Pensionable age increase disputed

Over the next 10 years, more than four million Canadians will be turning 65

To the editor;

It seems all but certain that Stephen Harper is set to hike the qualifying age for the Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67. For our most vulnerable seniors, that means they will go without $30,000 of much needed support for two additional years. For you, it may mean significantly altering your plans for retirement.

And you are not alone. Over the next 10 years, more than four million Canadians will be turning 65. Unless you are set to retire with an annual pension of over $112,000, Harper is telling you to rethink your plans.

Harper is blaming the baby-boomers. But as the retirement wave peaks in 2031, the increase spending on the OAS will only increase by 0.7 per cent of Canada’s overall economy.

So why is Harper doing this? Because fundamentally, Stephen Harper believes that the government should have no hand in helping seniors in their retirement, and no hand in helping Canadians plan for their retirement. He’s still the same guy who said the Canada Pension Plan should be scrapped back in 1998. Government involvement in the financial security of Canadians stands counter to Harper’s ideology.

As Conservatives choose to take benefits away from seniors, Liberals will continue to fight for balanced pension reforms that will ensure Canadians financial security in their retirement.  Liberals will fight for a voluntary supplemental Canada Pension Plan that will provide a low-cost, high-return, universal option that Canadians can rely on.

Hon. Judy Sgro, MP

Liberal Party Critic for Seniors and Pensions