What Happens To Your CPP and OAS if You Retire Outside Canada?

Retirement Income Planning, Calgary

Many Canadians are choosing to live in another country during retirement. So what happens to your government pensions if you decide to permanently relocate to a warmer climate outside of Canada?

It depends on how long you lived and worked in Canada.

Let's first look at CPP (The Canada Pension Plan). This is a contributory plan that is based on contributions made by both you and your employer during the time you worked in Canada between the ages of 18 to 65.  The more you contribute to the plan and how long you contribute will determine how much you receive during retirement.

You will not pay any CPP contributions on the first $3500 of your income and you will not pay any contributions on any earnings above a yearly maximum that is set by CRA each year (In 2024 that will be $68,500). Any income between $3500 - $68,500 will have a deduction of 5.95% paid by you, as an employee, and 5.95% paid by your employer. 

Because CPP is a "member-contributed plan" it will always be yours, regardless of where you live in the world. If you paid in at least 1 CPP contribution, you are entitled to a benefit. 

OAS, on the other hand, comes out of the general tax revenues.

If you live in Canada for at least 40 years between the ages of 18-65 you qualify for a full pension from OAS. If you live here for less than 40 years but more than 10 years you are entitled to at least 25% of the full pension. For every year above 10 years, you will get 1/40th of the full amount.

If you decide to leave Canada to live elsewhere in the world your eligibility to receive the OAS pension is based on having lived in Canada for at least 20 years. If you lived in Canada for less than 20 years then you will receive your pension cheque for 6 months after you have left and then it will terminate.

However, if you decide to return to Canada, you can start receiving your OAS pension again.

It is possible to have your CPP or OAS pension "direct deposited" into your bank account in your new country of residence in the local currency. You can get more information and a list of the countries where this is available from the government of Canada website.

If you did not live in Canada for long enough to get a full pension or you moved to Canada from another country you may also qualify to combine your pensions from both countries. Canada has many International Social Security Agreements with other countries to help citizens coordinate their benefits. Check to see if the country you are moving to or from is one of them. 

Taxation of your benefits

CRA will automatically deduct a withholding tax of 25% from your CPP & OAS. You do need to be aware of this and look at ways you can reduce or eliminate the tax. Click here for more information.

You cannot benefit from what you do not know, so it pays to stay informed. If you want to learn more about CPP and OAS benefits then sign up to get your own online access to our complete seminar series. 

"Everything You Need To Know To Get The Most From CPP & OAS"

Click Here for more details and to register for our 6-part seminar series


Are you over 55 and planning to retire soon?

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Retirement Income, Investment & Tax Planning,

Willis J Langford BA, MA, CFP

Nancy Langford CRS


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