Variety of pensioners receiving OAS overseas dropped throughout pandemic, then elevated

The overall greenback worth of Previous Age Safety (OAS) funds despatched to retired Canadians residing overseas — which has elevated steadily over the previous ten years — dropped barely through the pandemic, when world journey restrictions slammed the brakes on worldwide journey.

The overall sum of OAS funds to retirees overseas dropped by 0.17 per cent between 2020 and 2021. The sum then spiked by 9.7 per cent between 2021 and 2022 to hit a ten-year excessive.

The workplace of Seniors Minister Seamus O’Regan advised CBC Information that whereas the pandemic’s results led to the rise, the proportion of seniors receiving OAS whereas residing overseas has remained fixed over the previous decade, at about 2.2 to 2.7 per cent.

Whereas O’Regan’s workplace stated solely about 1.3 per cent of general OAS spending goes overseas, the whole quantity of these funds grew by 50 per cent between 2012 and 2022, from $414 million to $621 million.

The president and CEO of CanAge, a nationwide seniors advocacy group, stated the spike after the pandemic displays each a pandemic correction and a realization by some seniors that retirement may be higher overseas.

“The pandemic had a profound affect on how Canadian seniors have been eager about their retirement in a constructive means, but additionally eager about the what-ifs, and the price of care related to what it feels prefer to age in Canada proper now,” Laura Tamblyn Watts advised CBC Information.

Watts stated these seniors have been reflecting partially on how the pandemic hit long-term care services in Canada.

Considerations about long-term care

Greater than 80 per cent of Canada’s identified COVID-19 deaths through the first few months of the pandemic occurred in long-term care and retirement properties — the very best such fee amongst nations within the Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Growth (OECD).

Greater than 17,000 residents of long-term care properties in Canada had died of COVID-19 sickness as of July 2022, based on the Nationwide Institute on Ageing.

Watts stated as soon as the pandemic ended, “you see nearly instantly individuals saying, ‘I’ve bought to get out of right here, or I’ve to make higher decisions, or I’ve seen the grim reaper come about what getting older in Canada appears like.'”

The rising price of residing and the upper rates of interest of the post-pandemic period, Watts stated, have additionally prompted seniors to ask if assisted residing is extra inexpensive overseas.

Seniors can qualify for a full OAS pension if they’ve lived in Canada for no less than 40 years after they flip 18. Canadians who lived in Canada for no less than 10 years after they flip 18, however no more than 39 years, qualify for a partial OAS pension.

The OAS is paid to Canadians exterior of the nation if they’ve accrued no less than 20 years of residency in Canada after the age of 18.

If a senior leaves Canada earlier than establishing 20 years of residence, they solely get OAS funds for the month of their departure and the six months after that.

O’Regan’s workplace stated Canada has agreements with different international locations that permit Canadians to qualify for OAS and retirement advantages in different international locations with out having lived and labored there.

There are 60 such agreements at the moment in pressure, which permit Canadians to obtain advantages for various lengths of time. 

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