OAS - how to count eligibility years

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lydia
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OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by lydia » 26 Jun 2017 16:22

Hi, I have a quick question on How OAS eligibility years were counted.

"...have resided in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18..."

Let's say I resided in Canada for 16 years and lived outside of Canada for 4 years and then return back to Canada for another 6 years. Would I be considered resided in Canada for 22 years? (16+6)

Thanks a lot.

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kcowan
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by kcowan » 26 Jun 2017 20:01

Yes. DW worked in Edmonton for 2 years, then Vancouver for 2 years then left the country for 11 years, then worked in Vancouver for another 14 years. The crucial part is proving you were out. They were pretty flexible but did ask for proof of departure and arrival.
For the fun of it...Keith

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snowback96
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by snowback96 » 26 Jun 2017 20:31

Does anybody know how they count partial years? I would like to assume they pro-rate the years so that if you left/returned mid-year you would get partial credit; however, their website says, "A partial pension is calculated at the rate of 1/40th of the full pension for each complete year of residence in Canada after age 18."

As someone who will likely only qualify for partial OAS, a couple questions come to mind:

1) Do they consider a "complete year" to be a complete calendar year or an actual year in your life (based on birthday)?

2) Will they add up partial years to make a "complete year"? I am hoping they will pro-rate partial years so that a full 365 days (spread over multiple years or partial residency) will be considered a "complete year". It would be quite unfair to eliminate these from the calculation.

lydia
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by lydia » 26 Jun 2017 22:36

Thanks for the confirmation Kcowan!!
This is very helpful.

Dogger1953
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by Dogger1953 » 26 Jun 2017 23:31

snowback96 wrote:
26 Jun 2017 20:31
Does anybody know how they count partial years? I would like to assume they pro-rate the years so that if you left/returned mid-year you would get partial credit; however, their website says, "A partial pension is calculated at the rate of 1/40th of the full pension for each complete year of residence in Canada after age 18."

As someone who will likely only qualify for partial OAS, a couple questions come to mind:

1) Do they consider a "complete year" to be a complete calendar year or an actual year in your life (based on birthday)?

2) Will they add up partial years to make a "complete year"? I am hoping they will pro-rate partial years so that a full 365 days (spread over multiple years or partial residency) will be considered a "complete year". It would be quite unfair to eliminate these from the calculation.
Each separate period of residence would be counted as to the number of years, months and days and then added together. For instance, if one period of residence was 6 years, 5 months and 20 days and another period was 3 years, 6 months and 11 days, that would count as 10 full years and would qualify for 10/40ths of the full basic OAS.
DR Pensions Consulting (http://www.DRpensions.ca)

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snowback96
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by snowback96 » 27 Jun 2017 02:17

Thanks Dogger1953! That's super helpful (and a relief).

A follow up question: How do they treat time spent in USA as a graduate student? I went down as a university student for the better part of 2 years and ended up staying for a number of years afterwards. During those 2 years as a student, Canada treated me as a resident (filed taxes with my Cdn address), but I was also treated by the USA as a US residident (and should also mention that I was a dual citizen at the time). After completing my studies in the USA, I decided to stay and, therefore, "emigrated" from Canada. I remained in the USA for quite a few years afterwards before finally returning to Canada permanently. Any thoughts on how Canada might look at those 2 years where I was physically gone but still connected and filing taxes in Canada?

ockham
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by ockham » 27 Jun 2017 08:43

snowback96 wrote:
27 Jun 2017 02:17


A follow up question: How do they treat time spent in USA as a graduate student?
I was a grad student in the US for four years. I called OAS, thinking there must be a straightforward answer to this surely not uncommon question. Instead, I got hemming and hawing, "let me talk to my supervisor", etc. Final answer: those years did not interrupt my Canadian residency, on the grounds that no period of absence from Canada exceeded six months (Each year I had returned to Canada at Christmas and for a few months over the summer; no proof of these returns required). The answer seemed ad hoc to me, but it solved my problem.

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SoninlawofGus
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by SoninlawofGus » 27 Jun 2017 08:59

My situation is similar. I came here from the States under a work visa, lived here for two years, and then left to do graduate work in the States. I was in the States for only 9 months, but it spanned two years. I filed Canadian tax forms for both years, but it's my understanding that tax residency doesn't play a part in OAS calculations -- that they only care about your actual residence. In my case, I have a Landed Immigrant certificate that shows when I landed, which happened to coincide with the date I returned to Canada after graduate school. But I have no records of my work visas. For the arrival, I believe I can pay a fee to get those visa records. The departure is my problem -- because I was a U.S. citizen, I merely drove across the border. There is no passport stamp -- nothing to prove a I specific date when I left. I did, however, file a U.S. tax return for one of those years. I don't know how I will be able to prove when I left the country. I could get transcripts from the university, but my coursework continued after returning to Canada -- those records would not show where courses were conducted.

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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by Dogger1953 » 27 Jun 2017 10:51

snowback96 wrote:
27 Jun 2017 02:17
Thanks Dogger1953! That's super helpful (and a relief).

A follow up question: How do they treat time spent in USA as a graduate student? I went down as a university student for the better part of 2 years and ended up staying for a number of years afterwards. During those 2 years as a student, Canada treated me as a resident (filed taxes with my Cdn address), but I was also treated by the USA as a US residident (and should also mention that I was a dual citizen at the time). After completing my studies in the USA, I decided to stay and, therefore, "emigrated" from Canada. I remained in the USA for quite a few years afterwards before finally returning to Canada permanently. Any thoughts on how Canada might look at those 2 years where I was physically gone but still connected and filing taxes in Canada?
This can get a little complicated, and it's more difficult because you didn't return to Canada at the end of your schooling. Here are a couple of quotes from the OAS legislation:
************************************************************
21. (1) For the purposes of the Act and these Regulations,
(a) a person resides in Canada if he makes his home and ordinarily lives in any part of Canada; and
(b) a person is present in Canada when he is physically present in any part of Canada.
***********************************************************
and
**************************************************************
(4) Any interval of absence from Canada of a person resident in Canada that is
(a) of a temporary nature and does not exceed one year,
(b) for the purpose of attending a school or university,
or
(c) specified in subsection (5)
shall be deemed not to have interrupted that person’s residence
or presence in Canada.
***********************************************************************
Leaving aside the subsection (5) absences for now, a plain reading of the legislation indicates that those 2 years of absence for schooling should probably count as residence in Canada. It's complicated a bit though, because you didn't return to Canada immediately at the end of those 2 years. In the end, it will probably depend a bit on what dates (if any) you can prove and who processes your application.
DR Pensions Consulting (http://www.DRpensions.ca)

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kcowan
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by kcowan » 27 Jun 2017 12:18

We did this over 5 years ago so they may have changed but we found them to decide in our favour as long as we were straight with them. IOW if we could not prove our residence in a given period, they gave us the benefit of any doubt.
For the fun of it...Keith

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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by pmj » 27 Jun 2017 12:48

There was an earlier thread on this general topic: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=119273
Our experience in proving residence, as I've noted before, was that OAS was much more difficult than CPP - and this was for DW who was born in Canada before July 1952, and to whom the 40-year residence rule doesn't apply. Payment of Child Benefits, which CPP accepted, wasn't enough. Finally I found a bank deposit slip from 1983 :shock: (I knew there had to be a reason for keeping that stuff :oops:) and payments started, although several months delayed because of this. It's not going to get any easier ...
Peter

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snowback96
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Re: OAS - how to count eligibility years

Post by snowback96 » 27 Jun 2017 22:07

Dogger1953 wrote:
27 Jun 2017 10:51
Leaving aside the subsection (5) absences for now, a plain reading of the legislation indicates that those 2 years of absence for schooling should probably count as residence in Canada. It's complicated a bit though, because you didn't return to Canada immediately at the end of those 2 years. In the end, it will probably depend a bit on what dates (if any) you can prove and who processes your application.
I guess I'll have to wait a few years until I apply for OAS to find out. In a worst case scenario, I might lose 5% (or 2 years) of OAS. I'll have additional complications proving entry/exit dates because I was a dual citizen at the time, so no visas or passport stamps were received. I'm not sure what (if any) paperwork I might still have other than school records and Canadian tax returns. When I eventually returned to Canada permanently, it was a different story because I had to declare all my personal goods to at the Canadian border including GST on the market value of my car, so at least I have that paperwork.

Thanks again for your expertise!

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