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Canada - Retirement

There is no specific retirement age in Canada but traditionally many people retire at the age of 65. It is becoming popular now to retire at a younger age. There is legislation in most territories which prevents people being forced to retire at a certain age. Most retired people in Canada have more than one source of income for their old age and those who are already retired when they move to the country usually have income other than their state pension.

The state pension scheme is known as Old Age Security, often shortened to OAS. This pension is only payable to those who have spent a certain amount of time in the country. You must have spent a minimum of 10 years living in Canada after the age of 18. This benefit is not based on work that you have done. This is payable when you get to the age of 65. This is not a benefit that is paid to all people and payments will take into account money that you receive from other sources, so you will need to declare other forms of income when you make your application.

An additional pension is the Canada Pension Plan, also known as CPP. This is a government pension plan and while you are working in the country both your employer and you will be making contributions to this scheme. In Quebec this scheme is known as the Quebec Pension Plan. This can be payable after the age of 60 and before the age of 70. If you want to receive this payment before you reach 65 you must have already stopped work or be earning less than the maximum payment allowed on CPP. The amount you receive depends upon the amount of time that you have been working in the country and the contributions that you have made to the scheme.

Those who are eligible for a pension from their country of origin should be able to receive this while they are living in Canada. The arrangements for doing this will vary from country to country, so consulting the department of pensions before you leave should give you the information that you need. You should be aware that you could be taxed on this form of income in Canada but as there are double taxation agreements in place with many countries you should not need to pay tax in your country of origin as well.

There are different pension plans which are based on your employment. This could be a defined benefit plan. This is worked out on the number of years that you spent with the employer and the amount that you earned. A Defined contribution plan consists of contributions made by both the worker and the employer and upon retirement you can choose to have this money paid to a Life Income Fund or an annuity. Some plans allow payments to be made directly from the scheme to the employee.

Increasing numbers of workers are beginning to save for their retirement themselves and they can choose to put the money into Registered Retirement Savings Plans. The saver can decide where the money is invested and how much is saved. Contributions to these schemes are tax deductible and interest earned before you begin drawing the money is tax free. You will pay tax on this income when the scheme begins to pay out as it then counts as income.

There are no longer specific schemes in Canada which are designed to attract retirees but retired people can apply for residency via one of the many different visa schemes. As a retired person moving to Canada you would not be eligible to claim any pensions there so you may be required to prove that you are able to support yourself so pension statements and bank statements may be requested along with other documentation.

The quality of life is one of the reasons that many expats are choosing to move to Canada. The country has a reasonable cost of living, lower property prices than in the UK and US and plenty of beautiful countryside. There are many opportunities for those who want an active lifestyle and who enjoy cycling, walking and other sports. Retirees make up a large part of the total of expats that move to quieter areas such as Nova Scotia.

Read more about this country

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