If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can start collecting Old Age Security (OAS) benefits as soon as you turn 65. But did you know that you don’t have to take them then? You can delay getting your benefits by up to five years and increase your payments by up to 36%.
There are two main benefits to delaying OAS:
- Earn higher monthly payments. For each month beyond age 65 that you delay receiving OAS, your payments will go up by 0.6%. For example, if you turned 65 this summer and are eligible for the full OAS pension, you’ll receive approximately $580 a month.* But if you delay these payments to age 70, they will increase by 36%, to about $790 a month. And that’s not including any cost of living increases.
- Reduce or avoid OAS claw-back. If your net income exceeds a certain level ($74,789 for 2017), your OAS benefits are gradually clawed back. So, if you’re planning to work past age 65 or expect to have other sources of income, deferring OAS may help minimize the claw-back.
Every situation is unique
There are pros and cons to either option. A financial advisor can help you weigh all the factors and decide what’s right for you.
*Government of Canada Old Age Security payment amount June–September 2017.