Retirement » Government Benefits

Three big changes to OAS (Old Age Security)

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 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.

Note: The 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.

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.

Unlike the change in eligibility, the option to defer OAS did get implemented and is currently in effect.

Related article:  Voluntary Deferral of OAS

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? 


  1. Stella

    Will my RRIF income affect my receiving of CPP?
    How about OAS clawback?
    Many thanks.

  2. Grady the pie eating hermit

    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?

    • David

      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.

  3. party yacker

    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.

    • Gary

      party yacker….grow up

    • Twitter-Ange

      party yacker This is not a forum for personal business promoters.

  4. Grady

    I didn’t know, so I asked a question. That is a reasonable, logical thing to do. I hope you enjoy your day.

  5. James

    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.

  6. Marcopolo J Costa

    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.

  7. Marcopolo J Costa

    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?

    • DEB

      Your calculations are off quite a bit. Year 1of qualifying for PRB may give you $285/yr but Year 2 adds another $285 on top of that and the same for year 3, 4 & 5. The PRB is also indexed for inflation but even if it wasn’t and the amount stayed the same, this is how it works out.

      Yr 1 $285
      Yr 2 $570 ($285 & $285)
      Yr 3 $855 ($570 & $285)
      Yr 4 $1140 ($855 & $285)
      Yr 5 $1425 ($1140 & $285)

      From year 6 on, you would receive an extra $1425 each year for the rest of your life. If you retire at 60 and this is what the PRB pays, that means if you live until 90, you will receive an extra $35,625, almost triple what you contributed for those 5 years.

  8. Wilson

    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?


    • Doug


      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.

      • Wilson

        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

        • Doug


          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.

  9. Heather Corner

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

  10. Jamie Lubbers

    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?

    • Doug Runchey


      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 Lubbers

        Any new information on the OAS age increase to 67 affecting me as per above question changed since then?

        • Doug Runchey


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

        • Mervin Gamble

          I’m going to be 65 in December 29th of 2023 will I still get the oldies pension in 2024 the GIS cuz I’m a low income please tell me what you want to add up to

          • Gilles

            If you look at the table above,as to what I understood you will get your benifits 5 months after your birthday.

      • Rodney Burgart

        I am 62 years old and have been living abroad for 6 years with no income.. I have just applied for my CPP. I lived in Canada for almost 55 years before applying for CPP. How will the new oas rules effect me?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Rodney

          Can you be more specific?

  11. Jamie Lubbers

    Thanks for your attempt in helping me.


  12. enrique

    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?

    • Doug Runchey


      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.

  13. enrique

    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.

    • Doug Runchey


      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.

  14. enrique

    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?

    • Doug Runchey


      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.

  15. ken

    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.

    • Doug Runchey


      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.

  16. evelio

    What is the maximum income allow from different source to be able to collect GIS??? Thank you

  17. Mr. Mo A.

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

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

  18. Balasin

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

      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.

  19. Maria

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

      Maria – I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “help her buy a home”. Can you clarify?

  20. Hermes

    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…



  22. ADG.

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

      Yes, if you have 40 years of residence in Canada you will receive OAS regardless where you live.

  23. Adrian

    Hi Doug,

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


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Adrian – Yes, this change was cancelled so the age of eligibility for OAS will remain at age 65.

  24. Lea

    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,


    • Doug Runchey

      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.

      • Lea

        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,

        • Doug Runchey

          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.

          • Lea

            Unfortunately, they would travel almost every year, each, for five months.

          • Doug Runchey

            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.

    • leslee

      Just need to clarify re: OAS.. Do you mean that the pro-ration as to when you get your OAS, (depending upon what year and date you were born).. Was cancelled under the Liberal Government. We will all receive our OAS once we turn 65 period? thanks

      • Doug Runchey

        Hi Leslee – Yes, that is correct.

        • GISELE

          Does it not depend on what year you’re born? I was born in October 1958. Will I receive my first payment at end of November 2022?

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Gisele – If you were born in October 1958, you will be 65 years old in October 2023 and your earliest possible OAS payment would be November 2023.

  25. Timothy Martin

    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

    • Doug Runchey

      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.

      • Frank M.

        Hi I have a question is the $74,788 threshold net income or gross income

  26. Wendy Beatty

    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?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wendy – Depending on what “very little” means, your friend might be eligible now to the “Allowance for a Survivor”. Read this article for more info:

      As long as she has a birth certificate (and immigration records, if applicable) she shouldn’t have any trouble applying for OAS.

  27. gerry wahl

    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

  28. AKHTAR


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Akhtar – I haven’t heard about any change to the residency requirement for OAS. What have you heard? Can you provide a link?

      • AKHTAR



        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Akhtar – I’ve searched for that form, but I can’t find it. Can you post a link to it or email a copy to me at [email protected]

          • AKHTAR


          • Adrian

            I have searched for “OAS BENEFIT FORM NO. SC ISP- 3500(2018-08-27)E” and there is no exact match.

            If it’s so easily available for you, have the courtesy of providing a link or email it to Doug. After all, he’s providing a free public service here and you’re the one asking for advice.

            By the way, writing in ALL CAPS is considered shouting, and it’s rude.

            You’re welcome!

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Adrian – Thanks very much for the support!

  29. AKHTAR

    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

    • Doug Runchey

      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.

      • AKHTAR

        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.

        • Doug Runchey

          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.

          • AKHTAR

            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.

          • Doug Runchey

            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.

          • Doug Runchey

            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.

          • Ferruccio capone

            Hi I turn 65 in Sept 1959 with changes to ccp and oas when will I get my first check

          • Doug Runchey

            The age of eligibility hasn’t changed for either CPP or OAS.

  30. AKHTAR

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    • AKHTAR

      Again thank you very much. I will infirm you, when I will receive any letter from RECONSIDERATION team of Service Canada.

  31. Amir

    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

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Amir – I understand that Service Canada’s delivery target is 35 weeks from date of application.

  32. Paul O'Brien

    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?

    • Doug Runchey

      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?

      • Paul O'Brien

        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.

        • Doug Runchey

          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.

          • AKHTAR

            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.

          • Doug Runchey

            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.

  33. AKHTAR

    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.


    • Doug Runchey

      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.

  34. Pam

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

      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.

  35. Ted

    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.

  36. Rick

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Rick – Immigration Canada should have a record of her initial entry to Canada, but beyond that I don’t know who might have any records if she doesn’t.

  37. Rick

    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.

  38. Doreen

    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?

    • Doug Runchey

      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?

  39. zdenko

    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.

    • Doug Runchey

      HI Zdenko – I suggest that you call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 for an explanation.

      • zdenko

        I will can you tell me did I need to get GIS or I am not applicant for that.

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Zdenko – You’re not providing me with enough information to help you at all. I still suggest that you call Service Canada and they can answer all of your questions.

          • zdenko

            Let me know what do you need and I will right for you.
            Thank you.

          • Doug Runchey

            Hi Zdenko – Call Service Canada first, and tell me what they tell you.

  40. Tracy

    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!

    • Doug Runchey

      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?

  41. Sam

    My parents are receiving old age security now. This year Nov 14 it will be 20 years completed for them in Canada. Can they live outside Canada now and receive the OAS? They are thinking of moving to a warmer place as the health is not supporting in Canadian winter times.

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Sam – Yes, if they have now resided in Canada for at least 20 years after age 18 they can receive their OAS if they leave Canada, but they would not be eligible for GIS.

  42. Bogdan

    I entered Canada in 2007 and have lived here ever since. I am US citizen and my entry to Canada should be probably classified as a “tourist”. After a couple of years I applied for my PR in Canada – had to prove to them that I continuously resided in Canada since 2007 in common law relationship with my Canadian finance (and later wife). MY PR application was finally approved in 2012. I will be 65 in 2020 and I have applied for OAS. Will I qualify? Also: before coming to Canada I lived (and worked) in the USA (17 years) and Germany (4 years – no work). Prior to that I had lived in Poland for 28 years (no employment there)

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Bogdan – Based on what you’ve said, you should be eligible to receive a partial OAS pension.

      • Bogdan

        will my residency be counted from 2007 (actually arrived) or 2012 (PR). Will my 17 years of residing in the USA be added to it? What about Germany and Poland?

        • Doug Runchey

          Hi Bogdan – If you truly haven’t left Canada since your original date of entry in 2007, they will likely use that date. It’s possible though, that they will use the date that you applied for PR. It’s unlikely that they would use the 2012 date.
          No periods of residence in any other country is ever used to increase the amount of your OAS entitlement. It would only be used (if needed) to help you meet the 10-year minimum eligibility requirement, but it would be used to determine how many 40ths you were entitled to.

  43. Rose

    Hello Jim,

    I have a serious question, there are a lot of emigrants coming to Canada sponsorship by the family and after 10 years leaving here they apply for all the benefits reaching the age of 65… they do not claim the pensions from back home and the government don’t care to ask when they apply …. they travel 6 months back home where they collect the other pension… they come back and has the Canadian money in the bank for not working 1 day in Canada, I repeat my self it’s not fair for the Canadians that work so hard… the system has to change… They also come here for 6 months use the health care having surgery and to recover they go back to all the resorts that they can afford… I am screaming my head off where it’s the law for us…. What is Canada Revenue doing??? Punishing the hard working class that goes shopping with a flyers to be able to make ends meet… please let me know which door I should knock …. I am not afraid to point out the truth…

    Many Thanks,
    Rose T

  44. Doug Runchey

    Hi Sandra – Yes, you will.

  45. JC Chan


    When calculating the length of residence in Canada for the eligibility of OAS, do we count the period when one stayed in Canada under Student VISA status ? For example, if an individual studied in Canada for 5 years, will it count as the living years in Canada ?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi JC – Without knowing more details, the best answer that I can give you is “it depends”. If you clearly had a permanent home elsewhere during that period, and if you returned to your permanent home during summer holidays and at other times, it probably doesn’t count as residence in Canada. On the other hand, if you had no permanent home in another country and if you were physically present in Canada for every day of those 5 years, it may count as residence in Canada.

  46. JC Chan

    Thank you Doug, this is the scenario for this individual :

    1986 – 1990 = 4 years under Student VISA status living in Regina, Sask., he did not leave Canada during this period of time.
    1991 – 1994 = 3 years working in Montreal, PQ under landed immigrant, permanent resident status, then applied Canadian citizenship.

    Do you think that his 7 years stay in Canada will be counted for the purpose of calculating his living years in Canada when applying OAS ?

    Thanks again, have a good one

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi JC – The three years as LI will count for sure. I feel that the four years as a student should also count, but that decision is subjective and you may have to fight for it.

  47. JC Chan

    Hello Doug,

    Just to add on above, this individual left Canada since 1994 and worked in Asian countries ever since. He intend to return back to Canada in 2022, at age 58. Will he meet the 10 years minimum requirement to apply OAS ?

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi JC – Why did he apply for Canadian citizenship and immediately leave Canada? This would raise all kinds of red flags to me, and I might reconsider the four years as a student. In any case, if he returns at age 58, he will have very close to the required 10 years just counting the 3-year period as LI and the 7-year period from age 58 to 65.

  48. Dennis Duchene

    I am the Executor for my sister Beverley Ann who passed awayJuly 19th, 2020.
    I received a letter from Service Canada. This Letter stated that she she worked for 6
    years in Canada in the early 80s.when she moved back from Canada, but she must have
    10 years to received the Death Benefit. She worked in the USA from1966 to 1968 plus
    1970 and from 1974, 75,76, 77 and 1978, when she moved back to her country. This gave
    her 8 more years of employment, plus she received SSA Benefit from USA due to an
    accident before she returned. CRA sent her Death Benefit to the International Office.
    Will she know receive the Death Benefit as she has 14 years of employment between
    the both Countries, how long will a decision take if you qualify , and is there a phone
    number to call the Internation Office.

    but she

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Dennis – It appears that she should qualify under the Canada/USA agreement. It generally takes at least 9-12 months to confirm these international contributions.

  49. Wilson

    I have questions about OAS and CPP. My spouse passed away few months ago. My OAS $ increased a bit. Now I would like to sell my house ( I only have one house) and rent a condo place. Would my OAS be reduced or removed after I do that? Let’s say I am not going to put the $ to invest to make any income.


    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Wilson – No, selling your house won’t affect your OAS or GIS.

  50. Scott

    Hello Doug, Im a little confused about the eligibility for oas. My wife retires in 3 years, born Oct 16th 1959, will she receive oas at 65 or 67. Thank you

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Scott – Your wife (and everyone else) will currently qualify for OAS at age 65. The whole concept by the Conservatives to delay OAS until age 67 was reversed by the Liberals, so that everybody still qualifies at age 65 (until it changes again).

  51. Bruce

    I collect a pension which is bridged and a temporary annuity. I lose both at 65.(Dec 2023) According to the new OAS rules,I can’t collect OAS until M ay 2024? I was hoping to collect in Jan 2024 to offset lising my bridge and temp annuity…( I do collect CPP (since 2021 age 63)

    • Doug Runchey

      Hi Bruce – It appears that you missed the NOTE at the beginning of this article, because this change to the OAS eligibility age was cancelled without ever being implemented.

  52. dave in Toronto

    While I find the information provided invaluable, and the life stories very interesting, I believe it would really help put things in context by including a date with your comments. march2023.

  53. NIKI

    Hi Doug, here is the situation that Service Canada decided that my mom didn’t make canada her home. my parents left canada in 2020 and cannot come back due to covid and unfortunately, my dad had a stroke and cannot return at all with a long treatment (now he lost his cognitive, language ability and is on wheelchair). Before they left, they were receiving OAS and GIS. we called and stopped the payment in 2021. My mom returned to Canada March 2023 and visited my dad backhome Nov 2023, planning to come back April 2024. Before her visit, we called Service Canada to reinstate her benefit and was told it was approved. However, they heard that my mom would go for a visit and sent out questionnaire. Today we were told her benefit was supsend since she doesn’t make canada her home. I cannot tell my mom that she has to stay in order to get her OAS not visiting her husband, who is so sick. Do u think there woud be a chance asking for reconsideration? In the past, we always think if you meet the residential obligation in Canada, it would be fine. Now it doesn’t seem the case. Can you please advise? Thanks a lot.

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