All hardworking Canadians deserve a dignified retirement after a lifetime of working and saving; their economic security literally strengthens our entire economy. Unfortunately, after years of stagnant wages and rising costs, families are struggling under mounting household/consumer debt. A large percentage of Canadians are facing the increased challenges of saving for their children’s educations and their own retirement and it is making us anxious. The average 30-35-year-old is only able to save half of what their parents did at the same age for retirement and younger Canadians can only imagine a secure future.
Today when a Canadian retires at age 65 after working their entire adult life with a maximum pension from CPP and QPP of $1,092.50 per month. The majority of us do not even receive that much. The average benefit for CPP/QPP is $618 per month; an amount almost in line with a Canadian welfare cheque. Under the new Liberal government, the eligibility for OAS (old age security) and GIS (guaranteed income supplement) from age 65 to age 67. In 2016, the basic OAS pension will increase from $569.95 to $570.52 per month. This has made our most vulnerable seniors even poorer and increases the amount the provincial government will have to pay to low income seniors.
Our Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is a Canadian made program that other developed nations look at with high regard. Our CPP is a reliable tool to save for retirement and it can continue to provide income for future generations. With the new Liberal government, we may be able to make the CPP more generous and easier to save for retirement, if they take direct action and work with the provinces and territories to help provide all Canadians as secure retirement instead of rejecting enhancements to the plan as the Conservatives did.