Our Government is reforming OAS to ensure it is sustainable for future generations.
Our Conservative Government recognizes that Canada’s seniors help build and make our country great. That’s why Economic Action Plan 2012 introduces new measures to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for Canadian seniors.
The ThirdQuarter Project is an innovative, online approach to help employers find experienced workers over 50 who want to keep using their skills in the workforce. Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes $6 million to extend and expand the successful ThirdQuarter project across the country.
Improving Flexibility and Choice for Senior Workers by providing the option to voluntarily defer take-up of Old Age Security benefits, starting in July 2013. Those doing so will subsequently receive a higher annual actuarially-adjusted pension on take-up.
This builds on top of the over $2.5 billion in annual tax relief our Government has provided to seniors and pensioners since 2006, including:
- Removing over 380,000 seniors from the tax rolls
- introducing pension income splitting
- increasing the Age Credit Amount by $2,000
- doubling the Pension Income Credit to $2,000
- increasing the age limit for RRSP-to-RRIF conversion to 71 from 69
- establishing the landmark Tax-Free Savings Account which is particularly beneficial for seniors
Our Conservative Government also took other action to support Canadian seniors, including:
- Increasing the amount Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) recipients can earn through employment without any reduction in GIS benefits from $500 to $3,500 (A single pensioner, for example, earning $3,500 or more, will now be able to keep up to an additional $1,500 in annual GIS benefits)
- Introducing the largest GIS increase in over 25 years; since July 2011, eligible low-income seniors receive additional annual benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples – helping more than 680,000 seniors across Canada
- enhancing the New Horizons for Seniors Program by providing an additional $10 million to promote volunteerism, mentorship and the social participation of seniors, and expand awareness of elder abuse
- taking steps to combat elder abuse in all its forms – including expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program to include elder abuse awareness activities and introducing legislation in March 2012 to ensure tougher sentences for those who abuse seniors
We’re also working with the provinces to make the new Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) as widely available as possible, to better help workers save and build their retirement income.
In addition, seniors are benefiting from other measures, like the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and the elimination of the mandatory retirement age for federally-regulated employees. These measures help give seniors the freedom to remain in the workforce if they want to.
Old Age Security eligibility adjustments in Budget 2012 will NOT affect current OAS/GIS beneficiaries. Adjustments are limited to those 54 or younger as of March 31, 2012.
Our Government is reforming OAS to ensure it is sustainable for future generations. Starting in 2023 we will gradually increase the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS from 65 to, in 2029, 67.