Some development consultants are having trouble establishing eligibility for the Old Age Security (OAS) Pension, which can make up a significant portion of your total government pension entitlements, depending on your income and savings.
As OAS is based on physical residency in Canada, development consulting work overseas may not be included in the number of years required to establish your entitlement. This is true even if you worked on a Government of Canada contract, were deemed resident in Canada for tax purposes, and paid taxes in Canada. In addition, if you are out of the country for more than 182 days in any one year, even in a series of missions with returns to Canada every month or so, you will be deemed non-resident in Canada for that year for the purposes of establishing OAS entitlement. We've checked with a registered financial advisor, and he confirms that all of us working overseas on contracts are putting our OAS entitlements at risk.
The situation is different for indeterminate employees of the Government of Canada who go overseas as they do not lose their OAS eligibility. Consultants who have applied for OAS report being asked to provide certified copies of all the pages of all passports over the 30 years required to establish eligibility to prove they were in the country more than six months (181 days) every year.
Discussion Leader: Hubert LeBlanc email@example.com
Links to OAS website http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/sc/oas/pension/oldagesecurity.shtml