Canada loves to help out its citizens. With a variety of benefits programs covering benefits for housing, student aid, employment insurance, and families, the Canadian government is always looking for ways to support its inhabitants. For those in the older segment of the population, the Old Age Security program is one of the most valuable, designed as one of the three components of the retirement income system – along with retirement savings and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

If you’re 65 and over, there’s good news – you qualify for the OAS. But there are special circumstances to take stock of. Looking for the payment dates for 2024? Scroll down for a month-by-month breakdown.

Your OAS Payment Dates for 2024

Looking for the OAS payment dates for this year? Here they are:

January 29th

February 27th

March 26th

April 26th

May 29th

June 26th

July 29th

August 28th

September 25th

October 29th

November 27th

December 20th

What is the Old Age Security Program?

Most residents and Canadian citizens are eligible to receive the Old Age Security (OAS) retirement pension once they turn 65 years old. It’s considered the country’s biggest pension program, which helps the older population and their spouse or common-law partner. It involves a taxable monthly payment fully funded by the government’s general tax revenues.

While this might sound reminiscent of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the OAS is unique as it doesn’t take into account an individual’s employment history. The CPP is a contributory plan, which you contribute to through taxes on your paycheck. Meanwhile, the OAS simply focuses on residency tenure in Canada.

But what if you’re newer to Canada or are still working, or maybe you’ve never worked? Does that mean you aren’t eligible to receive the cash on those OAS payment dates?

Am I eligible for OAS?

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As long as you’re at least 65 years old, you’ve got a shot at being eligible for OAS – even if you’ve never been employed or are still working away at your job/career. However, there are a couple of nuances depending on where you’re currently living.

These are the eligibility requirements depending on your situation:

I live in Canada –

  • You have to be a Canadian citizen or legal resident when your application is approved.
  • You have to have lived in Canada for at least 10 years after turning 18 years old.

I live outside of Canada –

  • You have to have held legal status as either a Canadian citizen or legal resident before you left the country.
  • You have to have resided in Canada for a minimum of 20 years after turning 18 years old.

In some cases, time abroad working for Canadian employers can count as living in Canada, so long as you turn 65 while still working or return to Canada within the first six months post-employment.

But let’s say you don’t fit into these scenarios. There are a few other unique circumstances where you might still be able to receive the OAS pension or multiple pensions.

If any one of these situations apply to you, you may be eligible for an OAS pension:

  • Lived in a country that has an established social security agreement with Canada

or

  • Contributed to a social security system in a different country that has a social security agreement with Canada

How much can I receive from OAS?

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Now for the million-dollar question: how much can you actually get on each OAS payment date each month?

While income doesn’t factor into simply receiving the OAS, it will affect how much you receive, and so will age. For the months of April to June 2024, these are the maximum payment amounts for the OAS pension. These figures are adjusted every quarter, so be sure to check the Old Age Security payment amounts page on the official Government of Canada website.

Your age Your annual net income (from international and domestic sources) Maximum monthly amount you’ll receive
65 – 74 Less than $134,626 <$713.34
75+ Less than $137,331 <$784.67

 

Go above the annual net income, and you’ll have to pay part or all of your OAS pension. Using other tools like your RRSP and TFSA can help you minimize those risks if you’re worried about them.

The OAS provides a helpful sum, but it’s still not much, which means it classifies as a low-level income source. Luckily, other supplemental benefits are available, including the guaranteed income supplement. Depending on your annual net income and whether you are single, widowed, divorced, or have a spouse or common-law partner (and depending on their current status with the OAS), you could receive up to $1,065.47.

How do they calculate the OAS pension?

To figure out how much to pay each individual, the government looks at how long you’ve lived in Canada after you turned 18 years old.

For those who have lived in Canada for at least 40 years, they receive a full pension. Otherwise, you’ll receive a partial OAS pension, accruing 1/40th of the full pension for every year you’ve lived here. If you’ve lived in the country for 20 years since the age of 18, you’d likely qualify for 20/40ths – which is 50% of the complete pension.

How do I apply for OAS?

Most folks are automatically enrolled for the OAS pension and get duly informed of that, but the Government of Canada might send out a letter in the mail for others, asking them to apply. If you weren’t enrolled or didn’t receive a letter, you’ll need to contact Old Age Security. You can head online to apply yourself, contact Service Canada by phone or mail, or visit a branch in person.

If, for some reason, you forgot to apply, it’s possible to receive a retroactive payment for a maximum of 11 months.

The OAS isn’t enough. Can I get a loan?

If the OAS doesn’t seem enough to cover your expenses, there is the option to get a loan. Maybe you’ve got credit card debt, or you’ve been swamped by unexpected expenses – securing a loan can help to take charge of your finances.

Struggling to find the perfect lender? Try Lend For All – a reputable loan agency that matches Canadians with the ideal lender for personal loans, debt consolidation, home equity, car title loans, and more that fits their financial goals.

Nick Saraev

Lend For All     1 King St W Suite 4800 -24 Toronto, ON M5H 1A1   |  +1 800-532-4505


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