Knowledge & Education Center

How Does Canada’s Public Pension Program Compensate Expats Living in the US?

In this article, John McCord discusses Canada’s two-part public pension program and how pension benefits are applied to Canadian expats living in the US. Eligibility for the first part, Old Age Security (OAS), is determined by age, time spent as a Canadian resident and legal status, but not retirement status or employment history. The second part, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), is directly tied in to salaries. The specific CPP benefit is determined by the amount and duration of CPP contributions (from prior employment). The highlight of both benefit programs is that, due to the Canada-US Tax Treaty, expats are not subject to Canada Revenue Agency tax rates or foreign withholding taxes. With lower US tax rates, this provides a clear benefit for Canadian expats living in the US. As each program mentioned has strict qualifying criteria, McCord details some of the specific regulations and emphasizes that it is important to partner with a qualified team of tax, legal and investment professionals who have specific experience in cross-border financial planning strategy.

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