Canada column for Sunday, Jan. 29/12
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
“Major transformations” are coming, including the possibility of waiting longer to receive retirement benefits, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
These changes to “position Canada for growth over the next generation” will be announced “in the months to come,” he told an international economic forum in Switzerland.
There is concern that an aging population risks undermining the country’s economic position “well beyond the current economic crises,” he said.
Details of such major and controversial plans weren’t disclosed but Harper continues to fuel speculation that the Old Age Security pension eligibility will be moved to 67 from 65.
Making Canadians wait two years longer to receive their “old-age” pension is “completely unacceptable,” said New Democratic politician Peter Julian.
“We do not accept the proposition that more Canadian seniors have to live in poverty or that Canadians have to work longer in order to access retirement,” he said.
The number of Canadians aged 65 and older is expected to double to 9.3 million by 2030 with pension costs rising to $106 billion a year from $36 billion now.