Make the Old Age Security Pension work for you

072115_old_age_pension_37478429In 2012, the federal budget included an important change: the eligibility date for the Old Age Security Pension (OAS) increased from age 65 to 67. However, your eligibility date is not affected if you were born before April 1958 – and there are other details everyone should know.

Some retirees see the OAS as a Golden Age perk. For others, it’s a vital addition to their retirement income, so from the Investors Group, here’s how to ensure it will deliver what you need:

• OAS is one of the resources on which to build your retirement income. It is available to most Canadians aged 65 or older, whether or not you have worked.

• You must apply to receive OAS. You’re eligible if you are 65 or over and have lived in Canada for at least 10 years after turning 18. You can apply six months before you turn 65, using an application kit available at Service Canada.

• Once approved, you’ll receive your OAS pension payment during the month after your 65th birthday, the month after you meet the requirements, or during a month of your own choosing (whichever is latest).

• You are eligible to receive a full OAS pension if you have been a legal resident in Canada for at least 40 years after age 18. If your Canadian residency is less than 40 years, you may be approved for a partial pension.

• The maximum monthly OAS benefit is reviewed each quarter against the Consumer Price Index and adjusted as necessary to keep up with cost of living increases.

• An OAS pension is taxable income. Each tax year, you’ll receive a T4-OAS information slip to complete your income tax return.

• Beware the OAS clawback. It kicks in when your yearly net income hits a certain threshold (adjusted annually).

Financial advisors remind us that OAS is an important source of retirement income – but it is only one component of your overall retirement and financial plan. Additional information on this topic is available online at – and to make the most of your retirement income for all the years you will need it, talk to your financial advisor for professional assistance.

Editor Note: This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments.

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