Securing Old Age Security for Canadian Seniors

April 10, 2012

 

 Our Government is committed to ensuring the sustainability of the Old Age Security program for future generations.

 As recently announced, our plan will increase the age of eligibility for OAS from age 65 to age 67, beginning in 2023 with full implementation by 2029.

 Canadians currently collecting benefits will not be affected.

 Canadians aged 54 or older on March 31, 2012 (born on or before March 31, 1958) will still be eligible to apply for OAS at age 65. These changes will not affect the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The CPP has been adjusted over the years and is sustainable for the long-term.

Starting next year, we are also proposing to introduce two new measures for OAS. 

Starting in January, we will start to proactively enroll many seniors in OAS and GIS, eliminating the need for them to apply for these benefits.

Additionally, in July, we will introduce a voluntary deferral for OAS, giving Canadians the option to delay receiving the OAS benefit for up to five years. For every month an individual delays receiving OAS, their monthly payment will be increased for the remainder of their retirement.

Canada is undergoing a significant demographic shift and soon the number of seniors will nearly double. The ratio of workers to seniors is also changing. Currently, we have four working Canadians for every senior; by 2030, that will be reduced to two workers.

OAS is the largest individual transfer made to Canadians by the government and is completely funded by tax revenues. On its current path, OAS is unsustainable. If we did not act now, the annual cost of OAS is projected to increase from $38 billion in 2011 to $108 billion in 2030, which will account for 21% of all federal program funding.

Our Government is determined to take responsible, fair and prudent action to ensure that the OAS program is sustainable for all Canadians—now and into the future. We are committed to providing a secure and dignified retirement for seniors who have spent their lives building Canada through their hard work.  

For more information on how we are safeguarding the OAS program , please visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca/retirement.  

 

Our Conservative Government took office and saw that action had to be taken.  We welcomed 14 per cent more immigrants per year, on average, than the previous Liberal government.  We cut the Right of Landing Fee in half — saving $300 million since 2006.  We tripled funding for immigration settlement services from $1,000 per immigrant, to $3,000.  We drastically reduced processing times for skilled worker applications from 5 years, to less than 1 year.  And, we took action for foreign credential recognition, working to make it easier for skilled workers to have their education and previous work experiences recognized by Canadian standards.

While this is all good news for Canadians and our country’s economy, we must also focus our attention on those who seek to take advantage of our generosity.  Our Government is committed to maintaining the integrity of our immigration system, which is why we are deeply concerned that there are individuals who have been defrauding our immigration system.

Our Government took action to protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship by revoking approximately 1800 citizenships from individuals who did not choose Canada as home, but merely as a pit-stop of convenience.  Just like those who choose to come to our country by way of illegal human smuggling operations, these individuals cost taxpayers a lot of money (eg. health care, consular services) and undermine the integrity of our immigration system.  In addition, our Government cracked down on crooked immigration consultants, who seek to take advantage of vulnerable new immigrants.

Ultimately, Canadians gave our Conservative Government a strong mandate to stay focused on what matters – job creation and economic growth.  As we continue to recover from the recession, immigration will help ensure employers have the workers they need for our continued and long-term economic success.  Meanwhile, we will continue to send a global message that Canada will not accept fraud on our land or in our waters.  The abuse of our generosity is unacceptable, and our Government is taking the right action to stop it.

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