Canada

Old age security increase leaves out many seniors, non-profit says


The Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) is raising alarms about the recent increase in old age security (OAS) only being made eligible for those 75 and above, which the organization says leaves many younger retirees at potential risk.


The Canadian government increased the OAS by 10 per cent in July, a move the feds say is the first permanent raise to the pension in nearly 50 years.


However, this leaves behind “what could be the most needful part of the whole older Canadian group,” says Bill VanGoarder, Chief Operating Officer for the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP), referring to the seniors between the ages of 65 and 75.


The OAS pension pays out monthly to seniors aged 65 and older in Canada. When the 10 per cent increase started rolling out in the last week of July, recipients between the ages of 65 and 75 weren’t eligible for the additional $800 every month.


“Some of our statistics show that it’s the younger cohort of the 65 and up that are more needful of money these days,” VanGoarder told CTV’s Your Morning on Friday.


CARP, along with the National Association of Federal Retirees and Réseau FADOQ, have called on the federal government to increase OAS benefits by 10 per cent for all eligible seniors, not just those 75 and older.


“This measure discriminates on the basis of age and risks setting a dangerous precedent by creating two classes of seniors,” according to a 2021 statement released by the three organizations.


While inflation is impacting all age groups in the country, VanGoarder says newly retired seniors may be facing a tougher time than most.


“People who began to plan for retirement 20 or 30 years ago didn’t expect to have inflation at what it is now and didn’t expect to be fearful of running out of money before they pass,” he said.


“One of the greatest fears that older Canadians have now is that they’re going to outlive their money.”


OAS is evaluated every three months and is based on the consumer price index. However, VanGoarder says the costs of food, health care and accommodation for seniors have been rising — not only during the inflationary period — and that these changes are not reflected in the OAS indexation.


For people living on fixed income, a 10 per cent increase after 50 years “doesn’t help an awful lot,” VanGoarder said.


CTVNews.ca reached out to the federal government for comment, but did not hear back in time of publishing.


With files from CTVNews.ca’s Michael Lee

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