have the room.

      Now I’ll step aside and wait to hear thoughts from any real financial planners.

      • Linda

        Thanks for your input Doug. Will think long and hard about all this.

  98. Doru

    If my CPP and OAS are together around $600 would the GIS fill in the gap up to about 1100, please?

    • Doug


      The amount of GIS that you’re entitled to depends on your marital status and the amount of income you have, excluding the OAS. It can further depend on whether you’re receiving a full or partial OAS.

  99. Doru

    I will only have 22 years of Canada, so my OAS is not full amount

    • Doug


      I’d still need to know your marital status and your income from all sources to be able to calculate your GIS entitlement. If you’re married or common-law, I’d also need to know your spouse’s age, Canadian residence history and their income from all sources.

  100. Doru

    Married, wife 54, we’ve been 20 years in Canada. The exact income it is hard to predict but considering she’ll have the same amount from all sources like me, around $600/month, what would the GIS be?

    • Doug Runchey


      If you’re assuming $600/month and you will each have about 20-22 years of residence in Canada at age 65, I’m assuming that means OAS of $300/month and $300/month from CPP or some other taxable source.

      If so, once you’re both over age 65, you would each be entitled to GIS of approx. $577/month, making your total income approx. $1,177 each ($300 OAS + $577 GIS + $300 CPP or other source).

  101. Linda

    Interesting thing happened. My husband turned 65 in February 2015, and was accepted for CPP, but rejected for OAS because of his 2013 income. We are now in 2015. How can this be fair if they go back 2 years…..this means that even next year he will not get OAS. A 2 year waiting period for income over 120,000???

    • Doug Runchey


      Read this article that I just wrote on the OAS clawback:

      The good news is that starting July 2015 his clawback will be based on his 2014 income. The better news is that if his 2015 is even lower than either his 2013 or 2014 income, he may be able to get CRA to use his 2015 income to determine his clawback effective immediately.

  102. Dave

    Obviously they don’t yet know his 2014 income.

    If he’s going to be in clawback territory why apply? His OAS will increase each year to 136% at age 70, maybe then he can juggle his income below the clawback amount and have a greater benefit.

    • Doug Runchey


      That’s a very good point! If his 2015 income is still above the clawback threhhold, it’s not too late for him to withdraw his OAS application and then reapply at some time in the future.

      • Linda

        We didn’t know that! He thought they used 2015 income. He will be finished working in 4 weeks, so his income for 2015 will be lower. He was only wanting to work until all this was up and running. He will only work up until the end of April.

  103. Dave


    Since his 2014 will be over the limit you should, as Doug suggests, tell your husband to withdraw his OAS application.

    If your husband’s income for 2015 will be below about 66000 then he should re apply and have it start in January 2016. Each month of delay will increase the amount of OAS by approx. .6 % (OAS starts getting clawed back at about 71500 for 2015)

    If you need more info on how the clawback works read through the various articles on this website and post any further questions you have.

    If your husband has RRSP’s that will eventually be included in his annual income…. so that needs to be considered as well.

    • Linda

      I really think he needs to do that! He might as well wait until Jan 2016.

      • Doug Runchey


        I hate to sound like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, and I’m not saying that your husband shouldn’t withdraw his OAS and reapply effective January 2016, BUT I do want to reinforce that it’s his 2015 income that is truly important in this decision, NOT his 2014 income.

        As mentioned in my article, although his 2013 will “normally” be used to determine his clawback for July 2014 to June 2015 and his 2014 income will “normally” be used to determine his clawback for July 2015 to June 2016, that really is meaningless.

        That’s because the really important calculation is the “Social benefits (OAS) repayment tax”, which will use his 2015 income. Even if he has his OAS fully clawed back for the period of Mar 2015 to Dec 2015 based on his 2013 and 2014 incomes, if his 2015 income is less than the minimum clawback threshold he will have it all refunded to him when he completes his 2015 income tax return.

        Alternately, he can complete and submit form T1213(OAS) to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)now, and request that the clawback be based on his 2015 income.

        • Linda

          I will get this form. His 2013, and 2014 both high income levels. 2015 not

          • Linda

            Hi Jim, Question when the form from CRA T1213 when they ask for income, and then deducations….would this mean he can still deduction the RRSP contribution and that would equal estimated current year income? Thanks

          • Doug Runchey


            Yes, that is the way that it should work.

  104. Linda

    Perfect! Thanks for the tip

  105. Jb

    I earned over 120k in 2013 and 120k in 2014 but I fully retired January 2015 and will now earn a net income of 74k for the year 2015 and going forward. I have been told I do not qualify for OAS. They phrased this as ‘your request to change your recovery tax has not been approved’. Is this correct that I will not qualify for 2015? Is there a one year delay?
    Also I understand that there is no retroactive payments with OAS. If it takes 2 or 3 months to decide on a matter than that is when payment starts.
    Thanks. – great article

    • Doug Runchey


      You haven’t indicated how old you are or if/when you have applied for OAS. OAS can be retroactive up to one year prior to application, and how long it takes Service Canada to process your application is irrelevant.

      I can’t explain why Canada Revenue Agency would have denied your request to use your 2015 income for the clawback, but that is also somewhat irrelevant if you read this article:

  106. Kim W.

    My husband is 69 and collecting a pension and I am 55 and still working. We just got married last year. Will my income affect his pension at all. Thanks, Kim

    • Doug Runchey


      It won’t affect his CPP or his OAS at all, but it will affect his GIS if he’s receiving that.

  107. Linda

    Doug, same thing happened to us. Husband age 65 in Feb was denyed OAS based on 2013 income. We waited and re-applied wanting to use 2015 income and again denyed.

    • Doug Runchey


      If your husband applied for his OAS, it should have been approved but if his 2013 income was too high it would have resulted in a 100% clawback. He should receive a T4(OAS) slip for 2015 showing that he received 10 months of OAS benefits, but it was all withheld for taxes. When he files his 2015 tax return, he should receive a full refund of those taxes if his net income for 2015 is less than approx. $72,809.

      • Linda

        He was not approved again.

  108. Nancy

    Why would CPP “clawback” my survivor benenfit? I thought it was only OAP they could take. I am 62 and have been getting it for years, even when I was working and making more than I do now? What gives?

    • Doug Runchey

      Nancy – There is no “clawback” of CPP survivor’s pension, but there is a complex calculation of a “combined benefit” if you’re now also receiving your CPP retirement pension. Read this article and see if it answers your question:

  109. James Bailey

    why has my canadian pension checqe been reduced by almost $200.00 over the last 6 months

    • Doug Runchey

      James – The only reason that I can think of to explain why your CPP might decrease by that amount is if you were receiving CPP disability and you turned age 65. If so, it has converted to a retirement pension which is always less. If that’s not the explanation, you’ll have to provide more details or call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

  110. Don

    My wife starts getting her OAS this month.Our combined income for 2015 is below the amount allowed for “a person who gets the full OAS and spouse is between 60-64.” I will turn 65 in Aug. 2016.
    My queston is when can my wife apply for the GIS and can I claim the allowance,until I am 65.

    • Doug Runchey

      Don – Your wife’s eligibility for GIS and your eligibility to the Allowance from now until June 2016 would normally be based on your combined income for 2014. Your combined 2015 income doesn’t normally become relevant until July 2016. An exception to this is if either or both of you have experienced a loss or reduction of income due to retirement or a loss of pension or similar recurring income, whereby your 2015 income is lower than your 2014 income. In that case, you could use your estimated 2015 income instead. If this is your situation, you should contact Service Canada immediately.

  111. Gee Cai

    Hi Jim,

    could I ask that you add a date to your blog posts? or at least to new(er) posts as you go forward?

    It makes it easier to determine a post’s applicability.


  112. Margarita

    If my earnings are above the treshold of $16,700 and my husband’s earnings are below $16,700, does my earnings affect my husband’s GIS?

    • Doug Runchey


      Your husband’s GIS will be affected by any income that either of you have.

  113. Margarita

    Thank you, Doug. My income was very low last year, and my husband, who just turned 65, (very little income) received his benefit,for the first time, of about $1300 this month. He was really happy, but I have a sinking feeling that when my tax is filed in April of next year, he will have his GIS clawed back. His Old Age Pension is small. It is the GIS that has made up the bulk of it. I sold a property this year, and have capital gains to add to my tax for year 2015.

    I have another question, does the treshold of $16,500 for GIS mean that I can have income of just below $16,500 and my husband also can have income of just below $16,500, to make us both eligible for the full GIS? I had not been advised to withdraw my RRSP before, (I turn 65 next year) and now it looks like I will have to withdraw my RRSP in small doses every year from next year onwards, such that my total income does not exceed $16,500 (so that will be CPP plus Old Age Pension plus GIS plus whatever is left for RRSP withdrawal…altogether not to exceed $16,500 – am I correct?)

    My second question: I had intended to invest in a exempt market fund paying 12% pa, with monthly distributions, using up my TFSA entitlement of $41,000/= this year. This will pay me $410 every month to help me with my monthly expenses, and technically, is tax free. Howevver, now that I have read your blog, I am not sure whether this distribution (I think its probably called interest) of $410.00 per month, even though it is tax free, will affect my Old Age Pension and GIS or not. Is it counted as income still, in the $16,500 max treshold?

    Please advise. ‘Much appreciated, as there does not seem to be anyone who can give me any answers. Thank you much!

  114. Margarita

    Hi Doug, to simplify my previously long question, do monies earned as interest from investments in a TFSA count towards “earnings” for computation of GIS entitlement? And is the treshold of $16,500 a combined treshold for both husband and wife, or is it $16,500 each? Do Old Age Pension and CPP count as earnings within that $16,500?

    • Doug Runchey


      Interest from a TFSA isn’t taxable, so it won’t affect your or your husband’s GIS. I don’t know where you’ve come up with the amount of $16,500 as a threshold for GIS, but it’s always combined income of a couple that determines GIS entitlement.

      OAS doesn’t count as income for GIS purposes, but CPP does count.

  115. Joe

    My understanding is that you can re-claim ‘the over estimated clawback’ when filing your next income tax where the OAS clawback has exceeded what OAS previously over estimated your net to be on line ?? of the tax form.

    When I called the OAS office last year they advised that this shortfall could be reclaimed when filing your income tax.

  116. Harvey Wolfson

    This is an excellent article; it is frustrating that the issue of the OAS clawback was not raised at either of the 2 Public Service Pension Plan seminars that I attended. The situation in which I now find myself is this: I retired on Feb. 1, 2016, and my 2014 income is being used to calculate the clawback. Accordingly, I receive absolutely 0 OAS. And I imagine that in a year from now, CRA will be using my 2015 income, which will again result in no OAS. My 2016 income, however, will comprise only pension income, so will be below the threshold. But it seems that it won’t be until 2018 that I will actually receive my OAS. Do you have any comments or advice for me? Thanks very much.

  117. Dave

    Doug – can he phone and cancel his application. If so Harvey cancel and delay your OAS for 2 years….. you will then be out of clawback territory and your OAS will be 14.4% more.

    • Doug Runchey


      A request to cancel OAS must be made in writing and must be made within 6 months of receiving the first payment.

  118. Harvey Wolfson

    Thanks for your advice.

  119. Jim Stewart


    • Doug Runchey

      OAS is based strictly on your Canadian residence and isn’t impacted by your UK OAP.

  120. C. McGregor

    I’m 67 in July and retiring July 1st 2016. I have deferred OAP and was expecting to apply for it for it July 2016. My net income in 2015 was $110K (& similar for 2014,2013 etc.) including CPP that I am collecting so close/at to the max threshold for the past few years.

    For 2016 it will be approximately $45K salary (6 months Jan-July) plus a small pension $8100 July-Dec, also $13K in CPP so around $66K net in total and I expected to also collect full OAP.

    I have RRSPs etc. and intended to draw only enough to keep me in the lower tax brackets that I would start taking in 2017 when I had no employment income anymore.

    So are you saying here that the Government is not going to pay me OAP for 2 years until 2018 (because they will be basing my income on what I made in the 2 prior years (2014 & 2015 income) when I was working full time and deferred payment to keep my income lower and to increase the benefit when I collected?

    • C. McGregor

      Might have sent this too soon!! Will read the article noted above to see if it applies to me. Thanks.

  121. Allan

    Hi, please advise me on following. I arrived in Canada in December 1986, will be 65 year in November 2017. When will I start receiving OAS and how many years of my Canadian residence will be counted (30 or 31)? Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      Very good question, but the answer depends on how you complete your OAS application. If you ask for your OAS to start “as soon as I qualify”, your first payment would be effective December 2017 (month following age 65) and you would receive 30/40ths = $427.89. If you want to receive 31/40ths (= $442.15), you would have to have ask for your OAS to start “as of January 2018” (month following completion of 31 years of residence in Canada).

  122. Allan

    Thanks a lot. It helps. Please tell me the following. My wife’s current estimated CPP is $750 (if she is 65). She will be 65 in 3 years and won’t contribute to CPP during this period. How much will she lose from the estimated amount of $750 (if any). Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey

      It’s impossible to say without seeing her lifetime record of earnings and knowing whether she qualifies at all for the child-rearing dropout provision. It might not decrease at all, or it might decrease by as much as approx. $100. If you want me to do a calculation for her (for a fee of $30), email me at [email protected]

  123. Allan

    Thank you, Doug. I’ll ask for your assistance when she stops working.

  124. Allan

    Doug, is CPP disability considered as income in order to get OAS at 65?

    • Doug Runchey


      Yes, CPP disability would be considered as income for OAS clawback purposes, but your CPP disability will convert to a retirement pension (at a lower amount) when you turn age 65.

  125. Dave

    Allan… thought I would add to Doug’s post.

    CPP does not determine eligibility for OAS (Old Age Security). That is determined based solely on your number of years in Canada after age 18. If you have 40 years then you’ll get the max OAS. If less than 40 you’ll get proportionally less OAS.

    When I read your question I wondered if you confused OAS with the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), which is determined based on income and yes CPP is included in the calculation. OAS however is excluded from it.

    Both CPP and OAS are included in the amount of income used to determine the $73000 amount at which OAS starts to get clawed back and is fully clawed back at the $119000 level.

    Hope this helps.

  126. Allan

    Doug, thanks. You gave me an answer I was looking for. Dave, thank you too. I meant OAS…

  127. Allan

    Hi, if someone moves to live outside Canada after 65 and lived in Canada for 40 years, will he receive full OAS in? Thank you.

    • Doug Runchey


      Yes, as long as his 40 years of Canadian residence was after he turned age 18.

  128. JOHN


  129. Dave

    Your statement suggests you are still in Greece, is that correct ? If you have returned to Canada, at what age did you do that and do you intend to stay in Canada?

  130. Michael

    I have a question for you, If I’m 65 and up and decides to live in another country and come back to Canada before the end of 6 months to receive my pension benefits. However do I have to be here or live in Canada for 6 months or can I come back for a month or so and then leave?

    • Doug Runchey

      Michael – There isn’t a black-and-white answer to your question. If you have at least 20 years of residence in Canada (after age 18), you can leave Canada permanently and still receive your OAS. If not, you are only eligible for OAS if you continue to reside in Canada, which is defined as “making your home in Canada and ordinarily living in Canada”. If you meet this definition, you are allowed temporary absences of up to 6 months. There is no specific timeframe for how long you have to remain in Canada between such absences, but if these returns to Canada are too short it might be determined that you are no longer “ordinarily living in Canada”.

  131. Marguerite

    Is the maximum income figure (e.g. 72809) gross or net income ?

    • Doug Runchey

      Marguerite – It refers to you “net income before adjustments” (line 234 on your Income Tax return).

  132. RAY K.


    Is my OAS/GIS + CPP will spilted in case of separation. Please advise.


    Ray K

    • Doug Runchey

      Ray – Your OAS won’t change. Your GIS will change to single status, which could be an increase or a decrease. Your CPP would be subject to a “credit split”, which again could mean an increase or a decrease.

  133. Rusty

    “8. Watch for capital dispositions after the age of 65. For example, people with rental properties, cottages, or significant unrealized capital gains from investments may be better off triggering those gains before the age of 65. Triggering them after 65 may result in losing OAS from clawback.”

    “…There will also be a group of people that trigger significant capital gains from the sale of second property or investments but the good news is they will only lose part or all of there OAS in the one year that the capital gains is realized and reported on the tax return…”

    Right now, I own a small house that I’m renting out,let’s say $1000/month. So my rental income is $12k/year. Also, I’m well under the maximum amount of all combined yearly income -before clawback.

    A couple questions:
    1./ If I continue to Rent it after 65, will I get any clawback of my OAS?, is that what you mean by “capital gains”, and triggering”?.

    2./ If the only income I have, at retirement, 65, is my above Rental Income, which isn’t much, will that effect me in any way, as far as OAS, CPP, and “clawback” is concerned ?

  134. RAY I K

    Doug Hi,

    Is the OAS/GIS will be lost in case someone goes to jail for any reasons (6 months jail)..????



    • Doug Runchey

      Ray – There is a provision in the OAS Act which provides that OAS/GIS payments may be withheld if an individual is incarcerated for a period that exceeds 90 days.

  135. Dave D.

    Good reading and your article provides clear and concise info on important OAS topic. Would like to ask brief question…

    Background: I will be turning 65 in Nov 2017 and expect that my 1st OAS pmt will begin Dec 2017.
    My income in 2015 was above $125,000 and expect income in 2016 to be below $72,000.

    Question: Based on the above scenario and to ensure that I will receive the maximum OAS payment beginning in Dec 2017 and avoid a “clawback”, are my OAS payments based on my income from 2015 or 2016 ?
    Many Thanks,

  136. RAY

    HI Doug

    Please can you advise me if my wife is entitled for Canadian Pension…??? My spouse just turn 61 years birthday and I am receiving my OAS and GIS and How much she will receive as Pension.

    Best regards


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – I need some more information:
      – how long has she lived in Canada?
      – how much is your OAS and GIS?
      – what other income do you each have?

  137. Ray

    Hi Doug,

    She lived in Canada 20 years next August 2017. My OAS – GIS together is 1399.62 $ my annual income come from my Retirement. My annual income retirement is 1054.16 $

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – Something is a little wonky with those numbers, because if your total annual combined income is $1,054.16 (not including OAS/GIS) your OAS and GIS should total $1,442.62 not $1,399.62. Ignoring that discrepancy and based on the income that would apply to your OAS/GIS of $1,399.62, your wife could be eligible to an “Allowance” of $604.70 monthly. That would cause a decrease in your combined OAS/GIS, down to $1,063.70 monthly.

  138. Dan Nasato

    Thanks JIM. This is very timely for me. Is there any calculator to help with this? I am looking to start to draw down my RSP with an eye to keep my OAS at the max

  139. Kathryn

    Hi Doug,

    2 questions:

    1 – If I receive GIS in one year and start working part time in the same year – earning more than the GIS benefit – can more than 50% be recovered from another source? For Example – IF I qualify for $300/month in GIS and I receive that from July to the following June ($3600 total). However, I have part time income during that period for $10,000. How will the $5k be recovered?

    2 – I thought there was a $3500. exemption when working and collecting GIS – but I can’t figure out how that fits in to the picture. HELP

    PS I’m 70 and grateful that I’m still healthy enough to work – but at some point I will want to lessen the hours that I work. But I certainly can’t afford to stop altogether and wait for the following July for GIS assistance to kick in.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Kathryn – Your $10,000 employment earnings for 2017 won’t affect your GIS until the period of July 2018 thru June 2019, at which time it will reduce your GIS by approx. 50%. But you’re right that you get to deduct $3,500 from that employment earnings so it counts as only $6,500 income and 50% of that would be $3,250 per year or approx. $270 per month.

  140. L Hardy

    Assume at the age of 64 a person withdraws money from an RRSP putting themselves over the minimum threshold for a clawback when they receive their OAS at 65. In the year they turn 65 their income is below the clawback threshold. Will they receive a refund of their OAS from the government at the end of the tax year after they turn 65?

  141. Regina Remisch

    Hello Jim – I just retired in December (2016) and am delighted to have found all your articles. This is a very complicated area and your articles have been very informative — this one included.

    Do you take individual clients?

    Thanks for all the information.

  142. Claude Mayrand


    I am writing this in June 2017; there are currently 248 posts. It is obvious that this blog is many years old.

    I wish I could triage the blogs by date submitted by the respondents and the publishers so that I could contribute and have my post read.

    I see some missing information as well as – I think – misleading information because of its terminology/semantics.

  143. Helen Kipling

    Disposing of Capital: I would like to ask about options to minimize income tax. I’ll turn 65 in July 2017. I have a rental condo that I think I should sell before I turn 71 at which time I will have to take mandatory RIF payments. I expect to have a capital gain of about $200,000 from the condo sale. My RSP is worth $470K today.

    How can I determine the best and most tax efficient strategy?

    In an earlier post on this blog, I read the following: ” I would have suggested that since the father did not receive any proceeds from the disposition to his son, he could take back a Capital Gains Reserve. In that way, he would be required to take into income 20% of the gain in the year of disposition plus 20% in each of the next 4 years ( total of 5 years to report the gain.) That may minimize or eliminate the clawback. Also, I would ask if the gain should be reported jointly by father and mother.”

    Is using a CAPITAL GAINS RESERVE an option for me? Where can I get more information about this?

    Also, can someone recommend a retirement tax expert I can contact in Toronto?

  144. Doug

    Jim, I was wondering what happens when you sell a large quantity of investments in one year (as my Mother did)
    which triggers a large capital gains tax as well as OAS
    claw back then in subsequent years your income drops right
    off. Does the government restore the claw back?

  145. Abutalib Dandia

    Very informative article. Is it possible to get similar type of information for Guarantee Income Supplement(GIC) and Allowance. Who is eligible, minimum income to qualify, what income level GIC start to reduce?

  146. Abutalib Dandia

    Thanks Doug for your response.

    Ref: Guarantee income supplement (GIC)

    If income is higher than maximum, how GIC amount is reduced? Is it $1 for $1. For example if a widowed income is $20,000 not including Old age and GIC. How much she will get GIC amount?
    What about Allowance. Whether she will be eligible for an allowance? for how much

    • Doug Runchey

      If your income exceeds the maximum, GIS will already have been reduced to zero. For incomes between zero and the maximum, GIS is generally reduced by about 50 cents on the dollar. If a widowed pensioner had income of $20,000, that would exceed the maximum and GIS would be zero. The Allowance is payable only between age 60 and age 65, depending on income.

  147. Abutalib Dandia

    Hi: Doug
    If some one lives outside of Canada, will he/she get OAS. How Service Canada will determine if he or she meet the income criteria to be eligible for OAS? if the income tax return is not filed in Canada?

    • Doug Runchey

      OAS is payable if someone lives outside of Canada, only if they have resided in Canada for at least 20 years after age 18. You have to declare your “world income” to see if you exceed the clawback thresholds.

  148. Suzanne Staunton

    My husband lost his OAS becahe made more money .this year is not working when will he get his AOS back.
    Plus I read one time that you loose your OAS if you move outside of Canada is that true?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Suzanne – Read this article to better understand how a change in your husband’s income will affect his OAS clawback:
      As for moving away from Canada, his OAS eligibility will stop after 6 months unless he has resided in Canada for at least 20 years after age 18, in which case his OAS eligibility is not affected if he leaves Canada.

  149. Byron

    I am eligible for OAS in 1 year.My wife is still working and will for some time.Does her income affect my eligibility for OAS? I have a Public service pension of approx 40k/yr and my wife’s annual income is approx 120K/yr.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Byron – No, your wife’s income is not a factor for the OAS clawback.

  150. anum ali

    what government benefits are not subject to clawback

    Which one is it?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Anum – “Clawback” is a specific term that only applies to OAS. OAS and CPP are both taxable, but that is not the same as “the clawback’. GIS and the Allowance aren’t taxable or subject to “the clawback”, but they are reduced by approx. 50 cents for every dollar of taxable income that you have.

  151. marginmaster

    The $74,788.00 threshold is that for gross income or net income?

    • Doug Runchey

      It’s your Net Income as calculated for income tax purposes.

  152. Ray

    Hi Doug.

    I am retired and have my oas and gis and my CPP. In case that I will get back to work.. Is my oas and gis will be suspended…? Please advise



    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – Your OAS will not be affected if you get back to work, unless your income exceeds the OAS clawback threshold shown above (approx. $74,000). Your GIS will likely be reduced significantly or eliminated, but there will normally be a significant delay in this happening (unless your GIS is currently based on estimated current income). For instance, your current GIS amount is normally based on your 2016 income and for the period of July 2018 thru June 2019 it will normally be based on your 2017 income. That means that if you started working now in 2018, it wouldn’t normally affect your GIS amount until July 2019.

  153. Annette

    If one delays the OAS for a year, the result will be 7.2% increase in OAS. Does the minimum threshold also go up by 7.2%?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Annette – No, the minimum threshold stays exactly where it is. The maximum threshold goes up though, because you have more OAS to clawback before it’s all gone.

  154. Liz

    Good morning. Thank you for this information. We are nowhere near is threshold but we’re still stung with a taxbill of 2800. Between us our income was about 60k Husbands was 37k and mine 21k. He has a partial teachers pension, OAS and CPP. I have a partial teachers pension and a part time business earning about 10K. We have a RIFF 60k laying out 2k a year. We did pension split which gave 5k to my husband. He had paid 880 tax at source and I 1400. We were not expecting this bill. Last year we’d paid 3k tax but expected it as we cashed in investments to pay off an investment loan. Do you have any advice on how we can reduce this bill.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Liz – Yes, your husband can ask Service Canada to begin a monthly tax withhold from his CPP and/or OAS, using either a percentage or a set dollar amount.

      • Liz

        Thank you – so this amount cannot be reduced in any way? it seems like a lot (deducted monthly or annually) for a fairly low income.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Liz – I suspect that most of the tax owing would be due to your self-employed business income of 10K. That would be taxed at your marginal rate.

  155. Liz

    Thank you. My apologies for the tardy response – for some reason your responses are not coming to my email even though I signed up.

  156. Ray I K

    Hi Doug

    I have a question concerning The OAS/GIS. Suppose a retired who receive a normal OAS / Gis and he declare Bankruptcy, is he still receiving his OAS/GIS….???. Please advise

    Best regards


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ray – Bankruptcy would not affect someone’s entitlement to OAS/GIS.

  157. Mel Knight

    I received a $143,160.43 retroactive WCB benefit in 2017 which was combined with my usual WCB disability income the total amount of income indicated on the 2017 T5007 was $150,544.00.

    Therefore my tax consultant informed my that the total amount of OAS and GIS I received in 2017,$12,404.00 would be clawed back.

    The retroactive WCB award dates back to 1992 it is not earnings that should be associated to a total income amount that deals with 2017 and the Board has provided a breakdown of the funds paid particular to the years the payments are related to

    I look forward to you comments

    Mel Knight

  158. Mark

    If a home that was left to you is sold. Very little of your income comes from the CPP. What all happens? Say you are getting 320000. Is this a one year deal…or several years. Is there a way out of this bill…like buying another property etc. Thanks.

  159. lorene benoit

    You have some excellent articles re the OAS clawback, but I cannot find anything about the clawback being basically returned as a tax credit.

    Neither CPP nor our MPN accountant could really explain this to us, but it seemed we got it all back as tax credit.
    Accountant said filing for the exception (as it was a one time high income year) wasn’t worth it. I think he gave us terrible advice, and we would have been better to defer OAS one year OR file for the exception.
    Do you have any reference to this?

  160. Charlotte Vaughan

    Maybe this is a dumb question but I need clarification.
    I turn 65 this fall. I received a workplace pension & cpp & right now I work p/t. My husband still works fulltime.

    Is both of our incomes used for calculation of my oas should I start receiving it shortly after my birthday, or is it just my actual income?

    Thanks so much

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Charlotte – It’s just your income that affects the calculation of any OAS clawback for you.

  161. Charlotte Vaughan

    That’s what I needed to know. Thank you so much.

  162. Amanda

    Please bare with me, I think I have this correct. Please confirm if I am missing something. thanks 🙂

    When husband turns 65 he can collect OAS and GIS, looks like about $1499/month. From the calculators I am using, if we have combined income of about over $4000/year, they start clawing back his GIS ?

    My income at his age 65 (my age 55) can be $4000/year investment income and I can take out of my TFSA monthly and they won’t clawback his GIS ?

    At my age 60-64 looks like we can collect $1142/month each if I take the Allowance because he is collecting OAS/GIC and still top up using my TFSA and they still won’t claw back as long as our income is under $4000/year.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Amanda – You’re essentially correct while you’re under age 60, but remember that GIS entitlement for any payment year (July thru June) is generally based on income from the previous calendar year. For example, GIS effective July 2019 is based on 2018 income. Once you’re over age 60 and become eligible for the Allowance,, you switch from rate table 3 to 4, and your Allowance gets reduced for any amount of taxable income, again with a one year delay.


    I understand the clawback is for an overpayment in the previous tax year but how do they calculate the OAS payment for the current tax year. If your income drops, do do they send a retroactive payment?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi James – The OAS clawback has nothing to do with recovery of an overpayment in the previous year. The clawback is withholding your estimated OAS repayment taxes for the current year, based on your actual income from the previous year (because they don’t know your current year income yet). If your income in the current year is less than it was in the previous year you will receive a refund when you complete your income tax return for the current year or you can submit form T1213(OAS) to request that the amount of your clawback be reduced. Read this article for a complete understanding of how this works:

  164. Toni

    Hi there,

    I have a question im hoping the group here can help me with.

    I have a friend who is single and is turning 65 in May 2021. She is looking to withdraw her RRSP in 2020 to do some home renos and get a more reliable car; in order to get comfortable for retirement.

    I understand that the OAS/GIS payment for the period of July 2021 to June 2022 is based on the 2020 estimate total income year. However, i also understand that its possible to change the estimated total income year (at that time 2021). Will Service Canada accept the change to the estimated total income year due to RRSP withdrawal for the year prior? The idea of course is to maximize her OAS/GIS.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Doug Runchey
      • Toni

        Doug, thank you very much for the prompt reply and the link to the article which I have reviewed carefully.

        I just want to clarify that a provision could be made (as per form T1213) in the case where “income” was high in the 64th year due to RRSP withdrawal. I put “income” in quotes as the following wording in ISP-3025A (Application for Guaranteed Income supplement) is confusing – relating to section F (which allows the provision to be made based on estimated income).

        “* Pension Income includes: Superannuation or pension payments; Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF’s); Life Income Funds; foreign pension; annuity payments; alimony; maintenance payments; Employment Insurance benefits; disability benefits from an insurance plan; Workers Compensation benefits (CSST in Quebec); government assistance programs; Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan benefits (excluding lump-sum death benefit).”

        There is no mention of RRSP above; which makes me think that a provision could not be made based on an RRSP withdrawal..

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Toni – I had understood that you were concerned about the OAS clawback, but I hadn’t understood that you were also hoping that your friend could qualify for GIS based on her estimated current-year income. Typically RRSP/RRIF income can be considered as cessation of pension income only if the RRSP/RRIF is fully depleted and then only if it was withdrawn in periodic payments (generally over a course of several years). It is not intended to apply to lump sum withdrawals of an RRSP.

          • Toni Brnada

            Thanks Doug.

            That helps and I now understand that a large RRSP withdrawal in her 64th year would not be reason for Service Canada to grant the provision.

            Yes, the idea would be to qualify for GIS based on her estimated current-year income (year she turns 65).

            She is also receiving disability benefits from an insurance plan over the last few years and these will cease in her 65th year. Based on this, I believe a provision could be made. Am i correct to assume this? If so, how would an RRSP withdrawal then in the 64th year impact the estimated current-year income if at all?

          • Doug Runchey

            In a situation like that, they use a blend of actual income from the 64th year (including the RRSP income) and some estimated income from the 65th year (estimated zero income from disability benefits in 65th year versus actual disability benefits in 64th year). So there’s no escaping the fact that a one-time large RRSP withdrawal in the 64th year will likely reduce or eliminate any GIS for the 65th year.

  165. rene

    can i lose my Old Age Security canada if I am more than 6 months outside canada ? Can be denied to get Old Age security if i live outside of Canada more than 6 months ? What I can do to receive it even I want to live outside of Canada more than 6 months a year ? Thanks very much for help

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Rene – How many years in total have you lived in Canada after you turned age 18? What other countries have you lived in, and for how long? Where are you truly residing right now?

  166. Henry

    Hi Rene,
    Question: I am 64 years old. I’ll be receiving the company pension (around $13K a year), as an official income. If I have a certain amount in RSP and TFSA, and reached 65, how do they impact your OAC and GIS? Are they considered income if you haven’t converted your RSP into RIF yet (to be mandatory at the age 70). Or only the funds you’ve taken from RSP are considered income? I can’t get the info in respect to this scenario.
    In addition: Are your CPP payments added to your income when OAC and GIS are calculated?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Henry – Only withdrawals from your RRSP will affect your GIS entitlement, and CPP will also affect it.

  167. Winci

    Thank you for the article! Couple questions:
    1. My dad will be retiring soon. Thinking of starting OAS in Oct 2025. If in the year of 2025, he still wishes to work for 4 months (for example) before the start of his OAS benefit, will that affect his GIS eligibility and trigger some OAS clawback?

    2. We own a principal home jointly (my dad and I). If we decided to sell AFTER he started his OAS and GIS, use it to buy two homes/condos, will that affect their OAS and GIS?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Winci – In response to your questions:
      1. If your dad works for 4 months in 2025 and then retires, he will be able to have his GIS based on his estimated income after retirement. Depending on how much he earns in those 4 months, it may or may not trigger the OAS clawback.
      2. Selling a principal residence will not affect either his OAS or GIS.

      • Winci

        Thank you for your reply!
        Will we need to submit a form to ask them to use his estimated income after retirement for GIS or will it be retro payment during tax return?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Winci – You will have to notify Service Canada as soon as he retires, and they will send him an estimated income form.

  168. Yolanda McGaughey

    How can I opt out from receiving OAS ? It’s inflating my total income, then it’s clawed back…..give and take back . Already being hammered with inflated dividend tax slips between actual dividend and taxable dividend income. Helps to artificially inflate Goss income.Yes, we are given tax credits but this antiquated system. Definitely spoils retirement years …..not golden years…

    Thank you,


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Yolande – Yes, you can contact Service Camada and aske that your OAS payments be suspended until you decide otherwise.

  169. Andrew H

    Hi there, is it the case that if my wife and I have an investment property (we only earn 20,000 per year income from it and have no other income) we would no longer be eligible to receive GIS (guaranteed income supplement) payments?

    In other words just the fact that a person would have an additional home, does it disqualify the person from continuing to receive GIS?

    Thank you for your advice in advance,

    Thank you

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