Retirement » Government Benefits

The differences between CPP and OAS

The differences between CPP and OAS

Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) are hot topics because of all the attention on pension reform

From the questions I get, I realize many people are confused about the different government benefits so this article attempts to help people understand the differences between CPP and OAS.

CPP is not really a government benefit

One of the big differences between CPP and OAS is that the government does not fund CPP.  CPP is really a defined benefit pension plan, which is not part of government assets.  Canadians and their employers make contributions into CPP through their paycheques.

OAS on the other hand is a government benefit.  If you look at your paystubs, there is no OAS deduction.  Instead the income tax that Canadians pay go into a generally pot which goes to fund various programs, one of which is Old Age Security.

Will CPP and OAS run out of money?

Despite a common fear that CPP will run out, the CPP Investment board suggests that CPP is on solid ground because contributions into CPP have been steadily increasing and the plan continues to grow it’s reserves.  In fact new CPP changes came into effect in 2012 to provide greater flexibility for older workers to combine pension and work income if they wish; modestly expand pension coverage; and improve fairness in the Plan’s flexible retirement provisions.  All these changes are affordable under current funding levels.

Old Age Security is very different because there is no fund and there is no surplus.  OAS payments are paid by current taxpayers.  With all the baby boomers turning 65 over the next 20 years, the government is very concerned about the rising cost to fund OAS.  According to government reports, OAS is costing the government $36.5 billion dollars.  They predict that the cost to fund Old Age Security will triple to $108 billion by 2030.  Between CPP and OAS, OAS is more likely to be at risk of change.

Can CPP be clawed back?

One of the questions I commonly get is whether CPP has a clawback provision. There is no clawback of CPP.  Clawback only applies to Old Age Security.

OAS Clawback

OThe OAS clawback means that high-income earners (over the age of 65) are required to repay some or the entire OAS pension.  If your net individual income is above a set threshold, your OAS pension will be reduced. Here are the starting thresholds:

  • $70,954 for 2013
  • $69,562 for 2012
  • $67,668 for 2011
  • $66,733 for 2010
  • $66,335 for 2009

As you can see, OAS is adjusted each year for inflation.

Age of eligibility

Canada Pension Plan is a benefit that defines ‘normal retirement’ as age 65.  You can take early CPP as early as age 60 but at a reduced rate.  You can also choose to collect CPP after 65 as late as age 70 at an enhanced amount.  There is some flexibility in when to draw CPP and there are mathematical breakeven points to consider.  Here’s a couple of article on on taking CPP early:

Old Age Security is a benefit available at age 65.  You cannot collect OAS any early and new rules now allow for the voluntary deferral of OAS to as late as age 70.

One of the speculations from the Harper government is the change of eligibility of OAS from 65 to 67.  There has been some confusion and many people have mistaken this change to apply to CPP.

This is not the first time in OAS history that the government has tried to make changes to OAS. In 1985, Brian Mulroney tried to stop fully indexing OAS benefits to inflation.  In 1996, the Chretien government tried to replace the OAS program with a confusing and inferior Seniors Benefit.  In both cases, there was enough lobbying and backlash that the government backed off and left OAS alone.

Benefit amounts

The amount of Canada Pension Plan you will get in retirement is based on contributions into the plan.  The more you contribute, the more CPP you will be eligible for at retirement.  Here are the maximum benefits at age 65:

  • 2013 – $1012.50 per month
  • 2012 – $986.67 per month
  • 2011 – $960.00 per month
  • 2010 – $934.17 per month
  • 2009 – $908.75 per month
  • 2008 – $884.50 per month
  • 2007 – $863.75 per month
  • 2000 – $762.92 per month

Old Age Security benefits have nothing to do with how much you worked, how much income you made or how much tax you paid.  OAS is based solely on residency.  If you were resident of Canada for 40 years between the age of 18 and 65, you will get the maximum OAS amount.  Here are the maximum OAS figures:

  • 2013 – $546.07 per month
  • 2012 – $540.12 per month
  • 2011 – $524.23 per month
  • 2010 – $521.62 per month
  • 2009 – $516.96 per month


When someone dies, the Canada Pension Plan can continue to a spouse through a CPP Survivor Pension.  The surviving spouse must apply (it is not automatic) and the maximum combined CPP pension (personal CPP plus CPP survivor) cannot exceed the annual maximum benefit.

There are no provisions for OAS to continue to any after death.  OAS ends when the pensioner dies.

Splitting income

Couples can split their CPP retirement benefits. The only reason you would do this is if the spouse with the higher CPP is in a higher tax bracket than the lower CPP earner. Both spouses must be over the age of 60 and both have applied to collect CPP. CPP is a two directional split which means both spouses must split their CPP. For example, if the higher income spouse earns $700 per month and the other spouse earns $300 per month, CPP allows each spouse to take $500 per month ($700 plus $300 divided by 2).

There is no provision with OAS to split income.

My two cents

As you can see, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security are very different benefits.  Either way, its important to understand the benefits to see the role they will play in your retirement income plan.  Did I miss any differences?  Feel free to add in your two cents below.


  1. Michael callahan

    Great post. I don’t think you missed anything, but I would also add that although the current CPP maximum payment is $986.67 the average is much less at only $512.64. Might be a bit misleading for someone to glance at those numbers and jump to the conclusion they’ll be getting $986/month from CPP when, on average, they’ll only get about half that. Of course, the actual amount anyone gets is determined on what they’ve paid in over the years, as you’ve indicated. OAS average and max are much closer, I guess meaning most people getting OAS did live here for at least 40 years between 18 and 65. We’re a loyal bunch… !! Cheers,


    • Maureen Melvin-Elias

      I still don’t understand the difference between CPP & DisabilityPP! I’m trying to answer questions on the application for a Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit. It asked, “Did the deceased ever receive or apply for a Benifit under the Canada Pension Plan? My husband applied and received, Dissability Pension, up until he passed away. Is that a form of CPP? Thank you, Maureen Melvin-Elias

      • Doug Runchey


        Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is the overall program name, and it provides pensions for purposes of disability, retirement and/or death. There are many different providers of disability pensions though, so it’s impossible for me to tell you whether the disability pension that he was receiving was from CPP or from some other program. One way to tell would be by looking at his T4 slips for 2015, or by calling Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914. If you’re still unsure, put a “?” on the application.

      • just my thoughts

        Yes CPP disability is from CPP. I started receiving this at age 39 after a car wreck. Once I am 65 it will switch to CPP. And CPP does continue to a spouse after they die.
        Go in to revenue Canada and fill out the paperwork with the people on staff.

        You won’t get the oac of course. But you would receive a death benefit from CPP. And you should receive something from your husband who passed away.

        I’m sorry for your loss.

  2. Julie @ Freedom 48

    Good job in distinguishing the two.

    ith the recent media blitz of the possibility of delaying OAS to age 67 – so many people are upset, with fears that they’ll never be able to retire! What they don’t realize is that OAS and CPP are not the same thing. They can still collect CPP at 65, and between CPP, company pensions and RRSPs… these folks should still be able to retire.

  3. Dave

    Comment, the term clawback is a bit misleading -what really happens is a inflated rate of tax is applied on the OAS. Although personally it would be to my financial detriment we should be substantially reducing the starting “clawback” threshold for the CPP to something less than 45,000. At 69,500 we’re just giving money to people to go on cruises. We should also consider giving less than 2x the full monthly amount to couples. As 2 living under one roof certainly live cheaper than a single person. With baby boomers fast becoming pensioners our country just cannot afford OAS with life expectancy of 80 years and beyond. And lets not forget that the OAS age used to be age 70 back in the late 1960’s

  4. Miiockm

    I don’t understand why someone making $60k should still collect Old Age Security. I’d rather they increased the monthly payments but only gave it to those making under $30,000.

    • Darren Toews

      well if you think about it, those who make more money were likely asked to pay more into the system in the first place. so, if you beleive that there should be no relation between amount paid in and amount taken out then you’re right.that’s the problem however, it’s the typical socialist view. From each according to their ability to each asccording to their need. Pretty soon there will be no incentive to work hard and no one, not even people like you will be able to benefit.

      • Miiockm

        lol what a joke. OAS is not the same as CPP

        • Dawn

          We do not pay into OAS. We pay into CPP.

          • Moonunit

            OAS, GIS and welfare benefits are all funded from our taxes.

  5. Ross Taylor

    Great post Jim – I will definitely pass on this info to many of my clients who need to know this stuff.

  6. Gerard

    I agree with previous posters about reducing the clawback cutoff for the OAS, although maybe not all the way down to $30K. Remember, retired people at the very bottom of the scale already get money from a third source, the GIS, which keeps almost all seniors out of dire poverty.

  7. Frank Hendriksen

    This was an excellent article back in 2011/12 but is now very much out of date. As of July 1, 2013, we will be able to postpone OAS similar to the provisions for CPP. In other words, OAS will increase by 0.6% for every month you delay (up to age 70)

    • Jim Yih

      I just updated the article … thanks for the heads up!

    • Phoebe Brake

      I just started getting oaa.before that i was getting my deceased husband cpp.When i turned 60 i started getting my question is can your cpp they lower your cpp when u start getting oas.i lost ove 100.00$ off my ccp.

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Phoebe – The amount of your CPP survivor’s pension changes when you turn age 65 and it is further always reduced when you receive it in combination with your own CPP. It was not reduced because of the OAS itself. If you told me what the amounts were/are, I could validate whether it was done correctly, but a decrease of $100 would not be uncommon.

  8. Doug


    Excellent point! Which is why Jim recently asked me to write an article on this change, which you can find at:

  9. Bet Crooks

    I think many people confuse the GIS with OAS probably because of the S’s!

    GIS, the guaranteed income supplement, is to try to keep Canadian seniors alive. It ensures a minimum income of about $15000 per year, for seniors who have lived in Canada for 40 years after they turned 18. The GIS is reduced for (almost) every $ of income a senior receives. For example, if you have a pension that pays $10000 a year and CPP that pays 5000 a year, you would not get any GIS.

    I think over the next decade or so, they will start easing back on the OAS (and hopefully easing up the GIS.) I think the target of OAS was people who never contributed to CPP despite working all their life. As those people literally die off it may be easier to start winding down the program. The problem that each government discovers is after paying everyone else’s OAS for years, people deeply and strongly resent any attempt to reduce payments or cut off payments. Changes would have to be introduced very slowly to avoid a political backlash against the party that brings them in.

    As someone mentioned above, most high income earners have been high tax payers all their working lives. So even if they don’t need OAS they don’t see why they shouldn’t get the same amount as someone who never paid any taxes because they were on welfare or were unable to find decent employment for their entire working lives. It’s a political hot potato to cut OAS.

  10. Jimmy Yong

    Hi, I am 62 and a permanent resident of Canada and receiving my CPP benefit. I had been living, schooling and working in Canada since my adult life for 30 years.
    I am planning to retire in my native country in the middle of this year and have no intention of coming back to Canada.

    My question is can still apply and receive the OAS when I turn 65? As at that time I would have lost my Permanent Resident status in Canada and will be a foreigner.

    If it will be possible ,how can I apply as I will be outside Canada at that time?
    Your information will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank You

    Jimmy Yong

  11. Jodi

    What is the minimum Old Age Security benefit ? How does one qualify for the maximum Old age security benefit ?

    Thanks, Jodi

    • Jim Yih

      Age 65 is currently the minimum age but it will be moving to age 67.

      Residency is the main qualification criteria.

    • Doug


      The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is based on how many years you have resided in Canada after age 18 and before your OAS starts.

      The “full basic” OAS is payable if you have 40 years of such residence in Canada, and that amount is currently $551.54 monthly. The only way to receive more OAS than that amount is if you delay applying beyond the eligible age, in which case it is increased by 0.6% for every month of delay.

      The minimum OAS is normally based on 10 years of residence in Canada, and the amount would be 10/40ths of $551.54 = $137.89. If you qualified for OAS under an international agreement with another country, you could potentially qualify with as little as 1 years of residence in Canada and receive 1/40th of $551.54 = $13.79.

      • Moss Limbayter

        Doug. Someone is telling me that an immigrant who has just arrived in Canada at age 65, can apply for OAS immediately and then wait the 10 years to satisfy the minimum Canadian resident rule. After the 10 year wait. They would get retroactive pay for the 10 years of OA as well as 10 years of GIS.

        This sounds like bull feathers..

        This is his email:
        “If you are an immigrant and you come here at age 65, YES, you will wait ten years (but not before you can apply and receive benefits) but you will receive benefits from the minute you land in Canada – so technically there is no waiting period, just a delay in payment. We have two laws cancelling them selves out here – one immigration says that you are not eligible to receive OAS benefits until you have accumulated 10 years of residency and another with OAS that states, everyone over age 65 is entitled to receive OAS if living in Canada. New immigrants are not disentitled at all, simply delayed.

        You wait ten years for your first cheque and I was expecting that she would receive her first monthly installment after those ten years. I attended this woman’s 75th birthday party and she gave me the letter, with the cheque attached for over $17000.00. She asked me what she should do because she was not sure if she was entitled to it or not and so did not wish to cash it, in case she had to pay it all back. I took her file # and enquired with OAS and they assured me that because she had been here 10 years and was age 65 upon entering the country, that she was entitled to receive OAS since age 65. I was blown away, but it was not over at that point. She also received GIS because her OAS was so small and her only declared income source and the rent subsidy on her senior’s apt. was also over $800 monthly. Her total package exceeded my mother’s who had a private pension from working in a public hospital + CPP + OAS. The difference was that my mom was not eligible for GIS and they clawed back her OAS based on her private pension.”

        • Doug Runchey


          Bull feathers it is! There is no truth to this story at all!!

        • Moss Limbayter

          Thanks Jim, it seemed obvious to me.

          Another less important question. This same guy says the 10 year residency period for OAS was only 5 years at one point, but the Harper government increased it to 10. My hours of research showed me nothing similar. What say thee?

          • Doug Runchey


            The minimum residence requirement for OAS purposes has always been 10 years.

  12. Evan Williams

    There most certainly is a direct clawback aspect of CPP. It is taxable income and therefore affects your tax level. This may cause higher tax rates on ALL income which is a direct clawback of CPP.

    • Nssim Levy

      No. Are you familiar with tax brackets? There is no way all income, from the first dollar will be taxed at a higher rate. Only the amount in the higher tax bracket, if it has gone into a higher tax bracket, will be taxed at the higher rate.

  13. Brenda k.

    In the website article above you have mentioned CPP splits and I fall into this category through divorce.
    It is stated both ex’s must apply at the same time? Is this correct? OR can either of us apply and then would this mean the other spouse (my ex) would have to follow suit, to collect or would he be notified I wanted to start therefore with him having to agree with me doing so as he would have to start, as we are in a CPP split?
    OR when I apply does he just get notified to also start because I applied to start?
    There are three scenarios above so which applies to a CPP split?
    I turned 60 June 2014
    I will be 61 of course uocoming June 2015.
    MY EX SPOUSE was born July 11, 1952.
    I would appreciate your kind response.
    Also is it still benefical to start now as 1/2 way through my year before I actually turn 61 in June 2015?

  14. Doug


    The “CPP splitting” that Jim described in the article above applies to ongoing marriages and not to divorced couples. In your situation, you would apply for “CPP credit splitting”, and then there’s no need for you both to apply for your pension at the same time.

    Here is a link to an article that I just wrote that explains the difference between CPP pension sharing and CPP credit splitting:

  15. kevin

    hi , i just turn 60 in march and i was excepted to get my retire with cpp payment os 102 per month , what other benefit i can get from ontario government , i am not working no more ,

    • Alan Hodgson

      Nothing at 60 from any government (except welfare, probably, if that’s your only income).

      You can apply for OAS and the Guaranteed Income Supplement from the federal government at age 65.

  16. Angela

    Hi, will CPP and OAS be paid out as long as I live?
    – If I retire at age 65 and getting the maximum CPP and OAS, will there be any difference if I live until 75 years old or until 100 years old?
    – Is there any monies paid out to my beneficiaries (husband or children) when I die?

    • Doug


      Yes, both CPP and OAS are payable for life, regardless how long you live.

      OAS ends when you die, but CPP includes a lump sum death benefit and monthly survivor’s benefits. The formula for survivor’s benefits is somewhat complex. Read this article if you want to know more:

  17. Rod

    Can someone answer the following for? At present I am 62 and on CPP disability.My question is as follows: when I turn 65 and receive the OAS which pays as high as $565.00 approximately per month, will I have to relenquish my CPP disability? If that is the case I will then receive almost $600.00 less per month which hardly seems fair.

    • Doug Runchey

      Rod – Your CPP disability pension will convert to a CPP retirement pension at age 65. If your CPP disability is currently about $1,165, it will convert to a retirement pension of approx. $932, which is in addition to the OAS amount of $565ish.

  18. Melissa

    I am currently on LTD. My insurance company is pushing me to apply for CPP disability benefits. Will this affect my OAS in the future?

    • Doug Runchey


      No, applying for CPP disability benefits won’t affect your OAS at all. If approved for CPP disability however, your CPP retirement pension will be a greater amount at age 65 than if you aren’t approved for CPP disability but you’re not working until then.

  19. Kim

    I am 55 and just retired with maximum contribution to my provincial government pension. The amount I get has a ‘bridge benefit amount’ and a “temporary annuity”. Both are gone at 65 and replaced with CPP. I was on LTD prior to retiring. My insurance company forced me to apply for CPP Disability. My LTD was tax free. I have been retroactively approved for CPP Disability and now my insurance company is saying they get reimbursed for the full period I was on LTD whereas their correspondence (telling me I was required to apply) said that I would owe then retroactive payments from the date of my application. So, in other words I now have to pay retroactive tax for 3 years (my period on LTD). I have two questions – do I, in fact, have to reimburse my insurance company for the full period? I’m not sure why I would get that benefit under the collective agreement and then have to pay it back later. My second question is: can you get a CPP Disability pension at the same time you get a “bridge benefit” between 55 and 65. I’m not sure if this bridge benefit is, in fact, part of a CPP benefit.

    • Doug Runchey


      Most disability insurers will reduce their payments by the amount of any CPP disability benefits that you receive, so that is not unusual. The maximum retroactivity on your CPP disability would be 11 months prior to when you applied, so I wouldn’t think you would have to reimburse them for anything prior to that. Then again, if you have something from them in writing that limits reimbursement to when you applied for CPP disability, I recommend that you ask for an explanation.

      Most bridge benefits that I’ve seen end either at age 65 or when you start receiving a CPP disability pension, so make sure that they know that you’ve been approved for CPP disability or you may have to repay your bridge benefit sometime in the future.

  20. Susan

    Thank you for the info. My confusion is this: Turning 60 we applied for CPP. We did not contribute for years as we were self-employed, so we are receiving about $500 each for my husband and I. So at 65, we will receive OAS and CPP to be a total of around $1,000 but GIS will kick in to subsidize us to $15,000 annual each? So, it does not really matter that we did not pay into CPP for all those years because GIS will kick in anyway? Also, it does not matter that we took CPP early because of the GIS subsidy? Right?

    • Doug Runchey


      You’re certainly correct that GIS is a factor to consider, but GIS only makes up for about half of any decrease in your CPP. So you would always be ahead after age 65 if your CPP was higher either to more contributions or waiting until after age 60 to have applied for your CPP.

  21. Moss Limbayter

    “Turning 60 we applied for CPP.”
    – Taking CPP at 60 reduces the benefit by 32.4% from a maximum of $1,065.00 to a “maximum” of $700.77

    “We did not contribute for years as we were self-employed.”
    – Self employed or not, it is mandatory to contribute to CPP; you are probably thinking of EI.

    “We are receiving about $500 each for my husband and I.”
    – That is around average unless you each earned around 10% more than the average Canadian for the last 40 years of working.

    “So at 65, we will receive OAS and CPP to be a total of around $1,000 but GIS will kick in to subsidize us to $15,000 annual each?”
    – If you became 65 today your CPP will still be $500 a month, OA will add another $569.95 but only the CPP is considered income, so a couple getting $12,000 a year CPP will get $225.07 GIS per month each. Monthly total for the couple; $1,000.00 CPP, plus $1,139.90 OAS, plus $450.14 GIS, = $2,590.04 monthly or $31,080.48 yearly

    Table 2 – Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) amounts for an income range of $12,000.00 to $12,863.99

    GIS for spouse/common-law partner of someone who receives an OAS Pension

  22. Kim

    I have recently taken an early retirement. I get my pension amount, a bridge benefit and a temporary annuity. The later two disappear at 65. I am currently 55 years of age. My plan was to start a new career since I considered it possible to work another 10 or 15 years. Unfortunately a serious health issue has developed. I’ve been approved for CPP Disability. How does this CPP Disability affect my pension before age 65. I realize CPP Disability disappears at 65 as well.

    • Doug Runchey


      As you are aware, your CPP disability pension will convert to a retirement pension when you reach age 65. The period of time that you receive a CPP disability pension is excluded from your contributory period, which means that your retirement pension is protected from decreasing even though you are no longer working and contributing to CPP.

      In effect, your CPP retirement pension at age 65 will be based on your average lifetime earnings from age 18 to age 55, and indexed from then to age 65 based on any increases in the CPI.

    • Dave

      Kim you need to contact your work pension administrator. Receiving the CPP-D may cause the bridge benefit to be stopped from your work pension… I would expect your CPP-D to be greater than the loss, so the net amount would be more.

      On a slightly different issue, for couples who have a joint life and last survivor pension (that is integrated with CPP) I do know that if the pensioner dies before age 65 the bridge benefit stops immediately and the surviving spouse then receives the CPP survivor benefit… from CPP. (They do not get the survivor benefit and the bridge benefit)

  23. LH


    Somewhat similar question here.
    CPP-D and WCB disappears at 65, but the OAS won’t show up until 67 (in my case) so wile the Liberals may bring it back to 65, in the mean time we are left to wonder what will I live on for two years?! The $250 CPP ? There is not GIS if there is no OAS, right? It doesn’t look good in early 2016 🙁

  24. Irene

    If I decide to retire at 65 and apply for OAS, and start receiving OAS, and then I decide to do some part-time work to stay active and earn a small income, will they still pay the OAS, assuming income is below OAS start threshold?

    Will the OAS increase like CPP as I may be paying income taxes again, or will the amount remain level?

    • Doug Runchey

      Irene – OAS will continue to be paid even though you’re working, but it will only increase quarterly with any cost-of-living increases, not because you’re working and paying more income taxes.

  25. Moonunit

    Irene. OAS is not based on whether you ever worked or not. If I was your twin who lived as a hermit and never earned a penny, and you were a world renowned brain surgeon, you and I would get the same amount of OAS.

  26. Ray I. K.


    I am separated with my spouse. I got my OAS/GIS since 2 years before the separation I receive 1305.54$ but my spouse will by the end of this month Aug 2016 will be 60 years old. She will get her OAS how much my OAS will decrease and should I report to Service Canada that we are seperated. Please advise.



    • Doug Runchey

      Ray – Yes, you should report your separation to Service Canada. The impact to your GIS depends on what other income you have. Your spouse isn’t eligible for OAS until age 65 under any circumstances, but as a result of the separation she won’t be eligible for the Allowance at age 60.

  27. deborah


    If you are collecting CPP & OAS..and you receive an inheritance, will this be affected?


    • Doug Runchey

      Deborah – No, receiving an inheritance won’t affect either CPP or OAS.

      • Bonnie

        Does the government combine whatever CPP and OAS in one check or are they separate? I don’t think I am being informed properly I was on disability through EIA and I was forced to go on my CPP. I did not have a choice whether to take it early or not but now I received because I’m 65 a letter of my income for OAS, but that can’t be one check that must be including my CPP. I’m confused but it does not say so. Are they allowed to do it or separate check? This is my old and I will be expecting my CPP I think does anyone know

  28. anonymous

    Please reply to my E mail and for others who NEED to know. Why am I NOT entitled to CPP splitting with my Ex. He was a high income earner. I became permanently disabled during our marriage. I received Can Disability Pension for some of the years we were married. So why can I not still receive some of his Canada Pension during the years we were together (now divorced). I am being financially ‘punished’ because by the government because I am disabled! I was told years ago by my lawyer, I WAS entitled to this SPLIT. How do I get what I am entitled to regarding Canada Pension Split. He has a 6 digit income and this will not affect his life style, but certainly hurt mine. I was counting on this money. What do/can I do? Please help those like me.. tk you No common sense here what-so-ever.. Why do the people that NEED help the most lose?

    • Doug Runchey

      Anonymous – Who told you that you couldn’t apply for a CPP credit split and what was the rationale? It’s true that a credit split wouldn’t include the period of time that you received a CPP disability pension (because those months are excluded from your CPP “contributory period”), but that wouldn’t preclude a credit split for the rest of the time that you lived together.

      • anonymous

        Yes I applied, misinterpreted or I misrepresented my question. CPP declined the years I was on Disability pension for splitting purposes. My divorce lawyer NEVER said i wouldn’t be entitled to those years and never SAID apply NOW!! Why during those years do I not get ‘some’ of his pension seams unfair. Also I was legally told no rush apply b4 age 65. I applied in April 2016, (I’m 57 he is 58) was accepted but only retroactively paid 3 months. Why if I applied decades ago as I should have as BAD legal advice then, I would have had more Can Dis Pension as more ‘under the pension umbrella’., but because I didn’t apply until now I only get 3 months retro. How can they without the monies I am entitled to when given wrong legal advice which obviously I cannot prove as nothing in writing from the lawyer. I want to appeal as thousands in retro ‘I feel’ they should pay. How do I do that? Can I ? Are you familiar with this? What are my ‘chances’? Is it possible for someone to do the Appeal for me ( such as yourself) so it is critiqued and written professionally so I could receive back monies owed. Thank you for your expedient answer. Much appreciated..First real help I have been able to find. I have already forwarded your company name to friends to contact you themselves with their outstanding issues.. look fwd to your reply.

        • Doug Runchey

          Anonymous – You can’t have earnings credited to you for months that you were receiving a CPP disability, so there’s no way for you to win an appeal on adjusting the credit split to include those months. The effective date for a credit split should be the month following the month that you applied for the credit split. The only way that you might get more retroactivity than that is if you can prove that someone from Service Canada told you not to apply for a credit split until you were age 65.

          • anonymous

            Thank you so much for you valuable information, unfortunately there is NOTHING on the internet that I can find anywhere with this scenario stating WHEN in my case scenario I ‘should apply’… second I felt that because my Divorce Lawyer ( high end downtown Toronto) told me not to apply until 6 months B4 age 65 when he clearly KNEW all my finances and the disability pension etc.. and Service Ontario VERBALLY said when I applied that it would be retro-active, proving someone’s verbal statement will be impossible. Sad to think that I have ‘no rights’ due to the LEGAL wrong information which i had no reason to question and that Service Ontario in person told me it would be retro-active. Unless hidden camera’s with sound! Just seems so unfair. Maybe I will get my information together and call your offices in case there is any hope for any being the years we lived together and were married PRIOR to receiving Canada Disability Pension as I strongly FEEL I should get retro active for those years at the minimum.. Thank you so very much for replying after searching for many months trying to get answer and YOU responded twice in one day.. I thank you.

  29. Alec

    My Mum has been receiving disability pension (CPP) since she had a stroke in 2009, which has rendered her permanently disabled. In 2019 she will turn 65 years old. Will she still receive her OAS in ADDITION to continuing to receive her disability/CPP? (She is currently in the midst of a separation from her partner of 30 years and it’s looking like he’s going to skip the country and leave her with nothing. I’m trying to figure out what income she can expect – between CPP and OAS – for the remainder of her life.) Thank you!

    • Doug Runchey

      Alec – Her CPP disability pension will stop when she reaches age 65, and it will convert to a CPP retirement pension (at a lower rate). She will then also become eligible for OAS and possibly some GIS if she has limited other income. If you tell me her current CPP disability amount, I can give you some estimates. For OAS I need to know how many years she has lived in Canada, and for GIS I need to know if she has any other income.

  30. Brad L

    Is there any minimum contribution period in order to be eligible for CPP? I only contributed for maybe eight years and then moved overseas and have worked abroad ever since. Can I still apply to get CPP when I turn 60? I know it won’t amount to much, but anything is better than nothing.

    • Doug Runchey

      Brad – The minimum requirement for a CPP retirement pension is one year of contributions. The amount of CPP at age 60 is approx. $20 per month for every year of maximum earnings/contributions.

  31. HANK


  32. Dave

    Yes it is taxable income.

    How much tax, if any, you would pay depends on your total income.

  33. Philippe

    Very clear and informative. I lived in Canada for over 50 years and will have worked and contributed to CPP (and OAS through my income tax) 50 years when I turn 65. I plan to take early CPP at age 60 and OAS at age 65 at which time I also plan to have citizenship in another country. I understand I will always get CPP whether I remain Canadian or not. Will I still receive OAS if I decide not to have dual citizenship and opt to renounce my Canadian citizenship?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Philippe
      Yes, you will still be eligible for OAS even if you renounce your Canadian citizenship after you stop residing in Canada.

  34. hank


    I thought you had to live in Canada in order to receive the oas? yet your answer to phippe suggests you can leave Canada and still get oas? can you confirm either way please?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Hank

      OAS is payable if you live outside Canada, as long as you have resided in Canada for at least 20 years after age 18.

  35. Dave

    If i have money saved up over my years working,when I apply for my O.A.S. will they look into that & deduct money from my Pension?

  36. Dave

    No. OAS is not determined based on assets;

    HOWEVER if you have ongoing yearly income over 68000 (plus a full OAS) they will start clawing the OAS back at the rate of 15% until its fully clawed back at about 120,000.

  37. Fred

    Dear Doug,

    I was impressed with your solid knowledge so may I ask you a question:

    I immigrated to Canada when I was 62 and worked for a few years. Now I am 83 and plan to return to my original country for permanent retirement. Currently, I received 4 payments direct deposit into my bank account monthly:

    1. OAS $1436
    2. PRO $100
    3. GAINS $77
    4. CPP $14

    I lived in Canada for 21 years, but only lived 3 years when I reached 65. I always heard we need to live in Canada for 40 years between age 18 – 65 to entitle for full OAS. Can you tell me if I permanently live overseas, based on those 4 benefits above:

    a. what are the payments I will continue to receive?

    b. and approx $ how much? Especially let me know the OAS $1436 will be reduced to $ ?

    c. Is my GAINS same as GIS?

    Please kindly advise with big THANKS!!!

    Yours faithfully,


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Fred – Assuming that you began receiving OAS at age 65 under one of Canada’s social security agreements, if you leave Canada permanently your GIS will stop and your OAS will be only $43.78 (3/40ths of $583.74). Your CPP will remain at $14. I believe GAINS is similar to GIS and will stop. I don’t know what PRO is.

  38. Fred

    Dear Doug,

    Thank you so much for your prompt response!

    In fact, I began receiving OAS at age 72 which was after I had immigrated to Canada for 10 years. Does that means my OAS will be $145.93 (10/40ths of $583.74)instead $43.78?

    Also, can I continue to receive OTB(that is Ontario Trillium Benefit) $100 as the 2nd payment I listed in my last Comment? (Assuming I still own my house in Canada.)

    Finally, do I need to fill tax return yearly when I live overseas permanently but continue to receive some sort of these benefits I inquired above with you?

    Look forward again for your kind reply!!!

  39. Lillian

    I received my first OAS deposit this month. I did not enrol, is was automatic. However, I was surprised to see my Cpp deposit was reduced by $89.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lillian – Unless you asked for a tax withhold, the only explanation is that your 2016 income exceeded the OAS clawback threshold, and Revenue Canada told Service Canada to make that reduction. What was your net income on your 2016 income tax return?

  40. Lillian

    Net incomes was $70,373.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Lillian – Sorry, I misread your previous post. I thought you were saying that they withheld $89 from your OAS, and I was thinking OAS clawback. I see now that you said that your CPP was reduced by $89. Are you receiving a CPP survivor’s pension? If so, it gets recalculated at age 65 and that might explain the reduction. I suggest that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 to be sure.

      • Lillian

        Yes I am receiving a survivors pension. Wow, surprised they reduce it at 65. Did all my budget calculations for retirement this year. Did not factor that in.

  41. m ramadan

    good day to you doug
    i live in canada from 1980 to 1996 working all this years
    from 1996 to now i live outside of canada
    next month i wil be 63 years old
    how i can apply for CPP and OAS
    thank you

  42. Valerie

    I am in Quebec. My understanding is I will receive a Quebec Pension and an Old Age Security Pension and NO Canada Pension. Am I correct?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Valerie – If you paid into CPP only, you will get a pension from CPP. If you paid into QPP only, you will get a pension from QPP. If you paid into both CPP and QPP and you’re living in Quebec when you apply, you will get a pension from QPP and it will be based on both your QPP and CPP contributions. And Yes, you will get OAS if you have lived anywhere in Canada for at least 10 years after age 18.

  43. Valerie

    My working career was always in Quebec. On my old pay stubs I see that I paid “QPP/CPP”. On another it says “Government Pension Plan”. I have figured out that QPP is Quebec’s CPP and OAS is Canada-wide. Therefore, I will receive 2 pensions, QPP and OAS. I will not receive CPP.

  44. Glenis austin

    I am an American citizen and my husband, who is a Canadian citizen and I have been married for 23 years. My husband recently applied for CPP & OAS, since I’ve never lived in Canada am I eligibility for any of those benefits ???

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Glenis – No, if you’ve never lived in Canada you aren’t eligible for any benefits from CPP or OAS at this time. If your husband contributed to CPP for at least 10 years, you will be eligible to a CPP survivor’s pension if he dies before you do.

  45. Graeme

    Hi Doug, I have lived in Canada since 2010 and will be 67 when I have been here for 10 years. Will I be eligible to apply for OAS at that time? Thanks

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Graeme – Yes, once you have 10 complete years of residence in Canada you should qualify for OAS. The amount would be 10/40ths of the full basic OAS (currently $600.85) or approx. $150 per month.

  46. Charmaine

    Hi, my mom asked me to read her OAS. I don’t understand on the approved letter she received says “This was done under the Agreement on Social Security between Canada and Philippines.” Details were mentioned and as she will only receive $135.33 monthly.

    What does the Agreement on Social Security between Canada and Philippines means? Did they combine the social security from both countries?


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Charmaine – Based on the amount of $135.33, it appears that your mom has only resided in Canada for 9 years. Normally someone needs to have resided in Canada for at least 10 years (if residing in Canada when they apply for OAS), or for at least 20 years (if residing outside of Canada when they apply for OAS). Under the Canada/Philippines agreement however, they can use years of residence and/or contributions to the Philippines to meet the 10 or 20 year minimum threshold, but the amount of her OAS is still based solely on her residence in Canada.

  47. Ken Wong

    Hi there, my sister’s birthdate is April 1959 and she got a letter from service Canada for the Allowance for the survivor. In the letter it said that she will get:

    May to June 2019 – $88 (44 * 2)
    July 2019 – $496

    Shouldn’t the May to June 2019 be the same as July 2019 that is she will $496 for May 2019 & the same amount for June 2019 because she turned 60 in May 2019. Thanks!

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Ken – The short answer is “No”. Allowance benefits for any payment year (which runs from July of one year until June of the next year) are based on someone’s income for the previous calendar year. That means that her payments for May and June 2019 were based on her income for 2017 and her payments for July 2019 thru June 2020 are based on her 2018 income.

      • Ken Wong

        Very Well explained! Doug. I appreciate that. I will go back and check with my sister.

        Thanks again for the awesome quick reply. 🙂

        • Ken Wong

          Also can my sister apply for Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) if she is receiving the Allowance for the survivor?

          I don’t think so but she can when turns 65.

          • Doug Runchey

            No, the Allowance for a survivor will end at age 65 and convert to OAS/GIS at that time.

  48. Andreia Babicsak

    Hello! Can you please help me?
    I moved to Canada 2 years ago and I have intention to stay here for the rest of my life. I started to work in Canada when I was 29 and I want to work until I’m 60 maybe 65. Will I be eligible to receive 100% of the CPP? I did work in Brazil (home country) from 17 to 28 and the moved here.
    Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Andreia – You need 39 or 40 years of max earnings and contributions to the CPP in order to receive the maximum amount, but you could get very close to that if you work until age 65.

  49. Ishak Ghali

    I am 70 years old previous year I was receive 1129 and my wife 63 years received 438 monthly as OAS this month July 2023 I receive 1037 and 339 for my wife. I need to knows why both of us decrease 100$ and how to complain,
    Thanks and regards
    Ishak Ghali

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*