what is oas pension

The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. You may need to apply to receive it. The OAS program is the Government of Canada's largest pension program, which is funded out of the general tax revenues of the Government of Canada.

oas eligibility

If you are living in Canada, you must:

  • be 65 years old or older;
  • be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident at the time we approve your OAS pension application; and
  • have resided in Canada for at least 10 years since the age of 18.


If you are living outside Canada, you must:

  • be 65 years old or older;
  • have been a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada on the day before you left Canada; and
  • have resided in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18.


If neither of the above scenarios applies to you, you may still qualify for an OAS pension, a pension from another country or from both countries if you have:

  • lived in one of the countries with which Canada has established a social security agreement; or
  • contributed to the social security system of one of the countries with which Canada has established a social security agreement.


You can receive the OAS pension even if you have never worked or are still working, which means your employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility.

deferring your oas pension

You can defer receiving your OAS pension for up to 60 months after the date you become eligible for an OAS pension in exchange for a higher monthly amount - your monthly pension payment will be increased by 0.6 percent for every month you delay receiving it, up to a maximum of 36 percent at age 70.


If you choose to defer receiving your OAS pension, you will not be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and your spouse or common-law partner will not be eligible for the Allowance benefit for the period you are delaying your OAS pension.

what is gis

The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada.

gis eligibility

You have to meet all of the following conditions:

  • you are receiving an OAS pension; and
  • your annual income (or in the case of a couple, your combined income) is lower than the maximum annual threshold.


You will be automatically enrolled for the GIS if you are eligible and you were automatically enrolled for the OAS pension.


If you are eligible to be enrolled automatically, Service Canada will send you a notification letter the month after you turn 64. If you did not receive a letter from Service Canada informing you that you were selected for OAS/GIS automatic enrolment, you must apply in writing. 



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