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An Update on the Old Age Security Program
Thursday, 09 February 2012
Throughout this past week, my office has received many inquiries, questions and comments regarding proposed changes to Canada’s Old Age Security program.
In order to alleviate some of the confusion, I would like to take this time to provide you with some information on the future of OAS, one of the cornerstones of Canada’s retirement income system.
I would first of all like to assure you that any changes made to Old Age Security will not affect anyone currently receiving benefits, nor will they affect any individual now nearing retirement. Other Canadians, who are not near retirement, will receive substantial notice of changes to Old Age Security, to ensure they have ample time to plan for their future.
Our government is committed to protecting retirement income for today’s seniors, and for future generations of retirees. Canadians receive retirement income from a variety of sources, including the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. The Canada Pension Plan is funded by premiums from each of our paycheques and it is on a safe, secure, and sustainable path. Old Age Security, on the other hand, is funded from general government revenue and is not sustainable in its current form over the long term.
In 1975 there were seven working Canadian taxpayers for every senior. Because of our aging population, today there are only four. By 2030, the total number of seniors will nearly double, leaving only two working-age Canadians for each senior. Amidst these changing demographics, the annual cost of the Old Age Security program is projected to increase from $36 billion in 2010 to $108 billion in 2030. If changes are not made to the OAS program it will become unsustainable in the long-term.
That is why it is so important that our government review these measures as soon as possible. Failure to make important decisions now will put the program in jeopardy for future generations of seniors. Our government will take a prudent, balanced and responsible approach to ensure financial stability for seniors and give them confidence that Old Age Security will be sustainable and available to them in their retirement.
Again, I would like to emphasize that any changes to OAS will be done with substantial notice, an adjustment period, and in a way that does not affect current retirees or those close to retirement. Additionally, any changes to the OAS would give others plenty of time to adjust and plan for
For more information on the OAS program, I welcome you to visit the Service Canada website using the following link:
Thank you again for taking the time to share your views on this important issue with me; I hope that the information I have provided addresses your specific concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or comments.
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James Rajotte - Member of Parliament for Edmonton--Leduc