Old Age Security Canada

January 28, 2012 by staff 

Old Age Security Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s suggestions that Canada may eventually change the eligibility age for Old Age Security is raising concerns among some Manitobans.

“Yes it will have an impact and no, I wouldn’t be happy with that,” said Hilda Richardson. “If taxes go up the way they are and all of that – how are we going to be able to afford things?” she asked.

In three years, Richardson will be 65, eligible under the current system for an OAS payment of $540 each month, but that could change.

In an economic forum in Switzerland earlier this week, Harper hinted at changes to the system. Harper said Canada’s population is aging and suggested the current OAS system is not sustainable.

Federal Conservatives raised the possibility of increasing the eligibility age to 67, up from 65.

Some experts said people are living longer and the government may not have a choice when it comes to changing the OAS eligibility age.

“It’s either deal with the problem now or deal with a much larger problem later,” said Mike Malazdrewicz, a Brandon University business professor.

In 2010, OAS payments cost the government $36 billion, while that number is expected to reach $108 billion in 2030.

In 2010, there were about 4.7 million Canadians collecting OAS payments while in 2030 that number is expected to reach 9.3 million.

Financial experts said about three quarters of people approaching 65 have the means to retire, but the other quarter of the population does not and would be impacted by increasing the OAS eligibility age to 67.

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