St. Vincent and Grenadines Association of Toronto

Reciprocal Agreement

Reciprocal Agreement

CANADA /ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

Introduction

With effect from November 1, 1998 the St. Vincent and the Grenadines/Canada Reciprocal Agreement will be enforced in Canada and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

1. What is the Canada/St. Vincent and the Grenadines Reciprocal Agreement?
It is an arrangement between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Government of Canada to allow persons who have worked and lived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and persons who have lived and worked in Canada to qualify for pensions from either St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Canada or from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Canada.

2. What is the purpose of the Agreement?
The purpose of the Agreement is to protect the benefit rights of persons who would have lived and worked in Canada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the laws of Canada require that a person completes a minimum period of residence or contributions before becoming entitled to a pension. Persons who have spent part of their lives in Canada and part in St. Vincent and the Grenadines may not have completed periods of sufficient length to qualify for a pension. Under the Reciprocal Agreement, arrangements are made for the pooling (adding together) of the periods under the Social Security/National Insurance programme of Canada/St. Vincent and the Grenadines to allow the person to receive the benefit for which he/she qualifies.

In addition, the Agreement will also ensure continuity of social security protection when someone is sent from one country to the other in the course of his/her employment.

3. What benefits will be offered under the Agreement?
The Agreement covers the following branches of Social Security:
- Canada old age security pension
- Canada pension plan Retirement pension
- Canada pension plan Disability pension
- Canada pension plan Survivor's pension
- Canada pension plan death benefits

4. How does a person qualify for the Canada Old Age Security Pension?
A person may qualify for an old age security pension if he/she:
- has reached age 65, and
- has resided in Canada for at least one year since reaching age 18, and
- was a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada at the time of his/her departure, and
- has resided in Canada and contributed to the National Insurance Scheme of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a total of at least 20 years since reaching age 18.

Additionally, a person is not required to have worked in Canada to be eligible for this pension neither must he/she cease employment before he/she can start to receive a pension.

5. How does a person claim the Canada Old Age Security Pension?
If a person is 64 years of age and has resided in Canada for at least one year since reaching age 18, or was a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada at the time of departure, or has resided in Canada and has made a total of 20 years contribution to the NIS of St. Vincent and the Grenadines since reaching age 18, then the person should submit an application for Old Age Security Pension.

6. Where can I receive the claim form?
Claim forms are available free of charge from the National Insurance Scheme, St. Vincent and the Grenadines or from the International Operations, Income Security Programmes, Human Resources Development Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OL4, Canada.

7. How does a person qualify for a Canadian Pension Plan Retirement Pension?
A person may qualify for a Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension if he/she:
- has made contributions to the Canada Plan since January 1996
- has reached age 60 but has not yet reached age 65, and
- is no longer contributing to the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan and to the National Insurance Scheme of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; or
- he/she is still contributing to the Canada Pension Plan but has substantially ceased working i.e. if when the pension begins, the annual rate of earnings from employment or self-employment does not exceed the annual amount of the maximum retirement pension payable to a person whose pension begins at age 65
- has reached age 65 (regardless of whether he/she is still working)

8. How does a person qualify for a Canada Pension Plan disability pension?
A person may qualify for a Canada Pension Plan disability Pension if he/she:
- has become disabled, and
- has not yet reached age 65, and
- has made contributions to the Canada plan since January 1966
- has contributed to the Canada Pension Plan or the National Insurance Scheme of St. Vincent and the Grenadines during four of the six years immediately prior to his/her disablement.

A person can only claim this benefit if the person's disability is of an indefinite duration or is likely to result in death or if the person cannot regularly pursue any substantially gainful occupation.

9. Can a disabled person's children claim disability pension?
Yes. If a person qualifies for a disability and he/she has dependent children (including adopted children) in his/her care, the child may qualify for a disabled contributor's child benefit if he/she is:
- under age 18, or
- between the ages of 18 and 25 in full-time attendance at school or university

10. How does a person qualify for a Canada Pension Plan Surviving spouse's pension?
A person may qualify for a Canada Pension Plan surviving spouse's pension if his/her spouse:
- is deceased, and
- had made contributions to the Canada Pension Plan since 1966
- had contributed to the Canada Pension Plan or the National Insurance Scheme of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a minimum period (which can vary between three and ten years, depending on the spouse's age at the time of death) and if he/she
- had reached age 35 at the time of the spouse's death, or
had not reached age 35 at the time of the spouses' death but
- is disabled
- was caring for a dependent child (including an adopted child) at the time of the spouse's death

Surviving spouse's pensions are payable under the same conditions to widows and widowers and in common-law relationships. Pensions are payable even if the person remarries.

11. How does a person qualify for an orphan's benefit under the Canada Pension Plan Orphan's Benefit?
A dependent child (including an adopted child) of a deceased person may qualify for an orphans benefit if he/she is:
- under age 18, or
- between the ages of 18 and 25 and in full time attendance at school or university, and if the deceased parent:
- had made contributions to the Canada Pension Plan since January 1966, and
- had contributed to the Canada Pension Plan or the National Insurance Scheme of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a minimum period (which can vary between three and ten years, depending on the contributor's age at the time of death)

12. Who qualifies for a Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit?
A single-payment death benefit may be paid to the estate of a deceased person, or, in the absence of an estate to the person responsible for the funeral expenses, the surviving spouse or the next of kin, if the deceased person.
- had made contributions to the Canada Pension Plan anytime since the start of the plan in January 1966 and
- had contributed to the Canada Pension Plan or the National Insurance Scheme of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
for a minimum period (which can vary between three and 10 years depending on the contributor's age at the time
of death)

 

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