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Pension plans in Toronto

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State Pension Plan

The state pension plan of Canada is called the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is a social service program that provides a partial replacement of wages to contributors and their families in cases of retirement, death, or disability. The CPP is funded by almost all individuals who work in Canada outside of Québec.
To use as a retirement pension, you must apply, it does not automatically begin at the age of retirement in Canada. You may apply for your benefits at the age of 65 without any reductions from your pension. The earliest you may apply is at the age of 60, but you will have a reduction in the amount provided. At the age of 70, you may apply and receive an increase.

Apply for your CPP here.

Old Age Security (OAS)

The Old Age Security pension is the cornerstone of Canada's retirement income system. It is a taxable monthly social security payment that provides a modest pension for long term residents. An applicant's employment history is not a factor in determining eligibility, nor does the applicant need to be retired. Service Canada, under the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) administers the Old Age Security program through regional offices located throughout Canada.

Age of Eligibility

To qualify for an Old Age Security pension, a person must be 65 years of age or over*. In addition, they must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada on the day preceding the application's approval OR
  • if no longer living in Canada, must have been a Canadian citizen or a legal resident of Canada on the day preceding the day he or she stopped living in Canada.

A minimum of 10 years of residence in Canada (after reaching age 18) is required to receive a pension in Canada. A minimum of 20 years of residence in Canada (after reaching age 18) is required to receive a pension outside of Canada.

*In 2012, it was announced that in 2023 the retirement age at which individuals would be eligible for Old Age Security would rise to 67.

Company Pension Plan

Some employers in Canada may offer pension plans for their employees. This is in additional to the Canada Pension Plan. With Company pension plans in Canada, there are two types of contributions that can be made:

Defined contribution pensions

This is a set amount determined that you and your employer will contribute to your pension plan. You must claim a defined contribution by the end of the year in which you turn 71. 

Defined benefit pensions

This type of pension is a promise to provide an employee with a set income when they retire. The amount you are eligible to receive is based on a formula that takes into account the amount you earn and the number of years spent with the company.

For more information on the different types of company pension plans, click here

Private Pension Plan

Employer-sponsored pensions or tax-deferred individual savings are also available for additional coverage. Popular plans include Registered Retirement Savings Plans or RRSPs. Some plans are contributed to by both employee and employer, and contributions can be matched dollar for dollar or based on terms of employment and income. These plans are generally not dependent on residency or citizenship.

Registered Retirement Savings Plans

RRSP's allows full control over how much to save and where your savings are invested. You set up a registered retirement savings plan through a financial institution such as a bank, credit union, trust or insurance company. RRSP contributions are tax deductible, and interest earned prior to the time you begin withdrawing funds is tax free. When your RRSP begins to pay out, tax must be paid on this income. Most private retirement plans have been designed to provide income at age 65. December 31 of the year you turn 71 year of age is the last day you can make a contribution to your RRSP.

RRSP forms and regulations can be found on the Revenue Canada site.

Expat Pension Plans

A few countries have a bilateral agreement with Canada that allow for years worked in Canada to count to their State pension. Inquire with your state plan about the particulars.

If your country does not allow for years worked in Canada to count toward your state pension, there may be an opportunity to buy back time once you have returned to your home country and are once again contributing to the pension plan. Again, inquire with your state plan.

Canada does not have a retiree immigration category to attract retirees, and no special visas or programs are offered to retirees. Most retirees can apply for immigration status under the "Investor/Entrepreneur/Self-Employed" or "Family" immigration categories. Retired persons moving to Canada must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves.

Consult the guide's "Passport, Visa & Permits" for more information.

Collecting Pension while Abroad

A worker and his or her spouse may be entitled to a retirement, disability, surviving spouse's or orphan's pension paid by a foreign country. The following conditions must be met:

  • He or she must work or have worked in a country who signed a social security agreement with Canada
  • He or she must be a resident in Canada

Update 18/08/2018


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