How to Apply for CPP & OAP in Canada

Canadian seniors enjoy a guaranteed income after retirement.

Canada's Pension Plan and Canada Old Age Security Plan provide a guaranteed income for seniors. CPP has been in effect since 1966. The plan pays a retirement pension, as well as disability and survivor benefits. Canadians over the age of 18 and their employers pay into the plan. The amount of money you receive will depend on your income and years of employment. OAS provides a monthly payment to most Canadians aged 65 or older. If you live in Canada, you must be a Canadian citizen or legal resident. You must have lived in Canada for at least 10 years, after you turned 18. If you live outside Canada, you must have been a Canadian citizen or legal resident when you left the country, and you must have lived in Canada for at least 20 years, after you turned 18.

How to Apply for Canada Pension Plan

Step 1

Have your banking information ready, if you want direct deposit.

Gather all of the necessary documents, and place them in front of you. You will only have 15 minutes to complete the on-line application.

Step 2

Service Canada recommends filing your application electronically.

Access the CPP application form through the Service Canada Website. Complete the entire application and submit.

Step 3

Mail your completed application.

Print a copy of your application. Sign and mail it to Service Canada.

How to Apply for the Old Age Security Pension

Step 1

Get an information kit and application form from your local Service Canada office or from their website. If you would prefer to have it mailed to you, contact Service Canada at their toll-free number.

Step 2

Gather the necessary documents. If you were born outside Canada or have lived outside the country for an extended period, since the age of 18, you will need to supply proof of legal status with citizenship or immigration papers.

Step 3

Apply for the Old Age Security Pension six months before you turn 65.

Compete the application, sign and return to Service Canada.


Call Service Canada toll-free at 1-800-277-9914 to receive an application in the mail.


If you are using a public computer to apply for CPP clear the browser's cache, and close the browser before shutting down.

Things You'll Need

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • SIN for spouse or common-law partner (optional)

  • Banking information (optional)

  • Computer with JavaScript enabled

  • Printer

  • Paper

  • Envelope

  • Stamp

  • Proof of legal Canadian status

references & resources