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What Happens To Your OAS and CPP Pension If You Retire Abroad?

What happens to your pension benefits if you relocate or retire outside Canada? The reality is that an increasing number of Canadians are choosing warmer climes and destinations with a lower cost of living for their retirement.

Some retirees only move out of Canada in the winter (snowbirds), while some depart Canada to live abroad for good. A blog reader contacted me recently and requested that I write about personal finance topics of interest to Canadian ex-pats. So, this post is one of a series of many to come.

Read on to find out what happens to your CPP, OAS, and other government benefits if you leave Canada to live abroad.

Related: A Pre-Retirement Checklist for Canadians

Collecting OAS While Living Abroad

The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is one of the three main pillars of retirement income for Canadians. OAS payments are available to eligible seniors starting from age 65.

To continue receiving the OAS pension while living outside of Canada, you must be at least 65 years old and have lived in Canada for at least 20 years after your 18th birthday.

Even if you do not meet the 20-year residency requirement, you may still qualify for OAS if you have lived and worked in a country with a social security agreement with Canada. Or if you do not leave Canada for longer than 6 months in a year.

The maximum amount of OAS you will receive depends on how long you lived in Canada as an adult. A 40-year residency is required to qualify for a full OAS pension. For example, a 20-year residency means 20/40th (or one-half) of a full pension.

Recent immigrants to Canada who do not meet the 20-year residency rule and come from countries without a social security agreement risk losing their OAS payments if they leave Canada for more than 6 months. Pension payments are stopped and resume again when you return.

Taxes on OAS Payments

The taxes you pay on your pension payments depends on your overall income and how you are categorized for income tax purposes, whether as a non-resident, resident, or factual resident of Canada.

In general, OAS payments to a non-resident are subject to a default 25% withholding tax. This tax may be reduced or become nil if your new country of residence has a tax treaty with Canada.

For instance, if you have moved to Florida or Arizona to enjoy warm weather all year round, based on the tax treaty that Canada has with the United States, no withholding tax is deducted at source from your OAS and CPP/QPP benefits.

You can check out a listing of non-resident tax by country.

You may be able to lower your withholding taxes even if you live in a country with no tax treaty with Canada by completing an NR5 application.

Related: Is OAS Taxable?

What About the OAS Clawback?

Also known as a “recovery tax,” the OAS clawback amounts to a 15% tax on excess OAS payments when your annual net world income exceeds the specified threshold for the year.

The minimum threshold amounts for 2021-2024 are as follows:

  • $79,054 for the July 2021 to June 2022 payment period
  • $79,845 for the July 2022 to June 2023 payment period
  • $81,761 for the July 2023 to June 2024 payment period

For example, if your net income was $89,845 in 2021, you will be required to pay a recovery tax on $10,000 ($89,845 – $79,845) at 15% or 15 cents on the dollar for a total clawback of $10,000 x 15% = $1,500 or $125 per month from July 2021 to June 2023.

There is also a maximum income threshold at which your OAS payments become zero. For 2021-2024, the cut-off amounts are:

  • $128,149 for the July 2021 to June 2022 payment period
  • $129,075 for the July 2022 to June 2023 payment period
  • $134,626 for the July 2023 to June 2024 payment period ($137,331 if you are aged 75+)

If you are residing in a country that has a tax treaty with Canada (41 countries as of this writing), you do not pay the OAS recovery tax even if your income exceeds the threshold and are not required to file a return (i.e. the Old Age Security Return of Income – OASRI).

If you do not reside in these tax treaty countries, you must file an OASRI annually by April 30th at the latest.

How About GIS and OAS Survivor Benefits When Abroad?

The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly payment made to low-income seniors in Canada. Unlike the OAS, GIS payments are non-taxable.

Also, you must be a “resident” of Canada to receive GIS. This, by extension, means that you cannot be absent from Canada for more than 6 months in a year.

If you stay outside Canada for longer than 6 months, GIS payments will stop and continue when you return to Canada (if you are still eligible).

Similar conditions apply to other OAS benefits, including:

  • Allowance: This is a monthly benefit paid to a low-income senior between the ages of 60-64 years whose spouse receives the GIS.
  • Allowance for the Survivor: This monthly benefit is paid to low-income seniors (aged 60-64 years) who have lost a spouse and have not remarried or entered into a common-law relationship.

These two benefits continue to be paid while you are outside Canada as long as the “residency” requirements are met.

Related: CPP vs OAS – How Do They Differ?

what happens to oas and cpp if you retire abroad

Can You Collect CPP While Living Abroad?

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is well-known as the second main pillar of Canada’s retirement income system. It is designed to replace about 25% or more of a senior’s average salary during their working years. In Quebec, this pension plan is referred to as the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

Unlike the OAS, which is non-contributory, you must have worked in Canada and made contributions to the CPP/QPP before you can qualify to receive CPP benefits.

The standard age to receive a full CPP pension is age 65. However, you can elect to collect CPP/QPP as early as age 60 (reduced CPP) or delay it till as late as age 70 (increased CPP). 

Your CPP benefits continue even if you decide to relocate permanently from Canada and are not subject to the residency requirements of the OAS.

Similar to the OAS pension, your CPP/QPP is subjected to a flat 25% withholding tax rate except if you are residing in a country that has a tax treaty with Canada. The taxes withheld in Canada will normally reduce taxes you must pay in your country of residence.

For example, non-resident Canadians living in the U.S. pay a 0% tax rate on CPP/QPP benefits as they are expected to file a U.S. tax return. If you are living in Barbados, Ecuador, Spain, or Mexico, you can expect to pay a 15% withholding tax rate.

How About CPP Survivor’s Pension and Children’s Benefits? You can also receive the CPP survivor’s pension and children’s benefits even if you live outside Canada. 

How To Receive Your OAS and CPP Payments Abroad

Your OAS benefits and CPP/QPP pension can be received as a direct deposit to your local bank account and in the local currency.

If the Receiver General of Canada (Service Canada) is unable to issue direct payments because of restrictions where you reside, a cheque is made out in Canadian dollars and sent to you via mail.

Check out the OAS and CPP payment dates and amounts for this year.

For more information on your pension eligibility when outside Canada, contact Service Canada at 1-800-454-8731 (if calling from Canada or the U.S.) or at 1-613-957-1954 if calling from all other countries. If you are calling about the QPP, contact Retraite Quebec at 1-800-463-5185.

What Happens To Workplace Pensions?

If you contributed to an employer’s defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan, you will continue to receive your payments while outside of Canada.

Similar to OAS and CPP payments, a withholding tax applies if you are a non-resident of Canada, and may be eliminated or reduced depending on the tax treaty Canada has with your country of residence.

If you left your employer before reaching the prescribed or maximum pension age, your vested pension funds may be commuted and transferred into a locked-in retirement account (LIRA/LRSP). 

Most provinces allow you to unlock your locked-in pension funds once you become a non-resident of Canada for 2 years. Read more about LIRA, LIF, LRSP, and PRIF pension plans.

What About Provincial Retirement Benefits if you Retire Abroad?

Supplemental provincial retirement benefits like the 55 Plus Program, British Columbia’s Senior’s Supplement Program, Alberta’s Senior’s Benefit Program, and Ontario’s Guaranteed Annual Income System are directed at low-income citizens who reside permanently in the province and who receive the GIS/OAS.

If you live outside Canada, you are unlikely to qualify for provincial benefits.

Conclusion

As a Canadian retiring abroad, you may be able to get your pension benefits while enjoying the sun and paying less in taxes and for your daily upkeep.

Depending on your country of residence and existing tax treaties with Canada, a 25% withholding tax or less may apply to your OAS and CPP/QPP benefits. GIS benefits are non-taxable but do stop if you leave Canada for longer than 6 months.

In addition to your retirement benefits, you should consider other factors, such as healthcare and personal safety, when relocating to another country. Your provincial healthcare plan coverage may stop after you have been absent for some months. 

For example, to keep your healthcare benefits, you must, at a minimum, be physically present in these provinces (in a 12-month period) as follows:

  • Manitoba: 6 months
  • Alberta: 183 days
  • Ontario: 153 days
  • New Brunswick: 153 days
  • Quebec: 183 days
  • Prince Edward Island: 6 months plus 1 day
  • Saskatchewan: 183 days
  • Nova Scotia: 183 days

Related Posts:

Have a question about your benefits and what happens to them if you relocate abroad? Leave them in the comments.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

91 thoughts on “What Happens To Your OAS and CPP Pension If You Retire Abroad?”

  1. Gravatar for Gsv

    Hi. Thanks for this. What happens to Canadian income tax if I work outside Canada as a Canadian citizen. I heard that if you’re a non resident of Canada then you dont have to pay Canadian income tax. Is it true? If so, when does one become a Canadian non resident, while still keeping Canadian citizenship?

  2. Gravatar for Rose

    Hi Enoch.
    I am a missionary living abroad. Started receiving my OAS. CRA considers me a factual resident of NS. Can i apply for GIS?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Rose:

      I believe you will be able to apply if you meet the other eligibility requirement since factual residents of Canada file income tax returns and are eligible for GST/HST credits and the CCB. That being said, your GIS benefits are going to be suspended while you are away from Canada for longer than 6 months.

      • Gravatar for george

        that mean that canadians are “canadians” “only” in Canada,this is “very stupid.

  3. Gravatar for François Boucher

    Great article. Thank you!

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Francois: You are welcome!

      • Gravatar for Cecile

        I am a Canadian citizen in the process of re-activating my residency so I may apply for my CPP and OAC I currently reside in Mexico. To apply for my OAC do I need to be residing in Canada to receive this. I am hearing I need to live in Canada for 12 months. Does anyone know the answer to this please?
        The best,
        Cecile

  4. Gravatar for On Vo

    Hello Enoch

    I married,but my spouse never live in Canada and does not have S.I.N , would she be eligible to receiving the survival pension if I die before her ?

    Thank you

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @On Vo: Based on the information I can find, it appears so. However, I can’t say for sure. Best to check with Service Canada.

  5. Gravatar for Guy

    I understand that the GIS benefits are to be suspended if you are outside Canada for more than 6 consecutive months but if you come back to Canada before reaching that threshold and stay for a few weeks and leave again for 6 months, will the benefits be suspended ?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Guy: I am not sure how Service Canada views this strategy. Best to check with Service Canada. I doubt it will work though, as the intent of the rule is that you should normally live in Canada.

  6. Gravatar for Linda White

    Hi Enoch, I am a permanent resident in Australia since August 1983. I left Canada in July 1980 on a working holiday visa to Australia. I would like to get my CPP from Canada. DOB is 23/11/1952. I worked permanently in Canada from 1971 to 1980. Am I eligible to receive the CPP?
    Thanks for your help.
    Regards
    Linda White

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Linda: The way I understand it, you are eligible to apply for CPP benefits if you have made at least one valid contribution to the CPP.

  7. Gravatar for Joel thalLa

    Hello Enoch, I am a Canadian citizen working for the United Nations System in various countries outside Canada since Nov 2006. I am considered as a deemed resident for tax purposes , because of my ties with Canada. Consequently, I file my taxes in Canada each year but claim full tax exemption on income beacuse of the tax treaty with the UN. I pay assessment to the UN system instead. I worked / stayed in Canada when I migrated in Feb 2001 to Oct 2006 but frequently come to Canada because family lives in Canada.

    I will retire outside Canada in 2024.

    Kindly advise whether as a deemed resident for tax purposes, working for the UN outside Canada , having a tax treaty, I will be eligible for Old age pension.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Joel:

      You have an interesting scenario here. I will take a stab at it, but will also advise that you should give Service Canada a call.

      Based on info provided by the Feds:

      https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/old-age-security/eligibility.html

      “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.”

      There may be a “social security agreement” between Canada and the UN system / countries. If not, I believe you will have to meet the other eligibility requirements for someone living outside of Canada.

  8. Gravatar for Heather Dickens

    Hi, I’m still unsure about how long you have to reside in Canada to get full OAS. In your article you state 20 years then after that state 40. Saying 20 years gets you 1/2 the amount. I have also found it stated both ways on government sites. Can you clarify it? I am a Canadian resident but might not be here to age 58.
    Thanks

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Heather: 40 years gets you the full OAS amount. 20 years ensures you can continue receiving OAS even if you are outside of Canada for longer than 6 months.

      • Gravatar for J West

        Hi Enoch, Is the CPP also restricted to the six month residency constraints as the OAS & GIS. I am on a CPP disability which will end at 65 and switch to lower CPP benefit. However Iam lifetime Canadian citizen but fled to live third world as I can’t afford to return to Canada. Will I receive the CPP but no OAS or GIS? Will I receive anything? Thx.I don’t want run afoul of the system.Does CBSA track and report travellers info to Revenue Canada and Pension Services? So “Big Brother”.

        Confused as heck

        J West.

  9. Gravatar for MARYANN VANSICKLE

    Can you show the list of non tax countries. It’s not opening for me.

    Thanks

  10. Gravatar for Irene

    My husband has been diagnosed with an incurable disease, a combination of Parkinson and Dementia, and needs 24-hr care. He has retired and I applied for CPP this month. We both decided to move out to Slovakia, our country of origin, where he wants to finish his life. He has lived and worked in Canada for 35 years. How much will he get from OAS when living outside Canada? 35 years is a longer time than 20 years but less than 40 years to qualify for a full OAS.

    I would also like to know if I qualify for OAS after living and working in Canada for 10 years. I quote: “Even if you do not meet the 20-year residency requirement, you may still qualify for OAS if you have lived and worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada.” Slovakia has a social agreement with Canada.

    Thanks

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Irene: Sorry to hear about your spouse’s poor health.
      How much CPP to expect will depend on his age, how long he has contributed and how much he contributed. without knowing his current age and based on working for 35 years, I would assume his CPP would be close to “full.” As for OAS, if he lived in Canada for 35 years since age 18, he will technically qualify for 35/40 OAS benefits (87.5%) at age 65.

      Depending on the terms of Slovakia’s social security agreement with Canada, you may qualify for OAS. I’m not sure how living abroad may impact your benefits, however. Best to call OAS for a more complete answer- 1-800-277-9914. Cheers!

  11. Gravatar for Rakesh garcha

    I have been PR of Canada for 15 years but physically I have lived there for 6 years (2 years stay in 5 years as required for PR status). I would like to know what does 10 years residency means for getting old-age pension in Canada. Does it mean you have to physically live for 10 years or you simply being resident for 15 years will make me eligible. thanks.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Rakesh: I believe it involves physical presence in Canada.

  12. Gravatar for Hermes

    I do not understand. Why does the gov’t of Canada take such a huge % of one’s pension for living outside of Canada? How does an old man moving to where the rent is cheaper cost the government or the tax-payers of Canada more and therefore deserve such financial punishment? Especially since, as a non-resident one doesn’t use government services such as highways, hospitals and police.

    • Gravatar for Shah

      Same here. Why do they cut 25% of your OAS or CPP, when you live abr permanently? Do you get any of the 25% withholding tax back, if your world wide income is low?

      Old people are actually doing Canada a favour by moving abroad and residing abroad as a non resident as they are not a burden on their healthcare anymore!

      Why cut 25% from them? If they were in Canada, they wouldn’t have to pay that 25% back.

  13. Gravatar for Shah

    Currently I & my spouse get CPP and OAS from Canada. We will be moving back to India permanently next year, won be coming back to Canada.

    So Canada will be withholding 25% tax on our OAS & CPP. Do we get this withholding tax back, when we file a non resident CRA return from India?

    Do we even have to file a non resident Canadian return ever year from India? Or we will keep on getting the OAS and CPP deposited in India automatically, irrespective of whether we file a return or not?

    I am also confused about the 25% withholding tax. Is it gone forever irrespective of how much you earn or don’t earn abroad ( in this case India).

    Or do you actually get some or all of the 25% withholding tax back, when you file a CRA return from a non tax treaty country like India.

    Thanks

  14. Gravatar for Cheryl O

    Hello.I have been living in Germany since 2010.I was born in 1962. Will I be able to collect both OAS and CPP? If yes, what age can I start collecting?

  15. Gravatar for Merve

    Hello, Enoch
    My wife receives a disability pension. We would like to become residents of Mexico. Will she still be able to receive it? She has lived in Canada all her life and is 57 years old.
    Thank you for any help you can offer on this matter.

  16. Gravatar for Anna maria augestad

    I live in Canada since 1976.presently I am 73 years old.if I want to live the country (not for good) haw long can I do every year.I am thinking 8 month…
    The country I want to go is Turkey

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Anna: Based on the information you have provided, it does look like you would be able to receive OAS and CPP benefits while you are out of the country.

      You may still want to check with Service Canada to ensure you are not missing anything.

      Cheers.

    • Gravatar for Philiph

      Thanks for this, very helpful. I am a Canadian citizen living in the UK. I shall soon have a CPP payment due. Can I have these payments lodged directly in my son’s account, who lives in Montreal.

      If not I am looking to open a fee free account in my own name. I tried Tangerine but they won’t open accounts for non-resident Canadians – which sounds like discrimination to me.

      I know I can have it paid in the UK, but I would prefer to gift it to my son in Canada.

      Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  17. Gravatar for Wayne Rowley

    Dear Sir
    I like your Info and style.
    I and many of my friends are still very confused about OAS. There is mass confusion between Fact and misinformation. I am 78 years old, lived and worked in Canada for all that. Can I live outside Canada and after 6 months absence still collect OAS? As a permanet non resident? Yes, I maybe subject to witholding tax but I still file Canadaian Income Tax.
    WE (a lot of aviation people) would appreciate a simple answer.
    Many Thanks.
    KOOL 1

  18. Gravatar for Wayne rowley

    Good day Enoch
    I have left a message here and on one of your other sites. Don’t know if you are receiving them.
    I am retiring to Vietnam.I know that Vietnam has some sort of agreement with Canada regarding OAS and CPP. I was born and worked all my life in Canada. Iam 78 Years old. I think I’m good about CPP. It is the OAS and can I continue to recieve it after 6 months out of Country? It will make a huge difference in Life style. There seems tobe massive confusion on this at high levels. I read one of the Gov publications you recommended and one person continued to Collect his OAS after leaving Canada
    Regards
    Wayne

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Wayne: If you have lived in Canada for at least 20 years, you are eligible to receive your OAS payments while you are living abroad.

      If you do not meet the residency requirements, you could still get it if you live in a country that has a social security agreement with Canada. I know Vietnam has an agreement with Canada to eliminate double taxation, however, I don’t know what the deal is with OAS.

      It’s probably best for you to contact OAS directly to get a more accurate answer.

  19. Gravatar for wayne rowley

    Hi Enoch
    I have been doing more research and reading. Seems the gentleman in Austria was able to recieve his OAS on a permanent Bases because Austria has a Social Security Agreement with Canada. Vietnam also has a Social Security Agreement with Vietnam. I do not know if they are the same.
    Getting more confused and frustrated
    Wayne

  20. Gravatar for Gladys Bugera

    If my husband and I were to move to Ukraine for retirement what would happen to our pensions?

  21. Gravatar for Joanne Murphy

    Thanks for a great article! I’m doing my due diligence for our pending retirement outside of Canada (we’re looking at moving to Central/South America, doing a “roving retiree” thing for at least a few years before we settle down). My question – can you recommend good credit cards and banks? We will get pensions (government and employer) and had thought to have them deposited to our Canadian banks, as we will be “roving.” We would then use ATMs for local cash. We may open bank accounts in our new countries; we’d like to pay as little as we can for transfer fees, currency exchange rates etc. Credit cards you can recommend for our situation? Are there Canadian banks that have foreign affiliates so we can transfer from our Canadian accounts to our foreign accounts and hopefully avoid unnecessary fees? “It’s not what you make that counts, it’s what you get to keep.” Thanks again for the great research.

  22. Gravatar for CharlEs

    Hi Enoch, thank you for this site and all that you do !
    I live and work in USA since 1992.
    I lived and worked in Canada for 18 years and 2 months after age 18.
    I am about to retire now, I’m almost 65 years old.
    Would I get any OAS, perhaps 18/40th (about 45%) of $613 ?
    I guess I would get CPP, is that correct ?
    Are there taxes withheld or taxes due on any of these payments in Canada ?
    Will my US Social Security will be reduced because of the Canadian OAS & CPP ?
    Will OAS and/or CPP be reduced because of US Soc Sec income (I make less than $50,000) ?
    Greatly appreciate your help.
    Charlie

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Charles: To answer a few of your questions:

      – If you contributed to the CPP during those 18 years, you will qualify for CPP benefits.
      – If you lived in Canada for at least 20 years after your 18th birthday, you will qualify for OAS based on the number of those years…OAS does not depend on your employment status/years…rather how many years did you spend in Canada as an adult. Even if you did not spend 20 years, I believe the US and Canada have an arrangement that helps Canadian expats. I don’t know the details of how this works.
      – No withholding taxes on OAS or CPP if you reside in the U.S. You will file a US tax return.
      – I don’t know how US pensions work.

  23. Gravatar for Yasmin

    Hi I’m in the UK and getting CPP based on 25 years residency. Can you tell me if I get the annual inflation benefit? Thanks

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Yasmin: Everyone eligible for the CPP enjoy the annual inflation increase i.e. the indexation to the consumer price index.

  24. Gravatar for Brian

    Hi Enoch:
    I am a resident of Canada and I receive CPP and OAS, as well as a British State Pension from my time working there in my earlier years. My British pension is frozen, and will not see any annual adjustments for inflation. If I move back to the UK I will then receive the current adjusted rate for my UK pension and would also receive annual adjustments thereafter. Would my CPP and OAS still receive annual inflation adjustments if I were to live in the UK, or would they become frozen. Many thanks.

  25. Gravatar for Kash

    Hello,

    Can you please clarify the 20 year minimum residency requirement for OAS portability, ie, applying for OAS if no longer living in Canada.
    Is one deemed to be resident in Canada if living here for six months in a 12 month period, or six months in a calendar year?
    Thank you so much.

  26. Gravatar for Josiane Ochman

    I have dual French and Canadian citizenship. Recently widowed our daughter lives in France. I am planning on moving there permanently. I now receive my OAS my CPP and my Pension from over 30 years teaching in British Columbia. I also have access to some saved retirement funds although I collect after taxes less than 3,500 a month not a huge income. I would like to know if I have to file my Canadian income tax return every year. I will e receiving no money from France never having worked there. I remember reading that you can’t be taxed twice Canada and France do have a eciprocity agreement. I am worried about my greatly diminished pension with the switch to euro,inevitable I know. I am also worried about the 25% withholding. tax would I get that back upon filing my income tax since I am on the low end of the scale income wise? Please advise it’s all rather confusing. My email address keeps popping up in capitals it’s all lower case [email protected] Thank you.

  27. Gravatar for mark salzborn

    Hi Enoch
    I have just turned 65 May27th
    I was planning to move and live in Thailand for a few years with return tripback to Canada for a month or so once,twice a year…the accountant i deal with told me i would lose my OAS but that my CPP would carry on in full to be deposited but that unless i was back in Canada before 6 months where up i would lose my OAS,now i am reading that some people even get the GIS and live outside of Canada permanent.I think i will be recieving OAS is 612.00 and CPP roughly be 1125.00 would i have to pay a with holding tax of 25% if so it makes no sense as i would not be using any government sevices Please Enoch if you have time to answer me Thank you

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Mark: A 25% withholding tax is the default rate, however, it may vary based on the tax convention between Canada and your country of residence. In some cases, you get a “tax rebate” to reflect the local taxes you will have to pay.

      I checked the tax treaty between Canada and Thailand briefly and can’t really say whether you get a reduction or not. Here’s the link to the tax treaties Canada has signed with other countries:

      https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/tax-policy/tax-treaties/in-force.html

  28. Gravatar for Rjay Yan

    My grandfather is planning to live in the Philippines and im asking what will happen to his pension? Will CPP stop after 6 months? OAS stop after 6 months? Thanks

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Rjay: It will depend on a bunch of factors, including how long he has lived in Canada as an adult (for OAS). CPP is paid regardless of where you live and is not subject to residency requirements.

  29. Gravatar for pham thi thuy duong

    Thank you for the very useful information

  30. Gravatar for Val

    This is great information, thank you so much Enoch. I have started binge reading your articles in preparation for our upcoming retirement, they really are a fantastic ressource. You are doing us all a great favour, kudos.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Val: You are welcome. Happy to hear you find it useful!

  31. Gravatar for Debi

    I was born in the UK, worked over 40 years in Canada, now returning to the UK to retire. I plan on spending 9 months of the year in the UK and 3 months of the year in Canada. Where do I pay taxes? I will have a residence in both countries. Should I move my RRSP investments, TFSA funds to my UK bank?

  32. Gravatar for LInda

    Are there any exceptions being made during Covid? My mom has dual citizenship Canada/Italy and is in a small town in Italy now since July 27,2020. She is scheduled to return Dec 5 but due to flight cancellations, will have to disembark 3 times…she is at high risk due to heart disease. She is safer to stay in Italy until summer but will she lose all her CPP and OHIP? Are there exceptions being made now?

    • Gravatar for TJ

      No she won’t lose her CPP and OAS. But after 6 months, if she informs Service Canada she will lose her GIS – Guaranteed Income Supplement, if she is getting that.

      But CPP & OAS will be intact.

  33. Gravatar for Avni

    I’m thinking to retire in Bosnia just because my retirement won’t be enough to live in Canada.
    Do I still have to pay 25% even my pension is going to be very low, about 10000/year

    • Gravatar for TJ

      You can file a Canadian Non Resident Tax Return under Section 217 to get all the withholding tax back, if you’re income/pension is very low.

  34. Gravatar for Philip haines

    Great article, thanks. I am a dual citizen of Canada/UK, now residing in the UK, born in 1952. I have a small CPP payment due, as a result of living in Canada from 1985-9, may be $3,000 per year, which I am deferring until I am70 in 18 months time. Possibly I may be due a reduced OAS payment as well.

    If possible I would like to use the pension as savings for my son, who lives in Montreal, and is 35. He is not a house owner yet. What would the most tax efficient method of effecting this and investing the funds please? Could he open a TFSA and I have the payments paid directly there, as there are no witholding taxes for my pension as I’m the UK?

    As further background I do have a UK state pension, but deliberately have never associated my Canadian contributions with my UK contributions to that scheme.

    There is another, minor related issue which is that I have read that my spouse (also dual citizen) should qualify for death benefit. I have read that I would have needed to have contributed for at least three years, which I did but my projections from CPP state that she does not qualify. I do have a SIN.

  35. Gravatar for GERALD

    If I leave on a cruise ship from a Canadian port and I am away at sea for more than 6 months will I loose my government health benefits?

  36. Gravatar for TJ

    How to fill the address in the IDENTIFICATION part of the Old Age Security Return of Income (OASRI) form?

    You’re in a foreign country, so should you fill the foreign address? But the provision is only given in a Canadian address format like Province, Postal Code etc.

  37. Gravatar for CAROL

    Hi – We are thinking of retiring full time to Aruba. We will be eligible for CPP in 4 years. Can we keep a bank account in Canada and have our pension deposited there instead of directly to Aruba?

  38. Gravatar for Dene

    Hi Enoch,
    Thank you for your website, it is easy to understand. I do have another question that is not addressed here and I’m not sure if you can answer this or not.
    My spouse and I were born in Canada and have worked and lived here all of our lives. We are near retirement and are planning on moving to Ecuador. We know that we are eligible for CPP and OAS because we have been here for over 40 years after the age of 18. However I have an incorporated company that is registered in Alberta. The work is mostly online and I could easily run it from Ecuador. Do we have to dissolve our company or can we register it online without a physical address. Any information you have would be helpful. Thank you Dene

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Dene: That’s a tough one and I’m not sure what the answer is. Best to follow up with the Companies Office in Alberta to see how sticky they are with the head-office address requirement. Cheers.

  39. Gravatar for Donald Lance

    Hello Enoch, I moved to the states when is was 33, I’m now 64. At 65 can I collect any of my OAS for the 15 years I lived in Canada after my 18th birthday?
    If not, how can I marry the oas with SS?
    Don

  40. Gravatar for Dan

    Great article, thanks.

    I’m also planning on retiring abroad. My goal is to start off with full time slow travel for 3 -6 months in each of the following countries Mexico, Ecuador, Panama, Portugal, Philippines and Thailand all while searching for my forever location.

    My main question is regarding the “Departure Tax” I found a lot of articles mentioning capital gains for rentals which I don’t have.
    Now I own my house in which I’ve lived in for 22 years, when I sale it do I need to pay capital gains on it when I leave Canada?

    Thanks
    Dan

    P.S. Do you have an article explaining Departure Tax?

  41. Gravatar for Al

    Hi Enoch

    I recently applied OAS and my application was approved based on 18 years residence in Canada. I have worked more than 2 years and paid SS in the USA and thought I would meet the 20 qualifying years if I decide to go outside Canada for more than 6 months after retirement. However the case staff in charge told me that it wont work in that way and I must have 20 years of living in Canada only. This was unexpected from what I heard before and what I know through internet search. Could you advise, please. Thank you.

  42. Gravatar for Betty Whitfield

    Can someone still receive CPP Disability if they move abroad?

  43. Gravatar for Franci

    Great article!! Thank you Enoch. Would individuals with a double citizenship (Italian and Canadian) be able to collect their Canadian pension if they decide to move to Italy after they retire? My understanding is that they would but the OAS would be taxed 15% and the CPP 25%. Does it matter how much time they spend in Italy (e.g. more or less than 6 months? Thank you so much

  44. Gravatar for Gary

    Good Morning Enoch,
    Thank-you for authoring this informative article, however, it leaves some unanswered questions for the person that I am inquiring about. She is 85 and currently in receipt of CPP and OAS. She was born in the US and immigrated to Canada when she was 40-41 and has resided and worked in Canada over that period. Her status is landed-immigrant. She is considering returning to the US (permanently). Does she retain entitlement to her existing CPP and OAS benefits? If she is to pursue this any further, can you direct us to any resources or agencies to start the process? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you!

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Gary: I believe that she would. If she is also collecting equivalent US seniors benefits, there may be some benefit rebalancing done based on US-Canada tax treaties (same with withholding tax). You can contact Service Canada at 1-800-454-8731 (if calling from Canada or the U.S.) or at 1-613-957-1954 if calling from all other countries.

  45. Gravatar for Debra spencer

    Hi there, my spouse and I spend part of the year in Italy. We are retired government employees and trying to determine if worth spending more than six months in Italy given tax treaty. We cannot find which would be better, six month six months or go to Italy longer. Any assist appreciated. Debra

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Debra: If you are not expecting to qualify for GIS and already meet the 20-year residency requirement, it may not matter much whether you spend 6 months or longer.

  46. Gravatar for Murray

    I am lead to believe that CRA will allow a waver of the 25% With holding tax for up to two years, for sailing cruisers who do not take up residency in any specific country, before returning to Canada. These are people with sail boats that are continuously sailing with short stops in different countries for provisioning and touring. Are you familiar with this provision and do you have a reference for it? What would happen if a person went beyond the two year limit, would there be a recovery by CRA of the withholding taxes and any penalties?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Murrauy: This is the first I am hearing of this provision.

  47. Gravatar for William Stewart

    I am considering moving to CHINA. How will this affect my OAS/CPP Pensions?

  48. Gravatar for Lee Marsden

    I’m 64 yrs old and have lived my entire life in Canada. My plan is to move to Equador permanently once I hit 65 yrs. I’ve read through “a lot” of the questions posted along with your answers. Your responses with respect to CPP never waiver. OAS answers seem to differ however and I’m not sure if that’s because of different circumstances for each individual. So, here are my circumstances. I’ve surpassed the 40 yr requirement to receive full OAS payments. Does that mean I would continue to receive OAS forever while permanently living abroad or will it stop after 6 months because I’m not spending half a year back in Canada? I’d love to know your response!

  49. Gravatar for zeb

    Is there an agreement between USA and Canada and UK. Would this be uncomplicated if we decide to allow our grandparents to return to UK or even more to a sunnier climate like Tampa Bay, where they have been going on vacation for many years already. Can they permanent move there without losing their pension. Could they still keep their Canadian bank account where the money is automatically deposited. Since they can cash them via bank teller machine worldwide. Or would it be advisable to have a US or UK bank account? What would you do if it were you and your grand parents?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Zeb: For the CPP, they can move anywhere without issues. For the OAS, there are some caveats.

  50. Gravatar for Allan

    Hi Enoch,
    I was wondering what happens If I have contributed to CPP while working as a student part time (For 2 years) and full time work permit (For 5 years) , but leave Canada before getting my Permanent Residency or Citizenship. Would I still be eligible for CPP in the future ?
    Thanks for this helpful article.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Alan: Just going by what is on the government’s website, I’d say yes. You qualify for CPP benefits if you have made at least one valid CPP contribution. That said, you should contact CPP to ask this question directly as it is an important one.

  51. Gravatar for Cristita

    Hi ,Enoch,
    I work here in Canada since 1994 July, I am 64 years old and I am planning to retired in the Phillipines, my late common-law passaway in 2010 due to cancer and I am leaving alone now, so going back to my home land does will affect my CPP and OAS, No relative wanted to joined me here as I have only 1 sister , 2 nieces and 1 nephew and they are both with owned families. Pls. I need some advice.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Cristita: Based on the length of your residency in Canada, I don’t think there will be an issue with getting CPP and OAS benefits when abroad. That said, you should give the OAS folks a call to doubly confirm this. If you qualify for GIS, this will stop after 6 months.

  52. Gravatar for Nathan

    My mother is considering moving in with my sister in Michigan but is unsure if she’ll lose my dad’s teacher’s pension, will she?

  53. Gravatar for Harry Hobbs

    Hi Enoch

    I have been a Canadian resident & taxpayer since 2003, but am considering moving back to the UK permanently in a couple of years time (after completing 20 years here).

    The tax treaty appears to indicate that withholding tax on CPP/OAS would be zero, but I’m unclear on a couple other aspects:

    a) I am ‘retired’, but I still receive a T4a slip for deferred commission from my previous role working as a self employed agent in the finance sector. As such I am still technically self employed until the final commission payment is paid in 2027. How would this income be treated for withholding tax purposes ?

    b) My Segregated Fund RRIF regular income may be ‘topped up’ by way of ‘minimum guaranteed income’ guarantees which exist on the contract, (presently a RRSP, but I would RRIF prior to returning to the UK).

    As the ‘top up’ income would be paid under the insurance contract (which comprises part of the Seg Fund), how would this be treated for withholding tax purposes ?

    Thanks so much.

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