Goodbye Canada, hello tax consequences

How relocating abroad affects your public pensions and registered plans.

Gail Bebee 17 February, 2017 | 6:00PM

Is the siren song of warmer climate and lower costs enticing you to retire abroad? Are you planning to relocate to another country for work? No matter the reason, before packing up, take the time to determine the fate of your government retirement benefits and registered savings plans if you move abroad. What you discover could affect your decision to relocate.

Once you become a non-resident of Canada, you no longer earn Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan credits. You will be eligible for OAS if you are at least 65 years old, were a Canadian citizen or resident when you left, and resided in Canada for at least 20 years since the age of 18. Any CPP/QPP benefits you receive will be based on the standard CPP/QPP calculation method which incorporates your total CPP/QPP contributions and how long you contributed.

You may be able to combine your periods of contribution/residency in Canada and another country to meet the minimum qualifications for a pension benefit in one or both countries, if Canada has signed a social-security agreement with the other country. Your Canadian benefit amount will be based on your Canadian contributions/residency only. These agreements vary by country. Service Canada International Operations will provide details on the rules in place with a particular country.

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About Author

Gail Bebee

Gail Bebee  Gail Bebee is an independent personal finance speaker, teacher and the author of No Hype--The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money. She can be reached at gbebee@gailbebee.com; her website is www.gailbebee.com.

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