The Old Age Security (OAS) pension starts at 65. While there were plans by Harper’s Conservative government to increase the eligibility age from 65 to 67 starting in 2023, this plan was reversed in 2016 when the Liberals came to power.
If you were worried that you wouldn’t qualify for OAS starting this April if you turn 65 this year, you could rest assured that this is no longer the case.
When Does OAS Start in Canada?
Monthly OAS payments start when you turn 65. If you live in Canada, you must have lived here for at least ten (10) years since turning 18.
If you are living outside of Canada, you must have lived in Canada for 20 years or longer since turning 18.
How much you receive depends on how long you have lived in Canada as an adult, your annual income, and your current age.
To get the maximum OAS benefit, you must have lived in Canada for at least 40 years after the age of 18. Otherwise, you get a pro-rated amount.
For example, if, at age 65, you have lived in Canada for 20 years after turning 18, you receive 50% of the maximum OAS benefit, i.e. 20/40 x maximum OAS.
Seniors aged 75 and older receive an automatic 10% increase on the standard amount.
As of 2023, the maximum monthly OAS pension is:
- Age 65 to 74: $687.56
- Age 75 and older: $756.32
Unlike the CPP, you are not required to have worked to qualify for OAS.
Like the CPP, you can delay OAS benefits to receive a higher amount later; however, there is no option to collect OAS earlier at age 60.
Does OAS Start Automatically?
Service Canada may automatically enroll you for the OAS, and you won’t need to submit an application.
If this is the case, you should get a letter stating you qualify and to choose a start date. The earliest month to start receiving your pension is the month after your 65th birthday.
If you do not receive a letter from Service Canada after turning 64, you should contact them in person, by mail, or by phone at 1-800-277-9914 (TTY).
Related: OAS Payment Dates.
No, the age of eligibility for OAS is unchanged at 65.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for length of stay in Canada after turning 18, you qualify for OAS benefits starting at age 65.
The standard retirement age in Canada is 65: however, you can collect CPP benefits earlier, starting at age 60.
OAS benefits are indexed to the Consumer Price Index and will increase by 0.5% from April to June 2023. OAS payments are updated every January, April, July, and October.
No, OAS is not available at age 60. The earliest you can receive an OAS pension is at age 65.
You can apply for OAS the month after you are 64 years old or 11 months before you want your payments to start.
2 thoughts on “Does OAS Start at 65 or 67?”
Here’s an interesting story for your readers concerning applying for OAS which perhaps they nor myself were aware of.
As you pointed out Service Canada can automatically enroll you for OAS when you turn 65 by sending you a letter and that you don’t need to submit an application in this case. However if you take their option of delaying your OAS in return for a higher future payout, you’ll have to submit an application at that time.
You would think if they automatically qualified you back when you were 65 & you delayed receiving these payments, as I did to age 69, you would simply have to notify them to now start the payments. However that’s not the case, you now have to complete an application in order to to start receiving the benefits. You can complete the application online but you have to send the physical required documents by mail or courier. In my case, I had to produce my marriage certificate (from 40 years ago) & Canadian Citizen Certificate (from 57 years ago). I was extremely lucky I could even remember where I had filed them. If I didn’t want to send the originals (always a bad idea) I had to get the copies certified & signed by someone from a list of occupations authorized to do so.
I completed the application on Oct. 31/22 & also sent my documents, giving them a start date of Jan. 1/23. As there was no confirmation received or update on my application status on Service Canada’s website, I called them in December, which seemed to be the only option available to contact them.( no e-mail contact details I could find).
In speaking with Service Canada (after a 60 min. wait) they confirmed receiving my application but said they extremely behind in processing applications & to call back in March as it typically takes 4 months. I asked why I had to submit an application simply as a result of delaying taking my benefits, when you had already approved me at age 65? Wouldn’t it greatly reduce Service Canada’s work load by having people previously approved, automatically be approved once they actually decide to start the benefits? Their reply was “yes, it would be but unfortunately that’s not our process'”. I said, “fine but at the very least you should alert people on your web site it’s going to take 4 months or more for your application to be approved & in your original letter at age 65 , advise people if they delay their benefits to a later age, they’re not longer automatically approved & will have to submit a formal application?” “Don’t worry sir, once your application is approved, your payments will be retroactive back to the Jan.1/23 start date you requested.” That’s at least reassuring but what about the people who need the money right now & can’t wait 5 months?
When I followed up again in March as instructed ( after another 1 hour wait time) they told me they still hadn’t reviewed my application yet but now it was taking about 150 days to process applications. As my 150th. day was March 31st. , please call back the beginning of April & at that time if there’s no new news they can ask for an investigation into my application status.
Just wanted people to be aware of the potential of issues when delaying your OAS to a later date & also they should apply early as the OAS applications are taking 5 months.
@Chris: That’s a long time! I didn’t think it took anywhere that long. Thanks for sharing your experience.