Living Outside Canada

If you move outside of Canada and/or are considered a non-resident by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), your pension benefit payments or transfer out requests may require special attention.

Determine Your Residency Status

It is important that you know your residency status and the income tax rules that apply to you while you are outside Canada. Review Taxation for Canadians travelling, living or working outside Canada on the Government of Canada website to determine your residency status and implications.

Leaving Your Funds Invested in the Plan

If you elect to leave your funds in the Plan, you will continue to receive your annual member statement and pension correspondence by mail to the address on record. Please ensure that your mailing address and contact information is kept up to date. No further action is required until you request a pension benefit payment(s).

Withholding Taxes

Non locked-in funds can be withdrawn in cash. The amount of tax withheld will be based on Non-Resident tax rates if, in the year of withdrawal, you are a non-resident of Canada for more than 183 days.

Locked-in funds may be unlocked if you satisfy the CRA’s requirements for being a non-resident of Canada. You can withdraw cash from your locked-in funds at any age if you have resided outside of Canada for at least 2 years.

Prior to your cash withdraw request:

  • Complete a Determination of Residency Status (NR73) Form and file it with CRA.
  • Once your application has been evaluated, you will receive a letter from them confirming the effective date of your non-residency.
  • Send a copy of the letter to the UBC Pension Administration Office and upon receipt of the letter, we will be able to accept your cash withdrawal instructions.

The withholding tax rate is 15% or 25%, depending on your country of residence and it will be deducted at source from your gross payment amount.

Cash payments will be paid out in Canadian currency unless otherwise specified.

Canadian Government Income Security Programs

As a non-resident of Canada, you may be entitled to apply for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments and Old Age Security Pension (OAS) payments.

Canada also has agreements with a number of other countries that offer comparable pension programs. These agreements allow for the co-ordination of two countries’ social security programs and make the benefits portable between the countries. For example, most social security programs require contributions during a minimum number of years. Under these agreements, periods of residence in Canada or contributions to the CPP may be used to satisfy the eligibility conditions of the other country’s social security system. For more information, visit Lived or living outside Canada – Pension and benefits – Overview on the Government of Canada website.

Note: If you are a non-resident of Canada, get Form NRTA1, Authorization for Non-Resident Tax Exemption for more information on transfers.