Can We Rely on the Old Age Security Cash Cow?

The OAS pension is another aspect of your cash flow planning for retirement and therefore you need to be fully informed about what it is, how it works, and how it's going to change.

It is different than the CPP pension in that we don't make direct contributions to it during our working years. We become eligible to receive it simply based on our years living in Canada. That is a good thing—and also a bad thing, as we will soon find out.

The Old Age Security (OAS) program provides a modest monthly pension starting at age 65 if you have lived in Canada for at least 10 years. If you are a low-income senior, you may be eligible for other benefits, called an allowance, as early as age 60. You must apply for the OAS and also meet certain legal status and residence requirements. It is recommended that you apply six months before turning 65. You don't need to be retired and your employment history is not used to determine your eligibility.

The OAS Details

All OAS benefits are adjusted in January, April, July and October if there are increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

To qualify for an OAS pension, you must be 65 years of age or older, and must be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada on the day preceding your application's approval, or, if you are no longer living in Canada, you must have been a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada on the day preceding the day you stopped living in ...

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