MP Report - No changes for current OAS recipients!
MP - Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry
There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding the future of the Old Age Security system in Canada. Seniors currently on OAS will not have their benefits cut, and that if any changes to OAS are made, it will be done with substantial notice and an adjustment period. Further, any changes will not affect current retirees or those close to retirement
Cornwall - February 13, 2012 - There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding the future of the Old Age Security system in Canada. I believe that it is important for Canadians to understand some key facts on the sustainability of OAS:
• The number of Canadians over the age of 65 will increase from 4.7 million to 9.3 million over the next 20 years.
• The OAS program was built when Canadians were not living the long, healthy lives they are today.
• When Old Age Security was introduced in 1952 the age of eligibility was 70. The life expectancy at the time was 66 for men and 71 for women.
• The age of eligibility for Old Age Security changed in 1965 from 70 to 65. The age expectancy at that time was 68 for men and 75 for women.
• The age of eligibility for Old Age Security today is 65. Life expectancy is 79 for men and 83 for women.
• Consequently, the cost of the OAS program will increase from $36B per year in 2010 to $108B per year in 2030.
•Meanwhile, by 2030, the number of taxpayers for every senior will be 2 – down from 4 in 2010 and 7 in 1975.
At the same time, it is important to note the assistance we provided seniors since forming Government in 2006. In the past six years, we have:
•Increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for the most vulnerable seniors (the largest increase in many decades- $306 million per year)
•Introduced pension income splitting and increased the age credit
•Introduced innovative new programs such as the tax-free savings account and the PRPP to help Canadians save for retirement.
In his speech at the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Stephen Harper advised our international colleagues that, like many other countries, Canada needs to have a mature and frank discussion on the sustainability of the Old Age Security system to ensure that it is viable and affordable in the long term.
It is at that point that the opposition parties went into speculation mode. Everything from a cut in benefits to an increase in the age of eligibility effective immediately was floated as ideas by the opposition. Pensioners and soon to be pensioners became very concerned. Everyone was predicting or guessing how the problem was addressed. Most of the speculation was just that- speculation.
The only commitment that the Prime Minister and our government have made on the future of OAS is to take a serious look to ensure its long term viability.
Additionally, seniors currently on OAS will not have their benefits cut, and that if any changes to OAS are made, it will be done with substantial notice and an adjustment period. Further, any changes will not affect current retirees or those close to retirement, and will give others plenty of time to adjust and plan for their retirement.
I would personally like to reassure the same commitments to all constituents of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
Member of Parliament
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