Three Big Changes to OAS (Old Age Security)

Updated June 21, 2017

On March 29th, the Conservative party released their 2012 budget and the big news is the announced changes to Old Age Security (OAS).  This change was one of the government’s worst secrets as Stephen Harper announced that changes needed to be made to OAS at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.

Note: The following change in eligibility from age 65 to 67 was cancelled by the Liberal party in 2016, so that the change never actually came into effect. The other two changes were implemented and remain in effect at this time. This article is retained though, for historical purposes.

What is not changing

There was some suggestions that the government should lower the OAS clawback threshold which would affect higher income retirees but there will be no changes to the OAS clawback.

CPP also underwent significant changes of it’s own so the current budget does not make any new changes to CPP

Changes to the age of eligibility

The biggest news is the gradual change in the age of eligibility from age 65 to 67.  This change will be implemented in 2023.

This means that this change will not affect those Canadians who are 54 or older as of March 31, 2012.  Canadians are effectively being given 11-year notice and then 6 years to gradually implement the change.

  • If you were born before March 31, 1958, you will not be affected
  • If you were born between April 1, 1958, and Jan. 31, 1962 will have an age of eligibility between age 65 and 67.  See the chart below for more details:

OAS/GIS Age of Eligibility by Date of Birth

Month of Birth 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962
Jan. 65 65 + 5 mo 65 + 11 mo 66 + 5 mo 66 + 11 mo
Feb. – Mar. 65 65 + 6 mo 66 66 + 6 mo 67
Apr. – May 65 + 1 mo 65 + 7 mo 66 + 1 mo 66 + 7 mo 67
June – July 65 + 2 mo 65 + 8 mo 66 + 2 mo 66 + 8 mo 67
Aug. – Sept. 65 + 3 mo 65 + 9 mo 66 + 3 mo 66 + 9 mo 67
Oct. – Nov. 65 + 4 mo 65 + 10 mo 66 + 4 mo 66 + 10 mo 67
Dec. 65 + 5 mo 65 + 11 mo 66 + 5 mo 66 + 11 mo 67

Option to defer OAS

Under the new OAS rules, Canadians will also have the option to defer OAS payments for up to 5 years starting July 1, 2013.  The increase is what the government calls actuarially neutral which means on average Canadians will receive the same lifetime OAS benefit whether they choose to take it at 65 or as late as 72 after the new eligibility rules are implemented.

This may be particularly important for those who intend to continue working past 65 who would otherwise be subject to recovery (or clawback) of OAS on total income and who wish to reduce their taxable income.

Proactive enrollment for OAS

The Government will also attempt to improve services for seniors by putting in place a proactive enrolment regime that will eliminate the need for many seniors to apply for OAS and GIS. This measure will reduce the burden on seniors of completing application processes and will reduce the Government’s administrative costs. Proactive enrolment will be implemented in a phased-in approach from 2013 to 2015.

What do you think of these new changes?  I’ll share my five cents tomorrow

Written by Jim Yih

Jim Yih is a Fee Only Advisor, Best Selling Author, and Financial Speaker on wealth, retirement and personal finance. Currently, Jim specializes in putting Financial Education programs into the workplace. For more information you can follow him on Twitter @JimYih or visit his other websites and Clearpoint Benefit Solutions.

97 Responses to Three Big Changes to OAS (Old Age Security)

  1. If I sell my house and move into a home of lesser value, is the difference considered as income? If it is, is there a way to move the profit at arms length so that my OAS will not be clawed back?

    • Hi Grady. According to our laws, the gain on the sale of one’s personal home is not considered taxable, so it will not be included in income. If you invest that money and it triggers income, then that income is considered taxable. Consider splitting income with a spouse if you have one.

  2. Grady, why are you paying the financial institution that holds your investments if you have to ask that question on this forum and have no clue what the f you are talking about?
    answer to your questions: no, no why? primary residence.

  3. My experience of the Canadian civil service has been always bad. The reason the Canadian economy is doing better than most is that Canadians dont take risks. Also, the government has a way of nickel and diming. It makes it difficult to claim for benefits, pensions etc. In other words, at the expense of the taxpayer, the government is hanging onto money that the taxpayers have a right to receive. You have to be prepared to fight, struggle and argue for anything that involves money from the government.

  4. OAS defferal deeply impacts most Canadians and benefits the elitists that support the Harper Govt. With tax revenue losses through allowing the rich to defer OAS clawback for seven years, these rich benefactors will be doubly rewarded with additional 40% plus write-0ff on OAS clawback 7 years later. Althought they will not receive the OAS due to higher income, they will benefit from the increased tax benefit writing off other income.

  5. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the that Post Retirement Benefit is nothing more than another Harper Govt tax grab that is clandisticly engineered to rip Canadians Off with the promise of increased CPP benefits when they choose to fall back on earlier promises of retirment and choosing to take CPP at 60. They are now forced to pay into CPP if they choose to continue working for a PRB benefit that will pay them an extra $285yr for making $2,357.00 contributions. At 65 they will have paid approx $12,000 in premiums, and at $285yr, that would take approx 42 years just to recover the premiums. Who’d a thought Canadians were even stupider than their neighbours to the south?

  6. I am receiving OAS and I want to sell my house and then rent a place after. Will the house $ affect my OAS. I like to keep the OAS same. Any advise?


    • Wilson

      The only way that selling your house could affect your OAS would be if you invested the proceeds and earned over the minimum income threshold for the OAS clawback (approx. $70,000).

      If you also have GIS however, any income at all generated by the proceeds might reduce your GIS, but only by about 50 cents on the dollar.

      • Thanks Doug! I am still not fully understand about that. I hope you can explain a bit more.

        Yes we both have OAS and GIS. If we sell our home for $400k, is all the $ consider as income?

        If we put all the $ in the bank and earn interest (e.g $400/year), then the interest will be income and GIS will be reduced ($200/year). Is that correct? Or we will not able to get GIS because we have $400k in the bank?

        Many Thanks

        • Wilson

          No, the $400k isn’t considered as income and won’t affect your OAS or GIS.

          Yes, if you earn interest of $400/year you would each lose approx. $100/year of your GIS.

  7. ….I am collecting a CPP pension as my husband passed away…does that affect my OAS when I go to collect?

  8. I am born Feb 1963. Been on CPP disability since Mar 1995.
    With OAS changed and now cut off till my age 67 and CPP disability turned to a small retirement benefit at Feb 2028 what happens to people like me? Two years of OAS was supposed to help me. The government said it would not hurt disabled. Did they consider or change this now as promised?

    • Jamie

      You ask a very good question, and I don’t have a good answer for you. I suspect that the government will have to do something to help people like yourself, but I’ve heard no rumblings at all on what that solution might be.

      The only consolation that I have for you is that the problem will become more obvious in 2023 when the OAS change begins to take effect and hopefully they will have found a solution before 2028 when you turn age 65.

        • James

          Nothing has changed yet, although both the NDP and the Liberals have talked about reversing the delay in OAS if they get elected.

  9. My benefits (OAS GIS CPP) was reduced without any explanatory letter.
    The application of my wife presented one year ago, was not processed when she turned 65, and his allowance was suspended without any explanatory letter, In the Service Canada Center
    they refused to sign and dated the reception of a letter demanding an explanation, Only by phone they said phone again next month to know how it goes.
    We live in subsidized Apt. rent geared to income, the office that administer the TCHC building refused to reduce the rent and refuse to date and reception of their Form for a review,asking for a letter of SC explaining the reductions .In personne Staff of SC tell us that is not business of TCHC know reasons , only make calculation with the amounts of benefits we receive. So I need to continue paying more rent against Ontario rules. What is the process in our case to correct this situation and What is happening in reality? The government have no money for benefits or they have too much applications to process or staffs are abusing Seniors, which are the rumours?

    • Enrique

      Unfortunately, it’s impossible for me to determine what’s going on with your pensions without more detail on amounts. It’s probably just your GIS that’s changed, but that could be due to the change in income year from 2014 to 2015 effective July 2015 and/or it could be due to your wife’s eligibility for the Allowance.

      My recommendation is that you keep asking Service Canada until they provide a satisfactory explanation to you.

  10. Thanks Doug for your comments. Effectively in July my wife reached 65., and obviously she now will receive as a senior OAS because we live here more than 25 years and not the Allowance as spouse she was receiving; and possibly GIS, for these she applied one year ago. The point and my question goes in the delays to process it, the reduction, followed of suspension without explanation and refuse to receive a letter asking about that, and asking only to phone in the future. and, TCHC my landlord, refuses to receive his own form, they send to me, for a revision, and I continue paying the same rent. They ask for a letter of Service Canada explaining
    reasons for the reductions. Service Canada refuse to receive a letter from us demanding these letter. In personne an official said that is not TCHC business to know reasons, and the regular letter with the amount receiving now is enough to calculate the rent. When I phoned to a legal free clinic for an appointment ,after many stops machine, they asks details, when I mentioned allowance, they said what is that. So my concerns is that Government staff have apparently instructions to evite any probe of the failure of their programms and don,t care abouth problems that cause, and some positions are in hands of people that are not qualified. And I liked to know if this abuse in our case is singular or is generalized according your experience in Ontario.

    • Enrique

      Service Canada has developed a very poor reputation for service recently, so I don’t think you’re being singled out. I also wrote a letter on behalf of another client, and it took 9 months for my letter to reach the top of the pile before it was even looked at. Who knows how much longer it will be before they make a decision in that case.

      I think they’re just under staffed versus under qualified, but whatever the reason, I agree that it’s very poor service.

  11. Again, thanks Doug.
    If an application for OAS was made on time at 64 years old and is approved 9 months after reaching 65 years old, the applicant loose benefits for the delay .No retroactive payments.?
    If these applicant was receiving OAS ALLOWANCE as spouse, at 65 years old automatically loose it, without letters or more staff at work, on grounds that now is entitled to regular OAS.
    The applicant is in limbo 9 months and SC saves 9 payments?

    • Enrique

      No, the OAS should have been paid retroactive to the month following the month that the person turned age 65. You said previously that your wife turned 65 in July 2015, so her first OAS payment should have been made at the end of August 2015.

  12. If I move out of Canada will i lose my CPP and old age benefits, im 67
    I can’t do any more winters because of flu like sickness, so I lock myself in. Don’t know where to turn but happy to find this site.

    • Ken

      CPP is always payable regardless where you live. OAS is also payable regardless where you live, as long as you have resided in Canada for at least 20 years after turning age 18. GIS is only payable if you reside in Canada, although you are allowed to have temporary absences of up to 6 months in duration.

  13. I am Canadian citizen 68 years old, living abroad and have applied for my retirement full package 3 years ago. In replay they asked me to provide all information about my departures and arrivals from & to Canada!! Frankly I don’t have the exact information to provide, therefore I didn’t answer then they kept my application pending till now!!

    I am old and unable to work anymore, separated 14 years ago from my wife and for surviving just traveling to the East Asian countries, teaching English part times enable to survive. Now I can’t do such works anymore unfortunately due to my sicknesses.

    I need advise how to handle this case? And is there any law office or lawyer can help enable to collect my pension retirement?? Kindly get back to my email address: [email protected], and it would be much appreciated indeed.

    • Mo – I suggest that you respond to their request for dates of arrivals and departures as accurately and honestly as you can.

  14. Hi Doug,
    I applied for OAS and GIS more than 9 months back. Recently, I was sent questionnare about my 4 absence periods after I got PR. Besides, they informed that they sent letter to concerned agency in India to confirm the coverage period of my pension there for my working and contributing to pension fund there. This is required to make up the gap for eligibility period as Canada India treaty has been in force now since August 2015. I am informed on my phone query that my application is kept on hold and no reason given.
    I am now thinking of visiting US for about 3-4 months. F I go out of Canada now, will my OAS application be affected for approval?
    Pl let me know aht we should do urgently as I need to buy air ticket with 2 days to avoid higher cost.
    Shall be obliged to get your advice.

    • Balasin – I’d need to know more details about your presence and residence in Canada, but in general terms I wouldn’t recommend a long absence from Canada while you’re trying to qualify for a benefit that is based on you residing in Canada.

  15. Question I am currently on Cpp and Oas and still working pt, my daughter wants me to help her buy a home. Will this affect my monthly payments? If I were in need to get supplement later on would i qualify? Would really appreciate your advice since she is looking to purchase within the next few weeks.

  16. Short question: How about for paupers with no intention of living in Canada, who contributed close to zero?



    Thank you for your answers (even if they aren’t dated.) Most of your enquiries appear to be from middle class people who own property and had careers. I do not and I did not.

    Spoiler: I spent my youth on hookers and wandering, and the rest I just wasted. Now is time to pay the piper.

    Long story:

    I have been ‘off the radar’ for decades. Now, at 61, I am on welfare and living in Canada. My financial future looks bleak because few well-paying jobs prefer ‘mature’ people. And I have no capital to start a business. I enjoyed 35 years travelling off and on and lived hand to mouth mostly. Make $3000, travel, make $3K, travel. Repeat for 20 years of what are usually the most financially productive years of a man’s life. BTW, I recommend this for some, although it comes at a huge financial cost.

    No savings and no job currently. Thus, I am ‘looking forward’ to further poverty in my old age. My ‘plan’ was to get rich and never depend on the State. Er, that didn’t quite work out.

    My intention is to wait out my four remaining years (there is a major financial disincentive to work part-time in the system) then take my safety net retirement income from Canada (minimal CPP and basic OAS) and move to the third world to work part time as an old man ESL teacher. One can live cheaply in Vietnam for example. Under $600. I know because I have done so in four countries in the region, and working poor friends of mine do the same. It is impossible for a single man to live in Vancouver area for less than $800, $1500 more like it.

    How anyone can live on welfare amazes me–after paying rent there is not enough even for a bus pass and groceries. ‘Just get a job’ is the obvious suggestion. Well, I spend my time daily supplementing the care for my demented mother at an understaffed provincial residential care facility. Monitoring and advocating on her behalf too. Unlike a parent looking after a child, the reverse brings zero income. I cannot underestimate the amount of energy and time this takes.

    I haven’t contributed to anything in Canada since 1981, except sales taxes. So, for 35 years I have been working the casual and short-term economy:
    1) in a cash for service business (nothing illegal);
    2) as a technically self-employed salesman;
    3) overseas as an English teacher (5 years here and there;
    4) other contract work overseas for 1-5 months a year for five years.
    I also had a modest inheritance.

    Technically I have always remained a resident, although with one or two years exception I haven’t filed income taxes for 35 years nor contributed to CPP for 37. So, I contributed to CPP for only 11 years or so, at low-level jobs.

    In fact, my SIN was dormant but somehow I revived that. When I enquired over a year ago it sounded like a bureaucratic nightmare: ‘Prove where you have lived for the last five years’. I laughed out loud, that would be impossible. I don’t keep a diary! For some unknown reason it was easy this time.

    I am more than a little curious how complicated it is to get the ball rolling in order to secure a safety net while living overseas as a pauper for 6 (12?) months per year at 65+. In 2-4 years there will no need for me to live in Canada and I am not so fond of this cold place anyway. I consider my passport just a convenience.

    Does anyone actually care where you sleep for GIS? I mean, what with ATMs and all…

    BTW, my sentiments about living in Canada are the same even if I was financially successful. Most of all I loathe the monopoly health insurance and medical industry, where one must go on bended knee for referrals to see a specialist. Then wait months. It’s easier to find a drug dealer than a doctor in BC and I won’t put up with this. Drugs cost a fraction of Canadian price in India. Canada has a great medical system for life-threatening illnesses and accidents but for chronic conditions and any sort of buyer’s market I much prefer the marketplace model of other countries such as Thailand. In Singapore citizens have the option of getting medical treatment across the bridge in Malaysia. Yes, using the State health insurance. It saves the government and therefore tax payers’ money and saves patients time. I have never understood the ideological commitment to State-enforced medical insurance in Canada. Or the equivalent in auto insurance. But I am already on a tangent.

    Last person who leaves Canada, please turn out the lights…


  18. Hi Doug I have been living in Canada for over 40 years and my thought to move overseas for the next 5 years or more would i still be entitle to receive OAS.
    Thank you.

  19. Hi Doug,

    Wasn’t there a cancellation of the changes to the age of eligibility, by the current government?


  20. Hi Doug,

    My parents have lived in Canada since October 1999. They had started receiving the OAS after 10 years of residence here in Vancouver.

    We are planning to move back to Europe in November of 2019. To Serbia.

    What do I need to do in order for my parents to continue receiving OAS when we are there? If they have lived here for 20 years, I believe they are eligible to continue having OAS there. How to start this process? And when?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Lea – There is no process to start. Once you know when/where they will be moving to Serbia, just let Service Canada know. As long as they have at least 20 years of residence in Canada before they leave, they will be eligible for OAS outside Canada for as long as they live. If they are also receiving GIS however, that will cease once they have been away for 6 months.

      • Thank you.

        One more question: If they have traveled throughout the years, and they did,(sometimes they would spend five months in Europe) would that change the time of their residence in Canada?

        Thank you,

        • Hi Lea – For OAS purposes, residence in Canada is defined as being that they “made their home in Canada and ordinarily lived in any part of Canada”. As long as they meet that definition, temporary absences of up to a year each would not impact their residence in Canada and thus their eligibility for OAS.

          • Hi Lea – Was Canada clearly their home? If so, they should be OK with having temporary absences every year, especially if those absences weren’t always to the same place. If they were, then it might become questionable as to whether they were residing in Canada and visiting that other place or vice versa.

  21. Hello, I have a question to ask about OAS on behalf of a family member. They will turn 65 next year and are worried about their OAS being “clawed back” by the government if they have money just sitting in the bank.

    Does the government consider money that is just sitting in the bank, income? I know (I think anyways) the interest that is collected, is considered income. I also read that the OAS clawbacks start when income is over $74,788 (I assume that is per year)

    Please advise,
    Thank you

    • Hi Timothy – No, money sitting in the bank is not considered as income, but Yes interest earned on that money is considered as income. And Yes, the income threshold of $74,788 is a yearly amount of income.

  22. My friend has been a “kept woman” for 35 years and consequently has not filed income tax during that time. She is going to be 65 next year and concerned about how she can apply for OAS. Her partner died 4 years ago and left her with very little. What do you suggest?

  23. IU was born in January and applied for OAs IN jANUARY when i was 65 but they wouldn’t give me OAs UNTIL JUNE OF THAT YEAR WHY???– THEY SAID IT HAD TO DO WITH THE PREVIOUS TAX YR AND RETURN FILED


  25. The extract of form SC ISP-3550(2018-08-27)E regarding RESIDENCE HISTORY (Sr.No-B5) is reproduced below.


    These conditions were not in the old form SC ISP-3000(2012-01-01)E in Sr. No-14 (Residence History). My explanation is here to answer my question. Please resolve my problem. Thanks

    • Hi Akhtar – Now I understand what you’re saying. There hasn’t been any legislative or policy change to what is considered as being residence in Canada. The wording on the application for OAS (ISP 3000) under the heading “#14. Residence History” simply asked you to “list all the places that you have lived” from age 18 to present. The form ISP 3550 that you have now received tries to clarify what periods of time are considered as “residence in Canada” versus just “presence in Canada”. Your application will be adjudicated under the OAS legislation, and again it has not been modified recently in respect to what is considered residence in Canada.

      • I applied OAS on the Form ISP 3000 in Feb 2017, six months before my 65 years of age. My application was not approved and informed by Service Canada in Feb 2018 that my residence in Canada is only 8 years by including visit-visa and student-visa where as my stance is that my residence in Canada is 12 years. so I requested for reconsideration, still I am waiting for the reconsideration decision. My question is very simple that either my case will be resolved on the Form ISP3000 or ISP3500. For your information I did not received the form ISP3500 from reconsideration department of Service Canada. THANKS.

        • Hi Akhtar – Your eligibility for OAS will be determined on how many years you have “resided in Canada”, using the definition contained within the OAS legislation, which is defined by regulations as being the following:

          21. (1) For the purposes of the Act and these Regulations,
          (a) a person resides in Canada if he makes his home and ordinarily lives in any part of Canada; and
          (b) a person is present in Canada when he is physically present in any part of Canada.

          When determining what period(s) of time you have resided in Canada, they will use information that you provided in either/both forms, and any other source(s) that they deem relevant.

          • Thank you for your reply.I could not get exact reply, the reason might be that my question was not clear. This time I am explaining my problem very simple way.
            I came Canada on student-visa from 1995 to 2000 then got PR in 2000 and citizenship in 2003 , lived here till 2003. then moved overseas in 2003. From 2003 to 2013, I was in oversees. From 2014 to date, I am in Canada and visited overseas , but I was not away from Canada more than six months at a time as per requirement of sr No. 14(Residence History) of the form ISP 3000. Service Canada has already agreed and excepted my residence from 1995 to 2003 (8 years) in which my residence as a student ( 5 years)is also included. Service Canada is not agreed as a RESIDENCE from 2014 to date period but agreed as a PRESENT in Canada. Service Canada has already agreed only 8 years of residence instead of at least 10 years (requirement for partial oas pension). In short, Service Canada did not approved my OAS pension and told me that live in Canada two more years and told me that if I dont agree, then appeal for RECONSIDERATION. Accordingly I appeal for reconsideration with in 45 days of the Service Canada letter. Still I am waiting for reconsideration appeal.

            Now the new form ISP 3500 was introduced on 27 AUG 2018, in which stay in canada on student visa will not considered as a residence. If new form is applied to me then my 5 years period as a student will be deducted and my stay in Canada will only be Three years. My question is very simple , should CONSIDERATION TEAM will consider my case on old – form or new- form. Please help me.

          • Hi Akhtar – Now I understand your situation better, but it doesn’t change my answer at all. The different wording on the two forms is irrelevant, because there has been no legislative change to the definition of residence in Canada.

            Your problem is twofold. First, the definition of residence is subjective, so that two people looking at the same facts may reach different conclusions. Second, when the decision on whether you are eligible for OAS is being reconsidered, it wouldn’t be limited to deciding only whether the period since 2014 should be considered as residence in Canada. Instead, they would be looking at the totality of your residence in Canada. It is certainly open to the person who reconsiders your case (there is no Reconsideration Team) to reach a different conclusion on whether the period(s) when you were here as a visitor and/or student should count as residence in Canada in the same way that they may reach a different decision on what (if any) periods of time you have been a resident since 2014.

            Don’t get hung up on the two different forms. That is a red herring and has nothing to do with the reconsideration.

          • Hi Akhtar – In rereading your question, there’s probably one further point that I should make. I’m not familiar with the form ISP 3550 that you received, but since you say that it didn’t come from the “reconsideration team”, you may be misinterpreting what it was intended to convey. You quote that form as saying “PERIODS WHEN YOU WERE ONLY PRESENT IN CANADA(FOR EXAMPLE TEMPORARY VISITS OR TIME SPENT STUDYING IN CANADA) ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS A RESIDENCE OF CANADA.”

            While I would agree that this wording is not perfect and could be misinterpreted, I think it is intended to convey that periods of time spent in Canada as a visitor and/or student may not always count as residence in Canada, which doesn’t mean that they will never count as residence.

            If you read the sentence without the brackets, you get a 100% true statement which would read “PERIODS WHEN YOU WERE ONLY PRESENT IN CANADA ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS RESIDENCE IN CANADA.” The portion of the sentence within the brackets “(FOR EXAMPLE TEMPORARY VISITS OR TIME SPENT STUDYING IN CANADA)” is intended to illustrate two situations when someone might commonly be physically present in Canada but might not necessarily be considered as resident in Canada. For example, you might have a student who completes a 5-year course in Canada, but has very loose ties to Canada during those 5 years and spends all of their vacation periods in their country of origin versus another student who completes a 5-year course (or even shorter) in Canada but has strong ties to Canada and spends most/all of their vacation time in Canada. The first student might be determined to not be making Canada their home for those 5 years and thus only be present in Canada, whereas the other student might be determined to have been making Canada their home during those 5 years and would thus be considered as being both present and resident in Canada.

            The short answer is that the form ISP 3500 doesn’t mean that your period of time in Canada as a student will definitely not be counted as residence, because it was intended as being only an example of when presence in Canada might not be considered as residence.

  26. Hey, I have applied for my OAS three months ago but still have not recived a final decision yet. Do you know how long will it approximately take for the final decision to be made that if I am eligible or not?
    Thank you

  27. My wife wants to defer her pension but she is wondering if she chooses a date to defer to and changes her mind, can she file another application with a new start date?

    • Hi Paul – I’m a little bit confused when you ask about filing “another application with a new start date”, because if she wants to defer her OAS she shouldn’t complete any application until such time as she wants to start receiving it. Am I missing something?

      • Oh, well, I presumed she would get it automatically at 65 if she didn’t tell them she didn’t want it and the only way to do that was on the application form where it gives you a defer option and you can choose a date to start. She might be a different case than I was, though, as she hasn’t got a letter like I did that said it would start automatically without me applying.

        • Hi Paul – If she didn’t receive that letter shortly after she turned age 64, she won’t be approved automatically and she doesn’t have to do anything to defer her OAS. She can simply apply once she knows when she wants it to start (she can submit the application up to one year in advance).

          As I understand it, the only people who are approved automatically for OAS at age 65 are those people who have at least 40 years of contributions to CPP and who have applied for their CPP to start prior to age 65. In that case, they will have received a letter like you did.

          • Finally I received a letter from Service-Canada today, and the Reconsideration-team maintained the original decision in which he considered student period from 1995-2000 (5 years)
            and from 2000-2003(3 years) as a residence of Canada .From 2014 to 2018,he considered as a present, not as a residence. Please let me know , should I submit a NOTICE OF APPEAL TO SOCIAL SECURITY TRIBUNAL against the decision or not within 90 days (Dead line given by Service Canada).

            Another question (request) I have for you.
            This month I applied for ONTARIO-WORK, and is approved, but this amount is very less and is not enough to survive. Just I want to know that, should I apply for ODSP (in Prescribed -class, this class is included in ODSP for those who are more than 65 years of age and not receiving OAS pension). Is it possible that both ONTARIO WORK AMOUNT and ODSP AMOUNT stops?
            An immediate reply is requested please.

          • Hi Akhtar – If you feel that the wrong decision has been made, you should appeal to the SST within the time limit allowed. I’m sorry, but I know nothing about either ONTARIO-WORK or ODSP.

  28. If I do not appeal to SST and wait two more years to get OAS pension. In 2020, this letter will be considered for 8 years of residence in Canada or not. Should I keep this letter as a record of 8 years of residence and attach with the application form when I apply for OAS pension in 2020. Please suggest.


    • Hi Akhtar
      If you reapply for OAS two years from now, your complete residence history will be reviewed by someone different. They may reach the same conclusion on those 8 years, or they may reach a different conclusion. They may also reach a different conclusion regarding the period from 2014 to 2018. Submitting your current letter may increase the likelihood that they will reach the same conclusion.

  29. Good day,

    I have a question.. I have been leaving and working in Canada for more that 40 years and I get the same amount of money from the government as people that work in Canada 0 days… they have pention back home that they don’t claim on the income tax to the Canadian CRS, they travel 6 months of the year to the country they were born collect the pention from back home coming back here … the Canadian pention goes directly in the bank . leaving in subduing government housing …. what a life… cheating the system…..and my self can afford to travel anywhere for 6 months of the year . Please explain to me how fair this is,,the government doesn’t do anything about it.

    • Hi Pam – If you tell Service Canada their names and addresses, the government will investigate and do something about it if they are breaking the rules. Call 1-800-277-9914 and report them.

  30. I have a question about the clawback Doug. It concerns the taxable income figure that they use to determine the minimum and maximum thresholds. I have never collected the OAS benefit because it would just be clawed back but this taxation year will be different. I must wait until June of 2019 before proceeding but my question is this. Can I just look at my net taxable income from my 2018 income tax submission for this number. Or… I know the qualifying period runs June 2017 to June 2018 so do I need to identify any income earned during that period to establish that amount? I have dividends and interest payments that come in at various times throughout the year so this will be a challenge to calculate. Can you give me any guidance please.

  31. Hello Doug. Do you have any idea of where a person can get info on entry and departure dates from Canada during their lifetime? My wife moved to Canada when she was 19 but really can’t recall what year exactly. Her memory is not very good at this stage of her life. She remembers it was winter but not sure if it was the end of one year or the beginning of the next.I have been told that Canada does not track departures from the country, only arrivals. Border services was no help at all. How can one be sure of arrival and departure dates? Thanks for any help.

  32. Good idea, thanks Doug. It seems that will require a Privacy request. It’s odd that OAS doesn’t simply get this sort of info themselves. If it is available they should have access to it if they need it. They also want to know the dates people moved to and from Canada, but for Canadian citizens such as myself this information is not available as they do not track exits except for foreign nationals, and that for land crossings only it seems. A lot of people can simply not recall specific dates of things that happened in some cases many years ago.

  33. I retired in June 2018 which reduced my income to a small pension and full OAS. I applied for GIS and in March 2019. on what date would they calculate retroactive payments?( If I qualify.)
    My employment income from January 2019 to March 2019 was 4969. 2018 Income was 37,400
    Would I qualify for retroactive payment?

    • Hi Doreen – I’m a little confused. You say that you retired in June 2018, but you also say that you had employment income of $4,969 for Jan 2019 to Mar 2019. Can you please clarify? Also you say that you have a “small pension”. Can you quantify your pension? Are you receiving CPP? If so, how much? Are you single? If not, how old is your spouse and what incomes do they have? When did you turn age 65?

  34. Hi my name it is Zdenko on Agust I am 65 this year. On Sep. I get on my account OAS only $250 I don’t understood why. I am coming in Canada Dec.1997 and I am working only 5 years. My wife working but only part time and she make for one year 44.000. Can you help me to understood why OAS give to me only $250 do you think it is mistake.
    Thank you.

  35. Hi Doug:
    First I want to tell you that I have read every Q&A in this thread, and you have the patience of a saint!
    I have a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to, and I’m hoping you can help me. My husband is turning 65 this year, but has decided that he is not ready to retire just yet. He has elected to stop paying into CPP and has informed Services Canada through their portal that he wishes to defer receiving OAS. My question is, does he have to keep paying into OAS as he continues to work, or can he stop paying that as he did CPP?
    Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer!

    • Hi Tracy – There are no contributions for OAS (except for general tax revenue), so there are no OAS payments to stop or continue. As for CPP, he only gets the option to stop contributing if he starts receiving his CPP, so I’m assuming that he didn’t defer his CPP?

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