Should I Delay CPP & OAS Until Age 70? – Complete Answer with Real-Life Examples

Most seniors start their CPP and OAS when they retire or at age 65, without evaluating the options. The truth is that many seniors would benefit from delaying CPP until age 70.

Here is how you can figure out what is best for you.

The government pensions, CPP and OAS, are full of cool opportunities to increase after-tax income, because:

  • Seniors often have flexibility in taking taxable and non-taxable income.
  • OAS is subject to several “clawbacks” in addition to income tax.

To see these opportunities, you need to think creatively about pensions, tax and investments.

For example, in my recent article “Should I start my CPP early? – Real-Life Examples”, I found the single most important factor in whether to take CPP early before age 65 is how you invest.

For this article, I found that, after age 65, the single most important factor in deciding whether to delay CPP is: Will you withdraw more from your investments if you delay starting?

A quick review of the facts:

Delayed CPP Rules

  • The maximum CPP benefit in 2016 at age 65 is $1,092.50 per month, or $13,110 per year.
  • You can delay starting up to age 70 and you get 8.4% more for every year after age 65. If you start at age 70, you get 42% more for life, so the maximum is $18,616 per year.
  • New rules in 2012 allow you to start CPP even if you are still working.
  • If you are over 65 and still working, you can choose whether or not to pay into CPP.
  • Your 8 lowest earning years since age 18 (plus years when you had kids under age 7) are “dropped out” in calculating how much CPP you get.

Delayed OAS Rules

  • The maximum OAS benefit in 2016 at age 65 is $578.53 per month, or $6,942 per year.
  • You can delay starting up to age 70 and you get 7.2% more for every year after age 65. If you start at age 70, you get 36% more for life, so the maximum is $9,442 per year.

Clawbacks – Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and OAS Clawback

  • You can get up to $10,369 per year additional income from GIS if you are single, collecting OAS and have a taxable income less than $17,544 per year (excluding OAS income).
  • For married couples, GIS is up to $12,484 per year if your combined taxable income is under $23,184 (excluding OAS income).
  • GIS is “clawed back” at 50% of your income (excluding OAS income). Low income seniors are essentially in a 50% tax bracket!
  • The OAS clawback is a tax of 15% of your taxable income between $73,756-$119,615 per year.


The simple breakeven calculations miss many important factors. For example, John starts receiving $13,110 per year of CPP and $6,942 per year of OAS at age 65. Jane starts receiving $18,616 CPP and $9,442 OAS at age 70. It will take Jane 11-13 years to catch up. The simple breakeven is age 81 for CPP and 83 for OAS. John gets more before age 81 and 83, while Jane gets more after.

This implies if you expect to live past 83 (and most people will), you should delay your CPP and OAS. But this is not the complete answer.


The complete answer depends on these 6 main factors:

  1. How long do you expect to live? Morbid question, but important for this decision. If you start CPP and OAS at age 70 instead of 65, you collect for 5 less years. If you start at age 70, you get more and eventually catch up. The longer you expect to live, the better it is to delay CPP and OAS. Today, a 65-year old of average health should expect to live until age 85. (Actually, it’s 84 for men and 87 for women.)
  2. Can you qualify for GIS? The GIS supplement is significant, being up to $12,500 per year tax-free. You can only get GIS if you are getting OAS. You may be able to qualify with some creative planning, such as deferring taxable income and living only on OAS, GIS and non-registered investments. See the story of Gloria below. The 50% clawback is a huge factor.
  3. How do you invest? Delaying your CPP and OAS might mean you will take more income from your RRSPs and investments. Then you will have less saved for later.
  4. What will inflation be? CPP and OAS benefits rise by inflation each year. Higher inflation means you get more up front by starting earlier. With 2% inflation, the simple breakeven rises from age 81 to age 84 for CPP and age 83 to age 87 for OAS.
  5. Are you still working? If you are still working, CPP and OAS income will be added to your work income and may be taxed at a higher rate.
  6. When do you need the money? Part of a retirement plan is figuring out how much income you want and when. If you plan to travel a lot for a few years, it might make sense to start CPP and OAS earlier.

Many articles say that the OAS clawback is a factor. However, I found that in every example I looked at, the OAS clawback did not change my advice.


Best Advice

After my last article, a few people wrote me to point out that many people do not have any choice. I agree. If you are retired at 65 and have little income other than these 2 government pensions, you may have no option.

My advice here is, based on all the pension, tax and investment factors, which choice is most likely to give you the highest after-tax income throughout your life?

My best advice is:

  1. OAS – If you are retired, take it at age 65. If you can qualify to receive GIS (even with creative planning), definitely start at age 65.
  2. CPP – If you are retired and will withdraw the same amount from your investments either way, delay starting until age 70. If delaying means you will need more income from your investments, start at age 65.
  3. GIC investor – If you are still working and are in a 20% higher tax bracket than when you retire, delay CPP and OAS until you retire.
  4. Balanced investor – If you are still working and are in a 30% higher tax bracket than when you retire, delay CPP and OAS until you retire.
  5. Equity investor – Always start CPP at 65. Always start OAS at 65 unless you could qualify for GIS. If you are still working, invest them if you can.


Let’s look at some real-life stories from my clients. Should they delay CPP and OAS to age 70?

  1. Angela is 65 and retired. She has no investments and only a fixed pension (not integrated with CPP). Her breakeven age is 84 for CPP and 87 for OAS. She is of average health. Should she delay CPP and OAS until age 70? Yes for CPP. No for OAS.
  2. Brian is 65 and retired. He has significant retirement investments and plans for a steady retirement income. If he delays CPP or OAS, he would withdraw from investments instead. His breakeven age is 87 for CPP and 91 for OAS. Should he delay CPP and OAS until age 70? No.
  3. Chris is 65 and still working part time earning $20,000 per year. She has small RRSPs and TFSAs. She is conservative and only invests in GICs at 2% per year. Her breakeven age is 82 for CPP and 84 for OAS. Should she delay CPP and OAS until age 70? Yes.
  4. Dave is 65 and still working earning $50,000 per year. He is a moderate, balanced fund investor. A reasonable expected return is 5% per year. His breakeven age is 81 for CPP and 84 for OAS. Should he delay CPP and OAS until age 70? Yes.
  5. Erin is 65 and still working earning $50,000 per year. She is a confident equity fund investor. A reasonable expected return is 8% per year long term. Her breakeven age is 86 for CPP and 92 for OAS. Should she delay CPP and OAS until age 70? No.
  6. Fred is the same as Dave, 65 and still working earning $50,000 per year. He is a moderate, balanced fund investor. A reasonable expected return is 5% per year. His CPP and OAS will be taxed on top of his salary in a 30% tax bracket. The answer would normally be “Yes” (same as Dave), but Fred has lots of RRSP room. He plans to collect CPP and OAS and invest the full amounts into his RRSP. His breakeven age is 97 for CPP and never for OAS. Should he delay CPP and OAS until age 70? No.
  7. Gloria is 65 and retired. She has significant investments in RRSP, TFSA and non-registered. She can qualify for $10,369 GIS income if she avoids any taxable income other than OAS. She plans to delay CPP and withdraw only from her TFSA and non-registered investments. Her breakeven age is 74 for CPP and never for OAS. Should she delay CPP and OAS until age 70? Yes for CPP. No for OAS.


There are often creative opportunities for seniors to get a higher after-tax income for the rest of their life. Fred and Gloria are 2 examples.

The answer with CPP & OAS is complex and these government pensions are only one piece of your retirement income.

The best advice is to look at this as part of a professional retirement income plan.





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Ed Rempel has helped thousands of Canadians become financially secure. He is a fee-for-service financial planner, tax  accountant, expert in many tax & investment strategies, and a popular and passionate blogger.

Ed has a unique understanding of how to be successful financially based on extensive real-life experience, having written nearly 1,000 comprehensive personal financial plans.

The “Planning with Ed” experience is about your life, not just money. Your Financial Plan is the GPS for your life.

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  1. Steve O on March 15, 2022 at 4:36 PM

    Bob, you die by age 70, your estate gets nothing. Break even is age 82. You die before that, you lose. I took it at 65 and even though I do not need it, I keep as much of it as I can invested to age 70. I dont touch it. It earns dividends, it might appreciate. Just the after tax over 5 years is $ 50,000. Add the dividends. Maybe another $ 5000. Then if I die, estate gets $ 55,000. Delay CPP, estate gets nothing. The Canada Pension keeps your money and invests it and they come ahead even paying you a higher pension at age 70. So why not show them you are just as smart and can grow the base money too.

  2. Bob on March 15, 2022 at 4:27 PM

    Hi Ed – I enjoyed your article. I am running some break even calculations and have a question. If one takes CPP at age 65, then they receive a CPI inflation increase each year. If one delays CPP to say age 70, then I believe their increase for the delay is 42% of the pension they could have received at Age 65 but that pension at age 65 is not indexed for CPI between ages 65-70.

    So if the CPI was 2% a year for the 5 years between age 65 & 70, the person who started CPP at age 65 is receiving a pension at age 70 that is 10.4% higher than what they got at age 65. So that means by delaying to age 70, the real increase in pension, in this scenario, is really only 31.6% (i.e. 42% – 10.4%). Am I correct in my reasoning?

  3. Ed Rempel on January 20, 2022 at 10:13 PM

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, you are in my mental lane! If you are investing with a decent long-term return above 5%/year, you are likely better off taking the CPP early and investing it (or withdrawing less).


  4. Steve on November 30, 2021 at 5:37 PM

    Hi Ed, I enjoyed your thorough review. So the question I say to friends is that its not just about whether or not I could afford to delay CPP, but how can I afford to lose the opportunity and not take the CPP at age 65 and invest it if I dont need the money! Better to take it and build a nest egg, at the least for the estate up to age 70 and then assuming we live long life, it continues to compound and grow and providing income that will match the delayed CPP income by age 82, the breakeven age. I am so glad I found your blog. I may not be entirely correct but I am in your mental lane I think! Thank you Ed.

  5. Ed Rempel on April 27, 2021 at 10:06 PM

    Hi Naomi,

    Interesting article, but it has a fatal flaw common among people that are not investment experts. It uses an exceptionally conservative investment rate of return, which ends up leading to the wrong conclusion.

    The article uses 2 investment returns, a conservative return of 4% and a managed return of 6%/year. We all know the stock market returns long-term have averaged far higher than 6%/year. The average return since 1950 is about 10%/year and higher when you invest globally or in the US. In fact the worst 25-year calendar return of the S&P500 since 1930 (the modern stock market) has been 7.9%/year.

    The excessively low return is justified as conservative and also having allowed for fees. However, today investors can get index returns with very low fees. If they invest with a portfolio manager, that manager should have skill to increase returns by at least enough to cover their fees. Therefore, fees do not need to be a factor today.

    This excessively low rate of return is a common flaw in academic articles. They try to be conservative in expectations, which can make sense – but not when the excessively low interest is the main reason for their conclusion.

    In my study, I found the implied rate of return that you get from deferring your CPP is about 5%/year. If you can invest for a noticeably higher return, it is better to take your CPP early. In general, equity investors should take CPP early, while balanced and consservative investors should delay CPP.

    With a 6% rate of return in the article and a normal distribution of returns around 6%, it’s barely higher than the CPP return, so it was not enough to nearly always outperform the CPP.

    It is not surprising that an article by an actuary would support the use of pensions. Actuaries and pensions tend to invest conservatively, so they may not understand the new breed of seniors that remain long-term equity investors.

    There is a conventional wisdom that seniors should invest more conservatively, but my studies showed that if they are truly long-term investors with a high risk tolerance, equities have historically provided a more reliable 30-year retirement than bonds.

    Most people would be surprised to know that the 20-year standard deviation (common measure of risk) after inflation is lower for stocks than bonds. Investors only think bonds are safer because they look at short time periods less than 20 years.

    For 50% of couples aged 65 in Canada, at least one of them will live to at least age 94. That’s a 29-year time horizon and definitely long-term.

    Many of our clients are knowledgeable about equity investing and maintain a high equity allocation. Many maintain 100% equities into their 80s and 90s. This can make perfect sense for long-term thinkers witha higher risk tolerance that are knowledgeable about equities.

    For investors that maintain at least 70% in equities, and especially investors that maintain 100% in equities, their expected returns should make it signficantly beneficial to take CPP early, so their investments can continue to grow.


  6. Naomi on April 14, 2021 at 2:26 PM

    This study (link at the bottom of the article) provides an excellent analysis of when to delay CPP/OAS and when not to.

  7. Shaun on January 2, 2021 at 9:30 PM

    Hi Dolores,

    From my understanding, he just needs to be on OAS (or applying for it) at the time to also apply for GIS. He won’t need to be on CPP, as that is a different benefit. Here’s a link to the government website regarding GIS eligibility.

  8. Dolores Vande Brink on December 28, 2020 at 10:18 PM

    I have read this article and at the moment I my brother is 66 and receiving EI and OAS only. Does he need to start taking his CPP first to get GIS? He was told when he applied for OAS he didn’t qualify for GIS because his income was too high, this was because he was working full time. The only income he will have after EI run out is OAS as not currently has not applied for his CPP yet. He does have funds in a TFSA but if does not have to apply for CPP he will wait and if needed could use some funds from his TFSA.

  9. Ed Rempel on March 31, 2020 at 10:47 PM

    Hi Rita,

    Your husband was in a 30% marginal tax bracket last year with just his $70,000 salary. Now with CPP and OAS, his OAS gets clawed back at 15% of income above about $76,000, so he is effectively in a 45% marginal tax bracket.

    If he is getting $20,000 from CPP and OAS, about $6,000 is taxed at 30% and the remaining $14,000 is taxed at 45%. This is why withholding 25% tax is not enough. He would need to withhold about 40% tax to avoid paying tax with his tax return and to avoid paying income tax instalments.

    There are all kinds of possible things your husband could do to avoid this high tax rate, but I don’t know his full tax situation.

    Possibly the most effective strategy would be to contribute about $14,000year to your spousal RRSP. It seems you had enough cash flow before OAS and CPP started, so this is extra income. If you contribute it to an RRSP and withdraw it in the future at a lower tax bracket, you can save 25% of it.

    By contributing it to your spousal RRSP, your husband saves the 30% tax plus 15% OAS clawback. The RRSP is in your name, so it should be taxed to you when you withdraw it. (There are some technical rules here to make sure the withdrawals are taxable to you.)

    Strategies like this are “income splitting” which are very effective for you. You are in a 20% marginal tax bracket and your husband is in a 45% marginal tax bracket. Any income you can either defer for your husband or transfer from his tax return to yours will save you a lot of tax.

    Should you take CPP and OAS early? The main factors are how you invest and your tax bracket. If you are primariliy an equity investor, taking them early is usually a good idea. If you are a conservative bond/GIC/income investor, then it’s usually better to defer them.

    You can only take CPP at age 60. OAS does not start until age 65. When you start CPP, you can apply to split your CPP with your husband. You get the same total CPP betweeen you, but you get equal amounts. This is another income splitting strategy that should save you some tax by putting a bit of his CPP income onto your tax return.

    I hope that’s helpful for you, Rita.


  10. Francis on March 22, 2020 at 3:43 PM

    Hello Ed,

    Many “newer” Canadians like me do not, at 65, have the number of Canadian residency years necessary to get maximum OAS. Is there an easy enough way to factor this in. Of course, it would have to make assumptions on the numbers of residency years.

    Thank You

  11. Rita on March 1, 2020 at 7:58 AM

    Hi Ed
    My husband is 66 and is still working earning $70,000 per year he is also receiving his oas and cpp. Which this year he has to pay $4500 in taxes. Is there anything we can do to lower this. He had a refund last year so I know it’s the extra income that’s causing him to pay. He had them take 20%off his oas for taxes but apparently that wasnt enough.
    I am 55 and earn $23,000 per year should I take my cpp and oas at 60 or wait

  12. Ed Rempel on February 22, 2020 at 11:49 PM

    Hi Karen,

    You can get more OAS by deferring it till age 68 or 70. However, GIS is based on your family income and is not higher from delaying the start.


  13. Ed Rempel on February 22, 2020 at 10:44 PM

    Hi Debbie,

    In your case, delaying CPP and OAS to age 70 is probably your best bet.

    The main factors are tax and how you invest. Other articles on delaying CPP and OAS focus on a “breakeven” or how long you might live, but these are generally minor factors compared to tax and how you invest.

    If you take them now, they will be taxed on top of your employment income, so you will pay 30+% on it. After you retire, you will pay only 20% tax on it.

    There are some beneficial investment strategies, but since you have no investments and my not be an effective investor, they probably won’t work for you.

    For example, taking CPP and/or OAS earlier in order to contribute all of it to RRSP allows you to build up some investments. If you could be an equity investor, your future income can be increased by more than you get from delaying CPP and OAS.

    You would need to be an equity investor for this to work for you. If you are new to investing, this is probably not the strategy for you.


  14. Ed Rempel on February 22, 2020 at 10:07 PM

    Hi Nicole,

    Yes. GIS applies at any age. Your sister will be eligible for OAS after age 70, if she starts her OAS then.

    If she will be relying on GIS, she needs to plan for it. Deferring CPP to age 70 makes it higher. CPP will wipe out more of her GIS. Her small RRSP will have to be converted to a RRIF and the forced withdrawals will reduce it more.

    Read my article on the “8-year GIS strategy”. The principles can make it work for your sister for life, as well. Here is a link to the article: .


  15. Ed Rempel on February 22, 2020 at 9:42 PM

    Hi Jenn,

    I feel your outpouring of frustration. You need some information.

    The bad news is that GIS is based on your family income, so any taxable income will reduce GIS, including rent income.

    The good news is that GIS is more generous and the clawback is lower for you, since you don’t get OAS. Here is the table to estimate your husband’s GIS: .

    Since the clawback is smaller in your case, I would suggest to just focus on getting any income to help your sitatuation.

    If you want to maximize GIS, look for non-taxable income. You probably don’t have non-registered invesmtents or TFSAs. Your only source may be your home equity. You could sell your home and invest the proceeds tax-efficiently for low-tax income. Or you could setup a credit line and borrow against it to live, or borrow against it to invest. All 3 probably sound like dumb ideas to you, but if you think creatively, all 3 can significantly increase your cash flow while allowing you to keep GIS.

    I hope that’s helpful for you, Jenn.


  16. Karen Jowett on February 17, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    If I retired between 68 to 70. I had a low income. Would I receive more OAS and GIS. I had to cash CPP though.

  17. Debbie on February 1, 2020 at 4:04 PM

    I am 64 years old and earn approx. $50000.00 per year. I do not plan on retiring until 70. I have no investments at all. My husband is 62 and has a small pension. He still works earning approx 60000.00 per year. Should I wait until 79 to collect both my CPP and OAS?

  18. Nicole Cayouette on January 20, 2020 at 1:19 PM

    Hi Ed,

    My question is : If you choose to defer receipt of your OAS pension, will you be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement later on ?

    My sister Aline is 64, working still for a few years, has intentions to defer both OPP and OAS until 70. Has some RRSP and TSFA. She will be relying on GIS once retired.

    Thanks, Nicole

  19. Jenn on January 4, 2020 at 7:52 PM

    My situation is a bit unique in that my husband is 67 and I am 43, but disabled receiving CPP-Disability. My husband is still working currently, but will retire from his physically demanding job soon. He receives maybe $400 CPP, $600 OAS, and I get $675 CPP-D. He has no employment pension. RRSPs are not much as he never made much above minimum wage and a lot was taken out to buy our house. I can’t work, but am allowed to earn $5500/year before losing CPP-D. I need some more income as I have no coverage (dental, prescription, etc.) and my CPP-D income isn’t enough to live on (I was always disabled and struggled to earn enough even before I was taken off work by my doctors.) I thought maybe we could rent a room or two in our house, but my husband will be dependent on GIS when he has to retire. Will that money then be taken from his GIS? Obviously I am not old enough to receive OAS or the spousal allowance. I need this extra income that a disability group is working to find ways to help me earn somehow, but it will be incredibly hard on me even to make that much, and it isn’t possible for me to cover any of the GIS he requires. Will that small amount I earn reduce his GIS? Thank you for esponding. It is really difficult to find answers for our unusual situation.

  20. Ed Rempel on December 4, 2019 at 9:43 PM

    Hi Brian,

    The good news is that you probably get more CPP benefits from continuing to pay into it after 65. When you start collecting, the formula for how much you get includes your CPP pensionable earnings from age 18 to age 70.

    If you have not already earned the maximum CPP and your average earnings after age 65 are not less than they were before age 65, then paying into it should give you more CPP once you start collecting.

    By the way, are you sure it is worthwhile for you to delay CPP, Brian? You can start any time. While you are working, you may be at a higher tax bracket. However, the way you invest can be the most significant factor for when you should start CPP.


  21. […] Ed Rempel writes that the break-even point for OAS deferral is age 83. That is, if you expect to live beyond age 83, you’re better off deferring it. However, as he points out, there are differences in personal situations. He gives 7 “real life” examples, and while 4 suggest that it’s beneficial to delay CPP, only 2 show the same for OAS. […]

  22. Brian on September 17, 2019 at 9:10 PM

    Hi Ed

    Here is my question. I am 65.5 years old. I am still currently working and have decided to NOT take my CPP or OAS at this time and at this moment plan to work further, hopefully until I’m 70 and then start to take my CPP & OAS to get the extra benefit of doing so. I am healthy and my work is good etc.

    As I’m am working and not collecting CPP benefits, I’m still required to contribute to CPP. My estimate monthly CPP pension if I was to take it today is $1,100.00, about $55.00 short of the maximum.

    If I was receiving my CPP benefits today and still working etc., and continue to pay into CPP (as I would have the option), these contributions would go towards my PRB.

    Now in my case where I am force to continue to contribute towards CPP, my question is am I receiving any benefit from these contributions I’m making today and perhaps until I’m 70 if I continue to work. From what I can establish is that these contributions are wasted and I will not receive any benefit, but have no choice and must still contribute into CPP.

    So I am asking if this is correct.


  23. Ed Rempel on July 3, 2019 at 9:55 PM

    Hi Larry,

    The amount of OAS depends on how many years you have lived in Canada when you turn 65. The years after age 65 are not relevant.


  24. Larry on June 10, 2019 at 7:49 AM

    Thanks much Ed.

    Once she takes OAS, will she continue to get raises based on increased residence, up to 40 years – or it is frozen at 37/40 “forever”?

  25. Ed Rempel on April 22, 2019 at 11:07 PM

    Hi Larry,

    Your wife should get almost the maximum OAS. It is based on 40 years and she has 37.

    She should get essentially 37/40 of the maximum OAS, plus the 7.2% increase for every year she delays starting, plus CPI every year.


  26. Larry on April 6, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    Hi Ed,

    My wife is entitled to a partial OAS pension having lived here 37 years. She is now 65 years old.
    If she delays receiving OAS would she only receive the 2.5% increase until reaching 40 years residence at age 68 and then the 7% (approx) increase annually after that until 70? Is CPI applied on top of this while waiting or does this only apply once the benefit is being paid?

    Thanks much,


  27. Phil on January 27, 2019 at 5:38 PM

    It does seem that if you are investing in a low cost equity index etf in a non registered account that cpp s return of 5% or 8.4% increase in payments would be a close call if you were in a 30 tax bracket or higher.

    Is this correct?

    How does the math work for a 8.4% increase in payment and a 5% return? Is inflation included in these numbers?

  28. Ed Rempel on November 11, 2018 at 8:07 PM

    Hi Brenda,

    Unfortunately, you make just a bit too much to qualify for GIS.

    I assume your “widows pension” is CPP? 12 months of your 2 pensions work out to $18,564 taxable income. GIS for widows applies for taxable income below $18,216.

    If you have no tax deductions, you won’t qualify for GIS.


  29. Brenda on October 12, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    I am 62 years of age and am widowed I currently receive 535 dollars a month from my widows pension and $1012 from my husband work pension.

    If I don”t take my CPP till I am 70 and I am low income can I apply for Guaranteed Income Supplement.

    Revenue Canada has told me that I will receive approximately $840 dollars from CPP when I turn 65

  30. Jayson on October 2, 2018 at 6:04 PM

    Very helpful advice! It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  31. […] Unconventional Wisdom – Should I delay CPP and OAS until age 70 […]

  32. Ed Rempel on September 17, 2018 at 10:52 PM

    Hi Janet.

    No. GIS is based on your taxable income, excluding OAS.


  33. Janet Stewart on September 12, 2018 at 7:32 AM

    When you take your OAS at 70 and stop working, does the extra OAS impact the amount of GIS you can receive?

  34. Ed Rempel on August 15, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Hi Noey,

    It is difficult to give you a definite answer on your question about starting CPP & OAS, because there are many factors. For example, you have not mentioned how you invest, which is the biggest factor, or your marginal tax brackets today vs. after you retire (although I can guess).

    A Financial Plan is really a life plan. In the process, we work out your life goals together in detail. The long-term perspective we get from that makes all your decisions very clear.

    You have a bunch of pension-related decisions now, that include tax and income issues that would get answered. Working with a financial planner that actually does the detailed financial planning with you, is also a tax expert, and has exceptional investment strategies/options can give you peace of mind.

    However, the long-term planning has a much broader benefit. What is the lifestyle you want to live after you retire? Assuming you retire at 65, will you have enogh income to live the way you want? If you will have more than enough, what do you want to do with that? How much do you want to spend travelling, on various entertainment, or other interests? Do you have important people you want to support or charities?

    For most of my clients, we work out when they can retire with the life they want and what they have to do to get there. In your case, it might be that you will have more income that you need. What is your plan for that?

    Quite a few of my clients have been frugal all their lives and retire with more than they need. However, it is hard to stop being frugal, so after retiring their portfolios just keep on growing. When I ask them what they plan to do with it, they don’t know. Their Financial Plan then tells them exactly how much they can spend sustainably.

    For example, I recently told a client that they can afford to spend $20,000/year more than they are spending. If they don’t, they will end up leaving their one son with a huge, multi-million inheritance. Is that what they want? This led to an important discussion about what they really want from their lives.

    Most people just follow the “conventional wisdom” and do the typical things, pay more tax than necessary, invest more conservatively than necessarily and with lower quality investments, and don’t make their investment choices optimally. They go through life without with no idea that their life could be more comfortable and they could have more peace of mind.

    My process starts with eithr a Financial Plan or a Plan Discussion to plan your life. Then I only take on clients with a high quality “full service”. This includes working with you through your lives to implement and manage your live, give you advice on any financial area, includes preparing your tax returns and investing with the very best portfolio managers.

    My process guides you through all your financial and life decisions, sets up your retirement cash flow with insight into your lives, and gives you confidence that you have the maximum after-tax income that you can rely on for life.


  35. Noey on August 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM

    Hi Ed, Thank you for this article. I enjoyed reading this article with so many different examples. You got me thinking about our retirement!
    Here is our situation: I am 63.5 years old and recently retired (July, 2018). I received my first BC Teachers Pension of $3200 per month with a bridge benefit of $900 on July 31 and I feel excited about this new chapter of my life. I also have invested $200,000 RRSP’s, $45,000 TFSA’s and $20,000 cash. We have raised three children, paid for their education, weddings, and down payments for their first homes. We have a beautiful home, three vehicles and no mortgage, loans or debts of any kind. My spouse is 67 years old, and he is planning to work for another year and a half, then he will begin his BC College Pension of $2600, plus combined CPP and OAS of $2200. He also has invested $200,000 RRSP’s, $45,000 TFSA’s and has $20,000 cash, no mortgage or debt.
    Based on what I read in your article, I am planning to start CPP and OAS at age 65, just after my husband retires at age 68.5. I hope that after reading your article I understood things and that this would be your recommendation as the best time for each of us to start CPP and OAS…did I get it right?
    We have often wondered if our retirement planning could benefit from a consultation from a financial advisor and after reading your article I am even more curious about what exactly you would do to guide us. Would you briefly outline what services you could offer to couples, like us, with so many financial decisions at retirement. I look forward to hearing from you.

  36. Ed Rempel on July 23, 2018 at 11:32 PM

  37. Yvonne on July 12, 2018 at 12:57 PM

    Hi Ed,
    Would you be able to provide me with a link to the Service Canada website that spells out the rates for deferral for CPP and OAS? I have been searching and searching on the Internet and can find many articles that describe the .007% for CPP and .006% for OAS, but I can’t find the information on Service Canada.

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  58. Ed Rempel on October 8, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Hi Peter,

    I think you miss a lot of opportunity. You are essentially focusing in on the 6th factor in my article, but the first 5 can all make a signficant difference.

    Whatever happens after you die does not matter, but you can benefit by planning for the most likely result of getting the most income during your life. How you invest, what clawbacks affect you, what tax bracket you are in, etc. all are important factors.

    YOu may be the financially responsible type that would delay CPP because you feel it will have more utility later, but if you ask most people to choose based on how they feel, they will take money now. Thinking it through is much better than going with your gut at age 65.

    I should add that delaying your CPP is not an 8.4% rate of return. You get 8.4% more money for a few years, but the actual rate of return is closer to 5% That is why it makes a difference how you invest. For example, equity investors will most likely be better off taking it sooner and leaving more of their money invested.

    Remember that CPP is only one piece of the retirement income puzzle. You can plan your overall retirement income to get the most likely maximum lifetime income. Then you can plan around which income to take when. You can delay CPP and/or OAS, and you can decide how much to work, how much to withdraw from your RRIF, TFSA and other investments each year of your retirement.

    Planning it usually gives you significantly more after-tax income throughout the rest of your life.


  59. PeterP on September 11, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    A lot of pension discussion focuses on catching up etc., and yes it depends on longevity. The key points are as follows and no one really addresses them. How long you live is irrelevant to the discussion. When you are dead, the fact you never collected or didn’t catch up means nothing to you – full stop. At that point, I’m past the point of wondering if I left money on the table so to speak. So if you remove that from the equation, then it boils down to one very simple fact of life – the utility value of the nominal income you get at the time. Forget about discounted cash flow analysis – the government is not giving you an option to get paid now at some discounted rate. Do you need the money today, or whether it means more to you at 70. I’ve done the financial analysis from many angles (including tax effects), but if you really think you need the money today, then that governs your decision. But if you think it is easier for you to work between 65 and 70, and for most people it is, then not taking the pension quite likely is the better decision. One has to look past the numbers – how does one feel now, and then think how one will feel at 70. Those are not financial decisions. At 70, your desire to work is most likely less. (and ignoring health considerations as they are also a personal scenario) Consequently, receiving 42% more CPP (8.4% annually risk free return) and about 32% more OAS (7.2% annual return), is from a utility value a better option. Is $1675 a month (CPP+OAS BT) worth less at 65, then $2320 a month at 70. For my money, getting more nominal income at 70 is worth a lot more than taxable income today. At 70, you can worry about your own inflation costs, and they rarely match the government numbers anyway. The bird in the hand that many espouse is not the best option for a lot of people as the CPI adjusted pension one takes at 65 will never catch the 8.4% annual return the government provides. to defer. To many people don’t look at nominal dollars, or dollars of the day, as that is what you have to spend.

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  61. Ed Rempel on June 21, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Hi Greg,

    I would need to know more about your situation to recommend more articles specifically for you. The RRSP vs. TFSA article on clawbacks and this one on delaying CPP to age 70 are the most direct on the issues you mentioned.

    I would suggest the “Must Read” articles: .

    If you would like a free 30-minute consultation to find out whether we are a good fit to work together, it is here:


  62. Greg on June 16, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    Thanks Ed.

    I’d like to do more reading on your site first, but the consultation sounds like a great idea!

    Any additional specific articles that you might recommend?


  63. Ed Rempel on June 16, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Hi Greg,


    Based on the info you provided, you have probably been right about RRSPs in your situation. The table in this article explains it: .

    Having said that, it sounds like the creative RRSP strategy in my last email may worked astoundingly well for you.

    Your situation is somewhat complicated and you can get a signficantly higher income if you make these decisions corretly over the next few years.

    My suggestion for you, Greg, is to have a Free 30-minute consultation to see whether or not we are a fit to work together. Details are here:


  64. Greg Watson on June 16, 2017 at 11:53 AM

    Ah, Table 2 on the website. Didn’t go there, given our age differences. Gotcha.

    No company pensions here.

    Given my/our typically low incomes, I calculated many years ago that RRSP’s didn’t make much sense.

    TFSA’s are maxed out, though conservatively invested, the non-registered accounts are similarly conservative.

    Life here on Salt Spring is already pretty idyllic and I think with a little bit of financial fine tuning and planning we can keep it that way.

    The more I read on your site, the more intrigued I become about the possibilities…..


  65. Ed Rempel on June 15, 2017 at 7:20 PM

    Hi Greg,

    Interesting situation for you.

    First to answer your questions:

    1. The maximum GIS for 2017 is $520.17/month for each person in a couple. That is if the taxable income is zero (excluding OAS). The link is here: .
    2. With your wife being 9 years younger, your situation is more complicated. You may be able to qualify for GIS at age 65. Your wife may be able to qualify for the Allowance at age 60. By age 70, you will have to start CPP (if not before). By age 72 (end of the year in which you turn 71), you have to start withdrawing from your RRIF. That means you go through several stages with different GIS and clawback amounts. It will take some calculations and creative thinking to figure out the optimal strategy for you.
    3. Yes. A financial plan will include figuring out how to optimize your retirement, including:
    – the maximum reliable withdrawal from your investments. ( )
    – when and which options to take from a company pension.
    – when and how to take CPP and OAS to maximize income and minimize clawbacks.
    – When to convert your RRSP to RRIF and how much to withdraw from your RRIF.
    – Minimizing your tax and clawbacks on all income, taking into accounnt your tax brackets now and in retirement.

    Creative thinking can sometimes make a huge difference. I really enjoy the creative aspect of it.

    It’s not only when to start CPP, OAS and your RRIF. It’s the type of investment income you have. You can also claim certain deductions to give you more GIS.

    Some examples:

    1. How you invest can make a huge difference. Dividends can be the best or worst, depending on your income. They are clawed back based on a “grossed-up” income, so GIS can claw back 70% of a dividend. Interest is better, but investing for deferred capital gains is often lower tax and a much lower clawback.
    2. Creative RRSP options. For example, I have had clients where we made a large RRSP contribution before age 65 and carried the entire contribuiton forward. From age 65 to 71, we deducted the optimal amount of RRSP to give them the maximum GIS. Then we had to start the RRIF at at 72.
    3. Creative use of home equity. For example, I have had clients that had the risk tolerance and other reasons to use their home equity to give them a higher retirement income. Some are aggressive investors and some have no beneficiaries to leave anything to. Interest on a credit line borrowed to invest is tax-deductible – plus it is deducted in the calculation for GIS. This means you could have the government pay 70% of the interest. Plus you can get tax-efficient income from the investments. This can be far more effective than a Reverse Mortgage.

    Your financial plan would include some creative ideas such as this, if they make sense for you.

    If you are interested in getting a Financial Plan and optimizing your retirement income, the details of my advice are here: .

    I hope that’s helpful, Greg!


  66. Greg Watson on June 15, 2017 at 4:30 PM

    Hi Ed,

    Very interesting article. I may very well be a candidate for your planning services!

    In the meantime I have a question for you.

    I am in a similar position to Gloria above, though I’m only 59 (this month actually) and have considered myself semi retired for the past 20 years or so.

    I had planned on delaying CPP and have been looking at the pros and cons of taking OAS at 65, given that I am pretty certain I can qualify for the GIS.

    I have three question/curiosities:

    1.) Where/how did you arrive at the $12,484 GIS income for couples ($1040.33 X 12?) in the article/example. I can find the $6942 OAS ($578.53 X 12), $10,369 GIS ($864.09 X 12) for a single, the $17,544 and $23,184 on the website.

    2.) I’m married. My spouse is 9 years younger than me. How would your table of real life calculations change for a couple?

    3.) Would these kind of calculations be part of a financial plan?

    Cheers, Greg

  67. Jan 9: Best from the blogosphere | Save with SPP on January 9, 2017 at 9:46 AM

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