Box-pension

Your older clients likely sighed with relief when the Harper government announced OAS eligibility changes that would only affect people born after 1958.

But your younger clients may be wondering if there’s any hope of retiring at 65, as their parents did. If so, those clients have a direct stake in who wins the federal election this October. Three of the four major federal parties would at least consider going back to 65. The parties also want to consult with Canadians and provinces on key retirement issues. For their full stances, see the chart below.

Read: Keep the claws off OAS

To learn more about the parties’ pension pledges, we spoke to:

  • Deborah Coyne, senior policy advisor, Green Party of Canada
  • John McCallum, Liberal Party of Canada candidate in Markham-Thornhill and past National Revenue minister
  • Mélanie Richer, press secretary, New Democratic Party of Canada

The Conservative Party did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Bookmark this page — we’ll continue to update it as the parties release more information.

CPP

Do you support mandatory contribution increases? How, if at all, would you change CPP?

Conservative Party
  • Has announced consultations with individuals, financial sector and retirement income experts, and other stakeholders on options for a voluntary supplement to CPP.
Green Party
  • Would expand CPP/QPP.
  • Would allow investors to save more than the new CPP maximum benefit. This could be offered through a publicly run alternative to private investment funds, managed by CPP Investment Board. “Our optional CPP is different. We say expand CPP, but there’s [also] an option for people, and especially it would be taken up by young people, to benefit from a tried and true system.”
Liberal Party
  • “We would work with the provincial governments to bring about a moderate expansion of the Canada Pension Plan.”
  • Would create a lifelong pension for injured veterans.
New Democratic Party
  • Would increase CPP contributions (it’s unclear whether that will affect employers, employees, or both). The party’s full platform document says, “The provinces have long expressed interest in expanding the CPP/QPP, so [we’ll] call a First Ministers’ Meeting within the first 100 days of our government.”
  • OAS

    What would the OAS eligibility age be under your government? How, if at all, would you change OAS?

    Conservative Party
    • Would proceed with increase (made in 2012) to the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS from age 65 to 67, beginning in April 2023.
    Green Party
    • Would merge social-security programs into a consolidated Guaranteed Livable Income (includes OAS, GIS, CCTB, NCB, and the WITB).
    • Would consider restoring OAS eligibility to age 65. “OAS is part of the social safety net. But [the age was increased] so super unilaterally by the government with no consultation with the provinces. And it put people on welfare who cannot survive past age 65.”
    Liberal Party
    • Would restore OAS eligibility to age 65. “It would hit the most vulnerable people if we increased the retirement age.”
    • Would increase GIS by 10% for single low-income seniors.
    New Democratic Party
    • Would restore OAS eligibility to age 65. “We will invest [up to] a further $400 million into the Guaranteed Income Supplement to help lift 200,000 seniors out of poverty.”

    Want more? Check out Advisor’s 2015 Election Guide.

    Originally published on Advisor.ca

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