Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canada pension Plan: non-residents

For those of us who lived and worked in Canada for a number of years and are now living in the United States of America, the Canadian Pension is available as well as the Old Age Security Pension to help live in retirement. For those of us who have suffered losses as a result of the Nortel fiasco, the CPP, or QPP and OAS will be a welcome addition to our reduced retirement incomes.

Canada provides an excellent services web site You can find a lot of very useful information about the pension plans, direct deposit into foreign banks, tax rates etc.

To access your own personal information you need to obtain an epass by following the instructions at:, or by calling 1-800-277-9914.

Canada and the USA have a tax treaty for government pension plans. The tax rate is 0%between our two countries so you should be able to obtain the full monthly pension payment adjusted only for exchange rate. The income is taxable in the USA however and you need to be aware of the Windfall Elimination Provision for US Social Security pensions, which may take a bite out of your US pension. (See previous post)

The Old Age Security Pension is available for people living outside Canada. To qualify you must be 65 or older; you were a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada when you left the country; and you lived in Canada for at least 20 years after reaching age 18. The OAS has a an income limit. For 2009 it is a world wide income of less than $64,000 Canadian. Above that amount you will have to pay back some or all of the OAS depending on your income. The income is based on individuals so a married couple who were Canadian citizens living out side Canada could only claim OAS if their individuals incomes were less than $64,000. Each person's income is examined separately to determine this eligibility.

To everyone I wish you a Happy New Year and I hope it is a lot better than most of 2009. For us ex-Nortelers we are still unclear what it will mean to our Canadian pensions and to the claims we may have on the Nortel US or Nortel UK. Let's hope that some sense returns to the Canadian Government and that action is taken to help protect our pensions, and that in the US the court ruling for claimants helps us recoup a large percentage of the pensions and severance we lost as a result of the bankruptcy.

Illegitimi non carborundum



  1. Since our pensions seem to be in trouble, I think the following should apply:
    - cpp should be capped for those who payed into it for less than 10 years total and have been non-residents for more than 20 years[these people should only be paid what they actually contributed themselves]
    - old age pension should should be based on the taxable income for actual taxes paid while employed in canada for those who have not contributed to the canadian tax system for 15 years or more and are residents or have dual citizenship in another country

    1. I am really glad you do not run the Country. Some people are disabled and have had to take menial Jobs and therefore they have not make a lot of money and When you turn 65 you should be equal to the rest regardless.