Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong Addresses OAS Issue

Click here to see a PDF copy of Minister Wong’s letter to CARP

Letter to CARP members:

I know many seniors have been asking one question recently – will my Old Age Security cheque stay the same?

Many Canadians close to retirement have also been asking whether Old Age Security will be there for them when they reach 65.

The answer to both questions is yes.

The Harper Government is committed to protecting retirement income for today’s seniors, and for future generations.

As many of you know, Canadians receive retirement income from a variety of sources, including the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. The Canada Pension Plan is funded by premiums from each of our paycheques and it is on a safe, secure, and sustainable path. Old Age Security, on the other hand, is funded from general government revenue and is not sustainable in its current form.

As our population gets older it poses certain demographic challenges. In 1975 there were seven working taxpayers for every senior, today there are only four working-age Canadians for each senior. By 2030, the total number of seniors will nearly double, leaving only two working-age Canadians for each senior. Amidst these changing demographics, the annual cost of the Old Age Security program is projected to increase from $36 billion in 2010 to $108 billion in 2030.

If changes are not made to the Old Age Security program, it will become unsustainable in the long-term. Failure to make important decisions now will put the program in jeopardy for future generations .
I want to assure you that possible changes to Old Age Security would not affect anyone currently receiving benefits, nor would any individual close to retirement be affected. Adequate notice would be provided to Canadians, to ensure they have ample time to plan for their future.

The Harper Government will not put the well-being of seniors at risk. We will take responsible action to ensure financial stability for future generations of seniors and give them confidence that Old Age Security will be sustainable and available to them in their retirement.

The Hon. Alice Wong, P.C., M.P.
Minister of State for Seniors