A shot of a senior asian man holding a tennis racquet
© arekmalang / 123RF Stock Photo

The Liberals announced policies to help low-income seniors on Wednesday with pledges to boost Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan survivor’s benefit.

If re-elected, the Liberals said they would increase OAS by 10% for seniors over the age of 75 and raise the CPP survivor’s benefit by 25%. Currently, 60% of a deceased partner’s pension goes to the survivor.

The OAS increase, which will be indexed to inflation, would add up to $729 to a senior’s annual payment, the Liberals said. Seniors who make less than $77,580 today would receive the additional benefit, which would take effect in July 2020.

The higher survivor’s benefit would provide up to an additional $2,080 annually.

A backgrounder with details on the policy said 238,000 seniors live in poverty. The OAS increase would help reduce that number by 20,000, the document said.

The Liberals said the OAS boost would cost $1.63 billion in 2020-21, rising to $2.56 billion in 2023-24. The backgrounder did not say how the policy would affect CPP premiums.

The Liberals did not submit the proposals to the parliamentary budget officer for independent costing.